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05-25-2011, 10:37 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have the following approach, with respect to zooms and primes as I have both.

When I travel with my family, I take mostly zooms because I don't have time, within the family activities to use primes.

WHen I am on my own schedule, I use primes
QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
I use the same aproach, with family zooms, alone primes. Zooms are also handy with sports
What I like about primes, and I do use them specifically with this in mind, is they are all fast. This does not mean that Ihave slow zooms, quite the contrary, from 28mm to 200mm my zooms are at F2.8, only when I go wider do i give up a little speed on the zooms, but then look at my primes,

in M42 I have 24 &28 mm at F2.5, 35mm F2, 50mm F1,4, 85mm F1.9. It is only after 100mm that I get to F2.8 where my zooms are, but the primes I have for M42 are all presets above 100mm with very unique bokeh and great for portraits.

In K mount, I have 14mmF2.8, 24, 28, 35 mm at F2, 50mm & 85mm F1.4, and again above 100mm F2.8 with the exception of my K135/2.5

05-25-2011, 11:25 AM   #17
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My take is somewhat similar to Lowell Goudge's take. I use primes most of the time--nearly 100% of the time I am shooting around where I live. For if I need another focal length, I can just come back another day, and being fixed to a focal length helps me see photographs much better (also I prefer the IQ to my lower-end zooms, and also much of my work is macro). On vacations, I mix zoom lenses in somewhat. The rule, for me, is that if I need instant access to multiple focal lengths (sometimes true on trips--you can't always zoom with your feet), or I cannot easily change lenses in the field, or if I have need for more focal lengths than I care to carry around in primes (i.e. the 18-55mm and 55-300mm zooms cover my whole range), then I reach for zooms. Otherwise I use primes and change as needed.
05-25-2011, 01:08 PM   #18
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I use primes most of the time... I actually wouldn't own any zooms at all if it wasn't for the fact the 55-300 was so cheap and good for those very rare occasions I need to shoot long (like kids in the family who participate in sports). And I only bought that very recently... I've lived as a mostly prime-only shooter for a couple of years now.

"Back in the day" I used to have a Tamron 28-75 mounted on Canon 20D. What I found over time was that the majority of my shots lived in the 33-50mm range. I started exploring the world of primes after that, and because generally image quality is better, and the lenses themselves faster, I've migrated away from zooms. There's no point in me settling on slower glass when I tend to live at the same focal lengths most of the time either way.

I wish I could remember the program I used, but it was an EXIF reader that showed you the results you picked for a folder of photos. For example, if I said "show me focal length" it would present all the data in a spread-sheet like format so I could see what focal lengths I used over a course of time. It was several years ago. That's how I realized I was sticking to very specific focal lengths most of the time.

To any beginner there's two ways to go. Start with a decent quality zoom and shoots with it for several months (Tamron makes some nice ones). See how you like it. Take note of the focal lengths you settle in on for your shots. Then decide. OR, buy one prime and stick with that for several months. If you find it limits you too much, you'll know you're not a prime shooter.

It really comes down to your personal choice. Some like primes, some like zoom, some like a mixture of both... and there's all kinds of reasons why. I like primes because I tend to see the world in a certain way, and the focal lengths I pick match that... and I love the creativity it forces. Size and weight matter to me a lot, so small light primes solve that issue. But for example, someone interested in nature photography, that would NEVER work because they need long and versatile. Nature usually doesn't cooperate with someone who has a 35mm prime (mostly). LOL

Most importantly, find and use what you ENJOY!
05-25-2011, 01:14 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gennatay Quote
What are the factors most consider when deciding between getting a prime lens and a zoom lens?
Main factor to consider: "am I a prime person who needs to be talked into getting zoom because it fits some special need better", or "am I a zoom person who needs to be talked into getting a prime because it fits some special need need better".

QuoteQuote:
I am looking to upgrade my kit lens because I notice the images are not as sharp as I'd like and cant decide if I should purchase more primes or a decent zoom.
Chances are it's not the lens but rather your technique - not getting a fast enough shutter speed for the focal length, choosing a sub-optimal aperture, ISO too high, etc.

