Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Should I get an auto or manual 35mm prime lenses for my mirrorless camera?

 
master steward & author
Posts: 16270
Location: Left Coast Canada
3827
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm looking at getting my first prime lens for my mirrorless camera.

What is a prime lens?  in a nutshell (no nuts included), it's a lens with a fixed focal length.  It can't zoom in or out.  This is good because the optics inside the lens are more specific for that focal length.  

Why do I want a prime?  Even though it doesn't zoom, it has more flexibility than a regular zoom lens.  There's more range in aperture and I like the idea of not being able to zoom because I like getting in close to what I'm shooting.  Compose with my feet.



So I'm tossed between two lenses.  

Option 1.  The fully automatic lens built for my camera.  Now, this is flat-out brilliant!  Gorgeous lens, automatic everything.  I could shoot on auto all day and never make a bag photo.

Option 2.  The fully manual lens that doesn't even have auto-focus.  This means I am going to have to think about EVERYTHING.  That may not be a bad thing.

The manual lens has the advantage of costing about a quarter of the automatic lens.  It also has a wider aperture range.  According to reviews, focus peaking works with this lens so that will be a big help.  



Is there anything I need to know about buying a fully manual lens?  Is it really worth it to save up for the automatic?  
 
Posts: 125
Location: Kooskia, ID
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What will you be shooting? For moving subjects go with the auto.  If you're going to be doing landscape and portrait work (or things that don't move) go with the manual.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 16270
Location: Left Coast Canada
3827
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do a lot of product photography and am getting into stock (but not sure if I like it).  

Today I spent three hours taking photos of tomatoes.  It was way more fun than it sounds.  

But how hard is it to get the focus right on a manual lens?  Yesterday I learned that atuo-focus isn't great on shiny curved surfaces.  But would manual be better?  Or would I want to wear my glasses?  
 
brad millar
Posts: 125
Location: Kooskia, ID
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does your auto have a manual focus ring? I'd wear the glasses.
 
pollinator
Posts: 125
Location: acadian peninsula, New Brunswick, Canada
72
trees books chicken woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd go with the 2nd option. Glass doesn't lose much value and the lens should be relatively easy to sell if it doesn't suit you. I purchased an old 50mm 1.4 Nikkor without AF from Ebay and it's one of my favorites. I have a Nikon D40 from 2006 and it tells me if things are in focus, I imagine yours can do the same.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 533
Location: Tasmania
262
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like to have the auto focus option there, even though I only use it sometimes. I mainly use it with family and animal photography (they move quickly!) and sometimes with food photography when I want to get photos really quickly.

I am not familiar with your camera so am not 100% sure if you can use manual focus on an auto lens, so this would be worth looking into just to make sure.
 
mooooooo ..... tiny ad ....
dry stack step
https://permies.com/t/125100/dry-stack-step
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!