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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2008, 02:24 PM  
Poll: primes vs zooms ?
Posted By Canada_Rockies
Replies: 34
Views: 5,429
I am in the both camp, as you can see in the signature. For long focus, I have never been satisfied with anything but primes. I tried the well reviewed Sigma 170-500, but it was softer than the 400/5.6 I still have.

For macro, there is no choice but the prime lens.

For scenics, the zooms allow me to frame using the perspective I want. Note that perspective is changed with the feet, framing with the lens. Here in the mountains, there are quite a few occasions when using the feet to move around is not an option, and framing must be done by changing focal length no matter the effect on perspective.

I have also used other primes in the past. I used to have a 28/3.5 Pentax Shift lens. It was superb for taking shots in Chicago, the home of the sky scraper, but not as useful here in the Rocky Mountains. 135 mm primes on 35mm film were near perfect for taking images of children, but a bit long for portrait work.

For a very long time, I used only three lenses: 28/3.5, 55/1.8 and 135/3.5 on a fully manual KX body. I still own the 28, but my daughter in law seems to have taken full possession of it. :D My daughter got the 55, and the 135 was swapped for the A 70-210.

Zooms have gradually become very good lenses indeed, so the quality loss is not as noticeable in the wide to moderate telephoto range. I would have been ecstatic with the quality of the Sigma 170-500 twenty years ago, but now I want the sharpness of the prime long lens.
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