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View Poll Results: prime vs zoom
I shot primes only 2114.58%
I only shoot with zooms 106.94%
I own both and use both 11378.47%
Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

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02-10-2008, 10:57 PM   #16
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With the few exceptions where the speed of the prime (i.e. 50 f1.4) is required, 95% of our shooting is done with zooms primarily for the convenience, the ability to travel light and the fact that we both enjoy traveling. I sold my Nikon and all the lenses and accessories that I had accumulated during my slr years for the express reason that I grew tired of lugging about a heavy camera bag as well as missing shots while I was changing out lenses. In fact, I swore I would never return to an slr and had acquired a prosumer with a 14x zoom. But my wife (yes... my wife of all people) persuaded me to purchase a dslr (well... two... one for her as well) and share my former passion for photography. I decided that I did not want to go backwards by acquiring several lenses and resent having to bear the extra weight. I recognize that I'm probably the exception to the rule on a photography forum dedicated to folks who love photography and camera equipment. We're all different and we all have different expectations. Mine are to travel light with a great all-round zoom and one fast prime... period.

All the best.

02-10-2008, 11:19 PM   #17
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I prefer Primes, however when it comes to events I usually grab out a fast zoom (f2.8) first.
02-11-2008, 12:14 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I prefer Primes, however when it comes to events I usually grab out a fast zoom (f2.8) first.
Yup
Same here


Sometimes it is more about getting the moments.
02-11-2008, 03:56 AM   #19
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In the beginning I was serverely infected by LBA, but I've been through re-hab and am now cured, also like ex-smokers, I now have an aversion to lens collecting, plus my bag is much lighter and my finances less strained!

Although I have some primes (and have owned many more in my LBA period), I find that for most purposes I use zooms, with two major exceptions.

1. I use a macro lens (FA 50 macro) because it has very specific uses that zooms cannot satisfactorily provide, plus they usually are the cream of the crop, IQ wise, of all lenses.

2. I find that for my long telephoto use, I find a 300mm prime (FA*300 f4.5), plus a 1.4 TC for that extra reach, is almost as convenient as a long tele zoom, but IQ is a huge improvement over long tele-zooms, much more so than in the mid range where top quality zooms are not that far behind primes in IQ, and in some instances are as good, if not better, in many areas (e.g. DA 12-24 v DA 14).

Personally, I find that using primes in the wide to mid tele-photo region is a royal pain in the A. Apart from macro and long telephoto use, I never seemed to have the right focal length on the camera. So I've parted with most of my primes and don't miss them one bit.

The only area that I currently find unsatisfactory is the range between 50mm and 300mm, I have owned and tested many zooms in this region and none have really met my requirements. These have been the Tokina 80-400 mkII, 80-200 ATX-Pro, Sigma 100-300EX, 70-200 EX, 50-500 EX and Tamron 70-300 Di LD macro. The Tokina 80-400 was quite decent, but I preferred to use my FA*300 and TC for the longer reaches and the IQ was still a way behind my desired level, in fact the cheap Tamron 70-300 Di is probably equal (apart from the occassional PF), and a lot cheaper, it's my current (temporary) solution.

I have my fingers crossed that the long awaited DA*60-250 will fill my need in this region. From my recent poll, I don't seem to be the only one! I just hope that it does finally arrive this summer.

02-11-2008, 10:11 AM   #20
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Though the versatility of the Zooms certainly is appealing I think I'm about to order the 31mm and 77mm primes....I hope this is the right choice for me.
02-11-2008, 12:13 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
Personally, I find that using primes in the wide to mid tele-photo region is a royal pain in the A. Apart from macro and long telephoto use, I never seemed to have the right focal length on the camera.
This is exactly my point...
My two cents worth..Keep in mind that this is merely the opinion of a professional ''amateur'' In other words, I am as from from a pro as you will find...

First..I only have two primes.. a 50 F/1.4 and the 77 limited F/1.8
Both those lenses seem to be at their best at about F/2.8 and above...I had purchased the 50 as a walk around lens and it simply frustrated me...A more useful lens would have been something in the 20's...My 77, I bought for low light gym, auditorium, portrait type stuff..
Works ok, but find I am often to close or too far...It is a great portrait lens, but that about it....

Now, for good zooms...
I have the
DA*16-50 f/2.8..(Finally got a good copy after two bad ones), DA*50-135 F/2.8,
Tamron 28-75 F/2.8 and my latest Sigma 24-75 f/2.8...Any one of these will give me the same quality and performance of both my primes, with out the frustration...
Am I a pixel peeper? NO, but for my uses, the zooms work great...

Now I also have the 18-250 tamron, 28-300 tamron, 28-300 sigma (brand new and for sale), super zooms and these you can't compare to the quality zooms...I also have long telephoto lenses that are all zooms, but nothing to compare them to...

Ok, i am off my soap box.
02-11-2008, 12:52 PM   #22
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Hi Richard

Re your comment:

QuoteQuote:
I was severely infected by LBA, but I've been through re-hab and am now cured
Yeah, right........lol !! Now where have I heard this sort of thing before. So just take a deep breath and repeat carefully after me,
I MUST RESIST, I MUST RESIST, I MUST RESIST. O.K., now DON'T waver, but remember to stay nice & calm.......