05-25-2011, 01:46 PM   #20
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Some primes are simply unbeatable, no doubt about it! But, I'll not be carrying around all my primes just to be prepared, when one or two zooms will cover, and I don't want to miss shots because I had to keep changing primes middle of a shoot.
Unless your usually shooting static subjects, and your pockets are deep, good zooms will perform as well as very many of the primes and prove much more handy. Though I must admit that when I need more challenge, I will only grab one prime and go out to do it with what I got.
05-25-2011, 02:46 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by DigiMack Quote
Some primes are simply unbeatable, no doubt about it! But, I'll not be carrying around all my primes just to be prepared, when one or two zooms will cover, and I don't want to miss shots because I had to keep changing primes middle of a shoot.
I know this is a very old debate, and I have no interest in changing anyone's mind here, but I've never really understood this line of thought. I mean, there are zillions of shots every day that we miss because we aren't there, we don't have our camera with us, we aren't looking in the right direction, we are focused on something closer or further away, we are engaged in conversation, etc. Because of factors like these, we miss *far* more shots than we ever think of taking. Which is fine, because I have more pictures than I know what to do with as it is. It's not like another photo-worthy scene won't present itself soon enough. Besides, how many scenes are really *that* fleeting that we can't change lenses, or that specific in nature that they can't be shot effectively with a different focal from the one we might have chosen first?

So I find it hard to get too worked up about some random scene that I failed to get as good a picture of as I could have because I had the "wrong" lens on and the scene was gone before I could change. Sheesh, what if I had stopped to tie my shoelace a minute before; then I'd have missed the scene entirely!
05-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have the following approach, with respect to zooms and primes as I have both.

When I travel with my family, I take mostly zooms because I don't have time, within the family activities to use primes.

WHen I am on my own schedule, I use primes
^^^ WHS

I'll go even further and say that's why I have the 18-250 zoom for travel, so I don't have to slow down my family for my hobby. When photography is the primary focus of the event, then all bets are off. I'll take zooms, primes, whatever. I have the DA21, DA40 and DA70, and have had a few occasions where I've gone out just with them, but even then I find I don't change lenses that often. Still, it's nice to have options.
05-25-2011, 02:57 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gennatay Quote
What are the factors most consider when deciding between getting a prime lens and a zoom lens?
Size, weight, cost, image quality, and convenience.

05-25-2011, 03:10 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
^^^ WHS

I'll go even further and say that's why I have the 18-250 zoom for travel, so I don't have to slow down my family for my hobby. When photography is the primary focus of the event, then all bets are off. I'll take zooms, primes, whatever. I have the DA21, DA40 and DA70, and have had a few occasions where I've gone out just with them, but even then I find I don't change lenses that often. Still, it's nice to have options.
My approach may be somewhat unique.

When on vacation, I take 2 bags, one that carries my kit, as I decide to pack, the other that carries either one body plus lens or 2-3 short-ish lenses. I carry my other body/shooting camera in my hand.

Usually, I put my 10-20 on one and my 28-75 on the other, I switch bodies when I switch lenses.

If I am city bound I don't take anything longer, but if i know I am doing wild life, I pack either my sigma 70-200F2.8 plus 1.4x and 2x TCs, or ny SMC 300/4 plus 1.7x AF TC. My K10 has a split image for manual focus if I want it.

the long lenses go in my back pack when I am out doing wild life, otherwise locked in the hotel room safe. I generally don't carry my entire kit when out shooting at my destination, my backpack or carry case is how I get there, and that is all

as for super zooms, I don't like them, they are slow, are not as good optically, and simply not wide enough. the 18mm bottom end just does not cut it, and there is no need in the city to go beyyond 70
05-25-2011, 03:25 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
as for super zooms, I don't like them, they are slow, are not as good optically, and simply not wide enough. the 18mm bottom end just does not cut it, and there is no need in the city to go beyyond 70
Fair enough. I find the quality just fine for what I'm doing with them. 18mm is plenty wide enough for me, and I'll often zoom in for building details, or the "macro" shot of flowers or such. Slow doesn't bother me that much either with the shake reduction. I'm usually shooting static subjects, so it works fine for me inside churches and museums. (I'll sometimes cheat, though, and stick the DA40 in my pocket.)
05-25-2011, 03:41 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gennatay Quote
What are the factors most consider when deciding between getting a prime lens and a zoom lens?

