Author Topic: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df  (Read 12863 times)

jhinkey

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2016, 23:18:30 »
Rorslett's Rule is the remark that you should have three primes, each at least twice the focal length of the next widest, so you never have to wonder about which to use. (There is a version for size as well: each camera you own should be at least twice the weight of the next lightest, so you never wonder about which to pick up). 

I like the rule: the focal lengths are clearly distinct, and the distinctiveness makes you think carefully about the picture you might take. 

With my FM3 I use a Voigtlander 20mm, a Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.4, and either a Nikon 100mm f/2.8 E series or the 135mm f/2.8 E series.  Rorslett's Rule satisfied.  If I get a Df for digital use there are the 20mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.8, but there is no small, light, short telephoto except the 85mm among modern lenses - after that it is the DC lenses, which are big and expensive, or it is all the way to the 180mm f/2.8. 

So I have two questions:

What do people who use primes with the Df use for a short telephoto? 
If they use the E series lenses, how well do they perform on the Df?

I don't have a Df, but Bjorn's focal length rule is the same that I've developed independently.  I too like to have a clear motivation to change lenses.  Rarely can I not move a bit to make it work.
I've long ago abandoned the need to have finely-spaced focal lengths since I end up carrying a lot of lenses that I don't really need to use.
Plus, with today's high MP cameras you have a ~2x teleconverter built into your system if you are willing to crop.
Zoom I hate carrying on the camera body so I hardly touch those these days.

With my A7RII system I tend to carry:
16/3.5 AI
15/4.5 CV
40/1.4 Leica
75/2.5 Leica
135/3.4 Leica -or- 180/3.4 Leica
300/4.5 ED AI/400 - or - 400/5.6 ED AI

With my D800 I tend to carry:
16/3.5 AI
20/2.8 AIS
45/2.8 AI-P
90/3.5 CV
180/3.4 Leica
400/5.6 ED AI
PNW Landscapes, My Kids, & Some Climbing

chambeshi

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2017, 13:15:08 »
I know i'm not alone in the agonies of choice, within and besides the fiscal strictures, in building up - and tweaking - my Nikkor / Nikon-Fit lens system. Across all many pearls of wisdom so kindly shared by this fraternity. Surely, there's many centuries of experience pooled here in the discussion threads making up NikonGear. Rather than starting a new thread, i'm posting my summary / synopsis here. This thread typifies the tremendous help I'm most grateful for... toward trying to rationalize with the flood of information that makes up the universe of options. This website has been especially helpful to economize with the superb quality resplendent in the Used market of classic, older Nikkors.

Obviously one has to juggle several variables besides cost vs quality in one's budget. Weight is critical to my choices - see below. But optical quality overtakes all variables, and not just what one may read into MTF curves and counting pixels. A big lesson gained on Nikon Gear lie in the criteria of bokeh and variables that are more challenging to quantify but no less critical to performance of one's selected optics. Indeed, the latter factors appear to dominate a great deal of discussions on this thread :-) :-) And justifiably!

I have come to justify my Nikon lens system as comprising Four complimentary Suites centred on lenses. Principally i call them 1. WildLife, dominated by telephotos; 2. CloseUp-Macro, Micro-Nikkors as the core 3. Landscape - Ultra-Wides, Wides, Tilt-Shift complimented by telephotos 4. Lightweight-Hiking - cf below. To date, after 2+ decades with FM2, F3, F90x, my digital bodies are confined to DX cameras (D7200 and now D500) but I plan to close up the gap in FX. And I for one await eagerly what Nikon might announce in FX upgrades for 2017, especially for the Df and D810 (hopefully).... The overlaps and flexibility can do more than justice where one is called upon by social circumstances to photograph Homo sapiens - including events to do with betrothals, functions, portraits etc in varying social circumstances :-) Actually, i must confess much of my day to day photography focuses on my pet cats. Whether practice, stringent lens tests and pure relaxation, the domestic felid (and equally Canis domesticus) are the perfect subjects; cats cater for a sweep of genre in photography; not just action and portraits either. Closeups of cats' whiskers, eyes, ears, paws etc are great tests of the capabilities of a macro system and especially the photographer's!

