Masonic Temple

Practicing with Longer Lenses

posted in: Photography | 0

For the most part, I tend to shoot with either 28mm or 50mm lenses. Part of that is due to taking a lot of pictures in the city where everything is close so the 28-50mm range usually suffices.

Even when I use my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 lens, I don’t often zoom in as much as I can. Looking at the last time I used it, which I wrote about in my May 2021 Update, I exceeded 50mm for only 5 out of 21 photos, 3 of which were barely past 50mm.

Two at 56mm:

Cloud Reflection in the FMC Tower
Cloud Reflection in the FMC Tower
CSX Train
CSX Train

And 1 at 58mm:

Ivy Wall
Ivy Wall

The 2 longer ones were at 70mm:

Purple Flower
Purple Flower

And at 85mm:

The Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
The Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

I mention all this just to point out that it’s somewhat notable that I went out twice recently with lenses with longer focal lengths.

I took a rain-shortened walk with my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and my Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 lens.

Obviously, shooting at an unfamiliar focal length forced me to think about my shots differently. Using a more telescopic lens allowed me to take tighter pictures of things farther away, but it also let me take an interesting closer up shot of some twigs caught in a gap in the walkway above the Schuylkill River.

MOKA
MOKA
Looking Down to the Schuylkill River
Looking Down to the Schuylkill River

I also went out with my Minolta Celtic 135mm f/3.5 lens on my Minolta XE loaded with Ilford HP5 Plus. I wrote about the other pictures I had taken with that roll in my Trip to FDR Park post, but the majority of the pictures came from this walk with the 135mm lens.

Building Reflection
Building Reflection
Tip of the Comcast Technology Center beyond Philly City Hall
Tip of the Comcast Technology Center beyond Philly City Hall

In the past, I haven’t been all that happy with most of the photos I had taken with an 85mm or 135mm lens, but I am really pleased with how most of these turned out. I’m glad I didn’t let those previous less than ideal results discourage me from trying those lenses again. I foresee returning to them again before too long.

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