For when you’re doing groups and street, but want it fast.
This focal length is pretty common, maybe second only to 50mm. Easily the most useful prime for most people’s street photography and group photos. Honestly, if you already have a reasonably fast zoom, this doesn’t give you much benefit.
If you don’t know why you need f/1.4, don’t buy this. It’s not a small or light lens by any means. Even if you can articulate why you need it, ask yourself if Sony’s E 35mm f/1.8 OSS version, which costs half as much, is less than half the size and weight, and comes with image stabilization will do the job. Unless you’re just reading specs, it likely will.
If you do need the extra quality and speed, well then, enjoy it.
For when you must have macro, but also want portrait.
This lens is big, heavy, and slow compared to the same sized portrait lens, but it still takes insanely crisp shots. It is of course the (mostly) only way to make macros, so if you want macro and zoomed in narrow depth of field portrait shots, and can only afford one lens, this is the one.
Landscapes & Interior Architecture
Nuff said. You really need to go ultra wide-angle for certain things. If landscapes and architecture shots are your thing, this would be my third lens, after the 50mm and 28-200. I would get this before a portrait lens because the 28-200 can do portraits, unless you really need that narrow depth of field.
For when you just can’t get enough resolution.
At 61 megapixel, this is quite impressive, especially if you wish to have really large prints, or aggressively crop. As this is the R(esolution) model, don’t expect top of the line 4k60 10bit video. While it can do 4k30 8bit, this is strictly aimed at high resolution.
There are a million reviews out there, so I won’t go into it, other than to say this is a great camera to get, especially since the a7R V was just announced yesterday.
The 75% Lens
This is by far my most useful lens outside. The focal range covers small landscapes, street shots, group shots, body shots, head shots, and really flattened out head shots. Will you get amazing soft backgrounds? No, but neither does it cost $4k.
IMO, once you have a reason to buy your first lens after the 50mm, get this. Easily the most affordable for the range and quality. You can absolutely own just this lens and impress 99% of people. With the exception of ultra wide-angle, macro, and super far distance objects, most everything else is just style.
If you’re traveling on vacation, for most people, this is the only lens you need. If you can’t articulate why you need something else, and why it’s compelling, this will do the job.
Small, Fast, & Light
If I need a fast lens or the camera system to be small and light, I’ll use the 50mm. It’s by far the cheapest, smallest and at f/1.8, close to the fastest. Good all-around lens, master of none, but it will get you the shot when you otherwise wouldn’t have anything. Easily the best bang for the buck.
Got this to drill a bunch of connected holes in firewood to make a sort of habitat for small animals. We’ll see how it goes.
Great beginner book.
My old inkjet finally bit the dust. Many hours of research later on Reddit, and EVERYONE says to just get a laser printer. Ok, we’ll see. The price is far higher, it’s probably a waste of money, but so apparently are the inkjets. You can’t win when you have school aged children. Considering it was the price of three college textbooks, ok, let’s do it. So far so good, but I don’t print all that much because well, toner is expensive.