September 30, 2014, 10:55:01 AM

Author Topic: Transitioning to Primes  (Read 9299 times)

bleephotography

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2013, 10:47:47 PM »
But like I said, I rarely zoom in and out in between the widest and longest ends of my zooms, so it seems only logical that I could benefit from the lighter weight and faster aperture of primes

There may be a flaw in your logic.  It's common for zooms to get the most use at the extreme ends.  The question is, do you shoot your 70-200mm at 200mm...then 70mm...then back to 200mm, etc.?  If so, could you see yourself swapping lenses between each focal length change?

Although I could see myself swapping lenses (I don't do any sort of event/paid photography yet), I'm sure I would miss the ability to zoom quickly to either ends.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/07/lenses-dont-collect-the-whole-set

Also remember that the conditions you shoot in may dictate your lens choices more so than anything else.  Primes are nice, and in some ways a cheap way to get to a desired length, but having multiple lenses with you at all times, and switching may not allow for the shot you want.
For a long time I didn't have a zoom in the 24-70mm range. I found it was a great benefit to have a zoom from 70-200mm but not as much in the wider ranges. I used a 24mm f/1.4 L or my 35mm f/1.4 L if I wanted something wide.
I have the 16-35mm II and never used it.
I know own a 24-70mm II and the quality is good enough I leave it on the camera and use my primes when a specialty situation arrises only. So I guess I go for option 3, own the zoom and the primes for whatever specialty you enjoy. For example landscape get one of the fine 24mm L lenses. If you fancy macro get a 100mm f/2.8 L.

Thanks to all of your advice, I plan on acquiring a 24-70 again (either the Canon or Tamron, haven't decided yet) and I'll simply add more primes as needed and as funds permit, starting with the 85 II and 40 pancake. I don't know what I would do without you guys and this great forum :)

Cheers.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 10:50:47 PM by bleephotography »
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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2013, 10:47:47 PM »

terminatahx

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2013, 03:46:09 PM »
uh, the 24-70 2.8L II and 70-200 2.8L II rival many L primes.  I suggest you check the MTF tables.  Nice to have choices though, I'm jealous.
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GMCPhotographics

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2013, 07:02:10 AM »
uh, the 24-70 2.8L II and 70-200 2.8L II rival many L primes.  I suggest you check the MTF tables.  Nice to have choices though, I'm jealous.
If one is running with zooms, then it's fairly easy to use just a single camera body. The problem with primes is the distinct last of compositional options, sure one can move about but it's nowhere as flexible or fast as a zoom. Racking in or out is so much easier and faster. So many of us prime users require a camera body for each prime...I often have three cameras around my neck shooting weddings.
But please don't confuse the look and creative options a fast prime can offer over a f2.8 zoom with focal length options. Just becuase a 24-70 f2.8 L has 24mm, 35mm and 50mm markings doesn't mean that the photos will look the same as the ones shot from a wide open prime. Although the DOF look difference gets less noticable as the focal length gets wider. The 35mm f1.4 L is far better at melting a background than a 24mm f1.4 L can. Which is why I like to use a 16-35IIL for focal lengths under 35mm. Apart from brightness, there's little creative differences. At the longer end, it's even more pronounced, a 85IIL is far easier to isolate backgrounds with head and shoulders portraits than a 70-200 f2.8 II L is capable of. I'm not saying the zoom can't get great results, but it needs a much longer working distance and the telephoto compression effect may or may not look as at attractive as the shorter 85mm compression.   

East Wind Photography

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2013, 07:31:18 AM »
Be careful and check out your 24-70 II when you get it.  I could not get a good one.  I could not get them to AF as accurately as my mk I version on two different bodies.  I had high hopes but decided to return the last one and keep my original.  Now I am exploring primes in that range. Got an 85L which I am infatuated with to a fault.  Not exactly in that range but working my way down as my bank acct allows.

