One lens to rule the world

One lens to rule the world

One lens to rule the world. Sending to the ring of omnipotence

What is the only lens to take for permanent use? The one and only for all occasions. The lens to which I would like to strive. That one high-quality lens, by buying which, you could solve all your photo tasks and not torment the camera with a constant change of lenses, but your thoughts by choosing something new. Nowadays it is extremely difficult to manage with one lens, but nevertheless, what to choose in this case?

Personally, I would look at:

The weight, size and lack of a stabilizer in these lenses do not bother me at all, just as they don’t bother that they belong to different systems.

I really like Tamron 28-105 / 2.8, but it is unfortunate that it was not updated in any way, yet new Tamron 35-150 / 2.8-4 VC is a completely different solution. Ideally, I would be pleased with any modern 28-105 / 2.8 class lens, and even better if it were 24-105 / 2.8 or even 28-135 / 2.8. If you look at the fix, which allows you to shoot almost everything and almost everywhere and always, then this is definitely something like 35 / 1.4. Any modern aperture 35-tk is very good.

The question of whether it is rational to use only one lens lies in a completely different plane. The same goes for system selection. In the comments, I ask you to concentrate and write about which single lens you would personally choose for everyday amateur or professional use. I suspect that it will be interesting to many.

For more information, see the section 'Autofocus fixes with the highest aperture','Especially fast lenses from the Middle Kingdom'and'Fastest zoom lenses ''.

Comments here on the site do not require any registration. In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic, or leave your feedback, or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

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Comments: 199, on the topic: One lens to rule the world

  • Eugene

    Hello, Arkady, hello, "joyful people". I ask for advice on choosing between sigma 70-300, tamron 70-300, nikkor 70-300. Which is sharper, faster on Nikon crop.

    • B. R. P.

      Native.

    • Nikita

      Take Tamron SP 70-300 VC USD (this is the version with the stub), in general, it is no worse than the native 70-300VR and costs much cheaper, and if you take used it, the price is all the more very pleasant.

  • Alex

    What is there to think? If this is a crop, then Sigma 17-50 / 2,8 + adjustment in the SC or Nikon 16-80 / 2,8-4. For FF, then only 24-70 / 2,8 (native or equivalent)

  • Andrei

    on tokina crop 12-28

  • Mr. Gwyn

    Good time friends. Which lens is better for landscape photography, advise?

  • Victor

    Dear “Radozhivtsy”! I ask for advice on choosing a wife: who should I choose - a blonde, a brunette or a dyed one! ???

    • Arkady Shapoval

      You are not here.
      But still, if here, then the logic breaks. Indeed, many (yes) have one wife. Maybe it can be the same with the lens?

      • Eugene

        I just want to ask knowledgeable people on which one is faster and more accurate autofocus.

        • Ivan

          At the very beginning they answered that the “native” lens is the best, that is, Nikon (or Nikkor, as you like).

    • Oleg

      Choose any and ask to periodically dye your hair or put on a wig, you can also play the scene patient-doctor, chief subordinate and others.

      • Eugene

        Oleg, I beg your pardon, you are probably brothers with Viktor and I, of course, are far from you. But. Be so kind as not to “litter the airwaves”, please. Much obliged.

        • Ivan

          Eugene, you carefully look at the correspondence. Everything that you reacted so critically to is not related to your question about 70-300 lenses, but to Mr. Gwyn, who asked about a landscape lens.

    • Valery

      ... not in the eyebrow, but in the eye ... :-) ...

      • Eugene

        And you seem to be the third brother.

        • BB

          ... a person wrote in response to a comment three months ago ...

          I ask Arkady to remove the unnecessary food here.

    • Eugene

      If you, Victor, have such a question, then it is better not to bother and "manual" further.

  • Sergei

    My favorite on the crop was Nikkor 35 / 1,8. There are others, but this one somehow moved everyone. I like aperture, sharpness. Already get used to it and shoot everything for them. Although sometimes you need more or less angle, you need an approximation ... And yet for today this is my lens.

