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07-15-2011, 12:21 PM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
IMO, yeah - I think primes are more nostalgic than about the last word in IQ. One quick case in point... I sold my DA15 immediately upon seeing the exact same shot taken with the DA16-45 (which btw sells for about half the price of a DA15).
QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Good choice. Photography can get very expensive, especially when you start buying lenses, unless you really want to spend thousands of dollars on glass. The vast majority of folks here are not professional photographers, but you'd never know it by the way they talk. So be careful when listening to the pro wannabes or you'll end up spending a poop load very quickly. The best way to approach this hobby is with some restraint and budget of how much money you're willing to put into it. Then think about your goals and what tools / lenses you need.

In every hobby there are value packed high performance alternatives that seem to defy the law of diminishing returns. The DA16-45 is such a product. Don’t let anyone have you believe otherwise.
You can buy fast quality SMC-A primes. A fast "modern" zoom would actually be more expensive. In fact, even the old SMC-A 35-105 f/3.5 sells for more than some of the old primes.

Your posts are some of the silliest I've read on these forums.

07-15-2011, 12:39 PM   #92
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Personally, i think there's a lot you can't "quantify" about primes over zooms. For me, putting aside the better IQ (cant afford the real great zooms so yes the jump is substantial), faster aperture (probably the most important aspect to me... and im not really talking for ISO advantage. No, im talking about thin DOF and great bokeh ), build quality (metal ftw!), size/weight, price (in some cases but not all obviously), etc.

Why I love primes ultimately? Because they are fun! I enjoy photography more when I use a prime (esp. manual focus!). I am no pro and will most likely never become one (JHD). Pentax and primes are a match made in heaven IMO. We have access to thousands of old primes to new primes ranging in prices for free to whatever they are asking for the FA 31 these days Im not rich, im 17 and make my entire income from teaching guitar lessons once a week. I make $15 a week, thats it!
I started with an 18-55 kit lens, than saved up for months and months and got a Sigma 105mm macro. That opened up a whole new world (or 3 hahahah. Tele, macro, prime). I than bought a $30 M 50mm F/1.7 and instantly fell in love. Today I own ONE zoom, and it gets used maybe a couple times a year. And with the addition of my tak 300mm, even less now.

Oh and one more thing than my rant is over....
Isn't IQ more than just sharpness and resolution? I always looked at bokeh, etc. to be part of it aswell. Bokeh is why I bought a DSLR instead of a P&S, why I dont shoot any wider than 28mm's (among other reasons). Why I almost never stop down my lenses..... no zoom could fulfill my needs..... if they can for you than great more power to ya. But for me......

zoom vs. prime?

Prime
07-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And so primes and zooms each promote different approaches to photography, as do all the many types of cameras. Each are different tools for different work. None is completely generally THE BEST. At times I definitely want/need a 6x9cm folder, not the K20D. In some places I rely on an old 50/2.8 MFL, not a newer AFL zoom that covers 50mm. Dynamic situations call for a zoom; I work with primes at a different pace.
Very true, and I, too, find that my approach changes with the circumstances and my mood.

Rob
08-15-2011, 10:27 AM   #94
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Interesting thread here. I am debating the same thing. I am by no means a pro and never will be more than a hobby shooter but I find myself using my 50mm and 28mm more than my zoom lenses. I am looking at buying an SMC A 70-210 F4 Macro as the photos I have seen taken with it look phenomenal. Then I found a 135 F3.5 Pentax and the photos taken with that are equally as impressive. Im torn. I love the old lens. I cannot really tell the difference in quality between but I love the metal feel of the old lenses better. I shoot with an ist DS and although the couple of zoom lenses I have are AF, always shoot manual.


Last edited by derelict; 08-15-2011 at 01:48 PM.
08-16-2011, 01:19 AM   #95
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@Yeatzee, exactly my point of view at the moment!
08-18-2011, 01:10 PM   #96
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One of the things people miss in the concept of sharpness is bit depth or tonality (DSLR or film) terminology. In this respect, the different coatings, and number of lens elements play a major part.

