28mm vs 35mm wide angle lens

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by hjoseph7, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Which focal length do you prefer the 28mm or the 35mm for wide angle footage ?
  2. What are we referring to? Are we talking FF film or digitall, DX digital or movie "footage"?
    If it is full frame 35mm camera, the 35mm really is only marginally considered wide, in fact, many consider it still a normal lens. For myself, I wouldn't think of a 35mm lens if someone suggested what wide angle focal length do you prefer, I would probably consider the 28mm as the first focal length in that category.
    That said, I have never owned a focal length 35mm lens (except on zooms) for a 35mm camera or its equivalent on any MF ( I do own a 35mm Hasselblad 645 lens--very wide) or LF camera, so it probably wouldn't make my list for either wide or normal. On the other hand, I have owned 28mm lenses on several 35mm systems as well as its equivalent on MF and LF cameras. The odd thing, as I have investigated that focal length for 35mm, I have yet to read a very good review of any makers version of this lens (not checked out any Leica review however). Even the Zeiss 28mm doesn't get the rave most of the other lenses get, although I believe many consider it the best in the class.
    So, I guess 28mm!
  3. I have used 19mm, 24mm and 28mm in my Olympus OM4 body and have found all of them to capture too much. The 28mm just about gets away! I so prefer 35mm on my Bessa R rangefinder.
  4. In terms of 35mm film:
    For one and only lens I would choose 35mm. If You are a street photographer, shooting from hip, then 28mm lens is for You. My favorite all-around lenses are 40-50mm.
    But while photographing with my Rokkor 50-135mm I usually end somewhere around 100mm. As You can see it's hard to give a good answer, we need to know more about Your photography style.
    I think 40mm is the most universal focal length.
    But since You asked: "...28mm or the 35mm for wide angle footage ?"
    I think 28mm. It's very dramatic and more interesting perspective.
  5. I have been a big 35mm fan for the longest, especially for street type shooting and scenics. It has a flat field of coverage with minimum distortions. The 28mm I regarded as a specialty lens somewhere in between the more famous 24mm and 35mm. As a matter of fact the 28mm is one the last lenses I would buy or even pack in my bag. Lately though, I have been using a Nikon 28mm f2.8 on a full frame and I'm starting to like carrying it more often with me than I do the 35mm. Not sure if its because it's a novelty or not.
  6. For whatever reason, I feel like I have no use for a 28mm. I love a 35mm and a 24mm, but feel that the 28mm does not fit the niche that either of those lenses are capable of.
  7. 28mm is different from either 35mm or 24mm, but similar enough that I generally carry either 28mm alone (or with a 20mm), or 24mm and 35mm together. It depends on my mood and my sense of what I might need. I used to carry the 20mm/28mm pair frequently, but 20mm is just too wide for many purposes, and I like to carry my 35mm f/2.8 PC-Nikkor, so 24mm/35mm is my usual wide pair now (sometimes accompanied by a fisheye if I am so inclined).
  8. For wide angle, I would prefer 28. For general use, I much prefer 35. Lot depends on other lenses. If I had a 50, I would not want to carry a 35 as well. In that case I would take either 24 or 28. So why take a 50? Because it is usually much faster, or much cheaper for the fast speed. Of course it all depends on what you are shooting. Just one small point that has again be mentioned: the lens focal length does not affect perspective. Perspective is only affected by the placement of the camera. Lens only decides what part of the view in front of you is captured, the framing. Perspective can come to it indirectly when you move closer with a wider lens, but the lens itself has absolutely no effect on perspective.
  9. What they all say, except that I think you need both a 35mm lens and a second lens in the 20-24mm range if you are shooting something in the "Modern Film Cameras" or FX/35mm digital class.
    For older "Classic Manual Cameras" 35mm was the only "wide" available for a long time, and 28mm was considered "ultra-wide".
    For DX/APS-C digital cameras, you really probably have to go with a 10-20mm something zoom, since there are few primes that are really wide angle on these bodies.
    Remember that what seems like a small difference in millimeters, is actually quite different in effect on the wide end of the scale, especially as you get to the really wide lenses like 12mm vs 16mm.
  10. Remember that what seems like a small difference in millimeters, is actually quite different in effect on the wide end of the scale, especially as you get to the really wide lenses like 12mm vs 16mm.​