So after trying many Used lenses, I've settled on the 20 f4, 20 f3.5, 24 f3.5 PCE, 45 f2.8 AIP, 2 Micro-Nikkors in 55mm, a 105 f2.5 AI and then i have settled on AF lenses in longer Fl - 135 f2 DC, 80-180 Micro Nikkor (both the latter often used in MF), 180 f2.8D, 300 f2.8G VR2 and 300 f4E PF. Both 300's perform well with my TCE 14 II and TCE 20 III, and undercut the costs and weight of a 400 f2.8, or even longer focal length. One can of course justify zooms - after trying several AF-D lenses, i've settled on the 70-210 AFD and 28-105 AFD. Personally, after agonizing over its superb optics  and affordability, I find the excellent 200-500 f5.6 unwieldy. Then admittedly lead on by fervent supporters on NikonGear, one can be tempted by those legendary AI and AIS zooms also. So me thinks I can still justify a 80-200 f4 and/or 75-150 E Series !! The latter lenses will be especially useful in aerial photography where AF has a tendency to get knocked about.

And I also recently invested in 4 used Zeiss MF lenses > 15mm f2.8, 21 f2.8, 25 f2 all Distagons, and a 135 f2 APO Sonnar. All are in superb condition like-new. Superlative optics with Zeiss.... (So one can surmise the previous owner likely off-loaded them to upgrade to the new Milvus versions.)

The wisdom of the late Galen Rowell, landscape photographer and environmental activist, has been cited a few times on this website. namely his wisdom and experience choosing the lightest gear for outdoor work where one has to cover hard country efficiently. The quip used within National Geographic circles of "f8 and be there!..." ruled true for Galen Rowell in getting to the optimal site at the perfect time to secure rare and fleeting atmospheric phenomena. So I pack the 20 f4, 45 f2.8 AIP, 55 f2.8, 180 f2.8 and 300 f4 for such excursions. And normally I only take the minimum of lenses in this line up... The 75-150 E Series zoom fully qualifies in this Lightweight-Hiking Suite....

The heavier lenses have their place in intensive photography sessions with closeup subjects (with flashes) and shooting wildlife with the heavy 300 f2.8 using Sirui tripods or a monopod. These are manageable using a vehicle, in ahide, and/or shorter hikes.

Besides MF zooms, perhaps all I can still justify is the new 70-200 f2.8E F zoom. I've held back with difficulty from trying the 85mm Nikkors and 200 AIS; Although I regret selling my hard worn 200 f4 AI (a stupid move given the miniscule in fiscal return). And the 200 Micro-Nikkor beckons as does the 85 PCE Micro!

In closing I'm sharing this essay below that I only found recently on the criterion of FL. It appeals to my scientifically trained mind on  building up one's lens collection, and suites therein :

http://www.throughthefmount.com/articles_tips_fllineup.html

Here are couple of threads on NikonGear citing Galen Rowell :

http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,3028.msg42111.html#msg42111

http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,1644.msg48003.html#msg48003

http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,2040.msg60941.html#msg60941

I am planning to pull together a post that collates links and the most recent publications with reference to Galen Rowell

kinds regards

Woody
D850 Df, Z7 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G 85 f1.4D 105 f2.5AIS, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E P, 18-35 G, 24-120 f4G, 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G ED 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

richardHaw

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2017, 14:05:50 »
This is what I use lately:
28mm
50mm/55mm
200mm

I would usually have a 105mm in place of the 200mm but lately, the 200mm is quickly becoming more relevant to me than the 105mm. My shooting style changes depending on the season and Japan has 4 VERY distinct seasons. Maybe on summer, I will be shooting with a 105 again instead of a 200 :o :o :o

