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06-01-2015, 05:50 PM - 1 Like   #31
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I don't believe it's a fair comparison, the 55-300 with the 77 or the 100. I've just traded a 55-300 for a Takumar 70-210 and the later trumps the former in every way.
A better comparison would be the Tamron 70-200 (or maybe the 50-135)...


Last edited by Flugelbinder; 06-01-2015 at 06:11 PM.
06-01-2015, 07:05 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
The thing is an infinite number of awesome things appear all the time. For most your are not even there. if you go to a place where you want to take something and can't anticipate and can't move fast enough, a zoom is going to save the day. But this also mean you will not choose the perspective compression/distorsion or the angle of view to the scene. This is the good compromize for many events.
The not choosing the perspective thing... nailed it! You got the idea. For me I have rarely, if ever, have had success from just throwing the camera up to my face and snapping. Something to me is ALWAYS off. I spare hand or foot in the frame... I get terrible lighting. I get someone looking away when they should be looking at me... so for me despite the ease of using a zoom it still doesn't give me the results I would like and possibly get by taking my time and thinking through---or even arranging a shot.

In other words when I get in a hurry I wind up with snapshots not the kind of photos I personally aspire to take. I guess it depends on the subject matter.

If I am going more for a 'fine art' type of photography absolute quality and attention to detail matters most. It's not like that can't be done with a zoom but I am talking about those 'on the fly' street shots... for me they have rarely... as in never turned out that great. That said shooting pure nature shots I could see how a zoom would be an asset though.

---------- Post added 06-01-15 at 09:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I hear the "primes thing over and over again... but personally, I just don't get it. There will be few images where a prime gets you a better image where a zoom would. There will be lot's of instances where you end up with no image at all because you had the wrong lens on the camera. And there will be lots of images where the zoom is just as good as the prime.
This assumes that one is kind of 'walking around' shooting. Yeah, if I am walking around the forest and see a bear in the woods I need to get the shot. End of story. There is no coming back later for that opportunity.

But lets put on a different scenario though... a friend of mind did a big project where he went around and found people (on the streets) and asked if he could take their portraits. He got to pick the time, find a ray of light, pick the background and he would shoot something semi planned out.

Take for example the following image taken by a guy I know. (Photo cred to Jason Florio)




It's fine art but it's also street photography. The guy is a sheer master of his art. Not that I want to do exactly what he does but the style sort of mimics what I would hope to someday achieve. Basically in the shoot above Jason (the photographer) set up a little photo booth and he would pull people in and snap.

I am personally not aiming for pure 'lens' sharpness but an overall artistic image.

The problem is first off I am no where near as good as Jason and I am kind of deviating from my so called 'style' of shooting, mainly because I find it very difficult to find people to take photos of

I want to do "that" (pictured above) but I find myself walking around taking random snaps sometimes.
06-02-2015, 12:32 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
SO here's what happens you need 120mm, but you only have 100mm and 200mm primes. So clearly you have to shoot with the 100mm lens and crop. My 60-250 is already equal to what you're going to get with the 100, but now you're cropping 20 %. SO in terms of resolution, you are getting 20% less lw/ph compared to my DA*60-250 image, yet, you are thinking that you're getting a better image because you are using a prime.
I would ask if you have a 100mm and a 200mm, why indeed do you need 120mm ? Is it because you exactly need the level of bokeh a 120mm lense would produce at that focussing distance, angle and with that background? Is it because you want exactly that level of perspective compression, 100mm not enough and 200mm too much? Or is it because you want that exact framing and there is no possibility to reframe it at 100mm by moving a bit ?

For me if I need 120mm framing, I'd say 100mm is perfect, even with a zoom. I find it better to frame a bit large, to get margins for post processing where correcting the lense, perfecting the horizon or the framing mean it is better to have a bit of margin on all side. Does it reduce quality? Well depend but is not usually lenses border that provide the maximum quality in particular at large appertures and on zooms. The cropping to 120mm will not really degrade the quality.

