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New Normal, Day 6: Rediscovering My Love of Primes

Let’s talk about this picture and my photography processes for a minute:

I have taken more pictures around the house in the last three days than I probably have in the last three months. These are Japanese tulips on their last legs in my next door neighbor’s yard. I took this photo with the X-H1 and the 50mm f2. This picture has already been all over my Facebook, and my church’s Facebook, and Instagram, so it’s probably not a new picture to you if you are reading this.

I sold off the last of all my prime lenses in 2018 to purchase the 50mm-140mm f2.8. I justified going all zooms because that was what was convenient for weddings, and I figured I could use them for personal projects too since the focal lengths overlapped and I had all the focal lengths covered. And let’s face it– the Fuji red-badge zooms really are rivaling all the Fuji primes in image quality.

But…..the zooms are not compact, at all. Which makes throwing a camera in a purse not exactly a simple thing. And the thought processes behind photography with zooms is more complicated, as well. And, there is a big something to be said about having your composition determined by your position, and not having the option to think about zooming in, etc. Photography with a prime is different than photography with a zoom. It makes my brain work in a different way.

The 56mm f1.2 was the closest prime lens that I had previously, to the 50mm f2 that I have now. It is known that the 56mm is sharper at certain apertures, but dang, I always hated that lens. It wasn’t the bulk though it was a bigger lens– it was the fact that that lens didn’t focus close at all AND the lens was slow as Christmas to focus and at the shallower depths of field, it would frequently miss focus. I can think of one day that I managed to get a lot of good shots with that lens. There were a lot of misses on lots of other days.

I really went back and forth on repurchasing the 1.2. I wanted the prime and I wanted the focal length range and I wanted a little shallower depth of field than 2.8 will give.

Enter the 50mm f2.

I am not going to argue which is the better lens for me. For me, the 50mm f2 is the better lens because I will use it and enjoy it.

So now, I am thinking to take the other battery grip off the other X-H1 and put the 35mm f2 on the other X-H1– I already have the 35mm f2. The focal lengths aren’t dramatically different but there are enough differences that it matters to me. There is a 23mm f2 (which I don’t have) but I always hated the straight up 35mm focal length (equivalence: on an APS-C sensor 23mm is 35mm full frame….it’s a whole thing) on the X100F and original X100– I always liked having the teleconverter on. I am thinking this set up will be my next experiment for personal projects.

In other news: Jared has the church service ready for streaming tomorrow. I backed off the fit I pitched about it earlier in the week. Porter and Liam are playing D&D with friends. Oliver is playing with an early birthday present he opened from Grandpa Keith and Grandma Robin, because his 6th birthday is tomorrow.

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