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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: cszy67 on April 03, 2013, 11:49:02 PM

Title: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: cszy67 on April 03, 2013, 11:49:02 PM
My question has to do with my desire to gradually convert my lenses from zooms to primes and more importantly, which primes should I plan to purchase?

My current zooms are:


A quick look at the L primes include:


I am just curious which primes you would select and in what particular order you would purchase them in? I pretty much like taking all sorts of pictures to include people, architecture, landscape, astronomy, etc.

Thanks in advance for your time and effort.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: RLPhoto on April 04, 2013, 12:26:02 AM
My choice was

24L II-50L-135L

But I've also seen

35L-85L-135L

I feel my combo is more flexible than the latter. It's wider when needed and the 50mm covers more stuff than a 35mm.

Generally, choose a wide, mid and tele lens. My only need is for the 135L to be IS and possibly f/1.8. Done.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: Hobby Shooter on April 04, 2013, 01:19:09 AM
Is the 70-200 the IS Mk II, then why would you want to switch that?

Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: c3hammer on April 04, 2013, 01:49:17 AM
I'd keep the 70-200, then pic up a tokina 11-16, 24LII, 50L and some time down the road an 85L.

That's exactly my setup and it seems to cover all the bases nearly perfectly on a crop cam for me.
I do mostly video though with the 11-16 and 24 on a stabilizer virtually all the time.  The 50 is a specialty lens for me and I rarely use it.  I either want to zoom it in close or I want wider for the moving action shots I can be in the middle of with the stabilizer.  Just my style I guess, but I just don't feel like changing out lenses that much, but really do appreciate the image quality available in the higher end primes.

A fast 85mm will be my next addition.  There is the occasion where you want some reach in lower light.  The combination of a 24LII and an 85L could be all I would ever need :)

Cheers,
Pete
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: eml58 on April 04, 2013, 02:07:07 AM
Well I'm pretty sure you will get a load of suggestions on why you shouldn't do this, and why Zooms are today just as good as Primes, but I've been through this exercise myself, and I recently did a trip to Japan to shoot the "Snow Monkeys" and decided for the first time ever to leave my Zooms at home.

For the record I have thee following Zooms; 8-15f/4 L, 16-35f/2.8 L II, 24-70f/2.8 L II, 70-200f/2.8L II, 70-300f/4-5.6L.

For Japan I packed the following; 14f/2.8L II, 24f/1.4 L II, Sigma 35f/1.4, 50f/1.2 L, 85f/12 L II, 135f/2 L, 200f/2 L.

The most used Lenses for this shoot, and probably the one's I'de suggest you could start with as a point of entry would be Sigma 35f/1.4, 85f/1.2 L II, 135f/2 & if you have the extra money there's nothing in the 200 range that can equal the 200f/2 L, keep in mind this was more of a Portrait shoot, only Monkeys as the subjects, around the city streets of Tokyo I relied more on the 24f/1.2 L II & the 50f/1.2 L.

There's no doubt in my own mind that any of these Primes, when compared to any of the Zooms I currently own, give a better IQ, though not necessarily a lot better, and you need to really peep when comparing to the 24-70 ii, but the Primes are marginally better, but there'll be a thousand opinions on this forum on that subject, what you do give up with out a doubt is the simple versatility of the Zooms, but I enjoyed the experience of having to think more about my shots when using the Primes, I believe it makes you a better photographer (I can here the howling in the background), a similar experience I had with the Leica M9, bought the gear, tried it for a year, then sold it all, I loved the Camera & the lenses, again, makes you a better Photographer, but my eye sight simply wasn't up to the Focusing system on the Leica, I'm pretty well screwed without Auto Focus or the time to use Live view.

Only other recommendation would be to think about the 17f/4 II TSE, this is a remarkable Lens, albeit somewhat of a specialised piece of Gear, but used properly it's about as good as it gets for a WA lens.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: pwp on April 04, 2013, 02:10:18 AM
My question has to do with my desire to gradually convert my lenses from zooms to primes and more importantly, which primes should I plan to purchase?
My current zooms are:
  • 16-35mm f/2.8L II
  • 24-70mm f/2.8L
  • 70-200mm f/2.8L

Why change? Get a grip. Stay with zooms would be my advice. I can understand if the older model 24-70 f/2.8 has left you feeling somewhat underwhelmed, but consider updating to the astounding new 24-70 f/2.8II. Plenty of photographers, myself included are selling off their primes in this zoom range because the new zoom outperforms those primes...the amazing 24 f/1.4II included. You don't have to dig too deep to discover that the 70-200 f/2.8isII is probably the finest zoom on the planet.

These lenses along with your 16-35 f/2.8II are what are sometimes extravagantly described as the Holy Trinity of zooms. You'll have a compact bag, a lighter bag and an ultimately more flexible kit than a collection of primes. Primes are fine, but I believe somewhat over-rated. They're not some kind of Holy Grail that will transport your images into some ethereal plane. 