    • Vyacheslav

      May I introduce confusion into your established opinion? :)
      I recently touched 4 lenses here at the same time: Sigma 35 1.4, Nikkor 35 1.8G, Nikkor 35-70 2.8D and Helios 44-2. One camera, same settings. And only Nikkor 35 1.8G for some reason so godlessly "steals" color. Maybe I did something wrong and now they will point me to my mistake in the assessment :)
      Although, we must pay tribute if there is little light, I’d better wear 35 1.8G, because in rooms with artificial lighting, the same Nikkor 35-70 2.8D simply suffocates. And Helios is not much better behaving. There are no questions to Sigma :)
      PS: by the way, determine where is which lens? :)

      • Pokemon

        I did not notice that 35-70 / 2.8 is suffocating in the room under artificial lighting.
        On the D750 and D4, everything focuses normally and the picture itself is pleasant.

        • Vyacheslav

          “Choking” - from the absence of light. 35-70 2.8 is very good when there is a lot of light.
          Well so full frame makes itself felt, as I understand it. I’m shooting them on DX.

      • Michael

        Are all the settings exactly the same? Or just an expopair?)

        • Vyacheslav

          Everything is exactly the same. I shot on the D5300, removed one lens and installed the other. ISO, shutter speed, aperture are the same.

          • Michael

            I say, ekspopara. Probably there is AWB, ADL and other "improvements" are on. The lens, of course, affects the color reproduction, but only slightly

            • Vyacheslav

              ADL is “standard”. Doesn't this enhancer statically enhance certain colors?
              WB is really in the machine and indeed on different lenses the temperature varies slightly. But as I understand it, temperature can not lead to loss of color?

      • Artem

        This is because Nikkor 35 1.8 slightly overexposed. this makes you feel like he stole the color. The lenses are different - the aperture is different and you shot for everyone with the same parameters _ and the parameters should be different)

        • Vyacheslav

          So the diaphragm seems to be the same - 2.8
          Or do I globally do not understand something and the aperture value is not an absolute value?

      • Vadyukhin

        top right - sigma.

        • Michael

          There all 4 are the same))) Shot on different lenses

      • Alex

        VLU (upper left corner) - Helios; VPU - Nikkor 35 / 1,8; NLU - Nikkor 35-70 / 2,8D; NPU - Sigma 35 / 1,4.

        All Sigma Art series have their own trademark "oiliness", and it is very similar to the one in the photo in the lower right corner.

        Above (VPU) is Nikkor 35 / 1,8, because you said yourself that there are not enough colors.

        The lower left corner is the zoom, because, as it seemed to me, the blur is less than in the rest of the images, and the picture is generally worse.

        Well, the remaining upper left corner is Helios, judging by a different focal point.

        But I can be mistaken, because I have never been special at all))))

        • Vyacheslav

          Sigma correctly identified :)
          35-70 and Helios confused. it was impossible to navigate by focus here, because I did not shoot with a tripod from one point. VLU - 35-70, and NLU - Helios :)
          True, I did not mention, perhaps, an important detail - at 35-70 the picture was taken in macro mode.
          By the way, in these photos I do not see a fundamental difference between Helios and 35-70. In my opinion about the same.

    • Eugene

      I have the same choice in the first place crop Nikkor 35 / 1,8. I also love MC Pancolar 1.8 / 50 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR.

  • Radmir

    What to take on ff canon?

  • Peter Sh.

    Anyway, my favorite lens is an ultra-wide zoom. But in 90% of the shots I have 70-200 2.8. So I choose it.

  • Sergei

    Until they released 24-200 f1.4, of all the available (sigma 35 art, tamron 70-200 g2, tamron 28-75 f2.8 ...) lenses, would have left the Sony FE 85 f1.4 GM. Gorgeous thing ...)

  • Alexey

    The most popular focal range for f.ph. 35-135, this one is needed, if only. 28-105 is good, but sometimes a little lacking in the long direction.

  • Gregory

    “No one will embrace the immense” (c). The "normal" fix rules the world. In general, this is still 50mm without a fanatical race for aperture.
    It is not clear what to do with the crop and its “normal” 35mm, barrel ... Yes.

    • Victor

      I would like to get an answer to this question about geometry distortion: 35tk on crop in the angle of view is it like a cropped 35tk on the full frame, or is it still an imitation of the angle of a full fifty dollars?

      • Valery A.

        Like a cropped 35-ka on a full frame, but to get the same frame width as on a full one, you need to move half a distance back, we get a fifty-fifty angle.

