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09-06-2010, 05:43 PM   #46
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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?
1. Most of the good ones are now ludicrously expensive (for what they are) given the dual interest of Pentaxians and Canon EOS users
2. True, but there are lots and lots of modern AF primes
3. But surely the aim is to buy the best lenses within one's budget, rather than buy lenses from the widest variety of companies possible?
4. See #2
5. They are, however, vulnerable to the user's eyesight and caffeine intake unlike AF
6. Neither do the DA Limited and FA Limited primes
7. Solution: use an AF prime in MF mode when doing video. Also, whatever the issues with SDM lenses I don't think any of them are radioactive.
8. Really? AF with the ability to use MF at any time (DA Limited) is more difficult than being forced to use MF even when you don't want to?
9. I don't take photographs at high altitude, so I don't need to use a UV filter on any of my lenses

09-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #47
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back to primes for me

I had made the switch to zoom lenses, but I find they all stay in the cupboard now.
I noticed that all my shots with zoom lenses tended to be at just one or two of their focal lengths and those focal lengths were not usually the ones that the lens was best at. For example my long zoom was permanently locked at 300mm as I tried to push it to 301mm. My kit zoom was usually at 18mm for scenery or 55mm for a close up.
The zoom made me more concerned about the crop/composition when I should have been concerned about where the lens performed best.
The prime lenses are at the lengths I like to work (within my budget limitations) and they will do it with less light and usually in a smaller package.

I do sometimes wish my MF primes were AF though. The camera usually does a better job than I do.
I also wish all my lenses were sealed. I like my camera to be more resilient than I am which was why I moved to Pentax in the first place. It is also the reason I'll probably get the WR kit zoom when I next upgrade my camera body.
09-06-2010, 06:46 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Let's not kid ourselves here, Tom just hit the nail on the head - MF lenses are still revered because of their feel and the throwback to "old" times when they are used. I think this debate would be near 100% unanimous if the question was do you prefer manually focusing a Tak vrs newer AF lenses.

I suspect that the same folks who would argue that MF lenses are superior because they have less components to potentially break down are currently using a touch tone phone (likely cordless too) that obviously would never last nearly as long as a table top rotary dial phone (that you can still use today). Would they also still daily drive an older manual transmission, carb'ed, crank windowed, no air conditioning car too...

c[_]
Well said and very true. We're getting into the same argument as the old "my Ford is better than your Chevy"

They all have their purposes and places. Each requires some mastery of the equipment. After that it comes down to what works for the individual in that situation.
09-06-2010, 07:49 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Yeah and those manual focus primes are just soooo good for covering the kids' sports games!!



Not.
Every Olympics (or other major sporting event) photographed prior to autofocus was done with a manual focus lens.


Last edited by stover98074; 09-07-2010 at 06:39 AM.
09-06-2010, 08:04 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by stover98074 Quote
Every Olympics (or other major sporting event) photographed prior to autofocus was done with a manual focus lens.

This was taken the other night with an old 50mm manual focus lens.
I really hate it whenever someone brings up the fact that every (wedding, Bar Mitzvah, Olympics, etc etc) shot before AF was done in MF.

Well, duh. And your point? That it can be done? Sure, for the professional photographer with tons of experience. Not the average soccer-mom/dad that just wants to take photos of their kids running down field chasing a soccer ball.
09-06-2010, 08:54 PM   #51
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Considering you can find a MF lens for $30, why not have both?

If I don't have time to prep (or sometimes I don't want to make the effort) then I use AF. Good luck picking up the camera, pointing it and shooting at something if you don't know where a MF lens is set to, but if I can set focus to close to what I need then manually adjust for the shot, then I get more keepers than AF. I find chasing kids with AF is hopeless and I usually set my camera to MF when using DA*/FA Ltd lenses if I need a quick shot.

The one area I still find MF a hassle is when I use a flash.

For me, build quality for zooms tends to be less stellar. I'm not thrilled with the plastic feel of the DA*s. Large MF lenses are beautifully crafted, but that can also mean being large and heavy. Try taking a dozen hand held pictures with a A*300/2.8 vs. a DA*300. The A*300 is heavy causing more motion blur. Try using both from a monopod and the A* is a joy.

I'm not so sure newer AF Zooms will keep their value long term. You can use a 30 year old A* and it could still be virtually brand new (at least the larger metal ones). Is the plastic going to discolour, get brittle or warp? In 15 years, will the A* will look newer than the DA*?
09-06-2010, 08:56 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Yeah and those manual focus primes are just soooo good for covering the kids' sports games!!



Not.
It depends on what you are shooting. I took this one today also - the only editing was cropping and an auto-adjust.



I sold all of my lenses that didn't have a focus ring after a trip to India where a tiger stalked us through the trees. It was amazing...but the lens kept focusing on everything but the tiger...I got some beautiful pictures of trees and a very out of focus tiger. I decided there that I would never shoot again without the ability to manually focus. I sold off almost every lens I had.

