The 50mm focal length. Not for me

I somehow prefer focal length below 50mm. I know that sometimes the "bi-pedal" zoom just doesn't work. Some places you just can't get to by walking up. Now, when you're shooting a wedding or need to grab shots of a crime scene what's important is to get the shot. It'll be more about the situation and the record in time than the esthetic of the shot itself. 

I just don't like the compressed look of photos taken with a long lens have. To me even a 35mm lens looks a little bit "zoomed in" but it's still natural.

The sweet spot for me would be somewhere between 28-35mm but in Leica world there's not much. The other issue I have with wider than 28mm is that Leica's frame lines suck for that focal length. You can barley see them. 28mm probably is a better focal length for an SLR. I'd go as far and say that the only really usable focal length on a Leica rangefinder are 35mm and 50mm. Since I don't really dig the 50mm look I am stuck with 35mm on my Leica. Maybe a blessing in disguise, considering the steep prices of Leica lenses.

I get that it's a lot easier to shoot with 50mm lenses. You can isolate your subject and have less distraction in the frame. Easy doesn't equal better. Easy photos also look boring. There's no sense of place or surroundings. If I shoot a cat on a 50mm at f/2 you have no frame of reference. The photo could've been taken 50 years ago and it'd look the same. I'd rather give up on the higher keeper rate and have a natural look to my images. But that's just me. I like to have a sense of time and place to the pictures I take. I like to look at old photos and every time I do I just feel this "wow this is a from that time. This is how things were back then and it's recorded right here." If my photos are all of isolated subjects with blurred out background, I am not getting that. Don't fall into that bokeh trap.

The other great benefit of 50mm lenses is that you have less problems with distortion.  On a 35mm lens you really have to already make sure that you keep the lens parallel to your subject. (Unless you shoot a tilt-shift). What that means is a lot of squatting with your 35mm lens!

So with a fifty you don't have to squat, you can easily isolate your subjects, you get better bokeh your photos look more impressive to other people, you'll get more 'likes' online. 

On a 35mm it's quite different. It's either right or wrong. Once you tilt the plane with a 35mm lens it just looks wrong. You cannot easily isolate subjects. You barely get any bokeh. Your photos have neither the cool wide-angle nor the bokeh compressed looks. In fact 35mm can look quite boring. It really is a lot harder to get keepers on a 35mm I find. But when you do, they are really good! 

So yes, a 50mm is the gift that keeps on giving. You'll have so many keepers and the best thing is they will all look very similar. You don't even have to go places to shoot anymore. Once you bokeh the crap out of your background it doesn't matter where you are. It all looks the same. Blurrrr. 

Anyways, I don't mean to dis 50s, or anybody using 50s. In fact I have good friends shooting 50s and I actually like their photos but whatever makes it work for them, it doesn't do it for me. I am jealous. I want more keepers, too!

I wrote this article in May 2016, and kept in in 'drafts' just in case I change my mind. It's May 2017 now and I still agree with the above. Thought that was worth mentioning.