I recently acquired two little, vintage dinky mini cars and normally would have reached for a 50mm lens and a sub f/2.0 aperture to create a miniature world effect. The Fujinon 35mm lens at f/1.4 is equivalent to a 53mm lens at f/2.0 on a full frame camera so I began to wonder if I need to turn to 50mm to achieve the depth of field I was looking for.
[box]All photos were captured on the Fujifilm X-E1 and either the 18-55mm zoom lens or 35mm prime lens. Click on any of the photos to view large on flickr.[/box]
Starting of with the Fujifilm X-E1 & 18-55mm zoom lens I shot a number of photos of the car (setting the X-E1 on macro mode). You can see from the following two images to get the scale right meant framing at 35mm-55mm.
At this focal length I was unable to get below an aperture of f/4 so much of the surrounding area is in focus. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the resultant DoF and scale.
Convinced there was no need for a full frame camera and 50mm I moved to the Fujinon 35mm lens which offers an aperture of f/1.4. I started shooting at the maximum aperture of f/1.4 as the car was face on.
I focused on the front grill and captured the images using the ultra bright LCD screen which meant I didn’t need to get right down close to ground to see what I was shooting. This next shot is my favourite of the set and as the car is at a slight angle I wanted to get more of the body in focus so moved the aperture to f/2.
To add a little bit of adventure I decided to use a mix of flour and icing sugar to freeze the scene. I felt the flour with too thick and sat too heavy on the frame of the car. I should add attempts to make it look like it was actually snowing failed miserably. This next image is captured with an aperture of f/2.2.
You can see that moving between the 18-55 zoom and 35mm prime offered different focal lengths and I could adjust the scale of the car. I think both the 18-55mm zoom and 35mm prime worked well to achieve a ‘slight’ sense of reality.
I am genuinely beginning to wonder if I really need to retain a full frame camera given the quality of photographs I can achieve with the fujinon lenses. I know there is an even finer DoF offered with f/1.4 on full frame but I am just not sure how often I actually need it.
You can view the full set of Mini Adventure photographs on in the flickr set or 500px set. I am going to try and grow the Mini Adventure series and add photos of the cars in different locations. The next challenge is to incorporate Long Exposure Photography.