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Author Topic: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?  (Read 5696 times)

willrobb

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Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« on: January 16, 2012, 06:18:06 AM »
Before my current set up I went through a few kit zooms and basic primes.

I currently own six lenses and bought them in this order:

17-40mm f4L (July 2007)
24-70mm f2.8L (June 2008)
70-200mm f2.8L (Nov 2009-before this I had an old 80-200mm f2.8L since 2006)
50mm f1.2L (Jul 2010)
100mm f2.8L HIS (Jan 2011)
Sigma 85mm f1.4 (Dec 2011)

Thinking about it, I went trough the zooms first to cover all the bases I really needed, then got primes to address specific needs, mostly for portraits and product shots where I wanted greater DOF. I'm in no rush to buy any more lenses soon, but when I do it'll be more primes as I do prefer the IQ.

I was wondering if other people went through buying phases like this or do something more mixed? No specific reasons for asking, just chilling out on a Monday evening when I don't have much to do work wise  ;)

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Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« on: January 16, 2012, 06:18:06 AM »

squarebox

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 08:03:34 AM »
I can't say that i'm through any phases cause I just started picking up lens but my lens buyign pattern was this

18-55 Kit
18-200 wanted zoom and knew nothing about quality
10-22 wanted wide
50mm 1.8 Didn't buy but borrow a friend's for about 3 months... at first i hated it, but after i learned how to use the lens i thought it was awesome, albeit a little long on my kiss x4
35L the prime I want *yeah for B&H shipping to japan... and it only took 3 days!
50m 1.4 for those parties when you are just too far

going forward my next lens will probably be one of the L zoom lens to replace my 18-55 or 18-200

but i'm definitely in a loving prime mood now... Probably i'll get frustrated with primes as i'll keep switching lens.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 08:05:11 AM by squarebox »
5Dmk3 - 16-35L - 24-105L - 70-200L F2.8 mk2 - 35L - 50mm 1.4 - 100L - 600xt-rt

elflord

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 08:55:29 AM »
Before my current set up I went through a few kit zooms and basic primes.

I currently own six lenses and bought them in this order:

17-40mm f4L (July 2007)
24-70mm f2.8L (June 2008)
70-200mm f2.8L (Nov 2009-before this I had an old 80-200mm f2.8L since 2006)
50mm f1.2L (Jul 2010)
100mm f2.8L HIS (Jan 2011)
Sigma 85mm f1.4 (Dec 2011)

Thinking about it, I went trough the zooms first to cover all the bases I really needed, then got primes to address specific needs, mostly for portraits and product shots where I wanted greater DOF. I'm in no rush to buy any more lenses soon, but when I do it'll be more primes as I do prefer the IQ.

I was wondering if other people went through buying phases like this or do something more mixed? No specific reasons for asking, just chilling out on a Monday evening when I don't have much to do work wise  ;)

Started with one prime (the 50 f/1.4) and one zoom (the 15-85). Since then I've sold the 15-85 and it's been all primes

JR

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 09:12:26 AM »
I am actually going through the opposite phase myself willrob!  When I started to shoot seriouly again about 18 months ago after a 10 year pause, I tried a few zoom but quickly moved to primes for their better IQ and low light capability.  To be honest I also found prime lens to force me to think better what picture I was going to be taking (even for familily event) and this helped me with shot composition (I do mostly portraits).  So in order I got:

50 f1.2L
85 f1.2L II
135 f2L
70-200 f2.8L IS II - majority of use is at 200mm but find the zoom very useful...
24 f1.4L II

Now I am better able to visualize what each focal lenght will give me.  I am also planning to get the 35 1.4L II as soon as it launch. 

HOWEVER, i am now in a phase where I am craving for a 24-70 (or 24-105) zoom for the flexibility of it and not needing to carry so many lenses all the time!  I am still debating between the 24-70 and the 24-105 to fill that gap (weight versus IQ and low light again!).  I am not in a rush so I will wait to see the new 24-70 mkII before making a decision, but I am definitively feeling the need to use more zoom now for more flexibility and keep the prime for specific occasion.

I really though the prime lens approach made me a better photographer, all be it an amateur one, but still a better one!   8)
1DX, 24mm f1.4L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2L, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II :  D800, D4, and a whole bunch of Nikon lenses

willrobb

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 09:46:36 AM »
I am actually going through the opposite phase myself willrob!  When I started to shoot seriouly again about 18 months ago after a 10 year pause, I tried a few zoom but quickly moved to primes for their better IQ and low light capability.  To be honest I also found prime lens to force me to think better what picture I was going to be taking (even for familily event) and this helped me with shot composition (I do mostly portraits).  So in order I got:

50 f1.2L
85 f1.2L II
135 f2L
70-200 f2.8L IS II - majority of use is at 200mm but find the zoom very useful...
24 f1.4L II

Now I am better able to visualize what each focal lenght will give me.  I am also planning to get the 35 1.4L II as soon as it launch. 

