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10-29-2007, 02:46 PM   #1
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Zooms vs. Primes

Which do you prefer to use and why?



I'm asking because I'm still trying to figure out which I prefer to use myself. I have several 50mm lenses, a 135mm, and a 50-200mm. I'm trying to figure out if I should go with the 16-50mm or a wide angle zoom and one or two prime lenses. I know the 16-50 is weather sealed and has SDM (which would both be extra cool to with the k10d), but I'm just not sure if I'd prefer a wide angle zoom and a few primes (mmm pancake lenses) or everything in one package. I'm also not even sure what I'll be using the camera for ... I've been shooting for almost a year now. "Practicing" if you will, for when I get brave enough to start shooting events, portraits, weddings, or even photojournalism. I'm not even sure where I want to take myself with photography. So feel free to rant and tell me why your preference is the best.

10-29-2007, 03:05 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by superbass Quote
Which do you prefer to use and why?



I'm asking because I'm still trying to figure out which I prefer to use myself. I have several 50mm lenses, a 135mm, and a 50-200mm. I'm trying to figure out if I should go with the 16-50mm or a wide angle zoom and one or two prime lenses. I know the 16-50 is weather sealed and has SDM (which would both be extra cool to with the k10d), but I'm just not sure if I'd prefer a wide angle zoom and a few primes (mmm pancake lenses) or everything in one package. I'm also not even sure what I'll be using the camera for ... I've been shooting for almost a year now. "Practicing" if you will, for when I get brave enough to start shooting events, portraits, weddings, or even photojournalism. I'm not even sure where I want to take myself with photography. So feel free to rant and tell me why your preference is the best.
As a fellow (presently) fence sitter (and photography neophyte) on the issue, my preference is to fall of the fence towards primes. I've loved almost every prime I've picked up and used, whereas zooms can be a real crap-shoot IMHO. I do feel that I must have at least one standard zoom to get by however.
10-29-2007, 04:05 PM   #3
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Not a zoom among them...





Of course, I would still use a zoom, and the Tamron 28-75/2.8 has been calling me since I sold it. But for now I'm content to walk around with only primes.
10-29-2007, 04:18 PM   #4
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I will stay on the fence. Depends on what I am shooting. For the most part, my subjects and style dictate zoom is easier - kids, vacations, etc... much easier to carry 1 or 2 zooms around than 6 primes most of the time.

But for landscapes, macro, etc.. prime is my weapon of choice. I own more primes that zooms..

18-55, 50-200
Z16, FA28, F50/1.7, M50/1.7, Sears-M135/2.8



10-29-2007, 05:26 PM   #5
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Depends On What You Need It For

QuoteOriginally posted by superbass Quote
I'm also not even sure what I'll be using the camera for ...
I would figure this out first before spending any more money.
10-29-2007, 05:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Not a zoom among them...





Of course, I would still use a zoom, and the Tamron 28-75/2.8 has been calling me since I sold it. But for now I'm content to walk around with only primes.
Ok, wow.


Is there a drooling smiley?
10-29-2007, 06:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr. The Guy Quote
I would figure this out first before spending any more money.
I would try, but I'm pretty indecisive. Is there any gear that you would recommend for anyone, no matter what their goal? Or would you mind elaborating on which is better in certain situations?
10-29-2007, 06:04 PM   #8
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To me, it's a question of whether to go with the convenience of not having to change lenses all the time (zoom) or better image quality (prime), as well as fitting in with what you shoot and your shooting style.

I started with the 16-45mm, then picked up a M50/F1.7 and M28/F2.8 soon after, and since then the primes have spent more time on my camera than the zoom as it suits the way I'm shooting now. I also love the build quality and the feeling when using the manual zoom ring.

However, next year I'll be going overseas for the year, and I intend to get a 18-250mm, because of the convenience of having a wide focal range to choose from, all in the one lens.

10-29-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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I find myself going both ways. In general I prefer using primes, not necessarily for the image quality (my 16-45 is at least as good as my 21) but because I enjoy the process of previsualization and composition with primes.

