Coney Island And The Nikon 35mm f/2.8 AiS Lens

The 35mm focal length lens has always been baffling. It is too wide to be a “normal”, too close to be a “wide”. From what I have read, it has been considered a moderate wide, or a photojournalist’s normal. Recently, I won on auction at ShopGoodwill.com a Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 AiS lens, for a fraction of what they sell for on eBay. Quite often, even the most common items, such as 50mm lenses, and real basic bodies, such as the Nikon EM, sell for a premium, simply because of the Nikon name.

The 35mm focal length may be my new go-to look. The perspective seems to be more in line with how things look. In comparison, a 50 looks almost too tight. Like most things in photography, your mileage may vary, and often does. I think that photojournalists liked it because it is fast to focus. Not sure if they liked it for the perspective, maybe. Nor does if get in tight for close-ups. That old cliché, which I hate, “zoom with your feet” may actually be applicable. But a 35 up close is not going to look the same as, say, a 105 for portraiture. That is what I don’t get with that real tired line.

Coney Island Hot Dogs is a very cool, retro looking place in downtown Worcester. I have not eaten there in years. While people rave about the hot dogs there, they are, after all, simply hot dogs. The exterior has a cool throwback look. I’d love to photograph the interior sometime, and watch servers prepare the food. If I recall, some of them wear the old style white paper hats, 50’s style. Why I haven’t walked the extra block down here to photograph until now really boggles.

The lens seems almost made for the exteriors, I think the 28 may have been too wide for these. And the 50, too tight. This one was just right. Oh, “New” Kodak Portra 160, and the F3 were the other tools of choice for these photographs.

For once, Portra that didn't overexpose. A long running challenge with this film. The 35's front element coating is spectacular.

For once, Portra that didn’t overexpose. A long running challenge with this film. The 35’s front element coating is spectacular. Maybe it helps.

Wide enough to get the sign, but not too wide. 100% viewfinder coverage of the F3 really helped here.

Wide enough to get the sign, but not too wide. 100% viewfinder coverage of the F3 really helped here.

Used a circular polarizer here.

Used a circular polarizer here.

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