Now for me it is more when you have a 100 and 200mm and the subject is too big for 200mm that's for sure but you need really say 160-180mm. It is not easy to reframe by moving. Then you crop quite a bit from your 100mm and it is more difficult to say that the prime would maintain it's edge in picture quality.

At 141mm that's what you would get with a 12MP m4/3 body with the same lense. At 200mm that's what you would get out of a 1" sensor at 6MP. So yeah for maximum picture quality I'd avoid shooting a 100mm past 160-180mm if possible.

QuoteOriginally posted by Flugelbinder Quote
I don't believe it's a fair comparison, the 55-300 with the 77 or the 100. I've just traded a 55-300 for a Takumar 70-210 and the later trumps the former in every way.
A better comparison would be the Tamron 70-200 (or maybe the 50-135)...

The thing is cropping will not change the lense rendering. The focus transistion would remain the same, the color rendering would remain the same, the flare resistance would remain the same, the constrast would remain the same... Just that you cropped more.

Also practically the lense will remain also smaller and lighter. Cropping doesn't change that neither.

If you did choose 1 lense over the other for theses qualities rather than just how it look when zoomed 10 time on your computer then it will keep theses qualities. If unfortunately your alternative zoom doesn't match that, it will not suddently start to have theses quality because you cropped your prime lense shoot a bit.

Once cropped you may be limited to 30"x40" prints instead of 40"x60" prints like you would be with maybe a 12MP camera anyway. True. That's not that bad.

I know that for my personnal point of view that the 50-135 doesn't render at well as the FA77. The 50-135 is likely as sharp at f/5.6 but the photos are just less pleasing. The overall rendering of FA77 is more interresting and that's why I sold the 50-135 and brought the FA77 among other things. The other aspect is the weight/size of the lense. FA77 is small, light unobtrusive. Even if you crop this FA77, the rendering is still better. I later on added an F135 and even both FA77+F135 I still get the same weight overall and smaller package. The F135 is no sharper than the 50-135, it as more CA but the rendering by itself, I would say it is better than the 50-135.

For larger shoot, I got the 15, 21 and 35. Theses lenses are very different than the 77 & 135. The last 2 have really great bokeh. the 35, 15 and 21 have really great contrast. Each of my lense render quite differently than the other so when I choose one I don't only choose the framing, I also choose this rendering as it is from the perspective, the bokeh, the contrast and the colors.
06-02-2015, 06:55 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Interesting point Norm, and well made.

The equation depends a lot on the quality of the zoom (and the quality of the primes).

I've got the 55-300 and while it's a good lens, images are never going to touch those I would get with my FA 77, DFA 100 or Sigma 400. So if I take the zoom on a walk it's already a compromise. The trade off for IQ is I'm saving weight and I'm going to get shots that I would otherwise miss, on the theory that half a loaf is better than none (assuming the half-loaf isn't mouldy.)

My point earlier about the 12-24 is that the versatility is really useful for me at the wide end. And while the quality might not be up with the DA 15 or DA 21, it's still very good. Three-quarters of a loaf is definitely better than none. And hey it's cheap by comparison - either of the primes costs roughly as much as the zoom.
In the case of the 12-24, the quality would not be the trade off for those primes. Some feel it is just as good or better. There the trade off is size. If you don't need 12mm, then, unlike the 55-300, the zoom is several times the size of the primes it would replace.

06-02-2015, 07:01 AM   #35
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To the OP:
If you're used to images from primes, DO NOT go for lesser glass like the 55-300; you will be very disappointed. To invest in a zoom, go to the *, or even third party...
06-02-2015, 12:54 PM   #36
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I like having the 18-135 around for WR and flexibility. No, it's not a ltd prime. No, it's not a * series zoom. But it's affordable, a pleasure to use with the DC motor and weathersealed. It can make the difference between taking the camera and leaving it home.

