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07-17-2010, 11:12 AM   #1
emr
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What, am I a zoom shooter after all?

Many Pentax users praise the prime lenses and some even see the primes as their reason for sticking with the brand. I have a small lens setup, but it includes lenses like 15mm + 40mm + 70mm DA limiteds and the DFA 100mm WR macro. However, it seems that every time I go taking some pictures, I end up wishing I had a focal length other than what I have on my camera at the moment. Constant lens changing in the field is a nuisance at best and risks the gear at worst. So I'm beginning to think that I may be a zoom shooter after all. For example what I've been shooting today on our holiday trip, I could've easily shot with just the DA* 16-50mm. And that's a lens I'd like to own otherwise too - if only it wasn't for the SDM problem. I basically refuse to buy one single SDM lens until Pentax makes a clear announcement regarding it. I know some service site and user comments suggest the problem isn't as bad as it has been, but so far I've heard nothing really convincing. If there was a problem and it is corrected, I think that Pentax should make an announcement. Or at least lengthen the warranty for these lenses.

OK, this was just a useless pondering that I could've kept to myself but here it is.


Last edited by emr; 07-17-2010 at 12:52 PM. Reason: EDIT: bad English...
07-17-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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You could be a zoom shooter.

Or you could buy a zoom and then wish you had a prime whenever you were out shooting, which would classify you as something else. Maybe indecisive?

But I think you should buy a zoom and give it a try. Only one way to find out. If I was worried about SDM, I'd consider the new Sigma zoom, despite the fact that I'm not a big Sigma fan.
07-17-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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Zooms are a LOT better than they used to be. There's no shame in being a "zoom shooter" these days. The 16-50 and 50-135 (the power couple, as I like to call them) leave very little, if anything to be desired and they are easily my most used lenses. As far as the SDM issue goes, that's obviously a personal choice each of us has to make. I chose to "risk it" and have been rewarded for well over a year year now with a lot of enjoyment, some great photos and (thus far) zero problems. It could happen today, I know, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. But if it's going to concern you enough that you wouldn't even be able to enjoy using the lens, then no, I wouldn't buy one. There are also some excellent third-party zooms on the market (as I'm sure you're aware) that offer high IQ and wouldn't have the SDM stigma.
07-17-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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Use what works for you don't let anyone make you feel bad for using the tools that you like to use.

I'm a definite zoom user, from day one, and I'm very satisfied with the ones that I use. Even the kit lenses are very good. I do have a couple primes that I've picked up, but I use them for very specific purposes, and they aren't general purpose for me.

07-17-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
mel
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I like my Takumar primes when I have the time to be leisurely about my shooting. But when I'm working or shooting on the fly, I prefer zooms. There just isn't time to switch lenses around when I have to catch things as they're happening. If I'm just wandering around shooting for fun, then I like to challenge myself to use only a single focal length and see what I can do with it.
07-17-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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Depends on the situation for me whether or not I use zooms.

My most used zoom is the DA* 16-50 which is a wonderful lens indeed.


Cheers


Neil
07-17-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
Many Pentax users praise the prime lenses and some even see the primes as their reason for sticking with the brand. I have a small lens setup, but it includes lenses like 15mm + 40mm + 70mm DA limiteds and the DFA 100mm WR macro. However, it seems that every time I go taking some pictures, I end up wishing I had a focal length other than what I have on my camera at the moment. Constant lens changing in the field is a nuisance at best and risks the gear at worst. So I'm beginning to think that I may be a zoom shooter after all. For example what I've been shooting today on our holiday trip, I could've easily shot with just the DA* 16-50mm. And that's a lens I'd like to own otherwise too - if only it wasn't for the SDM problem. I basically refuse to buy one single SDM lens until Pentax makes a clear announcement regarding it. I know some service site and user comments suggest the problem isn't as bad as it has been, but so far I've heard nothing really convincing. If there was a problem and it is corrected, I think that Pentax should make an announcement. Or at least lengthen the warranty for these lenses.

