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08-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I think his numbers are pretty close. In our camera club, I can count the guys who shoot primes on one hand. A lot of folks have very good zooms, but very few still use primes. In fact, at a recent field trip, I had a prime lens on my K10D and they were all teasing me about getting a "real lens". Actually...even in the film days, I was a bit of an oddity in the club for shooting mostly primes.
I know a lot of photographers, and nearly every one of them has at least one prime in their kit. Also, if you read photography magazines, nearly every pro photographer when asked about their gear mentions having primes. You may get the one odd guy that has all zooms, but most pros have primes. One camera club count of prime users does not dictate what everyone is doing.

Even with amateur photography, look up any prime lens on flickr and check out the thousands of photos for each of those lenses:

Canon 50mm f1.8 = 101, 614
Canon 50mm f1.4 = 95,324
Nikon 50mm f1.8 = 97,251

Compared to images shot with popular zooms on flickr:

Canon 70-200mm f2.8 = 34,320
Canon 55-250mm = 60,199

This severely limits the validity of that poster's claim that 90% of DSLR buyers use zooms only.

08-05-2011, 07:27 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
Sure Nikon probably pays Sony a bit less than Pentax for their sensors, but it's not as much as some folks seem to think, and there is a point of diminishing returns with volume buying. Sony would like to sell their sensors, but they aren't about to do it at a loss. It doesn't matter how many Nikon orders. At the same time if Sony doesn't offer Pentax a reasonable price, they risk losing that business to Kodak or Samsung.
We're talking FF sensors, not APS-C.

FF sensors are between 2.5 and 4x more expensive, in part because of stitching, but also the underlying electronics to flash more data.

Nikon buys 95% of Sony's FF sensors! They are co-designed.

So it does matter how many Nikon orders. They order so many Sony cannot afford to pixx Nikon off and shop around a co-designed sensor to anyone who comes knocking. The blunt reality is Pentax would have to buy something 60,000 sensors per year to get Nikon prices, and Pentax would maybe sell 1/4 that amount.

So Pentax gets the sensor at a much higher price, are Pentax cameras going to suddenly be more expensive than Nikon's? With a much smaller lens selection and underpowered flash system?

Would you pay 25% more than a D700 with less features? Pentax still has to make a profit.

Sony would much rather risk losing Pentax to someone who cannot make low-light CMOS sensors at volume than lose Nikon's 95%. Nikon is easily Sony Semi's best customer.

What Pentax needs is a FF price war between Canon and Nikon. It was hoped Sony would start that with the A850, but the withdrawal of that model signalled strongly that FF is going to remain a very high cost product.

The ability of FF to get within Pentax's reach depends utterly on FF sensor prices dropping substantially. For the outgoing generations, that ship has sailed. The next generation will be about a 3 year cycle to announcement so 4-5 years before Pentax could buy in. They'll need the time to work on a lens array in any case.

And FYI: the most awesome zooms ever made are the Nikon 14-24 and 24-70 for in FX. neither are VR, and likely never will be.

But those who want 1080p/24 video, in-body SR, PDAF as good as a D700, high FPS, screw drive, etc. FF, and then ask for a smaller body, are contradicting themselves. The 5D Mk. II has a video board that accommodates the necessary high data rates and it is about 1cm. x 1.25 cm including space to cool. This had to be shoehorned into the system and necessitated a larger body. All these feature requests take up space; and the consumer eats it up. They went nuts for the camera regardless of the larger body. The electronics, chipsets, RAM, and so on are all outsource supplied (and often designed). As with many consumer electronics they can only shrink so much before diminishing returns and uber-costs come calling. That's where DSLR design is right now. The mirror and shutter systems are sunk costs and have paid for themselves 5,000fold already. These new features come at the expense of form factor body size (don't forget power). If you want smaller, you're going to need to look at MILC or pellicle, and give up OVF's and perhaps K-mount.
08-05-2011, 07:30 PM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
this i will agree with i hardly ever meet someone using primes regularly even most pros i know shoot a high end zoom more than a prime (but they do have primes they use)
pentaxians are an odd bunch this way as we seem to have a lot of prime users

i know a couple of people that use primes consistently 2 out of the 3 i can think of off hand are pentax shooters
Given that the pros you are talking about understand photography and think that image quality and quality of images are important, i can not think of a single pro shooter who given the choice between zoom and a prime would chose zoom over prime. He might be forced to use zoom for some reasons but he would chose prime whenever possible.

Now those who buy dslr and never upgrade from kit lens are another story. So may be a good amount of people who use dslr use zooms , but the reason is not that primes are some way inferior to zooms. Just that most of these users are not informed enough.



Edited to add: A great number of people who use camera use point and shoot compact camera, so wouldn't the same thing could be said about dSLRS compared to P&S. Like for example no one around me uses dslrs and everyone uses p&s or camera phone.

