August 21, 2014, 04:07:46 PM

Poll

Do you use primes, zooms, or both

Only primes
13 (11.8%)
Zooms when I can, specialized lenses for Macro, TS-E, super telephotos
12 (10.9%)
Zooms all the time
6 (5.5%)
Both primes and zoo
79 (71.8%)

Total Members Voted: 110

Author Topic: Prime vs zoom  (Read 7524 times)

dickgrafixstop

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 06:32:25 AM »
I manage very well with a 35mm and an 85mm - especially for travelling.  Must be a throwback to film
days when zooms weren't so very good.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 06:32:25 AM »

Cosk

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 09:15:48 AM »
I used to shoot zoom (and had a couple primes)... until one day I started looking at all the framed photos on my walls and realized that all but one or two were taken with the primes.

Zooms may have been 80% of my clicks... but all the keepers came out of the smaller set of prime shots. 


Now I shoot all prime... which caused an unintended consequence that led to a very tricky and expensive problem:  I'm out of walls.

5DII 5D 135L 85L 50/1.4 35L 17-40/4L | Denver, CO

RGF

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1262
  • How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 09:28:46 AM »
I manage very well with a 35mm and an 85mm - especially for travelling.  Must be a throwback to film
days when zooms weren't so very good.

I remember the Nikon 43-86 zoom, real dog of a lens

ecka

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 606
  • Size matters ;)
    • View Profile
    • flickr
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2013, 08:38:36 AM »
Zooms for work, primes for pleasure!  ;)
FF + primes !

c.d.embrey

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 417
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 09:44:16 AM »
Ninety-five % of the time I'm shooting with an 85mm f/1.8. The other five % with a 90mm f/2.8 TS-E. No zoomz needed.

Leejo

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
  • Still relearning the same things...
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2013, 11:29:07 AM »
Zooms mostly - especially where no primes exist for an EF-S :-) [Sigma 8-16mm]
or when simply as a walkabout (15-85 & 70-300)
but 24&35&50mm Primes when I need low light performance - seeing as the above are rather slow -
or I have the time ...
The Lensbaby and 500 T2-Mirror lens are just for fun.

Next lens(es) could be either a prime 100mmL Macro or zoom 70-200Lis2.8 or even possibly a 70-300L to replace the 70-300...
Canon 7D

vlad

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 08:08:51 PM »
If I know the ballpark focal length I need ahead of time - primes.  If there is ambiguity - zooms.  But not all or nothing, typically my bag will have at least one of each. 

And it's not always about getting that magical prime look or creamy bokeh or whatever - sometimes it's about size and weight.

Why haul around the 70-200 II if a 135L will do (and IS is not needed).
The 16-35 has a great range, but the 24 1.4 is much less obtrusive.

I will admit that with the 5D III the dominance of primes when it comes to low light has been compromised by the higher usable ISO range.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 08:08:51 PM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13848
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 08:18:26 PM »
I will admit that with the 5D III the dominance of primes when it comes to low light has been compromised by the higher usable ISO range.

+1

I'll still use my 85/135 lenses for subject isolation in portraits, but the 35L was my go-to lens for indoor ambient light shooting and nighttime walkaround, and I wonder how much I'll use it in those situations now that I have a 24-70/2.8 II.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

TrumpetPower!

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 08:30:35 PM »
I will admit that with the 5D III the dominance of primes when it comes to low light has been compromised by the higher usable ISO range.

+1

I'll still use my 85/135 lenses for subject isolation in portraits, but the 35L was my go-to lens for indoor ambient light shooting and nighttime walkaround, and I wonder how much I'll use it in those situations now that I have a 24-70/2.8 II.

The obvious question is...how often do you shoot faster than f/2.8 not because that gives you the depth of field you desire for the shot but because it's the only way to get the shutter speed you want, and you really wish you could shoot at f/2.8 or slower to get more depth of field?

If the answer is, "not often," I predict you'll rarely reach for the primes. Of course, if the answer is, "all the time," then it's the 24-70 that'll gather dust....

Cheers,

b&

PhotographerJim

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 19
  • Explorer of Life
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 09:42:10 PM »
I'm about equal using both. Although the shots taken with the 24-105L I have seems to lack the 'feel' of those shot with my primes.

I must be old fashioned, I still prefer Ilford Delta 100 & my 50 f/1.4 & 100 f/2 primes.

