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Wide angle Lenses with focal lengths shorter than 14mm.

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  #31  
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Re: 17mm f1.2

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
It gives you more control over dof: there are plenty of situations in street photography when you want sufficient dof to keep one person in focus, but isolate them as far as possible from the background and other people around them.

I find f1.2 at 17mm pretty much ideal for that (i.e. around 18" dof at full aperture at the average single-person-filling-the-frame distance - that's around the depth of a person's body).

For that sore of usage there's not much point in using a wider aperture than around f2.5 on full frame or you'll miss a lot of shots through insufficient dof, so FF is actually at a disadvantage.
Agreed, but my point is that for an ordinary enthusiast like me IMO, the number of situations where a 34mm FF equivalent calls for a narrow DoF is limited. I therefore did not think that it was justified spending 1149 on the 17mm f1.2 as opposed to the current price of 304 (after 65 cashback) for the 17mm f1.8 lens (both Wex prices). In my own case this is theoretical of course, since I have owned the 17mm f1.8 for years and love it.

On the other hand, I can quite understand someone wanting to shell out the higher amount for the 45mm f1.2, a designated portrait lens.

I fully agree with you about FF being a disadvantage in several situations. In fact, portraits apart, the MFT system is better in several respects, especially if one is using the Olympus PRO and some PanLeica lenses. MFT lenses are smaller, lighter and far more portable for one thing; then their longer DoF for a given focal length would mean that in some low light situations you can get away with larger equivalent apertures even when you want a good DoF. Also, the whole ensemble being smaller and lighter, hand-heldability is much greater.
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Re: 17mm f1.2

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Originally Posted by Loup Garou View Post
Agreed, but my point is that for an ordinary enthusiast like me IMO, the number of situations where a 34mm FF equivalent calls for a narrow DoF is limited...

On the other hand, I can quite understand someone wanting to shell out the higher amount for the 45mm f1.2, a designated portrait lens...

I fully agree with you about FF being a disadvantage in several situations. In fact, portraits apart, the MFT system is better in several respects, especially if one is using the Olympus PRO and some PanLeica lenses....
Yes, I certainly wouldn’t cough up that much without a good reason!

Eyelash-thin dof in portraits is another of those features pursued obsessively by a certain brand of photographer which usually completely passes Joe Public by. In fact, I’ve seen people complaining that their portrait is out of focus, when in fact the third eyelash and iris of their nearest eye was perfectly sharp...

Most ultra-thin dof portraits look seriously weird to me. In contrast, the 45mm Pro at full aperture at headshot distance usually gives from eye to ear in focus, which I find ideal.

So again those massive, expensive and heavy FF f1.2 portrait lenses are usually overkill (assuming the photographer can actually focus them, that is, especially if they’re using the new mirrorless Nikon Z6 or 7 which I believe lack auto eye focus).

It’s good to have options, but ultra thin dof at close distances and modest focal lengths comes at a price that you need a proper reason to pay.
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Re: 17mm f1.2

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post

Most ultra-thin dof portraits look seriously weird to me. In contrast, the 45mm Pro at full aperture at headshot distance usually gives from eye to ear in focus, which I find ideal.

So again those massive, expensive and heavy FF f1.2 portrait lenses are usually overkill .
You said it. A friend owned the old Canon 85mm f1.2 lens (which would have a DoF equivalent of a Nocticron with f0.6 !). Not only was it almost as heavy as his mini , head-and- shoulders portraits often had ears that looked as though they were about to go into the 4th dimension.

I have heard that even the Voigtlander Nocton 42.5mm can be very difficult to manually focus at f0.95. After the age to 50 the ability of the human eye to discern sharpness fades a bit and I suspect some of us older photographers would struggle with MF at very large apertures.
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