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11-14-2010, 06:43 PM   #16
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Hi Nick, I shoot prime only moving from zoom. Some of the main reasons because for me are:

- image quality
- size
- less choice to choose while shooting; just compose with whatever prime I have on, focus and shoot.

Only time when I'm worry about shooting primes is when I was asked to shoot for my sister wedding. At the time I only had 1 zoom, which is the DA 12-24mm and the rest are the FA Limiteds to live with. Fortunately the prime turns out to be a joy to use on the day and never have I regreted it. You can see the online photo album from here and my photo stream is here.

11-14-2010, 07:32 PM   #17
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Well, I'm no expert. I'm a newbie when it comes to SLR lenses actually prime or zoom, but IMHO the "perfect" kit actually contains BOTH. There are times when I am perfectly happy to set out exploring with my 28-200MM zoom on my *ist or a 75-300MM zoom on my SPII/FRI and that will do me fine. But there are situations where I've just found the longer zooms don't work as well for me so far.

I like using my primes for portrait work more than I like using a zoom, for instance and though I don't do a lot of landscape work I find a zoom just isn't the lens I want on the camera for that.

Ideally I want a couple of digital lenses.

18-55MM
55-300

I have a Tamron 28-200MM now and it's not bad, but I'm really thinking I may just get the kit lens and a longer zoom at some point to replace that.

Primes I have:

50, 55, 105, 135 so far, but only the first 3 are Takumars. Eventually I want to add an 85MM, a 135MM and a 200/300MM Takumar to those. Not so much for running around as for in studio work. I just think that the primes are a bit nicer in that respect for indoor work. I tend to think of the zooms as being good for fast, dirty shooting outdoors. For the rest, I prefer the primes.
11-14-2010, 07:47 PM   #18
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Nick I too am gradually making the shift from purely zooms to primes, but I will always keep my good zooms for when I next do a wedding/fast action event...

You mentioned the desire for a less intrusive portrait lens. With WR as you'd get with the 50-135, you're limited to the 55/1.4. Without the need for WR the options are limitless, but the ultimate duo that come to mind are the FA 77 ltd and FA* 85.

And with my own shift towards primes, I've appreciated the compactness yet the stunning quality of the FA ltds.
11-15-2010, 11:03 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
I have seriously been considering the DA* 60-250/f4 instead of the DA* 200/f2.8 for tele work. The versatility would be handy when you can't 'use your feet to zoom' (difficult when you're shooting a reef 300m off-shore...) and as it wouldn't be part of my general walk-around kit, the size wouldn't be such an issue. The price premium though is...
The same limiteds you are considering are on my list as well (the 35 Limited is on its way as I write). The only question left for me is what to use for the occasional telephoto. I've not seen much said in this thread about using the the 55-300 zoom in that slot, but if portability is an issue, why not?

It is relatively lightweight for a zoom(440g vs. for example, 1040g for the 60-250), the reviews are good, and at F8 performs very well (and since I'd only use a tripod for telephoto shots, the zoom's lack of speed isn't an issue). I've actually tried not to like it in my new zeal to go fully prime, yet I continue to be impressed with how sharp and contrasty it is in the telephoto range, say, from around 100mm to 250mm. And of course, the price (especially used), is hard to beat.

I am not exactly recommending the 55-300 zoom as much as I am myself posing the question for the more experienced Pentaxians here. If one is switching to Limited primes, if compactness is an important part of the appeal of such a switch, and if the long telephoto range is minimally used . . . is using the telephoto end of this zoom at least a decent fit with the quality one is expecting from the Limiteds, or would the 200mm or 300mm prime, or 60-250 zoom, really be such a great improvement?


Last edited by les3547; 11-15-2010 at 01:28 PM.
11-15-2010, 11:22 AM   #20
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I believe both primes and zooms have their place, and uses, and depending on your situation it may be appropriate to have one or the other,or both.

I find zooms useful when I am on vacation with family, because I don't always have the time to either zoom with my feet, or change lenses, and good fast zooms, while heavy can be a great advantate.

