For most of this Year, and even Parts of last December, I have been pretty much exclusively using my 22mm Pancake Lens as a Creative Challenge, but also because I wanted to pack light.
After all this Time, I feel like I might be able to say something about using Prime Lenses. Spoiler Alert: It is Great, but it also has significant Drawbacks. Mostly the fixed Focal Length.
First to the good Things. I do not have to fuss about what Focal Length is right for a Situation anymore. I only have one. And that has been a blessing as I also have to ‘hunt’ for Compositions a bit more.
But being stuck at 22mm is also one of the biggest Drawbacks I can think of. It is not even that that Focal Length is not Wide enough. I actually quite like the 35mm Equivalence. It is kinda nice.
It is that I sometimes which that I could get closer. Like with the Snowman on the Teich. In that Case, I was unable to physically get closer to my Subject. It was in a frozen Teich, and I was sure the Ice would not hold under my Feet. (Also see my recent Post about Zooming with your Feet).
Another great Thing about my 22mm Lens is the Fact that it is absolutely tiny. About the same Size as an EF to EF-M Adapter. It even came in the same Box, just with different Prints on it. It also weighs next no nothing but still has a good Built Quality and a Metal Lens Mount.
Sometimes, especially with Gloves on, the Lens is actually to small though. I know this is the highest Form of Nitpicking, but accidentally getting your Fingers in Front of the Lens is really annoying.
You also can not really hold on to such a tiny Lens, but then again you do not really have to, as it really weighs nothing.
The one Thing that I love the most about this 22mm Lens is its ‘super’ fast Aperture of ƒ/2.0 though. It is the fastest Lens I own since losing my beloved Nifty 50.
That Aperture is great when I am shooting in Low Light Situations or when I want to have more Separation between my Subject and the Background. The Drawback here is that I usually do not use it anywhere near ƒ/2.0. In my Photography I rarely go below ƒ/5.6.
The Depth of Field is just to tiny at ƒ/2.0 for Landscape Photography. And for Things like my little Stormtrooper I am usually so close, that it is to narrow yet again. In such Cases I find myself leaning more towards ƒ/2.8 or narrower. And that really does not do this fantastic Lens any Justice.
Overall, I really love it to use my 22mm Prime Lens though. But I think I will be going back to using some of my Zooms as well soon. Those Lenses are just so much more Versatile, even though their Apertures are not that fast.
But since I rarely go below ƒ/5.6 and usually work between that Aperture and ƒ/8.0, I am definitely fine with that. Also, I am not really that scared of higher ISOs that I would have an Issue with that.