John Geerts

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2017, 21:18:09 »
A small compact set (for general photography) is the  16/2.8 (or 20/4),  45/2.8P,  85/1.8K and 200/4K,  (and if you can find a good sample of the AIS 35-70/3.3-4.5 (Nikons smallest MF zoom-lens.) I would add it as well)

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2017, 21:28:31 »
Didn't realise I had suggested a "Rule" - aren't such supposed to be set in stone ? :D

The basic idea is that there should be sufficient gaps between the focal lengths, those in turn leading to very different coverage and hence different fields of application. You will intuitively reach for the correct lens once the image is previsualised. No zooming back or forth will be required.

If focal lengths are (roughly) doubled, one gets the minor axis of the wider lens being approximate the same as the major axis of the lens one step up the ladder, and so on. Thus 24, 50, 105, 200 combine well for a kit of 4 lenses. For three lens kits, either forego the longest (or shortest) but keep the rest. For example; 24 + 50 + 105 combine well. There is considerable leeway around these data points, thus one could easily substitute a 55 Micro for a 50/1.2 or f/1.4 'normal' lens.

Akira

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2017, 04:22:11 »
Now I'm working with one standard lens (either 50/1.8G or 45/2.8P) fixed to the 24MP D750.  Hence my "set" according to Rørslett's rule is:

Wide: 45P/50G (stitching pano)
Standard: 45P/50G
Short tele: 45P/50G (some cropping)

 ;D ;D ;D
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Les Olson

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2017, 09:52:59 »
Now I'm working with one standard lens (either 50/1.8G or 45/2.8P) fixed to the 24MP D750.  Hence my "set" according to Rørslett's rue is:

Wide: 45P/50G (stitching pano)
Standard: 45P/50G
Short tele: 45P/50G (some cropping)


I think one useful aspect of this discussion is thinking about why one would use different focal length lenses, when, as you point out, there is no longer any necessity to do so.  In particular, why use a wide angle lens when it is easy to stitch images from a normal lens?   

The answer is that one of the things that makes images striking is visual tension, and it is harder to create visual tension with a normal lens, precisely because the image looks like what you see.  Stitching doesn't change the familiarity of the image, but a wide-angle view does.  The unfamiliarity creates visual tension and keeps the viewer looking.

It is the same as left-right orientation.  About 2/3 of all portraits in Western art show the subject turned slightly to their right - although for paintings showing Jesus the figure is about 90%.  That is probably because that orientation puts the eyes on the left side of the picture, and people spend more time looking at the left side of any image than at the right.  Putting your main subject towards the left of your pictures makes the viewer comfortable, which in the case of a formal portrait is normally the aim.  Putting the main subject on the right creates tension, which in the case of a formal portrait is slightly uncomfortable, but in creative photography is often what you want.   

Akira

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2017, 11:16:52 »
Les, thanks for your affirmative reaction.

My previous post appears to be funny, but I'm at least 75% serious.  The key technology that enables me to do more things with one standard lens than the film days is Photomerge in CC2017 which seems to be silently but constantly improved.

You can also change what you say the familiarity of the image by "tiling" instead of "stitching" for the (super-)wideangle effects.  Of course, you are limited to the landscape or static subjects, but I have found much more opportunities and possiblities to utilize the function than I had expected.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

chambeshi

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2017, 11:20:49 »
All very interesting posts. Another system is a suite of 3 complementary zooms, with some overlaps in FL: the MF models as given above, or the 3 AF Nikkor Dragons: 16-35; 24-120 f4 (AFS not AFD); 70-200, which all have VR : A lens feature which hasn't been considered that much in this thread. There's also the 17-35 and lighter 18-35 G AFS

And, in addition, we have the 200-400 and more affordable 200-500, which has been lauded. Personally, i've a predilection for prime glass  ;D
D850 Df, Z7 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G 85 f1.4D 105 f2.5AIS, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E P, 18-35 G, 24-120 f4G, 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G ED 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

the solitaire

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2017, 22:40:40 »
To be honest, there are two rules I tend to adhere to when packing the camera bag.