That said, when I'm out with my wife and one year old son, I find their patience for my frequent lens swapping wanes very quickly. That's when I keep the 16-45 strapped on. It is a very, very good lens.
10-29-2007, 06:25 PM   #10
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For me, it depends on how much control I have over the situation. The more control I have the more likely it is for me to use a prime. Photoshoot; primes. Events? Zooms.
10-29-2007, 07:24 PM   #11
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TFTM says - For me, it depends on how much control I have over the situation. The more control I have the more likely it is for me to use a prime. Photoshoot; primes. Events? Zooms

This is pretty much a simplification but the truth nonetheless.

If you have the time and you want the best, then prime is preferred, also light might be an issue? Prime is king here.

Travel- zoom can really be handy. Where ever time is an issue and you have to get the shot. Also weight! if you are travelling consider the extra weight.

I went to china and had 4 lenses, 10-17fish, 50f1.4 ,75-300 and 18-200. The 18-200 almost never left the camera. Just no time to change. When i did have time to set the shot up and get the right distance the FA50f1.4 went on and the difference in IQ was worth it but I HAD to have the time.

Now i have 35f2 and generally it is staying on the camera.

When i get the chance i will buy the 18-250 so i can travel light but have a low light lens as well. For all other times i will use primes, their image is just a lot better (with out knowing yet how good the DA* are going to be.).

Cheers Neil
10-29-2007, 07:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I find myself going both ways. In general I prefer using primes, not necessarily for the image quality (my 16-45 is at least as good as my 21) but because I enjoy the process of previsualization and composition with primes..
Agreed..


As others have said I wouldn't mind an 18-250 type lens when on holidays IF I had limited time (maybe when I have kids?). Though most of the time now I take my time so I much prefer primes, for quality and to slow me down and think more about the shot (like the quote above)..

I did only buy zooms at the start but if you look at my sig you can see that changed... Of course everyone is different and generally speaking we all need to learn the same leasons for ourselves anyway (I certainly did even though I was told what I know/feel now by others)

QuoteQuote:
Now i have 35f2 and generally it is staying on the camera.
I have owned this lens for over a year now, and I still take 70% of my shots with just this lens..

Last edited by joele; 10-29-2007 at 11:32 PM.
10-29-2007, 08:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
I find myself going both ways. In general I prefer using primes, not necessarily for the image quality (my 16-45 is at least as good as my 21) but because I enjoy the process of previsualization and composition with primes.

That said, when I'm out with my wife and one year old son, I find their patience for my frequent lens swapping wanes very quickly. That's when I keep the 16-45 strapped on. It is a very, very good lens.
I agree as well. The bag has more primes but the Tamron 28-75 Di is on the body more than any other lens.

of course if you just can't decide which lens is best you go this route... Posters Profile: Jim King: Digital Photography Review
10-29-2007, 08:42 PM   #14
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I'm conflicted

I actually prefer the primes, but then the zooms are convenient at times. I've gone back and forth about selling the Tamron 18-250 I bought earlier this year for a family vacation (knowing I couldn't get away with switching lenses very often). I don't like it as much as my other zooms, but it does cover a bigger range - which comes in handy at times. Yesterday, I went flying with a friend, and it was great to have - switching lenses in a tight little cockpit wouldn't have worked very well. So, most of the time, I'll just have a prime or two or three along - and that's how I like it. But, then, it's also nice to have some range. As I said, I'm conflicted. My advice - make sure you've got choices.
10-29-2007, 10:56 PM   #15
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Hello superbass,
for me it depends on
- time for changing lenses
- space/weight priority
- required image quality / speed

That's why I have both.

To start with I can imagine:
Tamron 18-250 and FA 43 Limited.
Advantage is the enormous flexibitlity of 18-250 and the speed, very nice iq and tiny size of the 43 Limited. I use the 43 appr. 80% of the time (!).
BTW: I personally would not get a 31 Limited in first place, bacause it is much bigger than 43 Limited.

After that spread prime range, e.g.:
- FA 77 Limited
- DA 21 Limited
- DFA 300 (on Pentax roadmap)

For me this strategy was very useful.

Kind regrads
Jacob
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