When I am on ly own taking photos, or going to do something where I know what I want to shoot, then primes go and zooms stay home.

One thing I have done in the past 2 years, which I have not done previously, is that I have learned I don't need to 1) take all my gear on a trip with me, and 2) once on a trip, I don't need to take everything I bring, out when I go.

This can save a lot of weight. For example, the OP complained about the weight of a 12-60 F2.8-4 and 50-200 F2.8-3.5 zoom, why does he need to carry both all the time. When I know I am not going to do nature or wildlife, I take my 10-20 and 28-75. and leave my 70-200F2.8 (all 2.2 pounds of it) at home. I have also gone just with a bagful pf primes from 24-85. and no zooms.

therefore for the OP, the 12-60 (considering 4/3 factor of the olympus system) would be all he needs. This would be along the lines of the 17-70mmF2.8-4 lenses coming out now.

But if the OP is really that concerned about weight, considering his 2 4/3 lenses, then moving up in the world to ASP-C bodies and lenses will be an increase, all else being equal, so I don't get it. Even with the primes he is proposing, his kit will weigh a lot more than the one he previously had, but that is a digression that we don't need to follow.

If the OP wants primes, OK, but I think 15 is not wide enough, and he needs to consider something wider. in the other direction, and it is not really his fault, he needs something between 70 and 200. that is just a little too big a gap. what about a 100 F2.8 macro?

otherwise the kit does not sound too bad.

lets say the 14mm in place of 15 (or perhaps an 8mm fisheye from sigma or samyang) and if he does not midn manual focus, skip the DA35 and just use his M35F2. The 24 anad 50 will also make great gap fillers in his proposed kit.

The other thing is perhaps a 77 or 85 in place of the 70 but I get the point he is going for small here
11-15-2010, 12:01 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
The only question left for me is what to use for the occasional telephoto. I've not seen much said in this thread about using the the 55-300 zoom in that slot, but if portability is an issue, why not?

It is relatively lightweight for a zoom(440g vs. for example, 1040g for the 60-250), the reviews are good, and at F8 performs very well (and since I'd only use a tripod for telephoto shots, the zoom's lack of speed isn't an issue). I've actually tried not to like it in my new zeal to go fully prime, yet I continue to be impressed with how sharp and contrasty it is in the telephoto range, say, from around 100mm to 250mm. And of course, the price (especially used), is hard to beat.
As I mentioned, portability for the tele isn't an issue as it is for the rest of the kit. A 100--400mm equ. lens wouldn't be in my bag for general walk-around, so it'll only be coming out when I need it. Also, while a tripod will help with camera shake, it won't help with motion, which is a key factor in surfing photography. In this sense the f4 (and quality to actually shoot at f4) would be a huge plus for the DA*. I'm interested in having a serious crack at bodyboarding shoots this coming season, so it's an area where I want the best I can get

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
For example, the OP complained about the weight of a 12-60 F2.8-4 and 50-200 F2.8-3.5 zoom, why does he need to carry both all the time. When I know I am not going to do nature or wildlife, I take my 10-20 and 28-75. and leave my 70-200F2.8 (all 2.2 pounds of it) at home. I have also gone just with a bagful pf primes from 24-85. and no zooms.

therefore for the OP, the 12-60 (considering 4/3 factor of the olympus system) would be all he needs. This would be along the lines of the 17-70mmF2.8-4 lenses coming out now.
I suppose the point here is that I don't carry both any more, and more and more I find myself carrying nothing at all because even the E-3 + 12-60 combo (1,467g for those interested) is just to big for general walking abound. The K-5 21mm Ltd on the other hand, is only 880g (less than an E-3 body) and much less intrusive as a street camera.

