Why One Lens?

Alin Popescu

30 Oct 2017

Starting 2018 I'll only use One Lens

A look into my past

I’ve been a photography lover since I remember the days in my father’s studio from a small town in Romania.

I’ve painted as a small child and my work was one day recognised by a family’s friend, by buying one of my paintings with his video camera in exchange. This opened new horizons to my creativity and got me to look at the world differently than other kids of my age.

Then I’ve discovered computers and I was absorbed into 3D modelling, textures and lighting.

It took me a while to be able to buy my first digital camera, a small compact but with optical zoom. Somehow, since the beginning of my adventure into photography, spring of 2003, I noticed the importance of a good lens, looking past the marketing selling points of cameras at that time: megapixels and high X zooms.

So from there, my quest for gear has started in two stages:

  • Nikon D70s + kit 18-70mm
  • Nikon AF-D 50mm f/1.8
  • Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8
  • Tokina 12-24 F4
  • Nikon D200
  • Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
  • Nikon 18-200mm
  • Nikon AF 17-35 f/2.8
  • Nikon D700
  • Nikon AF-S 12-24 f/2.8
  • Nikon 17-35 F4
  • Sigma 35 1.4
  • Nikon 105mm macro
  • Sony a6000 + 16-50 kit lens
  • Sammyang 8mm fisheye E mount
  • Sigma 30mm f/2.8 E mount

Header One Lens Photography

This was the first stage. 10 years looking for the perfect combo and always having to choose on what to use. Plus hundreds of accessories, bags, lights, etc.

In 2015, after discovering the little wonder the Sony a6000 was (here is the review I wrote and was worldwide appreciated) I’ve decided I don’t want to carry that much gear after me and sold all my Nikon Equipment.

This came after I was invited by Sony Romania to become the first Sony Imaging Ambassador in my country. And a new stage began, the mirrorless era. Plus a new quest for gear.

Never learned from the past:

  • Sony A7s
  • Sony Zeiss 16-34 f/4
  • Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8
  • Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8
  • Sony G 90mm f/2.8
  • Sony Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8
  • Sony A7R II
  • Sony FE 70-200 G Master f/2.8
  • Sony A9
  • Sony FE 28mm f/2
  • Sony Zeiss FE Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZA – next on the list to buy

And I’m almost back to where I’ve started. Too much gear and decisions to take.

So, why now One Lens?

It’s time to focus more on photography. I hope I’ve reached a maturity and from the past I know I have always loved the 35mm look on full frame.

Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

They say our eye is close to 40mm equivalent focal length of Full Frame. So the 35 is the closest I’ll be to not distorting anything from the real life.

I’ve tested it before but somehow I’ve never bought this lens for my Sony cameras. I already had the 16-35mm and the 35 2.8 so one more 35 in the lists seemed too much even for me.

One last lens purchase

Sony Zeiss FE Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 ZA
(from here)

My plan is to start shooting the entire 2018 with only this lens. It’s not going to be easy because I shoot a lot of things. I do corporate jobs, I do weddings, I do personal work and sometimes I do video too.

I’ll shoot it on my Sony A9 (my review is here) and I know the lens plus camera combo will perform excellently.

Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

Sony Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA

Will it be hard? Hell ya!

To make things even more difficult:

  • no flash
  • no tripod

Just the camera and the lens. I’ll need though an ND and a polariser, but these are all the accessories I’ll let myself use.

OneLens will be my motto, resolution and hashtag for 2018 and you’ll see my adventure on this very website. It will force me to master this focal length, to get past all challenges and (I hope) to become better in my photography.

OneLens will mean no more decisions to take before a shoot, or regrets after another of not bringing some other lenses with me.

Let the party begin…

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Just an invitation! Come with me: I'll be travelling, I'll do weddings, I'll struglle with my adventure with only OneLens, while doing my best to be a present dad and husband along the way.

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