The best laid plans

For some time now I have been lamenting about the lack of an affordable ‘normal’ focal length lens for my Canon APS-C DSLR. They have a 24mm, a 40mm, and a 50mm in the under $200 price range, but a 30mm-35mm choice is missing from the lineup. To get something that works out to ‘normal’ for this camera (crop factor 1.6, making 32mm roughly equivalent to 50mm on a 135 camera) you have to spend a lot of money. The Sigma 30mm seems to be the best choice at $629 +tax.

The question is; would I really use it enough to justify the purchase? In the past I’ve shot a huge number of pictures with normal focal length lenses, so I probably would. But “probably” isn’t “absolutely”.

Fortunately I have a way of testing the hypothesis: a 35mm Super Takumar M42 that adapts easily to the T100. Okay, I’ll put it on and shoot a dozen or so images to see if I’d really use this particular focal length now (I know I shoot mostly in the telephoto range, hence the hesitancy to make the purchase). What I’m looking for is how often the ‘normal’ field of view would suit my purposes.

The downside of this particular lens (aside from the lack of aperture coupling and autofocus) is that the thorium in the glass has turned it yellow. On the left we have Duncan as he appears through the yellow haze, on the right the necessary white balance correction to restore at least semi-accurate colour (yes the snow really does reflect blue).

Unfortunately trying to slog through a foot of snow isn’t easy, which limited my area of picture-taking. This was confounded by the interesting way the low-angle light illuminated the surroundings: my body was unable to wander far, but my mind had no trouble being distracted from the task at hand and going off in its own direction.

Cropped – which I shouldn’t have done
Hard to resist shadow patterns
Oh look – now we’re on the moon
The sun set

Oh well. Maybe the next time the sun shines around here I’ll remember what I’m trying to do and take uncropped, straightforward shots that will actually have some bearing on evaluating the usefulness of the particular focal length. :p

Of course the arrival of the Lumix camera is also interfering with this test, but mainly it’s weather and shooting opportunities that keep me from completing projects. In fact of four I started some time ago, I only managed to finish one. At least I won’t be running out of things to do.

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