art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 233: “A one lens walk”

This week, Anne is our host for Lens-Artist’s photo challenge. She invites us to a photo walk with only one lens. The idea of doing so is quite old and goes back to the film days when zoom lenses became increasingly popular. In those days, some (many) images taken by non-pros became boring. They overused the ability to zoom into a scene. The advice was (and still is) to use your feet. The famous photographer Roper Capa once said, if your photo is not good enough, you were not close enough. That’s the reason for the advice “go on a walk with only one lens”. Each focal length has its own characteristics. So, when having only one (prime) lens, you have to think about composition more carefully. Thus, this advice is a kind of exercise for your photographic eye and is meant to help to develop your composition abilities.

My first camera was a fixed-lens film camera for 126er film cassettes. Next, I got a 35mm focal length film compact class camera. My first lens for my first SLR was a zoom lens: 35-70mm, later accomplished by an 80-200mm.

Nowadays with all the mega-zooms, the advise is more and more important to improve your photography skills. When you don’t have a prime lens, you can also fix the focal length to a certain focal length with a piece of duct tape or go out with your smartphone, as their cameras usually don’t have the ability to zoom in. Limiting yourself can help a lot. Give it a try.

A few years ago, I led a Photo Walk. I limited myself and went with a 35mm prime lens. You can see some of the results here.

As I sold all of my primes last year, I took my standard zoom (24-120), fixed it to 35mm, put my warm jacket and my boots on, and went out for about half an hour. My first photo walk this year.

Thursday last week, we were surprised by some snow. But it didn’t last long. By Friday nearly all of the snow was gone. Only a few heaps at the roadsides remained where people shoveled the snow from sidewalk removals. But, last night some fresh snow fell and there was still some fine snow falling while I was outside.

Click on the images to enlarge them.


Near the end of the walk, I removed the fixture and allowed some other focal lengths.

I love especially this lens. It gives me the freedom to walk with only one lens when i.e. on a city trip or a photo walk. But, I don’t want to miss my others: a 12mm + a 20mm prime, my 105 macro, and of course the long telephoto lenses for wildlife photography.

The new 24-120 is so good in comparison to the old one, that I even sold my holy trinity: 35 f2.0, 50 f1.8, and 85 f1.8. Those three lenses were constructed back in the film days, when it was impossible to correct distortions or uneven sharpnesses in the camera like it is possible nowadays when photographing digitally. (In case, you’re curious about what I’m talking about: take an image with lines in it in RAW format, transfer it to your computer, and view it with the automatic lens correction turned off. Now wonder, how badly the image looks. Even very expensive lenses have that problem. It’s much cheaper for the manufacturer to maintain additional firmware to be installed on the camera to apply the necessary corrections to the jpg than to spend money to do a proper job in lens construction. To have similar good corrected images when using 3rd party lenses (lenses from other manufacturers than from the camera’s brand), computer software comes into action, which is able to do the corrections. Software published by the camera manufacturer only supports their lenses. Commercial software like Lightroom, Photolab, or Luminar is able to do this. But, there is also free software available on the Internet: RawTherapee or Darktable.

Photographing in raw and using such software is nowadays more than ever necessary when using compatible (3rd party) lenses for your camera besides the other pros!

Maybe, I was able to inspire you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Anne’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!