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Author Topic: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?  (Read 7616 times)

JumboShrimp

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Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« on: December 06, 2013, 03:59:56 PM »
When I take three primes with me for a days' shooting, say 24-50-100mm, I find that I come back with images that are much more interesting and artistic than if I would shoot the same subjects with my 24-105. I'm not necessarily talking about image quality between lenses, per se, but more about the "wow factor" that we all know when everything comes together. When I use a zoom, I am aware that the laziness factor kicks in sometimes, and I take the easy road to composition by just twisting the zoom ring, rather than expending the extra effort by getting closer or lower. Do you find that to be the case with your personal shooting style? Or do you take better pictures with a zoom? Or do you find no difference? Personal insights one way or the other would be appreciated.

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Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« on: December 06, 2013, 03:59:56 PM »

Sebring5

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 04:23:07 PM »
I take better pictures with Sigma zooms. Used a 400mm Canon f/5.6 faithfully until I saw what the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 and 120-300mm f/2.8 could do.

sjschall

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 04:44:38 PM »
Quote
I find that I come back with images that are much more interesting and artistic

I agree with this 100%. Something about those primes. I have your same sentiment, yet I am still always scared to leave the zooms at home...

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 04:48:13 PM »
A lens has little to do with taking better pictures as long as its the tight focal length.  The subject, composition and lighting are 99%.

Don Haines

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 05:07:45 PM »
A lens has little to do with taking better pictures as long as its the tight focal length.  The subject, composition and lighting are 99%.

Most of the time I would agree with that, but I find that when I go walking around with a macro lens on, that I see things differently.
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BozillaNZ

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 05:08:53 PM »
Started out with average zooms, then collected primes, then found that I missed too much opportunities by always having the wrong prime mounted. Finally settled on 24-70 II as the main lens.

But even when I am using the zoom lens, I will now consciously choose a focal length that I intend to use and shoot away. So now using 24-70 II my photos come back with EXIF showing 24, 35, 50, 70 but not much in between. To me it is a bag of primes on it's own.

Prime lens are very good at training your sense of perspective and low light stuff. But once you go over it, you will appreciate what a good zoom can offer.
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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 10:32:45 PM »
Love the zooms for sports (24-70 II/70-200 II), although I might change my mind if I had the superteles.  =)

Even though I take more pictures with the 24-70 than I do with any other of my lenses (the 70-200 is a close second), I usually bring a prime or two).  Primes with large apertures give you the option to blur out the background more effectively and pull the focus onto the subject and gives you more leeway indoors when not using a flash, which are really helpful when shooting in cluttered/confined spaces.

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 10:32:45 PM »

Eldar

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2013, 02:07:38 AM »
At this time of year I skim through the year´s production (November is cold, dark and wet). I normally end up concluding that I do better with primes. I think this is because I work more for each image. Zooms tend to make me a bit lazy, so instead of moving around as i should, I move by zooming. Normally I do best with the 35/1.4, 50/1.2 or 85/1.2.

But this year is different. I believe this year´s winners are the 24-70 f2.8L II, 70-200 f2.8L IS II and 200-400 f4L IS 1.4x. Maybe because they have prime lens optical quality and they are fast enough to give sufficiently shallow DOF when needed. The 85 1.2L II is still the portrait champ though and for long reach the 600 f4L rules.
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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2013, 09:10:22 AM »
I would say yes to start on. Working with primes forces you to compose with perspective in mind. A zoom lens will tend to make you shoot with framing in mind. IE: stand in one spot and zoom for the frame you want. Which isn't always the best option.

I see a zoom lens more as a perspective control tool than a framing tool. That's because working with primes early on showed me to move the camera around for different perspectives.

Dylan777

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2013, 10:12:23 AM »
I have little bit of zoom and prime lenses. Prime lenses create more pop and isolate subject(s) from back ground better - more WOW factor.
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Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

Zv

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2013, 10:32:23 AM »
I switch back and forth and though I love primes (who doesn't?) I find for most things a zoom is more practical. Things like events, parties, weddings and vacation are where I prefer zooms. For me it's more about getting the shot than getting the perfect shot. Get's the job done, ready for anything sort of thing.

However, I deliberately chose all f/4 zooms so that I would still feel the need for speed (sorry that one just slipped out!)  ;)

I am getting back into the primes, I think the 135L is what did it for me. So when I'm shooting for fun or to be creative I'll use that in combo with my EOS M & 22mm. For EOS M - primes. Definitely. Wish there were more available. Currently using old FD lenses via adaptor with it.

Ideally I'd like to have all fast primes with IS built in on two FF bodies plus an assistant to carry it all! Hahaha!

Sorry, forgot to answer the Q! Do I take better pictures with primes? Perhaps but I just try and make the best of what's on the camera at the time. A prime does make you want to experiment a bit more, you always wonder - "now what if I shoot this wide open??" And then theres the bokeh! oh and of course freezing action. So I guess you have more options available.

Someone mentioned using your zoom at specific focal lengths. That's a great idea and one I need to try more of.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 10:42:33 AM by Zv »
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mrsfotografie

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2013, 11:30:26 AM »
I'm increasingly finding that a 'classic' combination of wide-to-normal primes and tele-zooms works best for me. Given enough light I like to work with my 24-105 though, especially for events and holidays. In any case it's December - dark and miserable, it's 'prime' season to get the most out of the little light available.

I agree with what others said: primes force you to think more about what you're doing. Beforehand, even. Good shots follow from good preparation.
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sanj

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2013, 11:34:52 AM »
No. Lens is a lens.

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2013, 11:34:52 AM »

takesome1

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2013, 11:55:48 AM »
The L primes will give better IQ  than most all zooms. (keep in mind resolution isn't the only thing that contributes to IQ)
Even the 24-70mm II will only match or slightly beat the L primes in resolution. It is still behind in other areas.

But that is not the difference you are feeling with your shots.
To use an painting comparison the primes give you a larger pallet and higher quality brushes to work with.
You not only have the improved IQ of the prime but the prime is able to use wider apertures.
The same is true of using a FF over a Crop camera. The FF will give you more creative potential.

So for me yes the Primes "take better pics" because I utilize the extra tools they provide.


mrsfotografie

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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2013, 12:43:59 PM »
The L primes will give better IQ  than most all zooms. (keep in mind resolution isn't the only thing that contributes to IQ)
Even the 24-70mm II will only match or slightly beat the L primes in resolution. It is still behind in other areas.

But that is not the difference you are feeling with your shots.
To use an painting comparison the primes give you a larger pallet and higher quality brushes to work with.
You not only have the improved IQ of the prime but the prime is able to use wider apertures.
The same is true of using a FF over a Crop camera. The FF will give you more creative potential.

So for me yes the Primes "take better pics" because I utilize the extra tools they provide.

I'll name a few of the (good) 'prime' advantages aside from resolution: Color rendition, contrast, flare resistance, less distortion, possibly better bokeh etc. Primes also handle differently, generally they're lighter and easier to handle (no zooming) so less to distract from photography.
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Re: Do You Take Better Pics with Primes?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2013, 12:43:59 PM »