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Sebastian Benkö blogs about photography in general, travel experiences and photography gear reviews.

Thirtyfive and Fifty

Travelling and Exploring with two classic focal lensens.

In my last post about my unconditional love for the little Fujifilm X100s I talked about travelling with just a single camera and focal length to sharpen my photographical skills and spark my creativity.

As mentioned, I couldn't resist the oh so strong feeling of G.A.S. and in the end acquired a 2nd fujifilm body with the addition of a 35mm prime lens.

The Definition of two Classic Focal Lengths

Now, this post is called "Thirtyfive and Fifty" but the focal lengths I'm using are 23 and 35 respectively. However, those are used on APSC-sized sensors so actually you'd have to multiply them by 1.5 (crop factor) to get the so called "full-frame equivalent" focal length, which would be precisely 34,5mm for the x100s and 52,5mm for the 35mm prime lens.
With an surveying engineering background that I have I'd honestly have to say a very significant deviation from 35 and 50mm, but I'm being pragmatic here and need to say "close enough" :D

So what I end up with are two very classic focal lengths that have been used by the most renowned photographers to capture moments in their life.
The reasons those focal lengths are so famous and is simple: While the 50mm focal length very precisely simulates the field of view of the human eye, the 35mm just opens a wider, versatile perspective, while still not giving too immense perspectives when viewing at pictures.
Also, they are widely spread these days with every manufacturer and also quite cheap as most camera brand offers entry versions of those focal lengths with small apertures for those on a budget.

Go out and give it a try

The reason why I'm writing this blog post is simply to convince people that any kind of picture can be taken with the most limited setup.

I think I'm by far not the only person to admit this, but whenever I'm headed out to take some pictures I ask myself if I could actually cover all possible scenarios with just my two lenses. Actually I think every photography forum is filled (or should I say "spammed") with questions about which focal length to use for a specific occasion or place and trust me, I've been there :D

So this post should simply enlighten you a bit, hopefully also spark your creativity and prevent you from spending $$$$$ on stuff you don't really need when instead you could take your current camera/lens setup, go out and just enjoy the process of taking pictures. And with just those 2 lenses I think I have accomplished that fairly nicely and could cover almost any sort of situation or occasion.
Landscapes, Environmental Portraits, Sports, Wildlife, Architecture - all done with just those 2 lenses.

Sure you would argue: What about that bird, 100m away that you couldn't capture, what about the 180° view of that interior? I don't know about you, but I don't think I missed anything but instead just focused on capturing those scenes and situations with what I had, even if that means some sort of adaption or missing out on a chance here and there - but let's just have my pictures speak for themselves ;)

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Cheers, I'm out
Sebastian