December 19, 2014, 09:38:09 PM

Poll

Primes VS zooms

Primes
58 (69.9%)
Zooms
25 (30.1%)

Total Members Voted: 83

Voting closed: April 18, 2012, 10:43:47 AM

Author Topic: Prime VS Zooms.  (Read 11895 times)

jordanbstead

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2012, 01:35:38 PM »
It's far less about the technical result of primes vs. zooms and more about the way my work "looks" after shooting with a 35/135 combo for years. Every bit of the frame is exactly where it should be; there's no shooting-to-crop or cranking it to 16mm to get in the whole scene. 

Over the years, the way I approach photographs has improved drastically since relying on a solely prime-based kit. I just know that 35 so well that by the time I bring it up to my eye, the picture has already been made in my mind and I've "seen" it. By then, it's only the shutter that's left to trip.

There's a whole lot to be said about knowing and understanding the limits and power of your kit.  Everyone goes through a period of intense gear swapping - hunting to find the "right" focal lengths that suit their shooting style - but it settles down at one point when something just plain works for you. 

My belief is if you force yourself to shoot with a "normal" prime or primes (a 35 or 50) for six months, you'll see a massive improvement in your composition, your use of depth of field and a move toward improving your photographic skill rather than a reliance on visual gimmicks.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2012, 01:35:38 PM »

Thorne

  • Guest
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2012, 05:49:57 PM »
I got a 50/1.4 with my 10D in 2004, and the 24/2.8 a week later (both for model photography, my emphasis then).  Then I got my 100 Macro shortly after my 400D in 2008, when I'd moved on to more scenic and nature photography.  This year as I'm getting into architecture, I finally acquired my years-long dream of a 24mm TSE II L, and then a 7D to focus it more accurately, and then my first zoom, a 24-105 IS L, for travel (with the 70-200/4 IS L and a 5DIII next in the queue).  So lately on "casual" jaunts, I've been carrying just the 7D and both Ls. 

Point being, I'm digging the versatility of the zoom (and especially the IS), but it seems I'll always be a prime shooter - the TSE is on my camera 90% of the time.  And when I had to do some event photography recently (not normally my thing), I found swapping between the 7D and Rebel with the 50 and 100 mounted on them handier for dealing with the low light than I likely would have found the zoom.  But I'm not saying one type is better than the other, just my own inclinations and practical needs.  (Besides which, shifting with the TSE is just a whole new joy of photography.)

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2012, 06:21:34 PM »

I am going to do a pano with the 400 f/2.8 tomorrow :)

Danielle

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
    • D.Judd Photographics
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2012, 09:34:26 PM »
Im very biased towards primes. I think they create better shots in some situations, for one has to frame the hard way as opposed to crop in with a damn zoom which I see as a hideously bad habit if you program your brain to do it.

Plus of course, primes are faster by a LOT. And I do also love shallower depths of field, and or at least the ability to choose to use a shallow depth of field if the situation calls for one.
In the end, only the image matters... Not what equipment you used to get there.

mb66energy

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 413
    • View Profile
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2012, 03:18:39 AM »
I am biased for primes too.
But as tools are just a helper to get what you want, I try to take the best of both worlds.

Basically I love shooting with two equal bodies which left me choose two 40Ds instead
of one 50D: Fast change of focal lengths and focal length ranges.

My tool combinations vs. application (for APS-C):
ApplicationLenses
Walk around (macro, closeup and landscape)EF-S 60mm or EF 100mm Macro
Low lightEF 24mm(2.8) AND EF 100mm(2.0)
Ultra flexibilityEF-S 10-22mm AND EF 70-200(4.0) PLUS EF-S 60mm
Long reach (industrial landscapes)EF 400mm(5.6) + 2xTC AND EF-S 60mm or EF 100mm Macro as backup for other situations
Towns, ArchitectureEF-S 10-22mm AND EF-S 60mm or EF 100mm Macro

I use both but I like primes more for having
- macro functionality
- less lens elements => usually higher flare resistance
- their educational function by letting me think about framing
  (but ... usually I set a zoom to the focal length I need and start framing afterwards!)
- compactness (the EF 100mm(2.0) is tiny compared to the zooms!)

TOOLS: EF-S 10-22 | 60 || EF 2.8/24 | 2.8/40* | 2.8 100 Macro* |2.0/100 | 4.0/70-200* | 5.6/400* || 2 x 40D | 600D | EOS M  [* most used lenses]

keithinmelbourne

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
    • keithbroadphotography.com
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2012, 06:36:26 PM »
Back when I started photography it was a no-brainer, primes were clearly sharper with better IQ. I had a set of primes and loved using them. Now I’m on the cusp of building a new collection and I have to admit I’m finding the choice difficult. My heart is telling me to go back to what you know and are comfortable with, SandyP, your list looks like pure heaven to me. My head is telling me to get a couple of zooms that cover the range plus probably one wide prime at the bottom end.
Sounds like some are married to their 135 (maybe mistress is a better analogy lol)  Is the 70-200 f2.8 really that good that it matches it! I wish Canon would give the option for a black casing though.
If I was a pro I’d have both but it’s just not a realistic budget, damn this being poor malarkey.

One question, do prime users end up with noticeably dirtier sensors that zoom users?

