Focus of Interest
What lens do you use? I like the 50mm. I also like 50mm shots from other people, too. That’s how I know it’s the lens I like. People get really upset about this topic. It’s funny because people always mention that it’s a matter of preference, but then they try to make their preference the only one that matters. In large, people like to say that the 35mm is closer to how the eye sees. That’s hogwash. The truth is, eyes don’t see like lenses at all. The conversation is completely insane. Don’t read what people say about it. You’ll get rashes.
It’s not that I like the 50mm lens best, it’s that I like the shots from the 50mm lens best. There’s a difference. There's no empirical reason to like one lens over another, other than the quality of the manufacturing. But there are reasons to choose lenses. It’s about your own personal focus. Or focus of interest.
Wide interests, wide lenses. Narrow interests, narrow lenses. That’s pretty much it. Usually, though, a lens finds you. For years, I shot with an old Nikon 105mm. Man, I loved that thing. It's also the only lens I ever lost. But I see like that. I see specific objects. A car, a sign, a person. I like to isolate something. I find hundreds of ways of isolating stuff. Even when I shoot 35mm, I’m looking for ways to narrow the focus of the shot somehow. If you gave me a 21mm lens, I’d probably shoot through a keyhole. That’s how my eyes see. I hop from one object, study it, to another. God is in the details. Generalities are in the wide angle lens. I’m a detailer. Just where my interests lie.