Sunday, November 30, 2008

Leibovitz on Lenses

I've been reading Annie Leibovitz at Work.

I'll discuss the book once I finish it, but I wanted to highlight Leibovitz' use of lenses in her early days with Rolling Stone, as detailed on page 16:

"During the early years at the magazine, when I thought of myself more as a photojournalist than a portraitist, I usually carried three cameras on assignments. I didn't want to lose time changing lenses. I would take a 35mm lens, a 55, and a 105.

"A 35mm lens provides a perspective close to what the human eye sees, and it was my lens of choice. The 55 was considered a 'normal' lens, very classic, simple and noninterfering. The 105 was on a body with a meter and I could use it for light readings. Zoom lenses were not really an option then. They weren't made well. When you saw a photographer with a zoom lens on his camera you didn't take him seriously."
I find it interesting how much that situation has changed today. If you look in the camera bag of any typical photographer in the "working, but not famous" category today, you'll be very likely to find two great zoom lenses packed, with possibly no primes at all.

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