Something else to keep in mind though most wouldn't realize...you also tend to get more light transmission with a prime in general than with a zoom.  The additional optical elements can give you up to 1 stop less light even at the same f ratio setting.  Could be important if you do a lot of low light shooting.  One example I can give is that comparing my 100L with my 70-200L mk II at the same f stop and focal length, I lose 2/3rd of a stop worth of light on the zoom.

Might not be important to you but just be aware in your decisions....and test your new lenses every which way and then some to make sure it lives up to your expectations.



Wow, I wasn't expecting so many great responses!

It's true I've only shot with a few primes (the Canon 100L & 200L, and Sigma 35 Art), so my experience is limited in that regards. But like I said, I rarely zoom in and out in between the widest and longest ends of my zooms, so it seems only logical that I could benefit from the lighter weight and faster aperture of primes; granted I'd be losing out on the convenience and versatility of my zooms if I choose an either/or scenario.

So I think what I'll do is purchase the 40 pancake and 85 II for now and see how I cope with not being able to zoom. I actually returned the 24-70 II a few weeks back (forgot to update my sig) due to $ constraints, but I grew very fond of it while I had it. This is why I'm in a position to make a switch now.

If I go with the 24-70 II again or the 24 II, I'd buy it reburb from the Canon store (as I did with my 70-200 and will do with the 40 and 85 as well). Or, for the cost of a 24-70 II, I could buy the Tamron equivalent AND the Sigma 18-35. Basically, I have about $3800 to spend and I'd have that much more if I sold the 70-200 to reconfigure my kit. IDK, all your input has got me really thinking and torn whether this is the best decision, and unfortunately the closest camera store with any of these lenses in stock is over an hour away :(
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 07:36:11 AM by East Wind Photography »

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2013, 08:51:05 AM »
Option 1, for a wide angle on your FF bodies.

+ 1

And Plus extra TS-E 24 mm. F/ 3.5  L MK II for the Most Imagination/ Innovative Photos that you can create, and No any lens can do--Except some of Lensbaby, in some of the tricks.

sanj

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2013, 10:46:42 AM »
I'm not a fan of the idea "or this, or that." :-X The combination of zooms and primes gives you more flexibility, depending on the type of photo. Indeed, in works of great responsibility, I always carry two bodies. One with a F2.8 zoom and flash, and other with F1.4 prime. If you shoot in the studio only, makes sense to abandon zoom lenses. Otherwise, your second option is safer for times when you do not have total control over people or objects.

yep

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2013, 11:17:47 AM »
My answer is dependent upon whether you are trying to stay close or equivalent to the cost/value of the zooms. If that is the case:

24II, Sigma 50/1.4, Sigma 85/1.4, keep the 70-200II (assuming you get copies of the Sigmas that work well with your bodies).

Or if you can wait, I would be curious to see how well the upcoming Sigma 24/1.4 will perform. Might save a little that way also.

On the other hand, if you are willing to add some cheese on top, I say go all Canon with the same focal lengths I mentioned above.

Don't know how wide you absolutely need, but I shoot a lot of people/street as well and I find 35 and 50 to be much more useful FLs than 24. If that is something you find you can agree with for your purposes, I highly recommend the 35L, Sigma 35 (assuming you get a copy that plays nice with your body of course), and Canon 35/2 IS. I know many have overlooked the 35/2 IS, but since the price drop, it is definitely a lot of bang for the buck and very versatile.

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2013, 11:17:47 AM »

ablearcher

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2013, 11:51:24 AM »
I would keep the zooms and add one prime at a time to see how often I use it. In your situation i would add 135L to your zooms setup. This is a great portrait and street lens and relatively inexpensive. See how often you prefer it over your 70-200 zoom. See if the IQ difference justifies having a fixed FL lens.

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dickgrafixstop

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2013, 12:15:20 PM »
After years of humping large SLRs, motor drives and big zoom lenses, I now travel with a 35mm, an 85mm
and don't feel I miss a thing. 

mackguyver

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2013, 02:16:51 PM »
As someone who just did the exact opposite (sort of), I would really ask yourself if this is the best course.  I sold my 35 1.4, 50 1.2, and 135 2 to get a 300 2.8 II.  I kept my 24 1.4 II, and 85 1.2 II, but found myself using the other lenses less and less after upgrading to the 24-70 II and 70-200 II. 

