There is a saying that as you get older, you become unimpressed by a lot of S.H.I.T. (super highly irrelevant things). I wonder how this principle applies in photography, because we are also growing up in our photography skills, styles, needs and vision. Our way of making photography changes, starting with the switch from taking snapshots to making photographs. We change the gear we use, or give up using some lenses, while discovering new lenses; new focal lengths will become our favourites, while others will lose our interest. This is how I have moved from an ultra-wide angle fish-eye lens, which was capable of capturing not only too much, but basically almost everything, to narrower focal lengths, useful in isolating what is essential, against the disturbing and often unnecessary background.
Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 and Helios 58mm F2.0 are my 2 main prime lenses for portrait photography (sometimes I use another manual focus lens, the Pentacon 135mm F2.8), when used with a Fujifilm X mirrorless camera. I know many of the Fujifilm users do not have the 56mm prime lens for portraits, but instead, some of them use old legacy manual focus lenses as a cheap and accessible alternative.
I often discuss with my friends about the tips and tricks in all kind of photography fields. It is good to share your knowledge within a group of photographers. “Let the envy go away and act like a true member of a growing family of photographers”, I say. Each one has its own vision and original concepts and it is very profitable to share some of the techniques you have, based on your own experiences, which most of them were acquired on a trial and error approach. We often make our own mistakes, even if we were taught about them in the first place. It is good to make mistakes in photography – this is the most powerful way to learn, for good, the correct ways.