Monday, 3 December 2007

Fixed focal length and the all-day camera

Canon EOS500 with EF 28 f/2.8: my new "point and shoot" set-up

Michael Johston is running a poll over at Top Online Photographer about what fixed lens people might like on an all-day carry around camera. Clearly this is directed at the recent talk of the almost forthcoming Sigma DP-1.

This lines up nicely with this week's purchase - a Canon EF 28 f/2.8, bought as a fixed focal length for my old film camera. The intention is to continue using it as I've been doing the last few months - as a P&S black & white camera but a bit wider now than the 50mm I was previously using (although I may well carry that too). I would ideally have likes a small (no bigger than this 28mm) 35mm but they don't seem to be available.

My pocket camera, the Samsung A503 also has a 35mm-e lens. It's a focal length I get on well with.

It's not that I don't like 50mm. certainly for subjects at a distance it's excellent. But I'm more concerned about getting enough width close-up. Often I can't back up, or to do so would lose the spontaneity that I'm aiming for.

I think I understand why camera companies are going wider - you can always crop stuff out but never add it back in. Plus, all the pocket camera reviews bemoan lack of wide-angle if the widest they've got is 35mm. All the new kit zooms are 28mm-e.

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