QuoteQuote:
But if the OP is really that concerned about weight, considering his 2 4/3 lenses, then moving up in the world to ASP-C bodies and lenses will be an increase, all else being equal, so I don't get it. Even with the primes he is proposing, his kit will weigh a lot more than the one he previously had, but that is a digression that we don't need to follow.
I'm puzzled that people keep saying this...? The E-3 is significantly bigger than the K-5, the ZD 12-60 weighs about the same as the 15mm, 21mm, 35mm and 70mm Ltds combined, and the ZD 50-200 is slightly heavier than the DA* 60-250. So in the end the Pentax kit will be a little lighter than the 4/3rds kit, although the fact that it's primes means it can be a lot lighter if I choose.

QuoteQuote:
If the OP wants primes, OK, but I think 15 is not wide enough, and he needs to consider something wider. in the other direction, and it is not really his fault, he needs something between 70 and 200. that is just a little too big a gap. what about a 100 F2.8 macro?
I've considered the 100mm Macro, but I fee lit would be a bit too long. The 100mm equ. range of my 12-60 is my favourite area for portaits, so this would be covered nicely with the 70mm Ltd. I don't usually go beyond that unless I'm shooting proper tele (300mm equ. and longer).
11-15-2010, 12:12 PM   #22
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nick, are you sure of the weights, the K5 without battery is 660 g all by itself, add the battery and lens, and I am not sure the weight you quote is right.

I am surprised by the weight for the Oly system, considering neither lens needs to be that big, given the speed. (OK the 50-200 is either 62 or 67 mm, but that is no where near 77mm like an F2.8 lens)

Is weight that much of an issue. Forgive me here but my total kit weighs more than a medium sized dog
11-15-2010, 12:31 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
nick, are you sure of the weights, the K5 without battery is 660 g all by itself, add the battery and lens, and I am not sure the weight you quote is right.

I am surprised by the weight for the Oly system, considering neither lens needs to be that big, given the speed. (OK the 50-200 is either 62 or 67 mm, but that is no where near 77mm like an F2.8 lens)

Is weight that much of an issue. Forgive me here but my total kit weighs more than a medium sized dog

K-5 with battery and card = 740g
21mm Ltd = 140g

I dunno, but the 50-200 is the same weight as the 60-250, covers basically the same range, and is between 1/3 and a full stop faster, so doesn't seem entirely unreasonable?

11-15-2010, 12:39 PM   #24
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I've been doing this a long time and only gradually became an all prime shooter. Part of that is smaller size, better (generally) IQ and faster lenses. But I also noticed over the years that I shoot better with primes: more thought to the shot in general and better composition. Zoom make me lazy.
I have a couple of zooms, but took them out of my bag. I now carry the DA 15mm Limited, the DA 35mm macro Limited, the AF 50mm 1.7, the DFA 100mm macro and the DA*200mm. This really covers the range that I shoot, and the only times I've actualy missed a shot was when a deer popped up when I had the 15mm attached. But I would have missed that with a wide-angle zoom attached as well. I've become very fast at changing lenses.
I highly recommend adding the DFA 100mm macro to your lineup, simply because of the way it renders at 100mm. For the surfing shots (which usually have ample light), you might consider a Bigma for more reach. The 300mm f-4 is another option for surfing. I don't have it because for wildlife I need faster lenses for the common low-light conditions.
With the advancement in quality of zoom lenses, the increased IQ of primes is debatable, but I think it is still there. Most importantly, I think you will become a better photographer with primes.
11-16-2010, 03:34 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
K-5 with battery and card = 740g
21mm Ltd = 140g

I dunno, but the 50-200 is the same weight as the 60-250, covers basically the same range, and is between 1/3 and a full stop faster, so doesn't seem entirely unreasonable?
Not sure where you get the 50-200 weighing the same as the 60-250 - these are two completely different telephotos with different sizes, weights and image qualities. The f/4 of the 60-250 is sharp and top quality, a vast improvement on wide open shots from the 50-200, and is built for a lot more than basic consumer photography. Have a browse through the lens reviews of these two then make your judgement...
11-16-2010, 03:54 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Not sure where you get the 50-200 weighing the same as the 60-250 - these are two completely different telephotos with different sizes, weights and image qualities. The f/4 of the 60-250 is sharp and top quality, a vast improvement on wide open shots from the 50-200, and is built for a lot more than basic consumer photography. Have a browse through the lens reviews of these two then make your judgement...
Ash, the comparison was between the Olympus 50-200 f2.8 - 3.5 and the pentax 60-250. They are within 50g of each other
11-16-2010, 04:24 AM   #27
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OK - I have no idea what the Olympus 50-200 is like, but I'm not sure I get your argument over these two lenses. The 60-250 is large, but compact compared to 70-200/2.8 offerings.