HOWEVER, i am now in a phase where I am craving for a 24-70 (or 24-105) zoom for the flexibility of it and not needing to carry so many lenses all the time!  I am still debating between the 24-70 and the 24-105 to fill that gap (weight versus IQ and low light again!).  I am not in a rush so I will wait to see the new 24-70 mkII before making a decision, but I am definitively feeling the need to use more zoom now for more flexibility and keep the prime for specific occasion.

I really though the prime lens approach made me a better photographer, all be it an amateur one, but still a better one!   8)

Hey JR,

I agree, I think using primes does make you a better photographer as it limits your options in some way and you have to think a bit more. Also, better IQ and nicer bokeh really helps. The way I see it is that zooms are a safe option that give you everything you need, but with primes you can add a little bit something more special if you have the right lens on at the right time.

Before my current line up I had just started working as a photographer and was using film, I used a canon 50mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.8 a lot and had an old Tamron zoom (think it was 19-35mm) but the primes were most used. Soon I had to start shooting digital as I was losing work without a DSLR and I was so impressed with L lens zooms they were my go to lenses for a while as soon as I got some, but now I am cutting down my media work (where I mostly use zooms) and increasing my private clients (where I mostly use primes) I am enjoying getting more and more into primes again. I still wouldn't get rid of any of my zooms though, although I prefer the IQ of my primes the versatility of the zooms are the winner.

Recently when I travel and I'm not shooting assignments I am happy just with a point and shoot and my 50mm on my 5DmkII without the battery grip. Nice to travel light...

Axilrod

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 10:50:20 AM »
I bought my 5D Mark II in Nov 2011, and the madness began:
(in order)
50mm f/1.4 (first one I grabbed)
35L & 50L - paid $2400 for the pair from a wedding photographer that had switched to Nikon
85mm f/1.8
16-35mm f/2.8L II
24-70mm f/2.8L
70-200 f/2.8L IS - Traded the 35L and 85 1.8 for this one for some reason
100L
135L
35L (2nd copy)
14L II

I sold all the zooms except the 16-35 (which I'm about to sell), but I'm not gonna lie there are times I really wish I had a 24-70 to walk around with, switching lenses can be a bitch.
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

JR

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 10:56:57 AM »

Recently when I travel and I'm not shooting assignments I am happy just with a point and shoot and my 50mm on my 5DmkII without the battery grip. Nice to travel light...

Yeah one of the main reason I want to get the 24-105L is for travelling.  Bringing several primes on a familly vacation is just not practical - especially if they compete for luggage space with my wife!   ;)
1DX, 24mm f1.4L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2L, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II :  D800, D4, and a whole bunch of Nikon lenses

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 10:56:57 AM »

smirkypants

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 10:59:27 AM »
Zooms are practical family sedans and primes are impractical but fun convertibles.

briansquibb

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 11:05:34 AM »
I go through phases where my shooting style changes - and so the lens choice follows. Recently went into the background blur phase - so out went the 7D's and in came the f/2.8 lens (plus the 50 f/1.4). Prior to that I had a landscape phase and prior to that was candids and portraits.


unruled

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 12:40:44 PM »
my order
17-50 2.8
85 1.8
50 1.8

.. I need a telezoom next, probly macro after that.   My overall preference is for primes cuz I got hooked to the fast f stop, light weight and iq/cost.

different lenses for different purposes I guess, but primes are awesome and force me to be more creative.

drmikeinpdx

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 01:08:42 PM »
I keep trying to find zoom lenses that focus accurately and give good sharpness, but it's a real crap shoot, as they say.  You never know if you'll get one that is inherently sharp and focuses well with your camera.

Prime lenses seem to be both more reliable in the focus department and generally give sharper images.  You can also use a little Micro Adjust if needed and if your body offers it.

The only zoom I am currently happy with is a Tamron 28-80 F 2.8 that I bought via Craigslist for $260, so price does not seem to be a factor in my experience.

I recently rented a Canon 24-70 F 2.8 and it was a joke.  Horrible focus shift with zoom variation.  I assume the internal mechanism was worn.  Both of these lenses were used on a 5D classic.

