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09-06-2010, 09:26 AM   #31
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Don’t forget speed, MF primes are much faster than the Zoom FL equivalent.

Make a list of Pentax Zooms that have a maximum aperture of f2.0 or faster!

You’re going to need a fast prime in your kit, either MF or AF, to compensate the slowness of zooms.

Phil

09-06-2010, 09:48 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Donít forget speed, MF primes are much faster than the Zoom FL equivalent.

Make a list of Pentax Zooms that have a maximum aperture of f2.0 or faster!

Youíre going to need a fast prime in your kit, either MF or AF, to compensate the slowness of zooms.

Phil
I love my f/1.4's, but I'll continue to play devil's advocate:

How often do you shoot any of your fast lenses below f/2.8? Be honest (with us and yourself)...

To have the equivalent focal lengths to my DA50-135mm I would need the following prime lenses:
50mm, 77mm, 85mm, 100mm, 120mm, 135mm
- so to get the same focal lengths I'm lugging around a heap of lenses that in many cases cost about the same as the DA50-135mm.

I certainly agree with you about having a fast lens (or two) in your kit. I much prefer primes over zooms, but the differences aren't like they used to be.

c[_]
09-06-2010, 10:35 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
I love my f/1.4's, but I'll continue to play devil's advocate:

How often do you shoot any of your fast lenses below f/2.8? Be honest (with us and yourself)...
And more to the point, how many of those shots wouldn't actually have been better off shot at f/2.8? Not saying it doesn't happen that a shot really is better off taken at larger aperture, but one reason I all but stopped using my A50/1.7 is that I realize that between not being *all* that sharp below f/2.8 and also the increasingly shallow DOF, I was often better off putting up with a slower shutter and shooting at f/2.8; maybe f/2.4 at most. Combine that with realizing that 50mm really doesn't do much for me as a focal length, and I can totally see the appeal of f/2.8 zooms over primes...

...except for size, and to a lesser extent price. That's why instead of f/2.8 zooms, I still prefer primes - but most of my primes are "only" f/2.8 as well. It's my DA40/2.8 that has mostly replaced my A50/1.7 - primarily because I like the focal length better for the things I had been using the 50 for.

QuoteQuote:
To have the equivalent focal lengths to my DA50-135mm I would need the following prime lenses:
50mm, 77mm, 85mm, 100mm, 120mm, 135mm
I think *most* people who tend to prefer primes would say that's more than you need - that the difference in FOV between those lenses is just no so significant that it's worth the expensive of having them all, the weight of carrying them all, or the hassle of that many lens changes. I personally feel pretty good about covering that range with just a 70 and a 135 (OK, sometimes I'll take a 100 too, but see my recent thread musing on the possibility of replacing the 100 and 135 with just a 120).

QuoteQuote:
I certainly agree with you about having a fast lens (or two) in your kit. I much prefer primes over zooms, but the differences aren't like they used to be.
Certainly not in IQ, agreed. Or in the actual practical advantages in terms of speed in most cases, assuming you're OK with the size.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 09-06-2010 at 11:04 AM.
09-06-2010, 10:56 AM   #34
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Adding an 11th reason.

MF lenses are fun to collect.

09-06-2010, 10:59 AM   #35
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In the ultrawide range, zooms like the DA12-24 and Sigmas 10-20 and 8-16 give as good or better IQ than available primes.
09-06-2010, 11:29 AM   #36
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0A: AF zooms make shooting easy; manual primes force you to see.
0B: You usually get a lot more exercise with manual primes.
0C: As mentioned: speed, size, collect-ability, character, price.
0D: AF zooms don't work well on my manual bellows.
0E: AF zooms also don't work well on my KA and M42 bodies.
0F: Manual primes are much easier to modify for other mounts.
10: Teleconverters for manual primes cost rather less.
11: There ain't *no* AF zoom like my Soligor C/D Dualfocal 85+135/4.
12: I've not heard of any AF zooms built for tilt-shift perspective control.
13: My 20-month-old granddaughter much prefers the bulging Vemar 12mm fisheye.
09-06-2010, 12:10 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
  1. You can get some old ones very cheap
  2. You can get the best possible IQ with a prime
  3. You can buy glass of companies that don't even make auto focus lenses
  4. Most primes are not as big & heavy as the zoom equivalents
  5. Manual focus lenses don't suffer from back or front focussing offset
  6. None have failing SDM issues
  7. Very quiet, so best for video applications with sound
  8. Easiest manual focus "over-rule" implementation
  9. You don't need an UV filter for a < 50 USD lens...
Any other reasons why manual focus primes are better?
This list is asinine and that's coming from someone who uses MF prime lenses exclusively. MF prime lenses aren't "better", there are trade-offs and compromises that we're willing to overlook or even take advantage of. In any case, none of the reasons you listed are even valid reasons and shows that you've never heard of such lenses as the Bokina (heavier and more expensive than most zooms) or the DA12-24mm & A35-105 (sharper than most of my primes). Sweeping generalizations of the superiority of MF lenses aren't going to work. It's not like you can't simply disengage the AF button and focus silently or buy a non-SDM lens.

Other users have already listed some good reasons as to why they use MF lenses, I can't help but feel that you missed the real reason why people use MF primes.
09-06-2010, 12:14 PM   #38
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All of the experts here missed the two most important reasons of all:

Saving battery power, and no annoying ZZZZZZ sound.

09-06-2010, 12:24 PM   #39
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I've followed this thread from the beginning, for me it's all much simpler.

I like my manual fast primes, because for me, they get the job done allowing me to capture the images I need.

Often under less than perfect and sometimes difficult conditions and at the end of the day, that's how I get paid.