    Right. The simplest reasonably accurate way to think about it is that it's the percentage difference that matters, not the absolute difference. Doubling focal length reduces the angle of view by about half (give or take).
  11. SCL


    I'm not particularly concerned with others' vision of what lens is appropriate for what in the wide angle department. For the first 25 years of my photographic experience, my standard lens (film cameras) was a 35mm. With age and cropped digital bodies I've come to appreciate the 28mm. I still use film and occasionally have used 20 and 17mm lenses both on the film bodies and digital. I had a 15-30 for some special work but IMHO it was just too big and cumbersome for most routine work. I keep a 15mm handy for occasional use on my Leica M4...but these days still use the 28 & 35 (film & digital) in about equal proportions for wide work.
  12. I cannot see how it would matter.
    Assuming a prime lens then it's how well are your legs moving today?
  13. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I have been a big 35mm fan for the longest, especially for street type shooting and scenics. It has a flat field of coverage with minimum distortions.​

    When did that ever matter for street shooting?
  14. Kind of depends what I am photographing.
  15. For the 24x36mm format, I prefer 35mm to 28mm since I do informal portraiture of my kids more than anything else.
  16. Why would it possibly matter what others prefer? You use the lens(es) that suit YOUR vision. There are plenty of examples of great photographers who prefer either one.
  17. I used a 50 mm 645 fixed focus lens (28mm full frame DSLR) for several years to do weddings. It was my wide angle lens as I thought my 40mm too wide for my group formals. I did almost all of my formals with that and a 75mm (50 mm). I used a 28-70 2.8L for just about all non-formals. I just thought then and still do that 28mm, although not very wide served most of my photographic purposes. Having used fixed focus lenses in wedding environments a lot on manual focus MF cameras I would much prefer a zoom for todays 1000 picture weddings. The attached was shot two days ago at 28 mm. I would not have been happy with 35mm as I would not have been at my weddings. Why do you ask?
  18. Assuming a 135-sized frame: 28mm for normal wide, 21mm for wide wide, 12mm for *WIDE* wide. 35mm is about the only focal length I just can't get along with.
  19. In Nikon equipment, I have a 28mm, a 35mm to 105mm zoom, and a 35mm PC lens (that I got from you in trade, Harry) and use all in my architectrual photography, though I do use the 35mm PC lens most; in my Minolta equipment, I use a 20mm, a 28mm, and a 35mm about equally, though I use longer lenses a good deal for architectural details.
  20. I like them both, but if I had both of them in my bag, I'd probably make more exposures with the 28 mm lens.
  21. For film 35mm FL was my fave for years. It was thought by many to cover a "natural" cone of vision. I've gone all digital, zoomy in later life and fallen away from the church. We are more used to the super-wide look now I believe.
  22. I cannot see how it would matter. Assuming a prime lens then it's how well are your legs moving today?​
    Not well enough to carry me 100 feet out over that canyon and then hold me suspended in midair, thank you.
    Not all photography is done relatively close up.
  23. When ever I got out shooting whether it be street shooting or landscapes, the 28 & the 40 Voigtlanders are always there. Two exceptional aspherical lenses!
  24. "I think 40mm is the most universal focal length". Amen Maciek. Amen. A phenomenal focal length. I go back and forth between that one and the 28mm. Both Voigts are exceptional lenses and very lightweight.
  25. it


    For me 35mm is the most useful focal length. Fine for portraits and landscape.
    28mm is nice, but too wide for many portraits IMO.
  26. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Simple minded, but when I analyze EXIF data on focal length usage, it is wide in town 24-28 with 40's to 50's close behind. 85 and up dominant in the countryside. There are also issues of personal style. Periodically checking EXIF data in your file manager can provide a lot of insights on what to carry where, and even what you might want to buy if you have a lot of images at your widest wide or longest tele.
  27. 35mm is my ideal focal length. Excellent for isolated portraits. And for portraits where the inclusion of environmental context is important.
    Perspective distortion (large noses, large hands in front of subjects) can be a problem shooting closer (i.e. with wider focal lengths - even 35mm) for isolated portraits - something to pay attention to.

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