Standard Issue.

4973469263_378c6102e5_bThe humble, and often under-utilised, standard lens – the 50mm (or 35mm, 80mm or 150mm, depending on what format you’re shooting…). Every camera used to come with one, normally a 50mm 1.8, it was the first thing eager snappers wanted to replace, for some reason?

A lot of people are very surprised to learn that 90% of my images are made using the standard lens. I love them. I used to shoot a lot of stuff on a 17-40mm, but I look at those images now and they look horribly distorted. I’m not interested in that look now, I want my photos to look like they do with my eyes, and the closest lens to achieve that is the standard. If I want to get more into a shot, I walk back a bit, if I need to get closer, I’ll just get closer. You can pick-up a good standard lens, in any format, for a lot less than the price of a short zoom. Just spend a bit of what you’ve got left over on a good pair of shoes.




  1. Janice

    I bought a 35mm 1.8 a few months back, and I’m having as much fun with it taking landscapes as I am with portraits. Tack sharp. love it


  2. Dzulfiqar Fathurrahman

    So rad, but it looks like taken with a lens about 80mm, but I’m very surprised about the fact that you used the standard one with 17mm-40mm lens. Nice! looking forward for your next photos =)


  3. Couldn’t agree more, the 50mm (or 80mm on roll film) is my default lens. I think the simplicity of prime lens is important in this, zooms offer too many choices. I use 28mm occasionally and even more occasionally 90mm, but I just cannot get the 35mm field of view: inevitably I will crop it tighter towards 50mm.


  4. I guess I’m old school too, cause I love my 35mm and rarely bother to take anything else with me. But these shots truly demonstrate how genius you can be with just one lens and a pair of feet.


  5. Pingback: Going To Work On The Train. | Understanding Your Dog

  6. I’m a total armature, I have a camera that’s probably okay for a beginner, but I don’t know how to use it in detail. I just love to shoot and so far have had no desire to learn how to do it right. I kind of wish I had the desire, but reading this post makes me feel a little better about my lack of knowledge. Thanks!
    I love your photos.


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