If I were you, I'd consider trading the 70-200 II (a huge lens) for the 85 1.2 II and 135 2 to get the portability you desire.  That's how I'd start.  The 85 1.2 II is amazing and the 70-200 can't touch the look you get from f1.2-2.

If you're still having prime lust, I'd keep the 24-70 II as it's not that huge, and then pick your most used prime focal length (i.e, 24, 35, or 50) and buy that lens.  For me, my love is the 24mm perspective, so that's what I kept, but others prefer the 35 or 50.

If you don't shoot the vast majority of your shots at f/2.8 or need portability, I'd just start with one prime before selling your zooms to make sure.  The convenience you give up is much bigger than you think unless you mostly shoot portraits, street photos or the like.

Your last option is to rent one more primes for a week or two and try to shoot everyday with them so see if it's worth it for you.  Everyone is different and I never imagined I'd part with my primes, but not that I only have 2 of them, I don't miss the rest.

AcutancePhotography

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2013, 12:33:29 PM »
After years of humping large SLRs, motor drives and big zoom lenses, I now travel with a 35mm, an 85mm
and don't feel I miss a thing.

When I rebuild my lens kit with good quality glass (instead of the cheap stuff I could afford in my youth), those are the primes I am also getting.  Later I might add something in the 150mm macro range.  One I build my prime kit I might consider a mid range zoom as a walk around.  Or I might not. 

Of course, it depends on the type of photography one does.  For my type, a small set of primes will work better than a zoom.
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GMCPhotographics

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2013, 03:51:01 AM »
As someone who just did the exact opposite (sort of), I would really ask yourself if this is the best course.  I sold my 35 1.4, 50 1.2, and 135 2 to get a 300 2.8 II.  I kept my 24 1.4 II, and 85 1.2 II, but found myself using the other lenses less and less after upgrading to the 24-70 II and 70-200 II. 

If I were you, I'd consider trading the 70-200 II (a huge lens) for the 85 1.2 II and 135 2 to get the portability you desire.  That's how I'd start.  The 85 1.2 II is amazing and the 70-200 can't touch the look you get from f1.2-2.

If you're still having prime lust, I'd keep the 24-70 II as it's not that huge, and then pick your most used prime focal length (i.e, 24, 35, or 50) and buy that lens.  For me, my love is the 24mm perspective, so that's what I kept, but others prefer the 35 or 50.

If you don't shoot the vast majority of your shots at f/2.8 or need portability, I'd just start with one prime before selling your zooms to make sure.  The convenience you give up is much bigger than you think unless you mostly shoot portraits, street photos or the like.

Your last option is to rent one more primes for a week or two and try to shoot everyday with them so see if it's worth it for you.  Everyone is different and I never imagined I'd part with my primes, but not that I only have 2 of them, I don't miss the rest.

Renting is a great thing to do. It's a little loss in money but it does give you the chance of really working with the lens before the big purchase. When I was a newbie pro, I would hire a lens I needed for a gig to try out and see how I got on with it. When I had the money to buy, I know exactly what I wanted and didn't want and it made my gear quest a lot more informed. These days, I do most of my weddings with just three lenses. Landscapes, just three lenses...Wildlife, just three lenses....unfortunatly mostly different lenses!

bleephotography

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2013, 03:28:18 PM »
I would keep the zooms and add one prime at a time to see how often I use it. In your situation i would add 135L to your zooms setup. This is a great portrait and street lens and relatively inexpensive. See how often you prefer it over your 70-200 zoom. See if the IQ difference justifies having a fixed FL lens.

