The Lens Every Photographer Should Have and Use: the 35mm

To answer the question posed by fellow writer Todd Vorenkamp in his article about the venerable 50mm prime, the lens I would choose if I were to be stranded on a desert island would have to be a 35mm prime. Sure, the 50mm is an old and reliable choice that should cover most subjects, but it doesn’t work amazingly for anything specific and, frankly, I think it’s a little boring these days.

In the Field with the Tokina FíRIN 20mm f/2 FE MF lens

According to Tokina, “FíRIN” is a variation of an old Irish word Fírinne, which means “truth,” “what is real,”or “being true to someone or something.” Unlike the consumer-targeted offerings previously marketed by Tokina, FíRIN-series lenses are designed, manufactured, and marketed as premium-quality lenses that equal or surpass their name-brand counterparts in terms of build and image quality. (Think Sigma ART-series lenses.)

Photograps © Allan Weitz

3 Quick Tips for Shooting Close-ups with Extreme Wide-Angle Lenses

Close-ups taken with wider-angle lenses also expose subtle detail, but by framing your subject in its surroundings, you also create a narrative to go along with the visual detail. “Normal” macro photographs expose detail, ultra-wide-angle close-ups tell stories.

Photographs © Allan Weitz

The One Lens Every Photographer Should Have and Use: the 50mm

If you are stranded on a desert island and can only have one camera lens with you, which lens would you choose? If your answer wasn’t, “a 50mm (or 50mm equivalent lens),” then you might be wrong. The 50mm prime lens is the one lens every photographer toting an interchangeable-lens camera should own… and use.

Things We Love: Voigtländer VM-E Close Focus Adapter

I always wanted to own a Leica but, cost factors aside, the camera wasn’t right for me because rangefinder cameras simply cannot focus close enough for the kind of in-your-face close-ups I enjoy shooting. I’ve long been a fan of Leica lenses and have shot with many over the years, but the inability to shoot close-ups without having to resort to additional hardware put the kibosh on any further action. Then Sony introduced its Alpha A7-series cameras, which ultimately ended my decades-long love affair with reflex cameras.

Vintage Lens Review: Non-Retrofocus Ultra-Wide-Angle Lenses

When 35mm reflex cameras (SLRs) began arriving on our shores 70-odd years ago, the widest focal length lenses available at the time were 35mm (about 60° AoV). Wider-angle non-retrofocus lenses existed, but because their rear elements back-focused to within 5 to 10mm from the focus plane (film or camera sensor), they proved impractical for use in SLRs, which require 35-40mm of back focus to accommodate the mirror box.

Gearcast: Third-Party Lenses

Today we present our inaugural “Gearcast,” a monthly feature of the B&H Photography Podcast that focuses solely on new cameras, lenses, and photo gear. We have always discussed photography equipment, but the Gearcast is branded to speak to our gear-head cohorts and those looking specifically for an insightful conversation on the latest available cameras, lenses, and accessories and the most appropriate applications for them.

Hurry, Hurry. Get in the Picture.

Let’s say you are at an event like a birthday party, a family reunion, or a holiday get-together, and you want a group photo that includes everyone. No one should be left out just because they have to operate the camera and be the acting photographer. So, what are the options for including the photographer in the shot?


The first option has played out in so many comedic scenes in movies that it seems like a forgone conclusion that it will end in a botched photo.

Pancake Lens Buying Guide

Pancake lenses, those small, fixed focal length lenses that barely protrude from your camera’s lens mount, are becoming increasingly common. Based on a simple Zeiss Tessar lens design that dates back more than a hundred years, pancake lenses are popular again due to their size—they extend an inch or less from the camera body—and weight, which is usually about 3 ounces.


Lenses for the Hybrid Shooter

With high-quality video now standard in DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, a number of hybrid stills/video shooters have popped up. Unfortunately, video and photography have different concerns when it comes to lens selection, and since most of us can’t fork out the dough for two separate lens sets, it is fortunate that lens manufacturers have been working to fill the need of hybrid shooters. If you want lenses that can work for stills and filmmaking, here’s a list of appealing options.


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