        • Victor

          Thanks! With the width of the angle, this is understandable, I just didn’t have ff to check how 35 behaves on it. But most importantly, I realized from a rather strong distortion of the proportions in the faces, when only the face in the frame, that this is clearly not a fifty dollars.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        If you take the perfect lens, then 35tk on the crop, this is a full frame like 52.5mm in terms of viewing angle, perspective and F / 2.7 in terms of depth of field (not aperture), this has been discussed about a million times :). Information here и here

        • Victor

          Arkady, that is, 35 on the crop is a full-fledged fifty, and in geometry, and not just cut 35 from ff, when was the middle cut out of it? Why, then, is there a fairly strong distortion of faces up close? And another question - what is the difference between the two 35 1.8g lenses for crop and full frame?

          • Arkady Shapoval

            If you take a full frame and cut out the middle, it will be exactly the same. Some of the distortion is a feature of the lens. Part of it is not distortion, but the transmission of perspective, inherent in a particular focal length, which is only visually perceived as a distortion. The main difference between the 35 / 1.8G DX and the 35 / 1.8G FX is that the latter is designed for full frame and does not give dark corners, and on the smallest detail - different optical schemes, etc.

            • Victor

              Sorry, wrote without seeing your answer. I’m just an artist, and I immediately see distortions in the proportions of faces. I understood from your answer that the topic is apparently more complicated than I thought. The physics of optical spheres is involved here.

              • Michael

                Compare the optical distortion of 35mm and 50mm lenses.
                The difference between 1.7% and 1.13% is not critical in my opinion.
                Perspective distortions depend on the distance.

              • Michael

                Well, maybe 35 optical distortions have less than 50.
                For example, Sigma 35mm art /
                Take with http://www.opticallimits.com

        • Victor

          I’ll explain again: If I take any wide-angle, for example, Tokin 11-16,
          or 24mm and shoot a person in full height, and then cut out only the face, from this the picture will not turn into one shot at 85mm. Distortion will remain the same as it was. Does the crop camera “straighten” the perspective at 35 1.8 to the normal one as at fifty dollars at ff, and not just “cut out” the middle from 35 mm, giving only an analog of the 50mm angle of view at ff, and the perspective still remains the same as in 35mm at ff?

          • Arkady Shapoval

            I already answered you, and gave links. Reread carefully again. This is one of the most frequently asked questions :)

          • Valery A.

            Victor, tell me, as an artist, what is a normal perspective? How does the eye see? And from what distance? It's one thing if you look at a face from 30cm, another - from 3 meters, isn't it? The same with shirik-normiks. You make a bust portrait with an 85, without leaving the place, change the lens to 15mm, then crop the resulting image to the frame from 85mm - the quality, of course, will be junk, but the proportions of the shot are the same.

            • Victor

              Valery, I think a normal perspective is exactly what the human eye sees. I often see “artists” who, instead of working from life, sketch from photographs with a wide angle. This is immediately visible and looks unpleasant.

              • Arkady Shapoval

                In art schools they teach to draw from different perspectives, and if with a “wide-angle” perspective it is even more or less clear, then with a “harvested” perspective it is much worse, children generally find it difficult to think and imagine that way. I read that even one of the tests for who painted the picture, since children simply cannot draw some promising things and if they are present in the picture, then an adult helped the child

              • Victor

                100%! Perspective and its compression is one of the hardest things about drawing. I teach painting myself, I often come across this. Young children generally draw flat. And if the road that goes into the distance, i.e. convergence on the same plane they easily understand, then the compression of objects in different planes even adults can not always correctly convey. And, of course, in the children's drawing it is immediately evident that a more experienced hand has “walked”.

          • Alexander

            Following the logic that 35mm is still a wide-angle lens on a crop camera, we shouldn't forget about smartphones. There the focal length is 4-5 mm. Then the distortions in general must be the wildest. In fact, nothing criminal - everything looks like filmed with a moderate wide-angle lens (which it is).

            • Valery A.

              There, on smartphones, the size of the matrix is ​​slightly larger than 4-5mm and the mega-width is almost normal.

              • Alexander

                So I wrote about it.

          • Radik

            Victor, that's right, it will be cut from a 35mm EGF equal to 52mm. The distortion will remain, just the frame will be cropped. Moreover, 35mm Dx can also be shot at full frame, there are tests of this lens on the site, there will simply be strong darkening of the corners.