Learn where the zoom performs best - it will have one or more sweet spots. Use that to your advantage when you have that "prime moment."
06-02-2015, 05:57 PM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteQuote:
I would ask if you have a 100mm and a 200mm, why indeed do you need 120mm ? Is it because you exactly need the level of bokeh a 120mm lense would produce at that focussing distance, angle and with that background? Is it because you want exactly that level of perspective compression, 100mm not enough and 200mm too much? Or is it because you want that exact framing and there is no possibility to reframe it at 100mm by moving a bit ?
Because you can't move is the most likely scenario. You can zoom with your feet, until you can't.

QuoteQuote:
For me if I need 120mm framing, I'd say 100mm is perfect, even with a zoom.
Well then, what if you need 140 or 100? You need to spend more time getting to the gist of what's been said and not spend so much time trying to negate it. You end up missing the point altogether.

QuoteQuote:
Now for me it is more when you have a 100 and 200mm and the subject is too big for 200mm that's for sure but you need really say 160-180mm. It is not easy to reframe by moving. Then you crop quite a bit from your 100mm and it is more difficult to say that the prime would maintain it's edge in picture quality
Actually, I'm rarely working on level ground, and I'm also shooting a particular background for either colour or detail. Moving means changing my camera angle. I didn't find the perfect angle and line up the background just to move and accept an inferior position. All you have to know here is that "zoom with your feet" is nonsense. It is not always possible, or even desirable. Another dictum is "if you don't like your pictures, get closer." You aren't getting closer if your zooming backwards with your feet to get what you want in the frame. The intellectual contortions you're going through to try and make "zoom with your feet" a reality , make no sense. Why are you doing this?

On a shot like this


I moved up and down the hill until I go the pine needles positioned where I wanted it against the horizon, then I zoomed until I got the framing I wanted, and I was working on tripod, so I could frame really tight, and not waste pixels cropping. Moving backwards or forward changed my vertical position, and therefore my lens angle with relation to the horizon. It's just true, "zooming with your feet" is one of those smug cliches that doesn't fit many real world situations.

QuoteQuote:
At 141mm that's what you would get with a 12MP m4/3 body with the same lense. At 200mm that's what you would get out of a 1" sensor at 6MP. So yeah for maximum picture quality I'd avoid shooting a 100mm past 160-180mm if possible.
For most images, I want the full 24 MP, that's why I bought a 24 MP camera, as I said before. For maximum picture quality you shoot 24 MP with a 24 MP camera, I'd avoid shooting for 90mm with a 100mm lens by backing up. That's just maximizing your resources. See, this is exactly what I don't get. Why would you claim you are shooting primes for better image quality, and then recommend shooting that prime without filling the frame? That makes no sense at all. I'm saying straight up, flat out, without a shadow of a doubt, I'll get a better image shooting with my 18-135 at 135mm, than you will shooting with a 100 mm lens and cropping, and probably with the 100mm lens backed out to however many feet it would take to frame the image the way I want it. I don't care how good your 100mm lens is. It's going to be true.

Last edited by normhead; 06-02-2015 at 06:23 PM.
06-02-2015, 06:17 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flugelbinder Quote
To the OP:
If you're used to images from primes, DO NOT go for lesser glass like the 55-300; you will be very disappointed. To invest in a zoom, go to the *, or even third party...
I actually used to have that lens...

For me aside from all these other factors involved in getting a good (or better than good) shot I do like my good glass. There is no question about that. On the other end of that though in many cases the shot doesn't need to be pixel peeping sharp. It just needs to be sharp enough.

I am a sucker for super sharp lenses, but with increased resolution, proper lighting, and filling the frame will make the need for ultra sharpness to be not 'as critical' depending on how the shot is presented. Again I am addicted to sharp lenses, believe me. But presentation of a photo is everything. If I printed an 8x10 that is one thing, but if I blew that sucker up to 36"x 50" that is something else.

Maybe I am wrong but in many cases 'sharp enough' is good enough. I might not be able to crop so heavily but it just depends.

