140831 Lost Lens II - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

I'm still thinking a bit about my history with lenses. Another lesson that I learned years ago is that broader versatility doesn't, for me, translate into better capability. For my contemporary SLR system I could have chosen a Nikon 24-70/2.8, which is a reasonably decent lens, instead of my 35/60 pair. The zoom makes complete sense – almost every lens I own, for all of my many systems, falls into this focal length range. But it has never appealed to me.

All of the many arguments in favour of one compromise or the other, all of the considerations about optics and mechanics, don't ultimately matter. Nothing trumps personal preference. I mostly* choose what and how I photograph, and want to please nobody but myself. Creating the toolset, and the decisions involved in selecting when and how to use them, is an important part of my creative process. It's not that I can't take the photos I like with more versatile zoom lenses, or can't use software to correct for their flaws, it's that I don't.

Personal preference is more important than all of the abstract arguments of should or shouldn't, and better-liked is more important than Better.


* Every now and then I'm asked to do something silly, like photograph a wedding. Having a do-everything setup is very useful under these conditions, which is what my Nikon 1 system is. And yes, that whole situation comes with huge disclaimers.


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