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01-10-2013, 08:02 PM   #1
GUS ALBERTON
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Prime or zoom

I have a pentax k20 with a 17 70 4 5.6 sigma . I also have a sigma 70 300.should i consider a prime lens or a zoom i considered a tamron 90 2.8 or a pentax 50 135 2.8 or 70 200 2.8 tamron.sugestions please.from a very amateur. Thanks

01-10-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
Ash
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Hi Gus. It really depends on what you intend to shoot with your new lens and what focal lengths you use the most. Each of those lenses you mentioned are highly recommended, and are excellent in image quality, but unless you intend on shooting macro, the 90mm won't be of much use other than portraits or close ups. The 50-135 is brilliant and has a good range of focal lengths to be useful in many applications including portraiture, and so to the 70-200.
You just have to choose which is most appropriate for you and your needs.
01-10-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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Gus, can you tell us what subjects you like to shoot most? That will help us make better suggestions.

Is the Tamron 90mm F2.8, the macro? That would be great for doing close ups of flowers, insects etc and would also be very good for head and shoulders portrait photography.

Prime lenses offer you sharper and more compact lenses which also usually have wide maximum apertures. Wide maximum apertures enable you to create nice, blurry backgrounds, with the effect that your main subject actually appears sharper. A lens with a wide maximum aperture also gives you a clearer view of your subject, especially in dimmer light.

I have three primes (43mm F1.9, 77mm F1.8 and 200mm F2.8) and two zooms (16-45mm F4 and 55-300mm F4-5.6). The primes get heavy use (especially the 200mm) and the zooms hardly any.

I do lots of animal and people photography, a bit of landscape and flower photography and no close up/ macro (mostly because none of my lenses are capable of doing macro).

Hope this helps.
01-10-2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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I started with zooms. I finessed them with better zooms. I sort of went goofy and got some good primes.

Here's my take.

If you do not know what you will be shooting, or the subjects are going to be a various distances, or you have limited access - I start with zooms. This includes travel type shots.

If you are able to be close to the subjects, and/or the subjects are static, I'd start with a prime. Museums, statues, car shows.

It is kind of awkward to be changing from wide angle to telephoto to normal and back if your subjects are all over the place :-)

I am not a pixel peeper so a good zoom is good enough, and convenient. And also wide, which I like. I can appreciate the IQ of a prime but don't wet myself over it.

Some people say a prime will teach to composition, but I disagree. I believe you should see the shot in your mind or eye, and choose the lens to match - not force you subject to fit some arbitrary frame. Nor do I follow the "zoom with your feet" concept which is impractical at longer distances and sometimes physically impossible.

In the end it is what works - for you. Everyone has their own style and it may not be yours.

01-16-2013, 06:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Some people say a prime will teach to composition, but I disagree. I believe you should see the shot in your mind or eye, and choose the lens to match - not force you subject to fit some arbitrary frame. Nor do I follow the "zoom with your feet" concept which is impractical at longer distances and sometimes physically impossible.
It is also worth keeping in mind that "zooming with your feet" actually affects perspective. I do love my primes but find the argument for using them somewhat lacking.
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