Where’s the Pocket? (part I)

My four challenges are still impending. I was able to get a few shots of little Hope, and I used my son’s soccer practice as my practice for his game on Saturday. I like the 70-300 G lens.

Here is Hope, her mother Meg had a double mastectomy while she was pregnant.

DSC04709

And one from my practice yesterday evening.

DSC05009 

I’m looking forward to seeing what the A77 can do in poor light coupled with the 70-300 G lens. Bad or good, I will be able to have something to learn from.

Every couple of months I transfer all of my photographs from my laptop to my desktop at home. My laptop is only equipped with 300GB of hard drive space, which fills up quickly with 24 Megapixel raw files. My desktop has 5 terabytes of space and room for more. I just completed another transfer.

I have every photograph I have taken from 1999-2012 except for a few thousand I lost while moving on old Zip drives. Most of those were fraternity party pictures, so it is probably a good thing I lost them. Plus good luck finding a zip drive. In a previous post I applauded Lightroom’s ability to catalog and organize photos. For this exercise I want to find out where my pocket is. No, not my pants pocket, but where I am “in the pocket” so to speak. Where I feel comfortable shutter speed-wise and aperture-wise and ISO-wise.

Preliminarily, I will take everything in to consideration. In a second post or later, I will take in to considerations shots I kept because I failed, or shots I am not remotely satisfied with, or duplicates. Round one is raw numbers.

For the first round, I will take the work done with four cameras from 2011-2012:

  • A77: 20358 shots
  • A390: 8031 shots
  • Nex-5: 3522 shots
  • Total: 31901 shots

I have taken shots with no lens data out of consideration. Those where I experimented with a Lensbaby or used my 600mm f/8 mirror lens.  Also, some of the A-mount lenses were shot on the Nex using an adapter. The total shot and percentage of the lenses are below. The lenses I currently own are Underlined. The E-mount lenses are in Bold. The rest I either had and sold, tested, or borrowed.

Lens Shots Percentage
Sony 85mm f/1.4 ZA 16648 52.19%
Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM 3006 9.42%
Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 2453 7.69%
Minolta Beercan (70-210 f/4) 1188 3.72%
Sony DT 55-200mm f/4-5.6 SAM 999 3.13%
Sony DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 963 3.02%
Sony DT 35mm f/1.8 SAM 746 2.34%
Sony 24mm f/2 ZA SSM 592 1.86%
Sigma/Quantaray 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 515 1.61%
Sony DT 30mm f/2.8 Macro SAM 483 1.51%

Sigma 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye

366 1.15%
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM 227 0.71%
Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 SAM 176 0.55%
Minolta 28mm f/2.8 20 0.06%
Sony E 16mm f/2.8 3296 10.33%
Sony E 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS 223 0.70%
TOTAL 31901 100.00%

Obviously, this shows my 85mm f/1.4 has taken the bulk of the load. The 16mm pancake lens was the workhorse on my NEX.

Here is the breakdown of prime vs. zoom.

Prime 25157 78.86%
Zoom 6744 21.14%

There is a lot to consider when you take the lens data into consideration. I’ve owned the 85mm for 11 months. I’ve owned the 70-300 G for 7 days. I am trying to learn the 70-300G and my new 24mm f/2 right now. If you consider the lenses I carry and I am not selling here is the breakdown:

Lens Shots Percentage
Sony 85mm f/1.4 ZA 16648 95.31%
Sony 24mm f/2 ZA SSM 592 3.39%
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM 227 1.30%
TOTAL 17467 100.00%

Statistics can be misleading, so the exercise needs to take all of the lenses into consideration. I have used the 85mm a lot and it is clearly my favorite lens.

One thing I learned when I was running the numbers to justify getting rid of my zoom lenses was I used my zoom lenses at the extreme ends; if it was an 18-55mm I would use 18 or 55 a large majority of the time. Here is a breakdown of focal lengths. The Bold are the prime lengths. The Underlined are the extreme ends of the zoom lenses.

Focal Length Capable Lenses Shots Percentage
10 1 366 1.15%
16 1 3296 10.33%
18 4 1036 3.25%
20 4 74 0.23%
21 4 1 0.00%
22 4 44 0.14%
24 5 617 1.93%
26 4 69 0.22%
28 5 87 0.27%
29 4 3 0.01%
30 5 545 1.71%
32 4 1 0.00%
34 4 1 0.00%
35 5 898 2.81%
40 4 50 0.16%
42 4 2 0.01%
43 4 6 0.02%
45 4 29 0.09%
46 4 1 0.00%
47 4 1 0.00%
48 4 1 0.00%
50 5 3055 9.58%
53 4 1 0.00%
55 4 490 1.54%
60 3 106 0.33%
70 4 109 0.34%
75 5 202 0.63%
85 6 16717 52.40%
90 5 126 0.39%
100 5 101 0.32%
105 5 71 0.22%
110 5 33 0.10%
120 5 49 0.15%
130 5 50 0.16%
135 5 112 0.35%
140 5 38 0.12%
150 5 104 0.33%
160 5 98 0.31%
180 5 111 0.35%
200 5 743 2.33%
210 5 849 2.66%
230 3 39 0.12%
250 3 119 0.37%
270 3 1040 3.26%
300 2 410 1.29%
TOTAL 16 31901 100.00%

There is a wealth of information to take from this, but the better numbers to me are the percentages of the focal lengths versus the prime usage or extreme ends. The top 10 are below. I have added columns for capable lenses where a * denotes prime or extreme end only, as well as a breakdown of the prime or extreme end shots and percentages.

Focal Length Capable lenses Shots Percentage Prime/Extreme end shots Prime/Extreme end Percentage
85 6 16717 52.40% 16648 99.59%
16 1* 3296 10.33% 3296 100%
50 5 3055 9.58% 3006 98%
270 3 1040 3.26% 992 95%
18 4* 1036 3.25% 1036 100%
35 5 898 2.81% 746 83%
210 3 849 2.66% 701 83%
200 4 743 2.33% 547 74%
24 5 617 1.93% 592 96%
30 5 545 1.71% 483 89%

The first thing that jumps out at me is the amount of 200mm shooting I did with Zoom lenses with lenses capable of lengths longer than 200mm. Maybe my longtime urge to buy the Minolta 200mm f/2.8 is justified. Another odd statistic is I had five other lenses capable of 85mm but only managed 69 shots and I had four other lenses capable of 50mm and only managed 49 shots.

I am sure there are other factors to take into consideration. Some of the lenses may not be capable of reporting certain lengths and round up or down. As I saw with 70 and 75mm, some lenses may report incorrect data. The Minolta Beercan is a 70-210mm but the EXIF data only showed 75mm. The Quantaray 75-300mm had reported EXIF data at 70mm. I also know the Tamron 18-270 reported EXIF data of 280mm on the extreme end, but I also didn’t see anything at 270 for any of these lenses so these tables only reflect 270mm. I have a statistically significant sample with a margin of error, I will admit.

Of the remaining non-prime, non-extreme end lengths, I had 1441 shots, representing 4.5% of the total. Here is a breakdown of the top ten, with percentage of non-prime, non extreme share.

Focal Length Capable lenses Shots Percentage
90 5 126 8.74%
250 3 119 8.26%
135 5 112 7.77%
180 5 111 7.70%
60 3 106 7.36%
150 5 104 7.22%
100 5 101 7.01%
160 5 98 6.80%
20 4 74 5.14%
105 5 71 4.93%

I have run out of time and I need to get ready for the soccer game. I will break down apertures and hopefully make some sense out of this mess next time I look at the numbers.

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