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Old 05-24-2011, 10:57 PM   #1
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Tips for a new prime lens shooter

I finally picked up a macro lens for my Olympus E-420. It's a 35mm 3.5, and for under $200 new, it reminded me why I love shooting Olympus. I noticed something, though: I've gotten really used to being able to zoom! So do you guys have any tips for someone getting used to shooting with a fixed focal length lens?


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Old 05-24-2011, 11:13 PM   #2
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Zoom with your feet!

This is what I did when I first got my 50mm: only take the fixed lens on a shooting trip. Leave the other lenses at home. Then you're forced to zoom with your feet.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:50 AM   #3
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What lyonsroar said. Zoom with your feet. With a macro, you're going to want to get REALLY close to get the full functionality of a MACRO

With this shot, the lens was less then 1/2 an inch away from the bee.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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^^ Nice Bee shot ... but 1.5 inches away ... eeks

I would rather have an 85 or 105 macro lens for little sting buggers like the bee.

Back to OP: Yeah ... the great thing about Fix lenses is that it actually makes you work at composition. I once did a photo walk with only a 50mm downtown and boy did I have to work to get the shots I was visualizing, but once I picked up the groove it was gravy.

Hmm ... did they not have an f/1.8 or f/2.0 fixed 35mm for the Olympus?

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Old 05-25-2011, 09:21 PM   #5
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There's an f/2.0 50mm, but it's more than double what I paid for this guy. I went out and played with the lens a little bit today. Nothing too creative, though. Flowers, bugs, and bugs on flowers, imagine that :P


White Flower in Front of Other White Flowers by David4thirds, on Flickr


Yellow Bug on Yellow Flower by David4thirds, on Flickr


Bee on Pink Flower by David4thirds, on Flickr

Any tips? I took the one of the white flower pretty quickly on my way to work. I didn't quite focus where I wanted to, but I still think it came out OK.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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I like the second one. It's nice and tight in. The other two are to far for a macro shot IMHO.
With bugs, you just gotta wait for them to get in the right position for a good shot. Just get closer, and then when you think you're too close, go in even further. lol I love macro
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:38 PM   #7
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Yeah, the second guy was staying put, whereas the bee kept skipping around from flower to flower.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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^^ Bees tend to do that lol.

Just hope they don't find you a threat.

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Old 05-26-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Any tips for subjects for macro photography? Obviously, bugs on flowers is pretty common, and as a matter of fact, I'll have a few new shots uploaded later tonight. What about other stuff? Objects with interesting patterns or textures? I want to try shooting everything with the 35mm lens and leave the 14-42 in the bag as much as I can.

As far as the next lens I get, right now I have the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and my new 35mm f/3.5 macro. I want something more along the lines of a telephoto, and there's an 18-180mm f/3.5-6.3 ($500) that I've read some good reviews about. A common thing, though, is that none of the "standard grade" Olympus lenses are f/2.8 or wider, other than the 25mm f/2.8 pancake lens. I know that eventually I want to get the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 ($600) to replace the kit lens that came with the camera, and ideally I would want to get a true telephoto lens. There's a 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 lens, but at $1200, that ain't happening anytime soon. What I'm getting at is this: would you guys suggest going for the 18-180 to use as my primary lens, effectively dropping the 14-42 from my bag, or should I start saving and from here on out only go for the "high grade" lenses with the wider maximum apertures? I know this entire paragraph doesn't really have anything to do with what I started the thread for, but I didn't feel like it wouldn't be a long enough discussion to start a new one.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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Well the wider aperture lenses are usually the better bet to go for. I haven't shot with an Olympus camera, but I know in the Nikkor and Canon "L" glass worlds that the faster glass and more expensive glass is almost always the better way to go.

As for other things to shoot ... I met up with some photogs here in my city and we did a photo walk of downtown usuing only 35mm or 50mm prime lenses. Really makes you work for your photos.

I would say, go for a walk in your downtown area and just see what you can catch. Journalistic style shooting. And shooting everything that catches your eye. A cock-eyed sign, homeless guy eating wheaties, wobbly birds, happy couple on a street bench, old building sides, nice sunset of your downtown ... etc.

A great way to learn any lens is just plain go for a walk and view your everyday places through the lens. Then when you get tired ... walk back to your car and you will always see something different that you didn't see the first time.

-Ray-
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