If weight is your main issue, then Pentax is the way to go for you - but stick to primes.
11-16-2010, 05:16 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
OK - I have no idea what the Olympus 50-200 is like, but I'm not sure I get your argument over these two lenses. The 60-250 is large, but compact compared to 70-200/2.8 offerings.

If weight is your main issue, then Pentax is the way to go for you - but stick to primes.
that's true except for telephotos. Here's an adaptation of a popular quote from my engineering days: weight, cost and quality - Pick 2.

However some of the MF telephotos come close to fulfilling all 3 (like some of the tak and K/M series 100-150mm lenses). If MF is acceptable.
11-16-2010, 05:20 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
The same limiteds you are considering are on my list as well (the 35 Limited is on its way as I write). The only question left for me is what to use for the occasional telephoto. I've not seen much said in this thread about using the the 55-300 zoom in that slot, but if portability is an issue, why not?

It is relatively lightweight for a zoom(440g vs. for example, 1040g for the 60-250), the reviews are good, and at F8 performs very well (and since I'd only use a tripod for telephoto shots, the zoom's lack of speed isn't an issue). I've actually tried not to like it in my new zeal to go fully prime, yet I continue to be impressed with how sharp and contrasty it is in the telephoto range, say, from around 100mm to 250mm. And of course, the price (especially used), is hard to beat.

I am not exactly recommending the 55-300 zoom as much as I am myself posing the question for the more experienced Pentaxians here. If one is switching to Limited primes, if compactness is an important part of the appeal of such a switch, and if the long telephoto range is minimally used . . . is using the telephoto end of this zoom at least a decent fit with the quality one is expecting from the Limiteds, or would the 200mm or 300mm prime, or 60-250 zoom, really be such a great improvement?
I am a big fan of the DA 55-300. I do not own the 60-250, but given how good and how handy the 55-300 is, the 60-250 would have to really sing to be worth the extra weight and price.

In many circumstances, size and weight are indeed important to me. If I am asked to shoot an event, and am responsible for the photos, I am not all that picky about weight. I may have multiple bags plus lighting equipment. Otherwise, I like to stay nimble.

For travel or just being there with a camera along, I am not going to carry the weight of a dog--maybe a small cat at the most. Even the relatively light 55-300 may be larger than I can to carry in my small travel bag, and I will downshift to the 50-200. If I am staying with primes, I may use the sharp, compact, M200 as my longest lens.
11-16-2010, 06:50 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Not sure where you get the 50-200 weighing the same as the 60-250 - these are two completely different telephotos with different sizes, weights and image qualities. The f/4 of the 60-250 is sharp and top quality, a vast improvement on wide open shots from the 50-200, and is built for a lot more than basic consumer photography. Have a browse through the lens reviews of these two then make your judgement...
I'm honestly not quite sure what you're talking about. The DA* 60-250/f4 SDM and Zuiko Digital 50-200/f2.8-3.5 SWD have basically identical physical dimensions, weigh almost exactly the same, have similar build quality and weather-sealing, cover more or less the same range, both cost about $1200USD, have similar focussing motors, and from my experience with the 50-200 and reviews I've read on the 60-250, give similar (re: outstanding) image quality.

Whoever told you the 50-200 has poor IQ when shot wide open was on drugs. I can attest that it is very sharp at 200mm and f3.5.

My point regarding size is simply that for the telephoto it isn't such an issue. I don't carry a lens this long in my walk-around kit, so it doesn't matter if it weighs a bit more...
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