When I did own the Tamron 17-50 I found it to be quite nice. The 70-200 is very nice. My problem isn't that I have a lack of gear it's that I either don't know how to get the light I want or need, I lack the shooting opportunities that I really want, and I am just kind of not good enough to get what I want.

All that said I think some zooms really do suck and I wouldn't want those. However I think there are some zooms that are easily in the 'sharp enough' (or better) category.

06-02-2015, 06:30 PM   #39
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QuoteQuote:
My problem isn't that I have a lack of gear it's that I either don't know how to get the light I want or need, I lack the shooting opportunities that I really want, and I am just kind of not good enough to get what I want
.

Now we aren't talking about lenses.

Now were talking about a whole pile of non lens related issues.

My biggest problem getting good light is I can't get up in the morning. For a photographer, that takes way half your good light.

Don't be laughing... this is serious.
06-02-2015, 06:41 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flugelbinder Quote
I don't believe it's a fair comparison, the 55-300 with the 77 or the 100. I've just traded a 55-300 for a Takumar 70-210 and the later trumps the former in every way.
A better comparison would be the Tamron 70-200 (or maybe the 50-135)...
I don't know about that. I've carried the FA 31 Ltd. and the DA 55-300 in the bag at the same time. You have to appreciate each lens for its strong and weak points. I was ready for both these scenes when the time came.
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06-02-2015, 06:55 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
.

Now we aren't talking about lenses.

Now were talking about a whole pile of non lens related issues.

My biggest problem getting good light is I can't get up in the morning. For a photographer, that takes way half your good light.

Don't be laughing... this is serious.

I agonize over the stuff that has nothing to do with gear. Seriously.

The lens is really and truly a side issue. An important one but a side issue none the less. The BEST lens will take crap shots with the BEST camera body and a crap photographer.

None the less I am not thinking a zoom will make me a better photographer but it might give me an opportunity to shoot during different scenarios better.

In ways what I want to become as a photographer (see the alligator man photo above) is one thing... but the shooting situations I find myself in are quite another.
06-02-2015, 07:19 PM - 1 Like   #42
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I like the point about "zooming with your feet." It's all fun and games until you walk off a cliff or anger a bear by getting in it's space.
06-02-2015, 10:05 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
In the case of the 12-24, the quality would not be the trade off for those primes. Some feel it is just as good or better. There the trade off is size. If you don't need 12mm, then, unlike the 55-300, the zoom is several times the size of the primes it would replace.
From the images I've seen the 15 and 21 have better flare resistance, and a bit more resolution, than the 12-24, but there's not a huge gap in quality.

But there is a gap in focal range. Surely we buy a 12-24 to use 12, just as we would buy a xx-500 to use 500. And 12mm gives a very different FOV from 15mm. There aren't a lot of choices in very wide primes. You could put a Samyang 10mm f2.8 prime in the kit with the 15 and 21 but then you would have lost any advantage in weight or bulk over the UWA zoom (albeit with some gain in speed), at a much higher price.

---------- Post added 06-03-15 at 03:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I like the point about "zooming with your feet." It's all fun and games until you walk off a cliff or anger a bear by getting in it's space.
True. Or fallen in the river as you try to walk backwards on the stones.

I guess when you have angered the bear you are going to be zooming in a very different sense.

Just a thought bubble. Is a lot of the prejudice about zoom lenses a hangover from the days when zooms were crap and serious photographers used primes? The technology has changed a lot now hasn't it, to the point where a lot of professional photographers use pro quality zooms? Of course there are still a lot of crappy zooms, but even with consumer zooms the gap between the better ones and primes doesn't yawn quite as wide as it once did.

As I see it, most of us buy and use primes to get something we can't get from a zoom (that is, a zoom within our budget): it could be macro, or the pixie dust of the FA Ltds, or the swirly bokeh of a Helios,or the stellar sharpness of the DA 35 Ltd, or speed, or portability, or less intimidating appearance. But it has to have a party trick that matters to us to make it worth buying, and worth using on a particular occasion.