1) Bring lenses I know I will enjoy (or need for a particular image) that day
2) set my expectations to meet these lenses

No need to bring the diminuitive 5cm f2 Nikkor-S and expect 200mm f2 clarity.

The result, I have yet to be disappointed

Some days I bring a 16mm f3,5 and 80-200 f4 Ai-S only, the other day I take the 5mm f1,2, 85mm f1,4 AF-D and 135mm f3,5 or any other combination. It really depends on where I go, why I go there, who I go there with and whether or not I think it is going to rain
Buddy

Jacques Pochoy

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2017, 23:39:01 »
Most times, when using primes, I tend to have only two lenses. One on the camera, the other in the pocket (nowadays I don't use bags). As an architect, walking through cities with students (herding could be the word :-) ), I try to keep track of the urban qualities of what we are going through, using a moderate wide angle as a 28mm f/2.8 AI-s. For details I tend to use the 85mm f/2 AI (small).

When I walk alone, taking time to think a bit about the shot, I would use the 35mm f/2 O.C. and the wonderful 105mm f/2.5 AI-s.
If I'm lazy, it would be the 35mm AF and the 85mm AF !
If I can take three lenses (trip to Istanbul for example) the third lens would be a 50mm (f/2, f/1.8, f/1.4, AI, AI-s, G).
With a fourth lens, I would take the 135mm f/2.8 AI'sed, but then would need my venerable Billingham !!!
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Airy

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2017, 09:56:30 »
Just spent five days in Porto with Madame and, by the way, Df and three lenses. Or basically two : 50/2 AI and 105/2.5 AI.

An HS-4 clip-on lens hood was waiting for us at an antique shop (they had only a few junk photographic items, then this one). Until then I was using a screw-on HN-7 (designed for 85/2).

The third lens was the Tamron 45/1.8, which I used every now and then for night shots, in which case I had nothing else in the bag. I very seldom feel the need for a wide angle, by the way.
Airy Magnien

tommiejeep

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2017, 04:37:25 »
Airy, interesting.  I've sort of gravitated to the 58 1.4G and DC105 f2D (or 105 f2.5 Ai) as my two lens travel/walkabout kit for the Df.  I always shoot two cameras so I now leave the wides to the Sony a7xx with the Batis 25 f2, Voigt V/M 15 f4.5 III  for wide and Leica 75 f2.5 for candid portraits.   I have recently purchased two small, day backpacks either of which will handle the two camera set up with those lenses and both give me easy access tooth cameras. There are times when I want longer but have not worked out the weight (and space) for carrying a longer lens even though I recently bought the 300 f4 Ais.    Either my wife or son will have the Olympus 40-150 f2.8 on an EM1.   The Pen F is in high demand between the three of us.
Tom Hardin, Goa, India

Kenneth Rich

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2019, 21:58:08 »
This old post was updated about two years ago, and I read all entries because it somewhat mirrored my own self-made quandary.  I have the Df and a number of Nikkor primes ( 24, 28, 35, three 50's, 105, and three zooms: 28/85, 43/86 and 80/200, all lenses being either AI or AIS.  I do not have an 85, but the length is covered by the zooms, though not the speed.  I'm toying with buying an 85 f2, simply because It is available and cost is not a determining factor. I do not need this lens, and I do have a 105, which is little used.  My favourite lens has become the 28/85 I bought solely for a Euro rivers trip I took recently. I love that lens, despite its lack of speed, and the Df with auto ISO compensates for its smallish aperture.  Do I need the 85 f2? No.  A resounding NO!  But the hankering does not go away. What to do?

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: Rorslett's Rule and Short Telephotos for the Df
« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2019, 23:42:42 »
The 85 f2.0 might not be the best of the 85’s but it is very small and easy to have in a pocket. Just don’t use it a f2.0  ;)