I'm not saying auto lenses haven't provided me with some great shots - they have. But, if I'm going to spend the time getting a good shot - then I want to be able to take control when the camera can't do it right or quickly enough. How many of the pictures taken by the parents have the wrong kid in focus? Being able to effectively use both will make one a much better photographer.
09-06-2010, 09:15 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiet70 Quote
I sold all of my lenses that didn't have a focus ring after a trip to India where a tiger stalked us through the trees. It was amazing...but the lens kept focusing on everything but the tiger...
??? I can't think of a single lens that lacks a focus ring. Seems maybe I heard of some obscure fisheye somewhere, but surely that's not what you were trying to shoot a tiger with...

Maybe you mean you sold off lenses that lack quick shift?

09-06-2010, 09:17 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
I really hate it whenever someone brings up the fact that every (wedding, Bar Mitzvah, Olympics, etc etc) shot before AF was done in MF.

Well, duh. And your point? That it can be done? Sure, for the professional photographer with tons of experience. Not the average soccer-mom/dad that just wants to take photos of their kids running down field chasing a soccer ball.
It's not *that* hard. Or do think there weren't soccer moms before 1980? My parents - definitely not professional photographers - took lots of pictures of me as a kid, and they manually focused every single one of them until I was in high school.
09-06-2010, 09:25 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
This list is asinine...
I think maybe you're taking it too seriously.

QuoteQuote:
In any case, none of the reasons you listed are even valid reasons
Sure they are. You've never heard of anyone buying an MF lens because it was cheaper than an AF equivalent? You've never heard of anyone buying a prime because it's IQ was better than any zoom they could afford?

QuoteQuote:
shows that you've never heard of such lenses as the Bokina (heavier and more expensive than most zooms)
He didn't say *all* primes were smaller than *all* zooms. The existence of one counterexample doesn't

QuoteQuote:
or the DA12-24mm & A35-105 (sharper than most of my primes)
Similarly, he didn't say *all* primes are sharper than *all* zooms.
09-06-2010, 09:46 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
This list is asinine...
WTF? I agree with Marc's points.

Last edited by jeff knight; 09-07-2010 at 01:47 PM.
09-06-2010, 09:54 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
All of the experts here missed the two most important reasons of all:

Saving battery power, and no annoying ZZZZZZ sound.
My initial post included the remark better video support (no zoom sounds), but the battery point is very clear and recycling old lenses is also better for nature. Actually my father's old Pentax actually still works properly without a battery, the flash and the metering systems won't work, but if you know your equiptment then you can still make 200% pictures with it, even without a battery. Would that be a cool feature for the successor of the K-7?

QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Yeah and those manual focus primes are just soooo good for covering the kids' sports games!!

Not.
Not every tool can do everything, but sometimes it helps to utilize the improved High ISO performance by closing down the aperture to create more margin on erea being in focus and maintain fast enough shutter speed to avoid motion blur. To me photography is about getting the right picture with the tools you have available!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
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.
Yeah, that is a nice feature of progressing technology. The K-x also has the confirmation functionality, you don't need to go expensive to utilize manual primes.

QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
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.
For the ultra-wide applications I can imagine you want to match the amount of perspective change per photo. On the tele side of the range it just means a couple of meters back or forward, or cropping of course.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
but the best lens bargin still remains the kit lens
...
Actually there are no right or wrongs here, it is personal taste. I have both, and use both
Agree 200%

QuoteOriginally posted by stover98074 Quote
Adding an 11th reason.

MF lenses are fun to collect.
And MF primes are of course more fun to collect than auto focus zooms, right?

QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
This list is asinine and that's coming from someone who uses MF prime lenses exclusively.
...
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.
Sorry but I don't think you know me at all. Can you guess how many primes I owned so far?

QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
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.
Yeah, maybe the tone in my initial post was a little too sharp, sorry.
09-06-2010, 10:08 PM   #58
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JoepLX3, only 3 weeks ago you were asking which DSLR to buy. Now you know that MF primes are better than modern zooms. That's quite some progression
09-06-2010, 10:10 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeff knight Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
This list is asinine and that's coming from someone who uses MF prime lenses exclusively.
Not at all! I agree with Marc's points.
Jeff & Marc, thanks for "defending" me, but don't worry, I can handle, I am used to being "attacked" after taking a less popular position. Of course the comparison is not fair, but fair comparisons typically result in less interesting discussions.

Let us imagine we discuss about black being darker than white and everybody agrees...

I think most people here got my intention right, just sharing personal opinions.
- Personal I hate people pushing their opinion to pro-actively convince others (especially after work time). Either way I am more than willing to also start a thread on why auto focus zooms are better, just to create a better balance.
09-06-2010, 10:13 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
JoepLX3, only 3 weeks ago you were asking which DSLR to buy. Now you know that MF primes are better than modern zooms. That's quite some progression
Haha, did I state somewhere that I actually know MF primes are better than modern zooms?
- As far as I see it, I just summarized some reasons and got an interesting discussion going.
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