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13848
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2013, 09:44:09 PM »
I will admit that with the 5D III the dominance of primes when it comes to low light has been compromised by the higher usable ISO range.

+1

I'll still use my 85/135 lenses for subject isolation in portraits, but the 35L was my go-to lens for indoor ambient light shooting and nighttime walkaround, and I wonder how much I'll use it in those situations now that I have a 24-70/2.8 II.

The obvious question is...how often do you shoot faster than f/2.8 not because that gives you the depth of field you desire for the shot but because it's the only way to get the shutter speed you want, and you really wish you could shoot at f/2.8 or slower to get more depth of field?

With the 35L, the answer is 'often' for indoor ambient and 'sometimes' for nighttime walkaround.  Regardless, I'll hang onto the 35L for a while. It's not a fair time to evaluate indoor ambient usage with DST begun and days getting longer.  I'll see what happens next winter...
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

Random Orbits

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1298
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2013, 11:23:17 PM »
I will admit that with the 5D III the dominance of primes when it comes to low light has been compromised by the higher usable ISO range.

+1

I'll still use my 85/135 lenses for subject isolation in portraits, but the 35L was my go-to lens for indoor ambient light shooting and nighttime walkaround, and I wonder how much I'll use it in those situations now that I have a 24-70/2.8 II.

The obvious question is...how often do you shoot faster than f/2.8 not because that gives you the depth of field you desire for the shot but because it's the only way to get the shutter speed you want, and you really wish you could shoot at f/2.8 or slower to get more depth of field?

With the 35L, the answer is 'often' for indoor ambient and 'sometimes' for nighttime walkaround.  Regardless, I'll hang onto the 35L for a while. It's not a fair time to evaluate indoor ambient usage with DST begun and days getting longer.  I'll see what happens next winter...

I recently shot a boys basketball game in response to a last minute request from a friend, who was the young boys' coach.  I'd never been to the court before, so I brought a few lenses.  Well, the gym was not much larger than the court, and I was shooting near the baseline near one of the corners.  I had hoped to use the 135L but it was too long and I had to use the 24-70 instead.  A large percentage of the shots were wide open at ISO 3200 for shutter speeds near 1/500.  The zoom saved me that day because most of the pics were from 35-60mm from under the basket.  The pics were good and I was impressed how well the  5D3 + 24-70 II's AF worked.

The next day, I shot a birthday party at a beginner's gymnastics gym in even dimmer conditions.  The gym had a large bank of windows on one side, which made a lot of the pictures strongly side or back lit.  I started with a 85mm prime close to wide open but it couldn't track the kids erratic movement, so out came the 24-70, which delivered so well for the basketball game.  Most of the pics with the 24-70 were at ISO 5000 near 1/500.  What surprised me was that the basketball pics were a lot better than those from the birthday party.  I know it's not any one thing, but the higher ISO (and noticeably worse DR/increased noise), worse lighting, and smaller, more erratically moving kids, all had their parts for why the images were worse.  The prime missed a lot, but it was better at taming the harsh side/back light due to the natural vignetting and dimmer/more defocused background due to the larger aperture (plus it allowed me to drop down to ISO 1000).  In the end, I chose the zoom over the prime in both cases (IQ drops with higher ISOs but missing the shots because they're blurry is even worse), but I sometimes wish I had a fast-focusing 35 or 50 prime instead.

For more stationary subjects indoors and for use at night, I'll opt for the primes almost all the time.  For shooting kids sports where I have access to the sideline (not focal length limited), zooms are great.  Did I mention how impressed I was with the 24-70 II's focusing abilities?? 

bycostello

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 910
    • View Profile
    • London Weddings
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 12:23:54 AM »
both, depends what i am doing

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 12:23:54 AM »

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2558
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2013, 12:29:45 AM »
Definitely both for me too.  Football my standard gear is a 400 f/2.8 on one camera and a 70-200 f/2.8 on another.  Gotta have both.  Soccer I can run all around the edges of the field so I use a 300 f/2.8 but I still use the 70-200 f/2.8 zoom on a second camera. 
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

AudioGlenn

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 351
    • View Profile
Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2013, 02:00:53 AM »
5D mkIII  |  40 f/2.8 | 8-15 f/4L | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 1.4x III TC | 600ex-rt | 430 ex ii | EOS M+22mm f/2 | EF to EF-M adapter

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime vs zoom
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2013, 02:00:53 AM »