Last edited by zxaar; 08-05-2011 at 07:36 PM.
08-05-2011, 07:41 PM   #169
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Just to try and help prevent confusion over assumptions and beliefs... I just went and checked out the BCN ranking for DSLR Lenses.

Seems Primes are the preferred lens... Based on Sales anyway Dunno about actual 'use' So this is pretty concrete and not based on flickr stats or assumptions - It based on what people are buying

Top 3 in July are Primes (EF50/1.8II - 8 years old, Nikkor 35/1.8 - 2.5 years old, Nikkor 50/1.8 - New release in june though so that might distort..).
Zooms dont appear untill 4 - and even then - pretty 'slow' and standard looking. Out of the top 10, 6 are primes for the month.

For this week, its actually 4 of the top 5 are Primes, number 3 is a 8-15mm Fisheye.
Zoom doesn't turn up till 6th - and not the same zoom that is the top one for the month.
Out of the 'Top 10' - only 3 are even zoom lenses - and ones a fisheye!

I guess we can argue the Japanese Domestic Market isn't representative of 'the world'...

But gotta say I was surprised. I would have thought Zooms would have been the 'standard' as well however it would not seem to be the case!

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fbcnranking.jp%2Fcategory%2Fsubcategory_0108_month.html


Last edited by adr1an; 08-05-2011 at 08:45 PM.
08-05-2011, 08:42 PM   #170
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I think one fact that may be overlooked is the fact that the same people who use flickr, probably visit other forums, blogs and at some point or another are urged (for good reason) to buy a prime.

But, there's a huge market of people who just have a DSLR with a kit lens and are happy with the results for their own personal use, or perhaps only for sharing w/ facebook.
08-05-2011, 09:11 PM   #171
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QuoteOriginally posted by adr1an Quote
Just to try and help prevent confusion over assumptions and beliefs... I just went and checked out the BCN ranking for DSLR Lenses.

Seems Primes are the preferred lens... Based on Sales anyway Dunno about actual 'use' So this is pretty concrete and not based on flickr stats or assumptions - It based on what people are buying
It's pretty clear that through the sales rankings you found, Amazon sales, and Flickr photos posted, that DSLR users who shoot with primes are far, far greater in number than the erroneous 10% that one poster claimed. I noticed they haven't posted since.
08-05-2011, 09:31 PM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
It's pretty clear that through the sales rankings you found, Amazon sales, and Flickr photos posted, that DSLR users who shoot with primes are far, far greater in number .....
To be fair - I'd slightly alter the above to say "that DSLR users who own primes are far...."

I would be outwardly accepting personally of extrapolating that to 'shoot with' based on the Flickr stats you provided... but should keep it honest and say that for all we know they use them as Ornamental Ashtrays, because we can in this situation only point out they are the sales leaders and not categorically prove their use... plus a sizeable bunch probably do just buy 'kits' and stick with that.... so its easy to get bogged down in details regarding their actual 'use'...

Regardless - clearly they are the more often purchased type of lens versus a zoom regardless of Body Brand so their relevance need to be considered in the scheme of things, and there does seem to be a healthy amount of unit sales each month (so either they are used - or there is crap loads of pretty looking Nikkor Astrays in Japan ) so it would be logical that the desires of the users of these lenses should probably get at least a little bit of attention paid to them...
08-05-2011, 09:32 PM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
So it does matter how many Nikon orders. They order so many Sony cannot afford to pixx Nikon off and shop around a co-designed sensor to anyone who comes knocking.
I'll ask again: So who will a pixxed off Nikon turn to for world leading sensors?
I don't think Sony is forced to play nice with Nikon. It's the other way round.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
What Pentax needs is a FF price war between Canon and Nikon.
As soon as this happens, Pentax will have lost the opportunity to create a market for themselves. They'll then only be able to join with a "me to" product.

I don't see any price war creating so many FF camera sales that FF sensors become "cheap enough for Pentax" to use. I don't think FF sensor are too expensive for Pentax to use right now. Maybe it will take a bit more time but waiting till Canikon FF's prices have come down, I believe, would be wrong,

