The ONE LENS Challenge

Fraser Smith 2020-11-03

EOS-M5 7Artisans 35mm f1.2

A few days ago, I watched this post on YouTube. It seemed like a fun idea so I decided to give it a try. (If you didn’t have time to watch the video, the assignment is to use a single prime lens for all of your personal photography for the month of November.)

So, I had to decide which lens to use on my Canon EOS-M5. I have five prime lenses at present. In order of focal length they are:

7 Artisans 7.5mm f2.8 Fisheye: This as a very distinctive lens. With its 7.5mm focal length (12mm in full-frame terms) it is, by far, the widest lens that I’ve ever owned. In the right situation, it gives a great perspective, but, hmmm, not for everyday use.

Canon EF-M 22mm f2.0: This highly regarded prime lens is light, unobtrusive, and, with its 35mm equivalent focal length would seem the ideal choice for city life and the inevitable street photography shots. But, it’s a bit boring, not a challenge.

Sigma 30mm f1.4: This is a lovely lens. It’s fast, it’s sharp, at 48mm equivalent focal length it harks back to the days when I first started photography when every camera was bundled with a 50mm f1.8 “standard” lens. I love this lens and it was my first choice for this challenge. But, yeah, it’s too easy to go for the first choice, where’s the challenge?

7 Artisans 35mm f1.2: This is, by far, the cutest lens that I have. The retro styling of this Sonnar inspired design looks great on any camera. It has zero electronics, just purely manual focus and aperture. However, there are situations where it suffers from a weird vignette. It looks great, but it’s a flawed beauty (and, of course, has to be manually focused, just like the old days).

Canon EF 50mm f1.5 (nifty fifty) This is my only EF prime lens. I use it with an adaptor on my EF-M mount. At the moment, its 80mm equivalent focal length is probably my favorite. Whenever I head out with this lens on my camera, I never fail to come back with some satisfying images. It would seem that this lens is a good candidate for this challenge. But there we go again, where’s the challenge?

So, I’ve decided, if you haven’t already worked it out, to go with the flawed but cute 7 Artisans 35mm f1.2. It’s a manual focus lens. I hope that that will force me to take some more time to “get it right”, to think more about composition and the basics of photography. To get away from the “running and gunning” method that quick autofocus and seemingly unlimited storage encourages. In keeping with the retro nature of the lens, I’ve decide to try (no promises) and stick to black and white images for the duration.

Of course, I need to get out and shoot. I’ve taken my first two photos already, in and around the apartment (itchy finger syndrome). Here they are. I’ll post subsequent images here and on the usual culprits (Flickr and Twitter)

Selection of Starbucks nespresson pods
Focused on Homework


#OneLensChallenge , #Canon , #EOS-M5 , #7Artisans , #Manual Lens