I am looking to upgrade my kit lens because I notice the images are not as sharp as I'd like and cant decide if I should purchase more primes or a decent zoom.
1. The Size factor: sometimes you just don't want to lug around that big lens.

2. The Aura thing: all those people walking around with kit lenses, mostly C/N; I am different. I do primes...How nice when they ask how do you 'zoom' this thing...And when they ask, also say: Pentax. You know they have the best primes...

3. The image quality: Last. But yes. That too. But not always. And not in every pic.
05-25-2011, 03:59 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I know this is a very old debate, and I have no interest in changing anyone's mind here, but I've never really understood this line of thought. I mean, there are zillions of shots every day that we miss because we aren't there, we don't have our camera with us, we aren't looking in the right direction, we are focused on something closer or further away, we are engaged in conversation, etc. Because of factors like these, we miss *far* more shots than we ever think of taking. Which is fine, because I have more pictures than I know what to do with as it is. It's not like another photo-worthy scene won't present itself soon enough. Besides, how many scenes are really *that* fleeting that we can't change lenses, or that specific in nature that they can't be shot effectively with a different focal from the one we might have chosen first?

So I find it hard to get too worked up about some random scene that I failed to get as good a picture of as I could have because I had the "wrong" lens on and the scene was gone before I could change. Sheesh, what if I had stopped to tie my shoelace a minute before; then I'd have missed the scene entirely!
That is closer to my thinking. I'll carry it one step further, though. A light, compact prime means I'm more likely to take the camera with me. I find I catch more shots when I have a camera.
05-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #28
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With the family, on the boat and for "snapshots" I generally use zooms either DA* on the DSLR or fast or short range ones on the film bodies.

For taking "photos" I prefer primes usually fast. With film it allows me to use slow film, 50ISO for reversal and 100 ISO for negative. It also helps me to concentrate and "look" for the shot rather than snap.

I also use the fast primes mainly because it helps with the focus. Even in the LX's I use a plain matt screen. With a fast prime the DOF is that much lower and so the focus is much easier.

Kim
05-25-2011, 05:37 PM   #29
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Marc I would have to agree with you. We all mis shots. Yesterday I missed s great shot of a cardinal as I was working in my garden. The cardinal perched on a chair 2 feet away from my camera which was outside just in case. OOPS. I think te birds know when I can't shoot and land close just to piss me off. But I digress. Yes we all mis shots. The reason is we don't practice enough on how to make due. Even if you really wanted a 15mm I am sure there is a way to take a shot with a 70mm. It is not the same shot, but we all should be able to do something in a situation with any lens we have, we are, after all, supposed to be photographers
05-26-2011, 08:43 AM   #30
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I shoot mostly primes 15 to 100mm.
I have the 55-300 to but really only take it if i know i'm going to need it. ie going to the Zoo, or (planning to go see some motor racing this weekend, hope the light is good, I don't have the time or money to find an FA*300 2.8)

When chasing around your family or a photo group its a bit more diffcult with primes. Next time I go on a a family touring holiday i will use this as an excuse to get the "approval" to buy a decent wide-normal zoom.


Maybe I'm really a zoom shother that only carries primes.

I recently went on an outing with my local amatuer photo group for a walk around the historic areas and docklands in Sydney. Most of the group have Canikons with 18-55 50-200's or 18-270's.
I turn up just for some fun with only a DA15 and DFA100, my 2 current favourites.
In about 3hrs I changed lenses 18 times!!! It seemed I always wanted "the other one" and I was always chasing the group from location to location.

The guy who leads the group is a pro with 40years experience, does weddings and runs DSLR courses. I was stoked when he turned up with a 50mm/1.4 but alas, 20 minutes later he says "just can't do this" [with the group] and snaps on an 18-270.

Anyway after the shoot, we give him 10 images for viewing and group discussion. Later he told me that he was really impressed and I got some brilliant shots. I'm not sure they were that great but maybe the lone Pentax shooter was just different to everyone else.
Pentax.... be interesting
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