No debates, no right or wrongs here, just a happy user.
09-06-2010, 12:58 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by RolloR Quote
Good luck focusing on manual wide primes on your APS-C viewfinder without split-screen/prism or LiveView.
I hear you on the step backwards these APS-C cameras have for a view finder and manual focus lenses but with the K-7, at least, you get a green focus indicator light in the view finder to let you know you're in focus with a manual lens.
09-06-2010, 01:09 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
I love my f/1.4's, but I'll continue to play devil's advocate:

How often do you shoot any of your fast lenses below f/2.8? Be honest (with us and yourself)...

To have the equivalent focal lengths to my DA50-135mm I would need the following prime lenses:
50mm, 77mm, 85mm, 100mm, 120mm, 135mm
- so to get the same focal lengths I'm lugging around a heap of lenses that in many cases cost about the same as the DA50-135mm.

I certainly agree with you about having a fast lens (or two) in your kit. I much prefer primes over zooms, but the differences aren't like they used to be.

c[_]
A couple examples when I need lenses faster than f2.8.

- As a film user I rely on fast lenses to compensate when I shoot slower films. I shoot lots of times faster than f2.8 when I’m using 100 ISO or slower film. Try shooting 25 or 50 ISO film with a slow zoom lens.
- Any night shooting. (My night kit: K28/2, K50/1.2 & K85/1.8)
- 50mm f1.2. You get the best bokeh out of this lens when you open it up past f2.8.
- The faster the lens the brighter the viewfinder. Yes it makes a huge difference, compare an f4.0 lens to an f1.8 lens.

Phil.
09-06-2010, 02:09 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
A couple examples when I need lenses faster than f2.8.

- As a film user I rely on fast lenses to compensate when I shoot slower films. I shoot lots of times faster than f2.8 when Iím using 100 ISO or slower film. Try shooting 25 or 50 ISO film with a slow zoom lens.
- Any night shooting. (My night kit: K28/2, K50/1.2 & K85/1.8)
- 50mm f1.2. You get the best bokeh out of this lens when you open it up past f2.8.
- The faster the lens the brighter the viewfinder. Yes it makes a huge difference, compare an f4.0 lens to an f1.8 lens.

Phil.
Your last comment is the most relevant to me. I'm glad you've found other uses for fast lenses though.

c[_]
09-06-2010, 02:18 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
And more to the point, how many of those shots wouldn't actually have been better off shot at f/2.8? Not saying it doesn't happen that a shot really is better off taken at larger aperture, but one reason I all but stopped using my A50/1.7 is that I realize that between not being *all* that sharp below f/2.8 and also the increasingly shallow DOF, I was often better off putting up with a slower shutter and shooting at f/2.8; maybe f/2.4 at most. Combine that with realizing that 50mm really doesn't do much for me as a focal length, and I can totally see the appeal of f/2.8 zooms over primes...

...except for size, and to a lesser extent price. That's why instead of f/2.8 zooms, I still prefer primes - but most of my primes are "only" f/2.8 as well. It's my DA40/2.8 that has mostly replaced my A50/1.7 - primarily because I like the focal length better for the things I had been using the 50 for.



I think *most* people who tend to prefer primes would say that's more than you need - that the difference in FOV between those lenses is just no so significant that it's worth the expensive of having them all, the weight of carrying them all, or the hassle of that many lens changes. I personally feel pretty good about covering that range with just a 70 and a 135 (OK, sometimes I'll take a 100 too, but see my recent thread musing on the possibility of replacing the 100 and 135 with just a 120).



Certainly not in IQ, agreed. Or in the actual practical advantages in terms of speed in most cases, assuming you're OK with the size.

I agree with most points Marc, but would add that I do shoot below 2.8 frequently (always between f/1.8 - f/4) as I like the shallow DOF and try to emulate what I could get from a FF body, but on a crop sensor. That's me though, and you are right in saying that most of the time shots shouldn't be below f/2.8 to get the coverage that is needed. Shallow DOF should be done with a purpose, not just because it can be done - just my opinion.

As for the laundry list of primes...I was only using this for illustration purposes. Being a prime shooter myself (auto focus only, of course ), I would cover 50-135 with a 50mm, a 77mm, and a 135mm at the very most.

c[_]
09-06-2010, 04:36 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoepLX3 Quote
[*]You can get some old ones very cheap
but the best lens bargin still remains the kit lens
QuoteQuote:
[*]You can get the best possible IQ with a prime
that may have beentrue once but zooms have really closed the gap, and old MF lens designs may not be as good as new AF zoom designs
QuoteQuote:
[*]You can buy glass of companies that don't even make auto focus lenses
yes, but that has always been the case
QuoteQuote:
[*]Most primes are not as big & heavy as the zoom equivalents
not necessairly than the full bag of lenses that a single zoom replaces
QuoteQuote:
[*]Manual focus lenses don't suffer from back or front focussing offset
no, just viewfinder focusing / shimming errors, user error poor eyesight and larger DOF in the viewfinder than a lens actually has
QuoteQuote:
[*]None have failing SDM issues
no stuck apertures, bad focusing helixes and a host of other age related issues including fungus and element separation
QuoteQuote:
[*]Very quiet, so best for video applications with sound
I'll give you that
QuoteQuote:
[*]Easiest manual focus "over-rule" implementation
but perhaps longest focus aquisition time
QuoteQuote:
[*]You don't need an UV filter for a < 50 USD lens...
for protection perhaps not, but after the 3rd or 4th damaged lens perhaps yes, also the uv filter does more than protection
QuoteQuote:
[/LIST]Any other reasons why manual focus primes are better?
Actually there are no right or wrongs here, it is personal taste. I have both, and use both
09-06-2010, 05:31 PM   #45
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Yeah and those manual focus primes are just soooo good for covering the kids' sports games!!



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