            • Victor

              Thanks to all who responded. It's just that this question was interesting to me as an artist from the point of view of perspective. As a result, I came to the conclusion that the uniqueness of our vision lies in the fact that we cover space (with peripheral vision) almost like a fisheye, but the perspective is not distorted. An analogue to such an angle of view can be made technically only by taking 100 frames with a normal lens (fifty dollars), and gluing them together, we get approximately a picture identical to our vision. Then I realized what Arkady had said: a cut from a 35mm full frame is approximately the equivalent of a fifty-kopeck piece on a crop. Moreover, shiriks distort faces only if you bring them close to faces. I looked at the face separately in the 11mm frame, where the figure took up a bit of space in the landscape. The features are not distorted at all. Those. figuratively speaking, all optical spheres are arranged as half a sphere, where the wide angle is just a large part of the sphere's surface, and the narrower one is smaller, so there is less distortion there. I hope I'm not mistaken))

              • Victor

                Like that))

              • Valery A.

                OU! Do you have a selfie fish?

              • Victor

                This is Uncle Asher)) There was such an artist-physicist in the middle of the last century. He made a lot of tricks with angles of view.

              • Victor

                Here's another

              • Victor

                And more

              • Victor

                Saint Paul's Cathedral

              • Arkady Shapoval

                Escher and his drawings became cult :)

  • Victor

    I join many: on d300s, protoroy - 35 1.8g. Lightweight, small, nimble. Both indoors and outdoors. Even a large camera doesn't feel heavy. If you need to widen the landscape, you can also glue the panorama.

  • Ed

    Good day. I settled on the D7200 paired with a Nikon 17-55 / 2,8 ... Sold a Nikon 50 / 1,8D; Tamron 60/2, almost never used them ...

  • Jankowsky

    I think you can live with the D800 + 28-300VR until the end of time, changing the shutters of the camera as it wears out. Or more options: Sony aXXXX + 16-50 OSS unsurpassed foldable and sharp pancake - for the price of a consumable. Options with fixes disappear right away - this is clearly not for all cases of life

  • Vladimir

    I always dreamed of a 20-85mm f / 2.8, but 2.0 would be great too. I always miss these very few millimeters on a regular 24-70.

  • Victor

    I philosophize from my amateur point of view. Of course, some 16-200 F1.8 would be ideal, but the laws of optics are clearly against creating such a lens)
    Now I use the Minolta 28-105 mm f / 3.5-4.5 on my cropped Sonya A57. And I’m starting to understand this:
    1) Zoom. Any fix is ​​by definition not universal. If we talk about the lens for all occasions, then shirik is not suitable for portraits, and you can’t take a picture of a group of friends in a room or a building in front of you with a portrait.
    2) Wide angle. At 28-105 (which turns into 42-157mm on the crop), the angle is often not enough. I regularly feel like an idiot when, with a DSLR around my neck, I take out my phone to take a picture of something that “does not fit” into the lens.
    3) Price. Also not an unimportant factor. To spend 2-3 of your salaries on a lens "for hobby" is somehow too much.
    Therefore, for me in the current reality, an old Sonevsky “Zeiss” 16-80 f / 3.5-4.5 glass would probably be an inexpensive universal glass, which I am thinking of buying.
    But if we ignore the price and dream, then I would probably take something full-frame (like the latest Sony A7 / A9 with a stabilizer in the carcass) and Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 to it. This would be enough for me in 80% of cases, and the telephoto lens and high-aperture fixtures are already for specific tasks.

  • Basil

    Greetings to all! I read the comments ... For some reason, everyone forgot about the wonderful lens 28-300 3,5-5,6L IS I don't know if there is an analogue for Nikonists, but recently this lens has settled on the camera and covers almost all my tasks (even instead of physical education it will go :)). Well, there are still 35, 85, 135mm separately, but since the topic is about the “one and only” option, then my choice is definitely 28-300.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, there is an analogue, and there is also a good Tamron 28-300

      • Basil

        You know better, of course.
        Historically, it didn't work out for me with the Tamrons. Was 28-75 2,8 long ago for another 40D. The number of autofocus misses drove me into sadness ... Given that if I hit it, the picture was quite pleasing. But the hits are 20 percent, or even less. Sold and bought sigma. She has much better autofocus, but the picture was dull ...
        That year I took for a week to try Tamron 24-70 2,8 with a stub and usd. This one is definitely better, but again autofocus ... clearly not its strong point. At the same time, there are almost no misses on the original Canon lenses.

        I admit that other Tamron models may have a different situation, but I would not recommend them to anyone. And certainly not as an alternative to the 28-300 3,5-5,6L IS from Canon. It is, of course, dark and muddy around the perimeter and the sharpness is not like a fix, but autofocus and stub are very pleasing. In general, a very versatile glass for every day, with some "features".

