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02-05-2014, 06:55 PM   #46
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Ohh, I do move some to change perspective. I the the "zoom with your feet" thing out because I've heard it far too much. I'd rather zoom with my zoom, change perspective with my feet, if possible.

02-05-2014, 07:49 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Just out of curiosity I wonder how much faster primes can get before the DOF becomes too thin to be useful.
Depends on your subject distance. At close focus, you'd rarely ever need anything above f/2.0, but at longer distances, a much faster lens may be necessary for a certain effect. For his movie Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick reportedly used a Zeiss Planar 50 f/0.7 developed for NASA. Also, check out the 2nd photo on this page shot with a Leica Noctilux at f/0.95. There is no way you can get anywhere close to this with a zoom lens.
02-06-2014, 04:39 AM   #48

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QuoteOriginally posted by Cannikin Quote
Letting the lens dictate the scene, whether by "lazy zooming" or "zooming with your feet" to get a certain subject size, seems totally backwards to me. To me the "proper" way to shoot is to observe the scene, visualize how you want the photo to look, move to the position that gives you that perspective, pick the focal length, in that order, unless practical limitations get in the way (e.g. can't reach the spot, don't have other lenses with you, etc).
A case in point was the tree shot I posted:

I knew there was an image there and I knew I wanted the base of the tree to "grow" out of the lower right corner of the frame.

I set the FL of the lens at it's sweet spot - about 90mm and the aperture at f/11 for some DOF.

Anyway I walked towards the tree, keeping the base of the tree down in the lower right corner of the frame (viewfinder) until I had the crop I wanted. But the perspective was wrong - too many of the front branches were obscuring important elements in the back of the scene so I moved in and out a bit until I had the perspective I wanted. Then I achieved the crop I wanted by zooming, all the time keeping the lower right corner of the frame where I wanted it until crop area was about right, and bang - released the shutter. After that a slight crop in PP did the trick.

I know this sounds a bit long-winded but it becomes second nature and only takes a minute or two.
Also having a zoom, with it's ability to give you a crop without a change in perspective, was ideal in this case.
My own opinion is that most people don't really know how to take advantage of a zooms flexibility.

Last edited by wildman; 02-06-2014 at 04:50 AM.
02-06-2014, 05:36 AM - 1 Like   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ishpuini Quote
It's not really an IQ issue to me. It hasn't been for many years to be honest. It's always been a choice between convenience and flexibility on one hand (for zooms) and slow photography (when selecting primes).
I would say this is true for me these days, too. I started out with zooms, like most beginners, then went through a long period where I shot nothing but primes...didn't even own a zoom back then. Now, with digital, I'm coming back to zooms. The reasons I first went to primes were image quality and flare resistance. Back in the film days, the sharpest films were always the slowest. If I was shooting Kodachrome 25 or Velvia at sunrise, it didn't take much to put me out of the hand-holdable range. If I was going to have to slow down, stop down, and use a just made sense to go one more step and shoot with primes. I also used to like to include light sources in my pics and the zoom lenses of the day simply weren't as good as Pentax primes at suppressing flare. With digital, shooting at higher ISOs is no big deal, plus the zooms are much better. That brings a lot of shooting situations back into the hand-holdable range for me, so it doesn't make as much sense to me now to slow myself back down by using primes...therefore, I tend to use more zooms. The weight is a definite consideration, though. The better zooms are usually pretty heavy. I haven't actually weighed them both, but my bag with 3-4 zooms weighs as much or more than my old bag with 7 primes, 2 extenders, and a set of extension tubes.

02-06-2014, 09:55 AM   #50
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Well put @taomaas. They are different tools for different jobs each have there place and using and understanding when to use which one will help you in all situations.
02-06-2014, 10:11 AM   #51
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The digital era is definitely providing photography a way to capture images in conditions that previously would have been nearly impossible. Especially in available lighting.
02-06-2014, 11:45 AM   #52

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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
The weight is a definite consideration, though. The better zooms are usually pretty heavy.
The new DA 20-40 Ltd zoom is an exception to that tendency,
which is one reason some users find it so attractive.
02-10-2014, 02:47 PM   #53

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After what we have been talking about on this thread it got me to thinking... old ancient cheapo Tammy superzoom was getting really out of date and the price of a new Sig 18-250 was only 350 bucks so I got one.

Snapped it on, set the K5 to TAv, opened up the ISO all the way, set aperture to wide open and just walked about the house firing away at stuff - in other words just about the way I intend to use such a lens. Catch as catch can. It's -10f now so it's just easy shots around the house and no great art but you get the idea.
It's very useful as a closeup lens as well.

At this rate of improvement zooms will be catching up with primes pretty fast I think. The long end of the zoom is a vast improvement over the old Tammy.

All in all I'm well satisfied so far.

Last edited by wildman; 02-17-2014 at 02:19 AM.
02-10-2014, 06:17 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Primes have many advantages:
a) a design for a single focal length can be optimized
b) they can achieve faster aperture at a reasonable cost
c) they are generally smaller/lighter (for a similar-tier zoom equivalent)
d) Primes have better rendering - not just sharpness, but overall image quality, OoF blur, colours, etc.
e) if you use a prime a lot, you can visualize the frame ahead of time. Primes are often valued as being helpful for composition, because they limit the photographer and force them to think about it more
I agree with all these points, and there are a ton of good opinions here as well. I would just add that I simply enjoy using primes much more than zoom for ALL the above reasons. The only time I use zoom are on paying gigs when I have a specific shot list to get through in a specific amount of time. Also at events it just is not always possible to zoom with my feet. I always have one body with a prime that I am periodically "thinking" in, and another zoom that is the work horse, simply getting coverage needed.

I mostly just wish I could teleport.

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