Thanks. I'm actually in the process of doing exactly this. I added the Sigma 35, which is my preferred focal length, and I'm looking to add the 135 and repurchase the 24-70 II when the next batch of rebates come around. Having a lighter telephoto will come in handy when I don't want to lug my 70-200 around or when I'm doing more head and shoulder portraits.
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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2013, 03:28:18 PM »

bleephotography

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2013, 03:33:30 PM »
As someone who just did the exact opposite (sort of), I would really ask yourself if this is the best course.  I sold my 35 1.4, 50 1.2, and 135 2 to get a 300 2.8 II.  I kept my 24 1.4 II, and 85 1.2 II, but found myself using the other lenses less and less after upgrading to the 24-70 II and 70-200 II. 

If I were you, I'd consider trading the 70-200 II (a huge lens) for the 85 1.2 II and 135 2 to get the portability you desire.  That's how I'd start.  The 85 1.2 II is amazing and the 70-200 can't touch the look you get from f1.2-2.

If you're still having prime lust, I'd keep the 24-70 II as it's not that huge, and then pick your most used prime focal length (i.e, 24, 35, or 50) and buy that lens.  For me, my love is the 24mm perspective, so that's what I kept, but others prefer the 35 or 50.

If you don't shoot the vast majority of your shots at f/2.8 or need portability, I'd just start with one prime before selling your zooms to make sure.  The convenience you give up is much bigger than you think unless you mostly shoot portraits, street photos or the like.

Your last option is to rent one more primes for a week or two and try to shoot everyday with them so see if it's worth it for you.  Everyone is different and I never imagined I'd part with my primes, but not that I only have 2 of them, I don't miss the rest.

Well, after a few days of pondering, I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of my 70-200 (especially now that I've added the 1.4x extender for sports). Having a couple fast primes at either ends of the spectrum in addition to the versatility and quality of the 24-70 II seems like the most logical choice for how I shoot. I'll be getting the 135 instead of the 85 II, but who knows...maybe I'll add the latter later. Thanks for the advice!
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mackguyver

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2013, 01:30:28 PM »
As someone who just did the exact opposite (sort of), I would really ask yourself if this is the best course.  I sold my 35 1.4, 50 1.2, and 135 2 to get a 300 2.8 II.  I kept my 24 1.4 II, and 85 1.2 II, but found myself using the other lenses less and less after upgrading to the 24-70 II and 70-200 II. 

If I were you, I'd consider trading the 70-200 II (a huge lens) for the 85 1.2 II and 135 2 to get the portability you desire.  That's how I'd start.  The 85 1.2 II is amazing and the 70-200 can't touch the look you get from f1.2-2.

If you're still having prime lust, I'd keep the 24-70 II as it's not that huge, and then pick your most used prime focal length (i.e, 24, 35, or 50) and buy that lens.  For me, my love is the 24mm perspective, so that's what I kept, but others prefer the 35 or 50.

If you don't shoot the vast majority of your shots at f/2.8 or need portability, I'd just start with one prime before selling your zooms to make sure.  The convenience you give up is much bigger than you think unless you mostly shoot portraits, street photos or the like.

Your last option is to rent one more primes for a week or two and try to shoot everyday with them so see if it's worth it for you.  Everyone is different and I never imagined I'd part with my primes, but not that I only have 2 of them, I don't miss the rest.

Well, after a few days of pondering, I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of my 70-200 (especially now that I've added the 1.4x extender for sports). Having a couple fast primes at either ends of the spectrum in addition to the versatility and quality of the 24-70 II seems like the most logical choice for how I shoot. I'll be getting the 135 instead of the 85 II, but who knows...maybe I'll add the latter later. Thanks for the advice!
I'm happy to have helped and you'll love the 135 f/2 - it's an amazing lens and WAY more discreet and portable than the 70-200 2.8.  You can always add more primes, as you say, but the 135 makes the most sense of any lens to replace the 70-200 when you need something smaller.  It works well with the 1.4x as well, provided you stop down to f/5.6 or smaller.

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Re: Transitioning to Primes
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2013, 01:30:28 PM »