08-06-2011, 04:34 AM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by adr1an Quote
Seems Primes are the preferred lens... Based on Sales anyway
I'm not sure that's a good indicator, either. If we were to take two photographers, one being a zoom shooter and the other being a prime lens shooter, who is going to purchase more lenses? The typical amateur zoom shooter might purchase an 18-200. To cover that same range, a prime shooter might purchase a 15, 31, 50, 100 macro, and 200 (if not more). Sales stats would show that primes sell at a 5 to 1 ratio...and would be right. But that doesn't necessarily indicate how many individual users of each type of lens there are. I'm not saying that nobody uses primes. They do. Many of the people in my camera club have macro lenses...but they're far more interested in zooms because that's what they use for the majority of their shooting. I can't believe this is really even a discussion. Out of all the DSLR shooters we encounter out in public, how often do you see one using a prime lens that isn't a specialty lens like a macro or long telephoto? Maybe it's just my section of the country, but the only photographer I can remember seeing that was using a prime was some guy at the zoo who had a really nice 400mm. (edited to add) The other two lenses he was using were high-quality zooms.
08-06-2011, 04:53 AM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I'm not sure that's a good indicator, either. If we were to take two photographers, one being a zoom shooter and the other being a prime lens shooter, who is going to purchase more lenses? The typical amateur zoom shooter might purchase an 18-200. To cover that same range, a prime shooter might purchase a 15, 31, 50, 100 macro, and 200 (if not more). Sales stats would show that primes sell at a 5 to 1 ratio...and would be right. But that doesn't necessarily indicate how many individual users of each type of lens there are. I'm not saying that nobody uses primes. They do. Many of the people in my camera club have macro lenses...but they're far more interested in zooms because that's what they use for the majority of their shooting. I can't believe this is really even a discussion. Out of all the DSLR shooters we encounter out in public, how often do you see one using a prime lens that isn't a specialty lens like a macro or long telephoto? Maybe it's just my section of the country, but the only photographer I can remember seeing that was using a prime was some guy at the zoo who had a really nice 400mm. (edited to add) The other two lenses he was using were high-quality zooms.


I think it is other way round. A zoom shooter is far more interested in primes than a prime shooter interested in zooms.

Here is the reason. User gets a kit lens which is usually a zoom. So this means when you buy a prime you know that your interest lies in primes and this is why you are buying them. So if you are prime shooter it is very unlikely that you would be interested in going through burden of selling them and buy zooms.

You can start with zooms (kits) and keep on buying further zooms and not get interested in primes at all. But that is different than being a prime shooter and more interested in zooms.
08-06-2011, 05:31 AM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by zxaar Quote
A zoom shooter is far more interested in primes than a prime shooter interested in zooms.
I would agree with this statement, as far as it goes, but I still believe that the overal population of DSLR owners are fine with using zooms.
08-06-2011, 05:43 AM   #177
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
This severely limits the validity of that poster's claim that 90% of DSLR buyers use zooms only.
90% of camera buyers are moms and dads who buy them to take snapshots of their kids and vacation pictures. They will rarely ever take the lens off the body, and will never buy a prime.
08-06-2011, 05:51 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by zxaar Quote
I think it is other way round. A zoom shooter is far more interested in primes than a prime shooter interested in zooms.

Here is the reason. User gets a kit lens which is usually a zoom. So this means when you buy a prime you know that your interest lies in primes and this is why you are buying them. So if you are prime shooter it is very unlikely that you would be interested in going through burden of selling them and buy zooms.

You can start with zooms (kits) and keep on buying further zooms and not get interested in primes at all. But that is different than being a prime shooter and more interested in zooms.
There are lots of sweeping generalizations going on in this thread. Some people like primes, some people like zooms, some people like both.

Lenses are tools, and people who make informed decisions will buy the tool that works best for them, prime or zoom. I have a couple primes, but they are toys and specialty items compared to my workhorse zooms. It doesn't mean anything other than I get the shots I'm looking for primarily with my zooms. If I need a specific look from a prime, I'll use it.
08-06-2011, 06:36 AM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
There are lots of sweeping generalizations going on in this thread. Some people like primes, some people like zooms, some people like both.

Lenses are tools, and people who make informed decisions will buy the tool that works best for them, prime or zoom. I have a couple primes, but they are toys and specialty items compared to my workhorse zooms. It doesn't mean anything other than I get the shots I'm looking for primarily with my zooms. If I need a specific look from a prime, I'll use it.
It is strange that you start reply with saying "There are lots of sweeping generalizations going on" and then go on to do exactly that.

Not everyone is looking for getting work done by their "workhorse" lenses. Some of us are here for fun and pleasure. While if photography was my profession too, i would also use the one that gets my work done. But it seems pro photographers are small percentage of camera users.
08-06-2011, 06:50 AM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by adr1an Quote
Seems Primes are the preferred lens... Based on Sales anyway Dunno about actual 'use' So this is pretty concrete and not based on flickr stats or assumptions - It based on what people are buying
Looked at it earlyer and didn't got the clue about it. The main problem with this list is probably that this is about sales of lenses only, and the big lot off people walk out of a store with a one- or two lens kitpack and those are mainly zooms. When you have two kitzooms and want a third lens, you end up buying a prime I guess.

Looking at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-...lr&sort=pmrank and sort them to best selling and there are many kit-packs.
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