Last edited by Des; 06-02-2015 at 10:50 PM.
06-02-2015, 10:38 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
I like the point about "zooming with your feet." It's all fun and games until you walk off a cliff or anger a bear by getting in it's space.
The restriction is valid for cliffs or landscapes where you might need to move a few miles (if possible) to reframe to get the same thing. For bears, honestly I don't trust it that much, maybe because we have maybe like 5 bears in our whole country where I live ?

The thing is not really zooming with you feets is better or not.

The thing is thinking that because you have a zoom the initial position and focal length (that happen to match your framing) is the best for the picture you are going to shoot. This is very unlikely. I mean it can be from good practice, but it will not be from random positionning and choice of focal length in easy mode: try the first that just match the framing.

On the opposite the example of normhead is interresting because well it is very likely in can try the same picture in a billion place of the forest because the subject is very common and so he has almost infinite choice of exact background, focal length etc. That he can find a better framing/shoot that in got even with a different focal length is almost certain. He can't get it as the time required to shoot one or 2 will mean the light changed but it is not like the it would not be possible to get a similar shoot, a bit worse or a bit better with a different lense.

The zoom is going to help once you settle the tripod and because the light will be changing fast and so in this case the time you get as good or better framing with the prime, you may miss the great background... If you didn't think of what you wanted to do a bit in advence.
06-02-2015, 11:31 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
For most images, I want the full 24 MP, that's why I bought a 24 MP camera, as I said before. For maximum picture quality you shoot 24 MP with a 24 MP camera, I'd avoid shooting for 90mm with a 100mm lens by backing up. That's just maximizing your resources. See, this is exactly what I don't get. Why would you claim you are shooting primes for better image quality, and then recommend shooting that prime without filling the frame? That makes no sense at all. I'm saying straight up, flat out, without a shadow of a doubt, I'll get a better image shooting with my 18-135 at 135mm, than you will shooting with a 100 mm lens and cropping, and probably with the 100mm lens backed out to however many feet it would take to frame the image the way I want it. I don't care how good your 100mm lens is. It's going to be true.
This is valid for sharpness and if you think high MP and sharpess is everything (that seems to be your argument) then yes having the exact match in focal length with a very expensive high quality lense to match with perfect borders will always be better than a crop.

The first thing to do then is to stop using this 18-135 past 50mm if you are serious about this 24MP thing and consider then a 70-200 or a 50-135 lense to shoot this 135mm framing. Even under 50mm the 18-135 is okish only at f/5.6 or f/8 only. At from the tests, the 16-85 is already better cropped to 135mm than the 18-135 at 135mm... There no doubt a DFA100 macro cropped to 135 will also do better than the 18-135.

You may get high quality picture with high quality zoom, sure like 18-35 f/1.8, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 150-450 would be your kit or something like that.

But if you got say a 18-135 + a 50-500 for sure, replacing that with DA21, DA35, DA70, F135, DA300 for example will give you better or as good pictures at all intermediate focal lengths in the 21-500 range.

Now if you get some lenses that are even uter crap in theory but give you a rendering you like that you want for the shoot, this is what you needr. That's why lens baby, lomography and alike exist, that why many buy very old, crap lense to play with them. That's why we have wide apperture that give soft, blury rendering with almost nothing in focus. Not everything is to be shoot at f/11 with a 18-270 super zoom.

So when I sold this 50-135 for a FA77 and a F135 this is because I know that on top of being far better at 77mm and allowing larger apperture for things the 50-135 cannot touch, for the most used range for me arround 77-120mm I'd get overall better or as good results than the zoom. I have made many pictures with both and that's how I feel it. I'am more please with the FA77 result and I'am also much more likely to have it in the bag than the 50-135 that is big and heavy.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 06-02-2015 at 11:47 PM.
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