I have given up trying to find a zoom that will work on my 7D.  It is currently at Canon service for the third time along with the 17-55 2.8 Canon zoom that has terrible focus shift with zoom changes.  Oddly enough, the 7D body works fine with prime lenses.
Current bodies:  5D3, 7D, 550D, S100
Favorite lenses: 135 f/2.0 L, 85 f/1.8 200 f/2.8 L, 50 f1.4 Sigma, 40mm pancake, 24-105 L.
blog:   http://www.BeyondBoudoirPhoto.com

neuroanatomist

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 01:58:42 PM »
Definitely buying a mixed order of zooms and primes for me, starting form the beginning when I purchased a good, fast general purpose zoom and a faster prime for portraits.

My history:

  • Buy T1i/500D, 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, and 85mm f/1.8
  • Buy 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS
  • Buy 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
  • Buy 200mm f/2.8L II (used)
  • Buy 300mm f/4L IS (used)
  • Buy 7D
  • Sell T1i/500D
  • Buy 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
  • Sell 300mm f/4L IS
  • Buy 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
  • Sell 200mm f/2.8L II
  • Buy 24-105mm f/4L IS (used)
  • Buy 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 DO IS (used)
  • Buy 85mm f/1.2L II
  • Sell 85mm f/1.8
  • Sell 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 DO IS
  • Buy 5DII + 24-105mm f/4L IS kit
  • Sell 24-105mm f/4L IS (kept the new one)
  • Buy MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro
  • Buy TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II
  • Buy 16-35mm f/2.8L II
  • Sell 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
  • Buy 35mm f/1.4L
  • Buy 135mm f/2L
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 08:37:59 PM by neuroanatomist »
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00Q

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 08:33:27 PM »
I can truely represent a noobie buying pattern: (lenses I have sold are labelled [SOLD])

1) 450D with 18-55 kit lens. [SOLD]
2) Tamron 70-300 (wanted zoom). [SOLD]
3) Sigma 18-200 OS ( hated changing lenses, knew nothing about image quality) .[SOLD]
4) Sigma 18-50 f2.8 ( found out about fast lenses, YEAH!!! ) .[SOLD]
5) Sigma 70-200 OS f2.8 ( realised 50 is not long enough ) [STILL IN BAG]
6) Sigma 10-20mm (wanted wide) .[SOLD]
7) Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 ( curious about this lens)[SOLD]
8 ) Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 ( 18-50 was a bit short) [SOLD]
9) Sigma 8-16 ( better image quality than the 10-20, wider zoom )[STILL IN BAG]
10) Canon 24-70 ( better image quality)[STILL IN BAG]
11) Canon 24-105 ( curious about this lens ) [SOLD]
12) Canon 50 1.4 ( Tried prime, but hated it ) [SOLD]
13) Canon 10-22(curious about this lens, realised my sigma 8-16 is better)[SOLD]
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 08:36:02 PM by 00Q »

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 08:33:27 PM »

willrobb

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 09:32:33 PM »
I bought my 5D Mark II in Nov 2011, and the madness began:
(in order)
50mm f/1.4 (first one I grabbed)
35L & 50L - paid $2400 for the pair from a wedding photographer that had switched to Nikon
85mm f/1.8
16-35mm f/2.8L II
24-70mm f/2.8L
70-200 f/2.8L IS - Traded the 35L and 85 1.8 for this one for some reason
100L
135L
35L (2nd copy)
14L II

I sold all the zooms except the 16-35 (which I'm about to sell), but I'm not gonna lie there are times I really wish I had a 24-70 to walk around with, switching lenses can be a bitch.

When I was reading you got the 35L and 50L for $2400 I was well impressed, then when I read you traded the 35L I was momentarily shocked until I saw you got a second copy  ::) You certainly have did a lot of shopping, nice one.

willrobb

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2012, 09:35:15 PM »

Recently when I travel and I'm not shooting assignments I am happy just with a point and shoot and my 50mm on my 5DmkII without the battery grip. Nice to travel light...

Yeah one of the main reason I want to get the 24-105L is for travelling.  Bringing several primes on a familly vacation is just not practical - especially if they compete for luggage space with my wife!   ;)

Ha ha, the luggage space competition with the wife is a hard battle. When we move back to the UK in March this year I'm going to have to persuade my wife to put her handbag in a suitcase and carry one of my camera bags....wonder how that suggestion will go down? Maybe we'll get a compromise and she'll put my 70-200mm f2.8L in it's case, a body and my Sigma 85mm in it's case in her bag.....her bags sure are big enough to carry a lot of stuff  :P

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Re: Do you go through stages of loving primes or zooms?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2012, 09:35:15 PM »