-PW
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: timmy_650 on April 04, 2013, 02:23:58 AM
I would start with the 50 and maybe the 50 1.4 depending on how much time you have used primes and see how you feel about them. 50 is the classic prime too and it is a great place to start bc it can do a lot.   Primes are a lot of fun but for like children who move too much a nice zoom is great to have.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on April 04, 2013, 02:45:00 AM
I too am in the process of getting some primes but I do not intend to sell my zoom lenses. The reason / prime lenses that I am considering are:
Canon EF 14 f/2.8 L for landscapes, architecture etc
Sigma 35 f/1.4 for general purpose, a bit of street photography etc
Canon 135 f/2 L for portraits

But I'll get the Sigma 35 f/1.4 first due to budget constraints, then the Canon EF 14 f/2.8 L II and at a later stage the 135 f/2 L
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: helpful on April 04, 2013, 02:45:05 AM
Out of your options, my choices would be these:


Some might say why no 50mm, but I find myself in almost all situations using either a two-camera combo of two of those three, or a three-camera combo of all three of them. And I get way better shots than the people with their slow, heavy zooms. The 200mm is a slower f/2.8 to be sure, but as a prime it is much lighter and quicker to acquire and track targets (and actually slightly higher light transmission as well). I support your wish to go to primes.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: Albi86 on April 04, 2013, 02:52:19 AM
My question has to do with my desire to gradually convert my lenses from zooms to primes and more importantly, which primes should I plan to purchase?

My current zooms are:

  • 16-35mm f/2.8L II
  • 24-70mm f/2.8L
  • 70-200mm f/2.8L

A quick look at the L primes include:

  • 14mm f/2.8L II
  • 24mm f/1.4L II
  • 35mm f/1.4L
  • 50mm f/1.2L
  • 85mm f/1.2L II
  • 100mm f/2.8L
  • 135mm f/2.0L
  • 180mm f/3.5L Macro
  • 200mm f/2.8L II

I am just curious which primes you would select and in what particular order you would purchase them in? I pretty much like taking all sorts of pictures to include people, architecture, landscape, astronomy, etc.

Thanks in advance for your time and effort.

Since I purchased the Sigma 35mm it hardly leaves my camera - wide enough for most things but without the usual technical problems of wider angles. If you can get close enough, it also makes for a great portrait lens.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: Frodo on April 04, 2013, 03:16:37 AM
You haven't said why you want to change from those zooms.  If its image quality, I note you have a 7D.  If I were you I'd get a 5DmkIII - you'll notice a dramatic difference over the 7D.  The IQ of my 7D was less than the 5D classic (which I subsequently upgraded to a 5dMkII and which is worlds superior to the 7D).
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: alexanderferdinand on April 04, 2013, 03:20:54 AM
Primes are nice, I love them and use them parallel to my zooms.
But as someone suggested before: if IQ is that counts, take a FF first.
My 2 cents.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: verysimplejason on April 04, 2013, 03:26:24 AM
I envy your zooms... ;D  Just add some very good primes to your zooms.  Don't discard them.  If I were you, I'll just add a 135mm L and a 50mm F1.2L or 50mm F1.4.  That's it.  If you want some macro, then add a 100mm L macro also.  You can also add a 8-15 mm Fisheye if you want.  :)
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: The Bad Duck on April 04, 2013, 04:03:07 AM
I think of primes vs zooms like this; a prime is a specialist tool and a zoom is more general. When I mount a prime on my camera I have a specific type of image in mind and I look harder for that image compared to when I have a zoom mounted.

So, when you get yourself a prime, you need to think about what you want to do with that lens. Is it portraits of torso/head? Go 85/100/135.
Enviromental portraits? 35/50.
Street? Well... pick your favorite focal length.
Landscapes are usually done wide, but up to 200 mm can be usefull.

If your shot is done >f /4 then it is hard to see any reason to get primes, save for the t/s lenses already mentioned. So in a studio... not much need for a prime. For landscapes, no need for primes (but a good tripod and remote trigger). So, if I head out the door looking for landscapes I usually bring f/4 zooms (and tripod). If I shoot a wedding I use my primes most of the time, same for portraits and models. For my farmphotography, I am usually back to zooms or the samyang 14 /2.8 (and monopod). The right tool for the work ahead.

You need to start with what result you are after. If you do not know, then you are not allowed to buy more gear ;) . Figure out what you want to do, then get the tools to do so. And know that you have good equipment already.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: mhvogel.de on April 04, 2013, 04:03:28 AM
dont.
stay with your optics.

a) upgrade the 24-70 + 70-200 to the II-versions, it's worth the money!

b) add a 14mm (if you need it)
c) get a 50mm
d) get a 100mm macro
changing optics on the job sucks if you have 2 do it too often.
you don't have 4 bodies, do you?
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: ecka on April 04, 2013, 05:18:09 AM
You haven't said why you want to change from those zooms.  If its image quality, I note you have a 7D.  If I were you I'd get a 5DmkIII - you'll notice a dramatic difference over the 7D.  The IQ of my 7D was less than the 5D classic (which I subsequently upgraded to a 5dMkII and which is worlds superior to the 7D).

