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10-02-2010, 06:42 AM   #1
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Prime vs High quality zoom like 28-75mm

When and What do you prefer if you own a few primes and high quality zoom like Tamron 28-75 / 16-50mm ?

or say, if you have couple of primes in that range, would you buy such zoom?

Just wondering.

10-02-2010, 06:49 AM   #2
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Someone here on the forum said, a while back, something like "Use zooms to make pictures of interesting things, use primes to make interesting pictures." I find that a handy guideline. For capturing family events I use a zoom, but in an attempt to make a really great picture of someone I would probably use a prime.

The Tamron 28-70 is supposed to be a great lens. I wouldn't let a few primes get in my way if I wanted one. I use an Pentax-F 35-70 for shooting in that range, when I want more flexibility than a prime. It is cheaper than the Tamron, but slower.
10-02-2010, 07:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
When and What do you prefer if you own a few primes and high quality zoom like Tamron 28-75 / 16-50mm ?

or say, if you have couple of primes in that range, would you buy such zoom?

Just wondering.
Zoom are great for convenience(irreplaceable really).
My moto is simple. If/when zooms are called for, get the good ones! *WR is a given. Otherwise... why even bother with Pentax?

For everything else, sharpness, bokeh, etc. use a prime. I usually cover events with two bodies. One equipped with a zoom(*16-50), and the other with a prime(31mm or 50mm most often).
10-02-2010, 07:22 AM   #4
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Zooms are nice for flexibility, primes are nice for size, improved bokeh and often faster speed. Primes often are pretty sharp wide open, while zooms often have weak areas. The 16-50 that John mentions is a great zoom, but it is a little soft on the long end wide open and quite a bit on the short end wide open. Still, it is my normal walk around lens when I am with my family.

If I am just going out looking for interesting pictures, I am more likely to stick on my Da 35 or DA 40, because those will often help me look at the world differently.

10-02-2010, 07:40 AM   #5
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Precisely as Rondec has said...

I have a DA 15mm, an SMC-F 28mm, and an SMC-F 50mm, I am considering strongly laying in a DA 70mm.

That said, I have a DA 16-45 f/4 and a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and both are going to have to be keepers. I just have too many prize winning shots with these lenses.

I use all of these lenses for different things. The zoom lenses are now for walking around. Excursions with the family, quick field trips where I am not necessarily sure what I am after. hiking about and such.

The primes are for other "stuff." Landscapes, portraits and other money shots. The SMC-F 50mm has paid for itself several times over on "art" shots taken at weddings.

I will say the quality of the Tamron is particularly good, so it does not constitute much of a compromise. Still, the SMC-F 28mm is really quite an amazing lens and has become rather firmly stuck to my primary camera at the moment... overall, it's nice to have choices.

10-02-2010, 08:09 AM   #6
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Zooms are very flexible as others have mentioned. I use my zooms 90% of the time because of the convenience. The IQ of my primes are noticeably better and for my daughters college graduation I used my M135/3.5 because I knew that I would get better shots than my tele zoom. There are some excellent zooms out there that I haven't used so I can't comment on them but I have seen some stunning photos posted. I have recently purchased an F 35-70, the same lens Nick mentioned, and the results so far have been very impressive, especially considering the price I paid for this little gem. Still, there are some primes on my wish list.
10-02-2010, 08:20 AM   #7
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I'll echo others here. I have the Tamron 28-75, and it's on my camera 80% of the time. It is a great lens for me, and is perfect for me to walk-around with.

But if I want to take a still life or a portrait and I will have time to set up the shot, out comes one of my MF primes.
10-02-2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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Yeah, get both. Zooms can zoom, whereas primes cant. Primes have less glass to get in the way of big fat apertures and raw performance. Its like comparing squash and tennis rackets. You can play both games with either, but you are better off having one of each. I've seen it said somewhere else on here, but would echo it, modern AF zooms are more convenient than old manual ones.

10-02-2010, 02:34 PM   #9
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