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 Post subject: How many lenses?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Location: UK
Thom Hogan's post today was looking at how many lenses you need. An interesting measurement metric he used was how many lenses do you need to take 80% of your photos?

That made me think. In my case, it might be ONE, and at most 3. I don't have easy access to stats to work that out precisely. Of course, I have many more lenses than that... but to me that 20% is as important as the 80%.

Heard of the 80/20 rule? According to wikipedia, it's known as the Pareto principle. It's a rule of thumb they state as "roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes". The easy stuff is easy, and the hard stuff gets much more difficult.

So on that note, might it imply to approach 100% of situation coverage, your lens collection is about 5x that needed for 80%?

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:21 pm 
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Same thing as the law of diminishing returns, basically. It's also why I have mostly Sigma lenses, the Nikon variants offer me perhaps a 5% increase for a 100% increase in price.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:15 am 
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Location: Speyer (Germany)
Well... the three lenses I use most are my 50mm 1.8, my 100mm 2.8L and my 100-400mm L, followed by the 18-55mm IS. On the last one I often miss a wider angle as well as more reach.

Lenses used less often are the 28-80mm USM, the 100-300mm USM (I can't remember having used this one since I have the 100-400mm) and the other stuff here like the old 400mm manual focus prime I got short time ago.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:06 am 
For most people (i.e. not professionals) I think 1-3 lenses is a perfect measurement. For me, I have 5 lenses but I only use two of them.

1 is the kit, the other is a 55-200 which I never use. I bought a cheapy old Nikon glass to learn and get better at manual focusing but the two I use the most is my 35mm 90% of the time followed by my Tokina 12-24mm the other 10% of the time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:04 am 
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Location: Taiwan / Sweden / Scotland
For Wildlife? Mostly the 300mm 2.8L IS with extenders

Otherwise the 24-70 2.8L, 85mm 1.2L or Sigma 50mm 1.4 and 70-200 2.8L IS

My kit is the 24-70 2.8L and 85mm 1.2L.

And the rest I dont really use that much, its mostly for fun or for other stuff.

I have 7 lenses, I mostly use the 4 from Canon L.

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Equipment: A blend of Canon, Nikon, Yashica, Leica, Voigtlander, Samyang and Sigma. All of which you can see on my website!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:06 am 
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For me (for concerts) it's the 10mm fisheye, the 50 1.4, and the 70-200 2.8. But for landscapes I like my 15-30, a lens which I LOVE on my F50, and for general shooting I like the 35mm 1.8, and if I want to get creative I take the 135 2.8.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:15 am 
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I am thinking about upgrading from a superzoom to a DSLR and it's lens that are scaring me a little.

There's so many and I'm worrying that once I get on the treadmill of having different ones I'll stop thinking about what make a good composition and end up a slave to using the lens.

I guess what I'm saying is I want the equipment to work for me rather than the other way round.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:34 pm 
My line up pretty much follows Thom suggestion. I have one wide angle zoom, one midrange zoom, one telephoto, one macro and one normal prime. Although I'm planning on upgrading the 70-300mm VR to a 70-200mm f2.8 VR II real soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:09 pm 
The original question was, " how many lenses do you need!". That's a lot different to how many lenses do you want!
Basically all we need is one lens otherwise the camera won't be of any use. So a one lens solution would be a super zoom with an 18mm to 200mm or greater focal length range. David Busch refers to what he calls "lens mania" in some of his books and I suppose all photographers suffer from it to some extent. Sadly there is still no single lens that will do everything well and I doubt there ever will be. So that leaves us with the desire to accumulate a variety of lenses to cover every eventuality, a wide angle for landscapes, a medium telephoto for portraits, a long telephoto for distance work and a fast aperture lens for general shooting and low light work. I guess I could manage very well with 4 lenses but I suspect I will succumb to temptation and continue to acquire additional optics at some time. I/we are rarely satisfied with what we have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:40 pm 
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Location: SE Texas
I use my new Canon 35mm 1.4L for almost all of my hobby shooting, and most of the shots at work, too, except the somewhat rare macro shots, for which I use my 100mm 2.8L. The 10-22mm EF-S is used for wide-angle shots, of course, both at work and on my own time, but UWA shots are not needed often. When my 50mm L is repaired, it will be interesting to see how much I use it, now that I have the 35 L. (I bought the 35 L after I damaged my 50 L; I had previously favored a fast fifty.)

In the absence of my 50L, I estimate I am using the 35L for well over 80% of my shots.

My 50mm 1.8, and 28-135mm zoom are rarely used.

This will all likely shift again when I am finally free to get away from the city more often, especially to the coastal deltas and marshes, at which time I will
probably add a longer lens.

I use cropped-frame Canons.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:14 am 
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Have been thinking about this a bit, but it appears I get trapped in a comfort zone a bit. I think I will just put on the 50 today when I go for a walk, with the 70-300 in case I spot any birds.

I have been using the 15-85 and the 70-300 a lot lately and neglecting my 50 and 100.

Somewhere in their I think I would like a 2.8 zoom in the 30-120 or 50-150 range. I know Sigma make one, but has anyone used it. The reviews seem to all mention focusing issue.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:35 am 
I only need one lens.



but I have many. I can do the job with one, but if i wanted to have an easier day I'd pack them all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:46 am 
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Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
For me, the ideal setup would have five lenses: The wide angle zoom, the general purpose zoom, the telephoto zoom, the fast prime and the macro. I could do without the macro or fast prime, but they are very helpful the times that I do need them.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:07 am 
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Location: Speyer (Germany)
EvanK wrote:
For me, the ideal setup would have five lenses: The wide angle zoom, the general purpose zoom, the telephoto zoom, the fast prime and the macro.

Well - I'd say "That's it." Absolutely the same here. At the moment I'm just missing the wide angle lens. And after that I need to upgrade my general purpose lens and then I *should* be happy with those.

Today I got to use all of my four (yes, wide angle still missing) lenses, yet.

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Canon EF 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 USM + EF 24-105mm 4L IS USM + EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 50mm 1.8 II + EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM + Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II + Nissin Speedlite Di 466


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:50 am 
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I agree with the "5" lenses statement above. I got all but the wide angle. The 2 primes I own I use sparingly.


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