Primes are nice, I love them and use them parallel to my zooms.
But as someone suggested before: if IQ is that counts, take a FF first.
My 2 cents.

+1

5D3 with zooms would be better than 7D with all the primes.

FF + 16-35/2.8L'II ~ APS-C + 10-22/1.8
FF + 24-70/2.8L'II ~ APS-C + 15-44/1.8
FF + 70-200/2.8L'II ~ APS-C + 44-125/1.8

APS-C + 14/2.8L'II ~ FF + 22/4.5
APS-C + 24/1.4L'II ~ FF + 38/2.2
APS-C + 35/1.4L ~ FF + 56/2.2
APS-C + 50/1.2L ~ FF + 80/2
APS-C + 85/1.2L'II ~ FF + 136/2
APS-C + 100/2.8L ~ FF + 160/4.5
APS-C + 135/2L ~ FF + 216/3.5

My advice:
5D3
TS-E 17L or TS-E 24L instead of 14L'II (for landscapes and architecture)
24L'II is fine
Sigma 35/1.4 instead of Canon
40/2.8 STM - a must-have :D
Sigma 50/1.4 instead of Canon
85L'II is great, but 85/1.8USM is fine (while smaller and faster AF)
135L is nice (better than 85L on APS-C)
Sigma 150/2.8 or 180/2.8 OS Macro instead of 100L, 180L and 200/2.8L'II
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: bholliman on April 04, 2013, 06:51:09 AM
Zooms and primes will always both have a place in my camera bag.  Why limit yourself to one or the other?  Both are tools and useful in certain situations.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: Viggo on April 04, 2013, 07:47:13 AM
I've done what you're planning and it all depends. The initial reason I chose to switch to primes was because of light added, but completely fell in love with really shallow dof. The 35 L is an epic lens for me and my most used. The 24 I could never get rid of, VERY unique look with that wide angle and shallow dof .

Recently though the 1dx let's me shoot at MUCH higher iso's than my 400d with super clean images, so the need for faster apertures are way less now, along with I could use the flexibility of a zoom.

I just bought the 24-70 again and I can never sell it again, complete new life on the 1dx.

So don't choose either is my suggestion, keep your 24-70 and 70-200 and add a 35 L and architecture wise absolutely forget the 14mm, and if you want the best ( I know because I used to own it ) there's no way past the TS17, what a lens!
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: Random Orbits on April 04, 2013, 07:54:01 AM
I've done what you're planning and it all depends. The initial reason I chose to switch to primes was because of light added, but completely fell in love with really shallow dof. The 35 L is an epic lens for me and my most used. The 24 I could never get rid of, VERY unique look with that wide angle and shallow dof .

Recently though the 1dx let's me shoot at MUCH higher iso's than my 400d with super clean images, so the need for faster apertures are way less now, along with I could use the flexibility of a zoom.

I just bought the 24-70 again and I can never sell it again, complete new life on the 1dx.

So don't choose either is my suggestion, keep your 24-70 and 70-200 and add a 35 L and architecture wise absolutely forget the 14mm, and if you want the best ( I know because I used to own it ) there's no way past the TS17, what a lens!

+1.  TS-E 17 and 24-70 II will make a killer combo and would replace your 16-35 II and 24-70.  The 70-200 IS II is also best-in-class, and you'd need to spend a LOT more money to beat it with primes over its focal range.  Add to that a fast prime in the 35, 50 or 85 mm range, and you'd be pretty much set.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: mrsfotografie on April 04, 2013, 08:33:54 AM
dont.
stay with your optics.

a) upgrade the 24-70 + 70-200 to the II-versions, it's worth the money!

b) add a 14mm (if you need it)
c) get a 50mm
d) get a 100mm macro
changing optics on the job sucks if you have 2 do it too often.
you don't have 4 bodies, do you?

+0.75 I would suggest to go full frame first. You can sell the 24-70 and get a 35 or 50 mm prime instead. Keep the 7D for convenience (it's nice to have 2 bodies so you can swap FL's without changing lenses. The crop gives you an extra function for each lens) In the end that will save you changing glass twice. For the 14 mm I would suggest the Samyang to save lots of $$ (add an AF confirmation chip for MF convenience).

Check which FF equivalent focal lengths you use most before deciding between a 35 or 50mm.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: bholliman on April 05, 2013, 09:11:48 AM
If I were in your position I would be looking for full frame options before adding lenses.
Title: Re: Migration from zooms to primes...your suggestions?
Post by: vikta11 on April 05, 2013, 09:29:48 AM
this is interesting since I have been also going with primes and leaving zooms for the most part espesially after going full frame last year with the 5Dmk3. I have tried a lot and have seen most of the ridicules pricing and this is what I'm currently using. Also keep in mind for stills mainly not so much video at this time.

Sigma 35 f1.4 Bitchen piece of glass
Sigma 85 f1.4 test the AF, i had to micro adjust 2+ on second copy, first one was way off. + CA is not the best.
Canon 100L f2.8, love this lens

And my last is a zoom for begger wildlife for now 70-300L I use this lens with Kenko DGX 1.4 and for compression factor.