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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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02-12-2008, 09:46 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
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
It's rare that someone will post something like that Todd,

In my opinion most of us started off using Zooms, and slowly switched over.
In my case it's all because of Image Quality. I just wasn't as happy with my final product while using Zooms.

The fact that I have to think harder while shooting is really not all that important to me.

02-12-2008, 09:54 AM   #32
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I'll preface my response by first saying that I still get excitied to swap lenses... I love the idea of it to start with and enjoy sizing up a situation, reaching into my bag (which I've custom filled for the needs that day) and pulling out just the tool for the job.

I've noticed that as I've gone through time, I've begun to appreciate both primes and zooms. When I began, I was obsessed with maximum resolution and sharpness. I'd come from a P&S and was tired of 'ok' pictures and researched at photozone.de (and other places) the 31mm as my first lens. I loved it, and being it was all I had for a while, I didn't feel limited (ironically). Over the next year I began to fill in the focal range with other primes and really appreciated and explored each new perspective.

Now that I have pre-conceptions of shots in all these different focal ranges I have concluded I'd like to also cover some focal range with zooms for those instances that would be beneficial. Like most have said - events where things pop up all around you and don't necessarily happen twice or instances where I can't predict my general distance from my subject, the zooms add value. I personally will be making it an SDM/weather sealed zoom to give it more purpose in my arsenal as well.

My end determination would be to bring your primes if you have time and tend to zoom-in on your camera screen to critically analyze the sharpness of things or a zoom(s) if you need instant adaptability or don't like changing lenses.
02-12-2008, 10:20 AM   #33
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I don't think so

QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
It's rare that someone will post something like that Todd
I don't think it's that rare, but I don't take it personally either. I'm not trying to defend the honor of zoom users, just giving my opinion of an idea that is accepted without challenge often in Pentax forums (any, not just this site...I can't speak for other camera brand forums, I only have Pentax). Again, I don't think anybody says it with deliberate disdain for zoom users. But for someone deciding between primes and zooms, it can be a bit misleading. I have gone back and forth with this myself. To try working with a prime, I got a m 50 f/2, but it just didn't suit me. Heck, on my last trip to Europe, I didn't even like the inconvenience of switching my 16-45 out for my Tam 28-75.

It's all personal preference, of course. For me, so many factors, and I'm still not even sure I want to stick with just zooms. I had to consider $ (DA 21/40/70 for $1150, or DA 16-45 - used - and Tam 28-75 for $650). My subjects (travel - never know what you're going to get, landscape - obstacles to getting to the locations you want to shoot from). And I had to consider my wife during travel, who really has a high tolerance for my running around trying to get the perfect shot, but only to a point. I'd love to have both, but...

Anyway, not trying to start a prime vs. zoom battle, just giving a different side.

Todd
02-12-2008, 02:09 PM   #34
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In the end, it just comes down to preference. It's not always about quality. Not all primes are better than comparative zooms. Not all zooms measure up to comparative primes. No one is forcing anyone to buy zooms or primes. Any photographer should by what fits their needs and satisfies their desires.

I enjoy using primes a lot. I like to work with that fixed focal length. Other people don't. I also don't mind changing lenses, which I seldom do anyway out of laziness. If I have a prime on my camera, then I will make the shot work with that lens, rather than try another lens. Usually, I start a shot with a lens and finish it with that lens. I never just switch midway.

Something I've noticed over the years is that primes and zooms require very different shooting styles. It's not so cut and dry as fixed vs. variable focal length. It can never be that simple.

02-12-2008, 02:21 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
In the end, it just comes down to preference. It's not always about quality. Not all primes are better than comparative zooms. Not all zooms measure up to comparative primes. No one is forcing anyone to buy zooms or primes. Any photographer should by what fits their needs and satisfies their desires.

I enjoy using primes a lot. I like to work with that fixed focal length. Other people don't. I also don't mind changing lenses, which I seldom do anyway out of laziness. If I have a prime on my camera, then I will make the shot work with that lens, rather than try another lens. Usually, I start a shot with a lens and finish it with that lens. I never just switch midway.

Something I've noticed over the years is that primes and zooms require very different shooting styles. It's not so cut and dry as fixed vs. variable focal length. It can never be that simple.
What is interesting is a difference in approach. You start a shot with a focal length and finish it with that focal length, as you say you make the shot work. That can be a challenge but a rewarding one.

The other approach is to see a shot, and pick the lens, based upon field of view, framing, foreground and background, that is also challenging and rewarding.

The point is, knowing how to take "THE BEST SHOT" with what you have.
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