My favourite lens

The Canon FD 20mm f2.8 has become my favourite lens. I sometimes put another lens on the camera… but it pretty soon comes off again.

Why? Because:

  • 1) Wide angles are great
  • 2) The FD 20mm is a lovely, lovely lens.

Flo Sushi (geddit?), Canon FD 20mm f2.8, Sony A7R. You can take people photos just fine with a wide angle, and get loads of environment in to boot. You just have to pay a bit of attention to the environment.

Birmingham Museum and Gallery, Canon FD 20mm f2.8, Sony A7R. Point a wide angle lens up a bit and buildings get really interesting. The detail captured by the FD 20 on a Sony A7 is amazing. The camera’s super-wide dynamic range really helps with a shot like this. The building on the left is in deep, deep shadow. The one on the right bright sun.

Flo in VR, Canon FD 20mm f2.8, Sony A7R. For interiors a wide aangle is great. This is Flo in VR kit looking around a virtual recreation of one of the first ever photography exhibitions*. It’s not a big room, but the wide angle gives you plenty of space to play with.

Hal and Flo in VR, Canon FD 20mm f2.8, Sony A7R. Another shot from the VR exhibition.

Andrew, Canon FD 20mm f2.8, Sony A7R. Can’t take portraits with a wide angle? Yes you can. And they can be really interesting. Another good thing about the FD 20 is the relatively fast 2.8 aperture. There wasn’t a lot of light here, but I could get the shot without resorting to silly ISOs.

* The exhibition is Matt Collishaw’s Thresholds. “Using the latest in VR technology, Thresholds restages one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward’s School, Birmingham.”

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