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Thread: 24mm or 28mm?

  1. #1

    Default 24mm or 28mm?

    hi all,

    i'm currently in the market to purchase my first wide-angle prime and am torn between the 24mm and 28mm.

    i know 24mm would be considered as ultra-wide angle and 28mm as wide-angle. but have no prior experience to using them.

    so perhaps, anyone with experience or opinions to enlighten me on which would be good for general purpose use for wideangle situations. will 24mm be too wide? or 28mm prove to be inadequate?

    if you're wondering, im looking at rokkor lenses for my minolta film slr body.

    please advise. thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    Hmm...how long have you been doing photography as a hobby? What is the focal length that you work with most commonly? Do you find that focal length just right, or do you wish to go wider or longer? If so, by how much?

    For starters, or those moving from P&S to SLRs, 28mm is a breath of fresh air compared to 35mm. It takes a lot more in and is usually wide enough, but this of course depends on your intended applications. For general walkabout and landscapes, 28mm is pretty nice. As lenses get wider they become more specialized and it requires better technique to use them effectively.

    Wide angle lenses, by their very nature, take a lot in because of their wide field of view. In so doing the subject may be lost in the scene, or you may wind up with a very cluttered photograph that is confusing to look at. In photography, sometimes less is more. Work towards simplifying things rather than trying to get everything in one photo.

    It is a good idea to try the lenses out first before you buy. But if you had to pick with your eyes closed, I'd say go for the 28mm first. Then as you build up your collection and feel the need for wider lenses, add a 17mm or a 20mm.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    been doing it as a hobby for about 2 years, but as for using the slr, about 6 months

    i'm planning on building a kit for my slr comprising on 3 lenses.
    [ _?_, 50mm f/1.4, 135mm f/2.8]

    the latter 2 i already have and they work great, but as i feel there's something lacking when i wanna cover wider angles, say the huge xmas tree at taka, or a landscape shot etc.

    yup was afraid the 24mm might be just too wide for me.

    fword: thanks for the input, advice on "simplifying" makes a lot of sense.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    Well, for the Christmas Tree at Taka, I'm thinking you might be needing a 17mm. Maybe even a 15mm fisheye. Those are more exotic optics though, and I'm just guessing...the only way is to put the lens to the scene. In general though, if you're going to be doing architecture or interior shots, you'd probably need 17mm or wider.

    Once I read this book that talks of a method to decide if there are any large gaps in your setup when using prime lenses, and it bases this using a factor of 1.4. For example, if you have a 50mm lens in your setup, the next lens up might be a 50mm X 1.4 --> approx. 85mm lens. The next lens down might be 50mm / 1.4 --> approx. 35mm. And the next lens down from 35mm would be 24mm.

    Hence, if you work around a setup of 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, then you might have plenty of bases covered. This is just a guide though, because your own needs will dictate what you should have.

    Both the 24 and 28mm lenses should be very effective if you experiment with shooting positions and various points of view. Good news here is that if your 24mm lens is too wide, you may still be able to crop the final image down to the area of interest.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    One rule of thumb commonly told in the old days was "skip one focal length". So common focal lengths are 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm. Start with 50mm, skip one (35mm) and go to 28mm, skip one (85mm) and get 105mm, skip 135mm and get 200mm, skip 24mm and get 20mm. Believe it or not, at one time that was my lens setup: AI20/3.5, AI28/2.8, AIS50/1.4, AIS105/2.5, AI200/4. Once upon a pre-digital time. Persons who base their "standard lens" around a 35mm could get 24mm and 85mm.

    Rationale: adjacent focal lengths offer closer viewpoints and skipping one gives a more dramatic effect.

    That said, if you're looking for Rokkors maybe the best way is to buy whatever that comes up first and move on from there.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    haha thanks for the info and ure time fword.

    i guess, for the 28mm, i'll have no other choice but to take 3 steps backwards provided there is enough leg room if i wanna include more area.

    for me, i just need one wideangle for all-in-one use, perhaps 28mm would be a good way to start. or maybe the 24mm would be better? gargh. headache.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0200903C View Post
    haha thanks for the info and ure time fword.

    i guess, for the 28mm, i'll have no other choice but to take 3 steps backwards provided there is enough leg room if i wanna include more area.

    for me, i just need one wideangle for all-in-one use, perhaps 28mm would be a good way to start. or maybe the 24mm would be better? gargh. headache.
    When I was shooting SLRS way back when....heh.. if given the choice..I will take the 24mm anytime over the 28mm. If I can afford to get the wider prime I would. My dream lens was actually the 20mm but when you were still in NS...you are luck if you can afford to get a 24mm over a 28mm or a 35mm! Well for Nikon anyway. The price jump from a 35mm to a 28mm and a 24mm is not evenly played out. It starts to take a bigger jump as it gets wider. Also during my day...the 24mm was a better piece of glass compared to the 28mm. Only the 20mm was better heheh. So personally if I were in your shoe and I can budget to pay for the 24mm prime. I would go for it. It makes a world of difference and convenient personally. As for Minolta's well you might need to do some homework to see how well the 28mm and 24mm compares to each other. Lens are not always made equal.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0200903C View Post
    haha thanks for the info and ure time fword.

    i guess, for the 28mm, i'll have no other choice but to take 3 steps backwards provided there is enough leg room if i wanna include more area.

    for me, i just need one wideangle for all-in-one use, perhaps 28mm would be a good way to start. or maybe the 24mm would be better? gargh. headache.
    Heheh...tough choice there. I reckon you wouldn't go wrong with either one. But as sammy888 has mentioned, it might be a better idea to just try for the 24mm. I've often found that it's possible to move foward or get lower to get enough foreground interest, or to fill the frame, but it's less feasible to move backwards. Once I tried using just a 17mm (one of those old Canon FD systems) for an Ubin trip and enjoyed it thoroughly.

    It depends on how wide you want to go. Also, start hunting around to see what the prices are like, and what you can afford.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 24mm or 28mm?

    thanks a lot guys, appreciate the feedback here, enjoy the weekend, i';ll go for the 24mm and use my legs the rest of the way:P

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