Zoom with your feet

Zoom with your feet

I’ve been using solely a 35mm prime lens, to be precise a Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 35mm 1:1.8G Prime lens. I carry nothing else. Well...sometimes a tripod and some sandwiches. And what it’s taught me is invaluable. So much so that i don’t think any DSLR should even come with a kit lens with zoom functionality.

And here’s why.

Back when i first started to get into photography, i like many others, would zoom with the optical function rather than moving around. Big no no. Because when i am forced to take my eye away from the view finder i have to reassess the situation. What happens if i cant physically get any closer? What happens if i cant physically get and further? Well then i have to re frame the entire focus of what i am trying to do. I have to look at my surroundings and using anything to my advantage.


Brand new and out the box i took this photo with the 35mm probably within 5 minutes of having it on the camera.

You end up re framing a lot of the shots you want to take, not because you want to, but because you have to. You end up pushing your comfort zones of photography. Suddenly you see things in a different way, framing them with just the 35mm perspective in mind. And although it may seem restrictive, it can certainly open your eyes to new possibilities.


This photo of lighting was taken on my first attempt at lightning photography.

I have on numerous occasions taken landscapes, portraits, macro pictures and even lightning! All to wonderful effect. The ability to open up the aperture to 1.8 allows some absolutely stunning macro and portrait pictures with a lovely bokeh effect. Landscapes can be a touch trickier in my opinion, but when framed correctly (usually takes the most amount of “zooming with feet”) and especially when using the foreground to give perspective, can certainly produce some rewarding images.


An autumn leaf, not much to say other than the nice aesthetics. 

I have hung from branches, walked up opposite hill sides, hunched over rocks, perched in precarious places and bumped into many things while trying to reach a different and unique perspective that doesn’t come naturally from using a kit lens.

And even if you do have a kit lens but don’t want to buy another, stick the lens at 35mm, don’t touch it, adjust your camera to the manual aperture setting and stick it as low as possible. Zoom with your feet and have fun!

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Zoom with your feet
Zoom with your feet

A mixed bag of how to's and whatever interests me at the time. i predominantly use a 35mm Prime lens.

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