Prime or Zoom?
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View Poll Results: Prime or Zoom lens?
Prime 6 50.00%
Zoom 6 50.00%
Point-and-shoot FTW 0 0%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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Prime or Zoom?


It's Friday and work is slow (so far) so I'd like to see what everyone's favored weapon of choice is? For me, I used to only buy telephoto & zoom lenses but then I bought my first prime and now they're the only ones I use 90% of the time.

Prime lenses are just so much faster (aperture) than zoom lenses. Yes, I own a 70-200 f/2.8 L IS and yes, I love it, but it's just too big and cumbersome. I only use it when I'm lazy.

I've stated elsewhere that my favorite lens that I own currently is the Canon 85 f/1.2 L. This lens is miles above any other lens I've ever owned.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you a fan of prime lenses or zoom lenses? Let's not get into the discussion of different lenses for different purposes.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manualfocus View Post
It's Friday and work is slow (so far) so I'd like to see what everyone's favored weapon of choice is? For me, I used to only buy telephoto & zoom lenses but then I bought my first prime and now they're the only ones I use 90% of the time.

Prime lenses are just so much faster (aperture) than zoom lenses. Yes, I own a 70-200 f/2.8 L IS and yes, I love it, but it's just too big and cumbersome. I only use it when I'm lazy.

I've stated elsewhere that my favorite lens that I own currently is the Canon 85 f/1.2 L. This lens is miles above any other lens I've ever owned.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you a fan of prime lenses or zoom lenses? Let's not get into the discussion of different lenses for different purposes.
Zoom lenses can be telephoto or wide angle. Or a step in between. Also depends on whether it's a full frame/film or a cropped sensor. Most people when talking about a telephoto lens are referring to a prime somewhere above 100mm. "Normal" is around 50-75, 80'ish. Wide angle is, well wide angle and fish eye really needs no explanation.
Although I like shooting primes (aka fixed focal length lens) I tend to do so more when shooting my film cameras. Seems digital sees more of the zoom attached but that is changing and I am using the sneaker zoom more and more.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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i still like prime since they tend to have sharper pics, i dont have any high end glass but cheap good 50 1.8 is always on my camera even though i would prefer my 35-105 when i trips cause i dont need to swap the glass often.

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Old 04-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
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I like primes best but my budget doesn't allow for numerous primes to cover a large focal range. I have a 50mm and a 90mm and recently traded my 30mm for a 14-24mm.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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I like fixed zoom. We have large family gathering and there is so much room where you can step forward/backward.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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I'm going to have to say zoom. For most people (me at least) a lens for close ups, sports, portraits, and landscapes just isn't practical. I don't have enough money to drop 3k-4k on glass. My goal is to have 3 lens. 50mm (or 100mm) macro, 18-55mm, and 70-300mm. That covers just about everything and within a reasonable price.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Plant Man View Post
I'm going to have to say zoom. For most people (me at least) a lens for close ups, sports, portraits, and landscapes just isn't practical. I don't have enough money to drop 3k-4k on glass. My goal is to have 3 lens. 50mm (or 100mm) macro, 18-55mm, and 70-300mm. That covers just about everything and within a reasonable price.
You need 1 more. A super wide one.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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The 18mm-55m gets pretty wide. As wide as I need anyways.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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I guess you're right. Not everyone needs wider than 18mm. I was just looking on what gap you were missing from the list. I like wide angle, that's why I have a 10-24mm.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Plant Man View Post
I'm going to have to say zoom. For most people (me at least) a lens for close ups, sports, portraits, and landscapes just isn't practical. I don't have enough money to drop 3k-4k on glass. My goal is to have 3 lens. 50mm (or 100mm) macro, 18-55mm, and 70-300mm. That covers just about everything and within a reasonable price.
I'd recommend the 50mm f/1.8 though. It's an inexpensive fast prime that takes awesome pics and can be had for around $120 new. Fantastic as a walk around lens.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I'd recommend the 50mm f/1.8 though. It's an inexpensive fast prime that takes awesome pics and can be had for around $120 new. Fantastic as a walk around lens.
True. I guess I like being able to have multiple options. I certainly would love being able to have that large of an aperture.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:40 AM   #12
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I too use a zoom 90% of the time.. unless you have something specific to photograph, a zoom is just more flexable. This is more so in the longer focal lengths. Sneeker zoom does not work well when your at 200+mm (you will be running accross the field).

Having said that, for each system there is always one or two "normal" primes that are "cheap".. the 35mm 1.8 and 50 1.8 in the case of a nikon. These lenses are "cheap", as sharp as a high end zoom, and much faster (at 1.8 vs 2.8). Shooting at high iso (6400) and wide open at 1.8 has allowed me to take pictures even in steakhouses with no flash...... conditions where a 17-55 2.8 won't have enough light for.

Granted.. if you have the budget... get both trio of zooms + a few speciality primes. Something in the 35-50mm range for normal pics, 105mm-150mm for macro and headshots... fish-eye for.. um... making your fish look like they are in a fish bowl....oh did I mention a second body ....
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #13
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Personally when I'm just traveling leisurely, I'll carry mostly primes and 'zoom' with my feet. They're smaller and faster than the zooms. If I have the time to be able to adjust and move around for each shot, I don't see it as lacking in anyway. Plus, they're less conspicuous

That being said, when I'm working it's almost always zooms. The flexibility they offer is really quite critical. When I'm working a room, it is critical for me to be able to go from full body shot to headshot with a flick of my wrist on the 24-70.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:30 AM   #14
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I'm really a prime lover, but I absolutely LOVE my 70-200 VRII, so I'll have to say both. I would be quite content with all primes, plus the 70-200. The 24-70 is very versatile, but it's such a snooze cruise. Nothing exciting about it at all.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:00 AM   #15
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I don't have a prime yet but I'm thinking either 50 1.8 or a wider one, current have the 55-250 but I have to stand far away to get something I want inside the whole frame.
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