OK, this was just a useless pondering that I could've kept to myself but here it is.
.

Nothing odd about this observation, I'm with you. Primes for when your subject & application can accept feet-zooming and a little extra time, zooms for placement-restricted and time-restricted situations. Good zooms can also be used for pleasurable walkabouts, also.

I'd suggest picking up a DA 16-45 or tamron 17-50 2.8, because I also agree with you on the SDM issue. Both those lenses are smaller than the 16-50, also.
07-17-2010, 02:27 PM   #8
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for fun shooting my primes are more than enough but, if work would be implied, zooms are the workhorses.

fully agree on the SDM issues. That is why, if I should ever start a photo business (highly unlikely anyway) I would switch to Nikon if by then the SDM issue would not have been addressed.

07-17-2010, 02:29 PM   #9
emr
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Thanks, everybody. I already have the kit zoom version II, but something a bit better or faster or possibly with HSM might be in order. Unfortunately weather resistance isn't available since SDM is off the list and there isn't much point in getting a second (or actually third) optically identical lens just for the WR. A pity.

The 16-45mm is obviously better, but not much faster. At today's normal price I wouldn't probably be very interested, but I just noticed that one reputable retailer has it available for about 240 euros, which is tempting. Hmm, decisions...
07-17-2010, 02:56 PM   #10
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I have had only prime lenses in my bag for a long time. Over a year, for sure. Probably longer. 14, 21, 43, 70 mm. All excellent lenses! I sold the 70, and have now traded the 43 for a 16-50mm zoom.

What? What happened there? Aren't prime lenses better - faster, smaller, high quality? Well, yeah, but swapping lenses, trying to get a particular shot with the wrong lens, etc is also a pain. I don't have the zoom yet, but really look forward to it.
07-17-2010, 03:22 PM   #11
hcc
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QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
when I'm working or shooting on the fly, I prefer zooms. There just isn't time to switch lenses around when I have to catch things as they're happening.
+1
I agree with all earlier posts that there is nothing to be worried or ashamed to be a zoom zhooter. There are many dynamic situations when you simply do not have the time to change the lens and you need the flexibility of a zoom.

Among the zooms, the DA18-250mn is the most flexible because of its range. It would cover (almost) the range of your primes and gives you a bit more reach.

I do a lot of outdoor shooting inc. during bushwalking and I love the sturdy DA18-250mm. Although the DA 18-250mm is out of production, its brother Tam 18-250mm is still available on the market, and there are good 2nd hand Tamron and DA18-250mm lenses on the market.
07-17-2010, 03:52 PM   #12
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When you want to capture a photo of something interesting, use a zoom!
When you want to capture an interesting photo, use a prime!
07-17-2010, 08:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
When you want to capture a photo of something interesting, use a zoom!
When you want to capture an interesting photo, use a prime!
Not a hard & fast rule but I think there's validity to that.
07-18-2010, 01:13 AM   #14
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The labels that people apply to us are not at all important. What's important is the question of whether you have the tools to get the pictures you need or want. I've been shooting promo stills for a local playhouse for 18 months; and despite several attempts to use primes for this work, a pretty common Tamron 28-75 f2.8 is the best lens i've found for this work. Actors and directors are not going to wait for a photographer to switch out lenses, etc, one needs to catch the moment and then go on the next sequence.

Pentax is missing many sales, IMO, by not having a fast medium tele such as the one i've mentioned. It would be even better if it was a slightly larger range. Pentax doesn't need more primes, they need more zooms.
07-18-2010, 02:01 AM   #15
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What really matters is the results you get, not the equipment used to get it.

For the record, I'm a prime only user and for me, using multiple camera bodies, lens swapping rarely becomes an issue.

Use what ever your comfortable with and what works for you, you will find that certain applications tend to call for certain lenses, in terms of ease of use.

I only have to look around when I'm working, to see the variety on lens types and manufacturers (I'm often the only Pentax player ), all earning their owners a wage.

There is no right or wrong here, enjoy your photography
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