Shanon information etc means that sharpness is equal to pixels x bit depth. Something to think about with a low contrast zoom, which requires unsharp masking etc or whatever goes on inside the super computers packed into a modern DSLR. Of course, you can only mimic sharpness....information can only be destroyed in the imaging chain.
08-19-2011, 05:47 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I think the time is coming when serious photographers, not just hobbyists, would no more use a lens that would not change focal length than they would accept a lens without a auto diaphragm.
I would not say so, as primes and zooms do different things. When it comes to versatility zoom are arguably better*. But a zoom cannot produce the same image as a fast prime regarding DOF. So I don't see primes leaving us any time soon. Besides that, personal preference also makes both "needed".

*As I work a lot with DOF having the possibility to change FOV is less important to me than being able to choose from a wide range of apertures, and thus for me a prime is often more versatile than a zoom.

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
The prime , due to it's optical simplicity, will probably always have a theoretical optical advantage but the time is coming soon, I think, when there will be no real world practical advantage to the prime even for demanding uses.
Quite the opposite I would say. With sensors getting better and better (and also with more pixels) the flaws will show more easily, zooms being a more complex construction we might see the IQ gap between primes and zooms grow again. Especially for demanding uses.
08-19-2011, 06:03 AM   #98
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I still think it's comparing apples with pears. Two different tools for different jobs... That's why my camerabag has both primes AND zooms.

08-19-2011, 09:08 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I still think it's comparing apples with pears. Two different tools for different jobs... That's why my camerabag has both primes AND zooms.
Indeed. Different tools for different fools, er I mean purposes. In my bag now: some zooms to cover many possibilities; some primes for more specific uses; a small bellows and a couple of enlarger lenses for getting real close. YMMV.
08-19-2011, 10:38 AM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
I still think it's comparing apples with pears. Two different tools for different jobs... That's why my camerabag has both primes AND zooms.
defo agree with this statement, its a bit like a squash racket vs a tennis racket, similar, but used for different games. You need both. If you're on a budget, making do with a fast 50, and then two zooms is probably a good solution.
08-19-2011, 10:59 AM   #101
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Out of my current lenses I have 11 primes and 3 zooms. The ratio was much more toward zooms for the first few years, but I eventually sold off my kit-style zooms. Moving forward there are a few primes and zooms I'd like to eventually get for various reasons.

I like large aperture lenses, so primes are it. Show me a in-production zoom that's faster than f2.8 and then we can talk. Not to mention a prime will be small for what it is in general. I'd take a single fast normal prime any day over a standard 18-55mm...actually, most of my primes are in that range.
08-19-2011, 11:12 AM   #102
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When I look at the zoom lenses that I want, I end up with this:

DA 12-24
DA 60-250

And then I'm stuck, because with those two, I really don't need anything else. With primes, however...

DA 15 F4
FA 31 F1.8
DA 55 F1.4
FA 85 F1.4
A 600 F5.6 (because that F version is crazy...)

It feels to me that having the best of the zooms covers a LOT of the zooms already... while primes give a unique place for each of them. I can't say that having a 55 1.4 will mean I don't need the 85 1.4 or 31 1.8. But having the 60-250 can replace the 50-135 and almost everything else in between.

Caveat - I'm a big tough boy who would be able to carry that 60-250.
08-19-2011, 12:27 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoojammyflip Quote
If you're on a budget, making do with a fast 50, and then two zooms is probably a good solution.
Exactly what I'm doing.
08-20-2011, 03:57 PM   #104
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Flare. Zooms have more flare; particularly wide-angle zooms. The DA* 16-50/2.8 is particularly bad; the worst Pentax lens I've ever tried.
You might not see it unless you stop the lens way down. At larger aperture it will come through a a lack of contrast...
My guess is that the 15 Limited is way better in this regard than all Pentax wide angle zooms...
08-20-2011, 04:08 PM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Flare. Zooms have more flare; particularly wide-angle zooms. The DA* 16-50/2.8 is particularly bad; the worst Pentax lens I've ever tried.
You might not see it unless you stop the lens way down. At larger aperture it will come through a a lack of contrast...
My guess is that the 15 Limited is way better in this regard than all Pentax wide angle zooms...
Funny I just answered a thread where someone was looking for flare. It can be nice.



My DA40mm has a little more flare since I removed the UV filter that was holding the hood just a few mm's more to the front.


It's also about light and the angle to your sensor.
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