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The God Lens. 35mm F2.

The circle is complete.

For many years the technology has been driving photography,  digitisation has opened up new possibilities for photographers,  and we have seen the development of all sorts of new technologies and lenses that are supposed to make us better photographers.

But we forget that actually photography is photography,  and no matter how complex we make it,  the basics never change.

Years ago, I was an angry young man,   and I fell in love with that beautiful highway…

Which brings me back to the 35mm F2.     The angry young man of my youth new that this was the God Lens.  That the 35mm was the natural and overriding way we needed to look at the world.

My old Nikkormat with 35mm lens…

The 35mm filled the central spot in my bag.    An ideal lens line up would be something like  24mm, 35mm  and 70-200.     And the 35mm was always an F2.

But as time progressed,  we got fancier and zoomier…  the 17-35 f2.8 replaced it…. and then the 24-105 f4 became a norm…. and for amateurs it became the 28-300 F Whatever…..   slower and slower and further away we drifted….

Well,  as part of my efforts to become a better photographer,  I have gone back to basics.   And one of these basics I went back to was the 35mm f2.   In this case the canon 35mm f2 IS…..

And today I was looking through some recentish work…. to choose portraits for a new portfolio… and I realised….  All of my favourite portraits of late are on that lens….  almost all of them as well at F2… i.e. wide open…




So, the circle comes around…  I started with that lens.  I spent the last 25 years doing all sorts of fancy things,  and now I’m back.   And you know,  I wish I had stayed with it the whole time.  There really is no subject that can’t be tackled on a 35mm.    And the simplicity of the perspective means the picture is about the subject,  not the technique.


PS;  For all you gear heads,  who would like a review of the Canon 35mm F2 IS,  here it is….   Build quality is ok,  not a solid rock…  IS works very well,  especially if shooting video,  Optically its very nice.. sharp in the important places right down to F2.  AF is fast and accurate,  much much much better than Canons 28mm f1.8.   It’s a Bokeh monster this lens… and the Bokeh is rather marmite esq….  at first I hated it,  now I think it has a charm of its own.    I had been thinking that this would be a interm lens on the way to the 34mm f1.4….now… not so sure.  The IS is surprisingly useful…. especially when shooting video hand held.

So,  there you are.   Go out and sell your Kit lens and buy a 35mm.   You don’t need anything else.

We will be helping more folks to demystify their digital camera on March 8th!

This workshop is designed to get you using your digital camera in manual mode,  and teach you the basics of colour and light, allowing you to take control of your photography.

We had this great feedback from Adam who recently attended this workshop…

Thanks for a very enjoyable day of excellent tuition and very pleasant company. I should have had that extra biscuit though. I do feel the course was excellent value for money, Doug is clearly an amazing photographer and tutor and I feel inspired to break the rules and go manual !

to learn more about this workshop,  visit our workshops page here;


Email us at training@pagonephotography.co.uk to make an enquiry or book your spot.

With numbers now limited to just five,  don’t delay!



Off Camera Strobism photography will lift your pictures from the mundane to the masterful,  and our strobism workshop is designed to give you all the knowledge you need to get started!

You will learn about about the different types of strobes, light modifiers,  types of triggers,  some basic positioning for single and double strobes,  how to use a camera flash off camera, camera settings, determining exposure…  In fact everything you need to get started.

Nearly every picture we make uses the techniques we are going to discuss.

Paul Daley,  Fighter.

Paul Daley, Fighter. 2 light strobism setup.

Whilst we hold this workshop in our studio,  we will be teaching you techniques you can use in your home.

The workshop has only a small number of spaces,  so attendees get a hands on personal experience with lots of oppportunity for interaction.

If you’re looking to produce great portraits,  or lift your product photography for ebay,  then this is the course you need.

The workshop runs from 10am until 4pm,  and includes lunch and refreshments.

Cost is £125

Contact us at training@pageonephotography.co.uk for more information or to reserve your spot!


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