I use primes almost exclusively now, and I won't lie by saying it's an easy option. Frequent lens changes can be a nuisance at times, especially when you're on the move. Similarly, your sensor does get a bit dirtier. I clean my sensor more now than when I used the 24-105 (which I left on most of the time). These days, I try to forecast which lens will be the one I'll use during a session and try to stick with that. Usually it's the 50L, but more and more I'm using the 135L outdoors. Indoors, at parties and events, I stick with the 35 and 24Ls. The results from all these lenses is worth a bit of extra inconvenience or sensor cleaning.
"Everyday is a good day" - Yunmen

1Ds3, 17-40L, 17 TSE, 24LII, 24 TSE, 24-105L, 35L, 50L, 85 1.8, 85LII, 100 2.8, 135L, 70-200 f4L, OMD EM-5, 12 f2, 25 f1.4, 45 f1.8

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 3543
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2012, 08:52:32 PM »
Another valid point for me is that a prime kit is lighter than a zoom kit.

A 70-200 2.8L IS II and a 24-70 2.8L is about 90 ounces.

A 24mmL II, 50mmL and a 135L is around 65 ounces. Give or take a few steps forward or backward to get the same results.

Just another thought.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2012, 08:52:32 PM »

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2606
    • View Profile
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2012, 12:07:03 AM »
Not all primes are better than zooms.  For instance, the 24-70L zoom is actually slightly sharper than the, yes, the member of the holy trinity, 35L prime, when stopped down.  I've seen it myself and Bryan Carnathan noticed it as well.  It depends on how high quality the zoom lens is.  No sane person would say the 85 f/1.8 is sharper than the 70-200L II IS zoom lens at 85mm, at f/8.  There are a lot of factors.  Personally, for sports, I NEED the flexibility of the zooms.  A missed shot is worse than a slightly less saturated shot, for example.
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

Razor2012

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 635
    • View Profile
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2012, 11:58:00 AM »
A Canon prime will always beat a zoom!

Seriously though you can often get two sharp primes for less than the corresponding zoom eg an 85/2 and an 200/2.8 instead of the cumbersome 70-200 f2.8 which handles like a brick!

Depends on what you do.  Tracking moving objects is easier with the 70-200 II f/2.8 than with the L primes in the same range.

Sorry but have to disagree.
The 70-200 f2.8 is heavy - front heavy.
By comparison the other two are lightweight and well balanced.
If anybody wants a 70-200 then go for the f4 which is very sharp wide open unlike the f2.8 - very light and light on the pocket as well!

I find the 70-200 2.8II pretty sharp wide open.  I'm sure they are both fairly close @f4.
5D MKIII w grip, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 24-70 2.8L II, 16-35 2.8L II, 100 2.8L IS macro, 600EX-RT

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 3543
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #54 on: July 13, 2012, 03:44:46 PM »
The final Prime I need to obtain is the magical 200mm F/2. :o

charlesa

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 319
  • I shoot with my eye!
    • View Profile
    • 16 stops to Heaven
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #55 on: July 13, 2012, 03:54:17 PM »
Common misconception nowadays that primes are sharper than zooms, but they give versatility in composition and are sharp.... ask a photojournalist if he works with a prime or prefers that god 70-200 f/2.8...

bdunbar79

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2606
    • View Profile
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2012, 03:59:07 PM »
The final Prime I need to obtain is the magical 200mm F/2. :o

Get in line at B&H.  July 31 estimated availability if you are hardy enough to spend the money  ;)
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

briansquibb

  • Guest
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2012, 05:35:58 PM »
Another valid point for me is that a prime kit is lighter than a zoom kit.

A 70-200 2.8L IS II and a 24-70 2.8L is about 90 ounces.

A 24mmL II, 50mmL and a 135L is around 65 ounces. Give or take a few steps forward or backward to get the same results.

Just another thought.

.... and the 200 is twice the weight of the 70-200 as is the 400 twice the weight of the 100-400

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2012, 05:35:58 PM »

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 4575
    • View Profile
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #58 on: July 15, 2012, 07:08:11 PM »

I am going to do a pano with the 400 f/2.8 tomorrow :)

it would be interesting to try this with the gigapan, the epic pro i have says its rated up to 10KG so should be fine with a 1D body hanging off a 400 :D
APS-H Fanboy

felipey

  • Power Shot G7X
  • **
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
    • Felipe Yang Photography
Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2012, 07:52:40 AM »
Not all primes are better than zooms.  For instance, the 24-70L zoom is actually slightly sharper than the, yes, the member of the holy trinity, 35L prime, when stopped down.  I've seen it myself and Bryan Carnathan noticed it as well.  It depends on how high quality the zoom lens is.

I beg to differ:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=101&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=2&API=0&LensComp=121&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=3

Even at f/2.0, the 35L is sharper than the zoom at the center. Plus, the distinct look it gives subjects at f/1.4-2.8 is something the zoom can't even come close to in my opinion.
2x 5D Mark IIIs and 7D | 10-22mm, 17-55mm f/2.8, 35mm f/1.4L, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.2L, 135mm f/2L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 70-300mm L

www.felipeyang.com

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime VS Zooms.
« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2012, 07:52:40 AM »