Oh no, what is that I see before me.......it's a nice shiny new DA*60-250 and I MUST have it......Get thee away Satan........
I'm sorry, it's no good, I can feel my knees weakening..........make mental note to stick to New Year's resolution in 2009 !

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 02-11-2008 at 01:00 PM.
02-11-2008, 12:57 PM   #23
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Zooms for me

I've gone back and forth on this for awhile, but I find the same thing other zoom users have. I'd rather have the flexibility to get the shot, rather than have to conform the shot to whatever lens I happen to have on. I don't knock prime-only users at all, people should use what works best and what is most comfortable for them in the types of shooting situations they find themselves in. But a couple of thoughts make me quite comfortable with zooms.

First, a look on the Nikon "legends" pages shows that every featured landscape photog uses zooms (my preferred area of shooting, along with travel). So, good enough for them, good enough for me. Examples of great landscapes on photo.net will show a high number of zooms used for landscape photos as well.

Second, I don't buy the idea that using a zoom makes you "lazy" in composing photos. It starts with the vision you have for a photo, and the flexibility of the zoom makes it easier to get that vision framed. When I'm in a national park shooting, I crawl over rocks and climb and crouch to get what I want. The notion that zoom users just stand, zoom, shoot is a generalization that just isn't (or doesn't have to be) true.

Third, I can't see the difference in 16x20 prints between a good prime and a good zoom.

But hey, to each his own

Todd

02-11-2008, 01:01 PM   #24
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Both here as well, I'm getting my 18-250 next week for the convenience... I have a Sigma 10-20 to complete my focal length "requirements" (though I use my 10-20 like I do a prime, focal length fixed at 10mm) My primes are a Vivitar 28/2.8, an M 50/1.4, an M 50/2 (for bellows work), and a Sigma 105/2.8 Macro... for everyday use, I use zooms. But for the times when I shoot for fun with artistic intent, I use primes. For better IQ as well as having the "challenge" to think to get the right composition.
02-11-2008, 01:07 PM   #25
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Hi Todd

Re your comments:

QuoteQuote:
I'd rather have the flexibility to get the shot, than have to conform the shot to whatever lens I happen to have on.
and

QuoteQuote:
Second, I don't buy the idea that using a zoom makes you "lazy" in composing photos. It starts with the vision you have for a photo, and the flexibility of the zoom makes it easier to get that vision framed. The notion that zoom users just stand, zoom, shoot is a generalization that just isn't (or doesn't have to be) true.
I couldn't have put it better myself !

Best regards
Richard
02-11-2008, 01:54 PM   #26
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I did it!

Thanks to very informative threads like this one and the others I searched for along with the lame questions I've been asking since I got my K10D I splurged on the 31, 43, and 77mm primes today.

The photos you've all posted are absolutely stunning and I hope I can someday be as creative and as skilled.

Thanks...Sprags
02-11-2008, 02:28 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sprags Quote
Thanks to very informative threads like this one and the others I searched for along with the lame questions I've been asking since I got my K10D I splurged on the 31, 43, and 77mm primes today.

The photos you've all posted are absolutely stunning and I hope I can someday be as creative and as skilled.

Thanks...Sprags
well you are welcome and I have come to the opposite decision and have decided to splurge and get me one of those megazoom tamron 18-250 as my travel only lens and suppliment it with a prime or two for night shoots as well as my 10-17.
02-11-2008, 02:47 PM   #28
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QuoteQuote:
Second, I don't buy the idea that using a zoom makes you "lazy" in composing photos. It starts with the vision you have for a photo, and the flexibility of the zoom makes it easier to get that vision framed. When I'm in a national park shooting, I crawl over rocks and climb and crouch to get what I want. The notion that zoom users just stand, zoom, shoot is a generalization that just isn't (or doesn't have to be) true.
I don't think anyone has said that using zooms makes a photographer lazy. I know I said that using primes requires a little more creativity to get the right perspective and framing because you have a fixed focal length and can only do so much with it.
02-11-2008, 03:40 PM   #29
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I use mostly zooms in the field, but revert to my primes in the studio.
02-12-2008, 08:14 AM   #30
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Nobody specific

QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
I don't think anyone has said that using zooms makes a photographer lazy.
I should clarify I wasn't referring specifically to this thread when I said that, but I've seen variations on the theme on this and other forums. Actually, I think most of the time I see the comment, it is along the lines of, "using a zoom makes ME lazy." In other words, I've seen several prime shooters say that a zoom lets them be lazy in their composition, which is why they like primes. I got no problem with that.

However, I have also read posts that indirectly compare zoom-only users to soccer moms and P&S superzoom users. It's not overt, but the implication is that zoom-users are not "thinking" photographers. This comes out in discussions of perspective and zoom use, i.e., "zoom users just zoom in and don't consider perspective..." For what it's worth, I like that a zoom gives me MORE flexibility with perspective.

EDIT: Just found this on another thread in this forum (sorry for dragging someone else into this!)

"When I started photography as a hobby, I owned zooms only and covered all focal ranges. Slowly, I do discover that I often use one particular focal length with each zoom. The shots are more ordinary since there is less thinking involved in composition. Slowly over the years, I started to appreciate primes a lot more"

Just an example

Todd

Last edited by gnaztee; 02-12-2008 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Found relevant quote
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