        • Alexey

          I regularly shoot Tamron 24-70 F2,8 USD VC and a Canon 5D Mark II camera, and I can say that this autofocus lens is okay, it is fast and accurate, there are no misses. In general, I myself check any lens before buying, first of all, for the accuracy of getting into focus, which I advise everyone. Therefore, I repeat, the lens is good, but you need to check for getting into focus before buying, and not later.

  • Nicholas

    And what options can there be other than Canon cine-servo 50-1000mm 5.0-8.9?
    Moreover, the built-in teleconverter gives 75-1500 blocking most of the necessary focal lengths. The perfect choice.

    • Victor

      o_O to be honest I have not heard about this before. But about the options I could argue. Glass is certainly interesting and unique, and even if we ignore the price, then the weight of 7 kg, aperture ratio and the absence of a wide angle would make it personally useless for me. I can’t think of why I need even 500 mm, not to mention 1000 or 1500, but a wide angle would come in handy. In addition, taking pictures with one’s hand is completely unrealistic, there is no stabilizer either. If I had such a lens purely hypothetically, I would have thought a hundred times before taking this monster with me when leaving the house. Although everyone has different tasks, if you shoot 99% during the day and with a tripod, then it's probably really better not to come up with.

    • Iskander

      For paparazzi and photohunters, perhaps. For astro photography, its value is doubtful, it is better then the meniscus or good old reflector of Newton or Cassegrain.
      But as a portrait of the Terminator - it will do! :-)

  • Vyacheslav

    I really like Tokina 24-70 on Canon FF, as a station wagon
    But if you take one glass for all occasions, then for me it is Sigma 20 1.4

    • Pokemon

      Vyacheslav, and with which Canon do you use Tokin 24-70 / 2.8. I have been eyeing her for a long time.

      • Vyacheslav

        Canon 6D, very sharp glass, of the minuses - weight, a little more than a kilogram

        • Pokemon

          Vyacheslav, thanks for the answer!
          And how does she focus you? Does everything suit you?

          • Vyacheslav

            my instance doesn't miss, works fine
            focuses slowly in live view, but this is with all glasses so on 6D
            the focus of all the tokens is noisy, not for the video so surely

            • Pokemon

              Understood thanks!
              I’m not making a video.
              Good luck to you photo!

    • Roman

      20 - station wagon on ff? But.

      • Vyacheslav

        Often shoot on it, I love a wide angle)

  • Danny

    Amateur photographer. Nikon Many lenses from 10 to 600 mm. A year ago, I put on Sigma art 35mm / 1,4. Almost do not take off;) In the sense of other FR)

  • Taras

    Good afternoon. I will leave my amateur review. There is D4, S3 pro, that is, a full frame and a crop for the soul - I solved a difficult task with carcasses for myself. The lenses were also bought thanks to Arkady's advice: 4 50D became a universal for D1.4, today I looked at 35 2.0D, but I didn't buy it, I don't know if it's worth changing 50). For a portrait I took 85 1.8g, and for a wide angle both on crop and on full frame I left Tokina 12-24 f4, although it is cropped, but from 16 the black corners disappear. Bottom line: there is no station wagon, there are 2-3 lenses that work like a station wagon. Lumum has now recognized 85 1.8g. I adore my fifty-kopeck piece and 70-210 f4 for their assembly and just looking at their vintage sometimes brings great pleasure

  • Andrzej Lipnitsky

    Leica 24-90 SL. 5 fixes with a stub. But only for SL or Chinese craft Lumix S.

  • Jury

    I have a crop and 35 1,8 is enough for 95% of my household tasks

  • Oleg

    Good afternoon!
    Help with vibor)
    What's the best way to take on the canon 6d?
    Options: Tamron 35-150mm F / 2.8-4 Di VC OSD lens; Canon EF 24-70mm f / 4L IS USM Lens
    I photograph both portraits and landscapes. Dyakuyu!

  • g22

    One for all is nonsense. For Nikon d850 50F1.4art and tamron 18-400. 35mm is the most inconvenient lens. Over shirik is needed once every 100 years - it is in a smartphone. For full frame 28-75F2.8, 70-180F2.8 and 50F1.4

    • Arkady Shapoval

      and how do you like 18-400 on d850?

      • Michael

        Well, in crop mode, like on a regular 24MP crop)))

        • Victor

          16 vascheta, but not the point :)

          • Victor

            Oh, I read it inattentively, I thought about the d810 speech. 20mp, yes.

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