I was reading this post at Michael Johnston's The Online Photographer(TOP) the other day. He talks about the 135mm lens as being a useless focal length. It's too short to be "long" and too long to be "short". A lens solution looking for a problem. The people who have one have it because "it's perfect". Perfectly sharp, perfectly built, etc. But they rarely use them. Well, I have a "perfect" 135mm lens...and I rarely use it. So I decided to test the theory. I spent a couple of short outings around downtown Bellingham with just the 135 to see what I could come up with. Guess what? It's a difficult focal length.
This is an exercise that I do fairly often. I'll spend a day with just one lens, a prime not a zoom(that would be cheating). It's a good way to get a feel for a particular angle of view. I find that after a while with whatever lens I have for the day, I start to "see" like that lens. It's a fun exercise but I didn't make it up. Apparently Henri Cartier-Bresson on occasion would reach into his camera bag and randomly pull out a lens. That's what he would use for the day. The extreme of this also comes from TOP. Michael Johnston suggested an exercise he called OC/OL/OY, one camera, one lens, one year. In other words, spend an entire year using just one lens on one camera. You would certainly learn a lot about that camera and that lens.
I'd like to spend some more time with this lens to get a better feel for it, but I'm not sure about committing to a year. If you try it, let me know.
More next week.