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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 22 Dec 2010 (Wednesday) 10:21
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I'm starting to like primes more than zoom

 
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airfrogusmc
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Dec 22, 2010 14:48 |  #31

dmstraton wrote in post #11498191 (external link)
I gave up all of my zooms for primes. I may get a cheapy zoom for snaps, but for anything else, I like primes. I found over a long period that most of my work ends up being in the 35 or 50 range, with another good chunk below 24. I didn't use telephotos much, nor macro. So I got three extremely high quality primes, with close focus properties. Trust me (or should I say, "I feel") they have better image quality than zooms...a few zooms get close, but they also (generally) have a lot of distortions etc.

...and yes I had a lot of "L" zooms, etc. etc. - they're generally excellent, but my primes more so... :)

Many photographers actually see at different F/Ls and sometimes you have to explore different avenues to find that out about yourself. I think what you see is very natural and I say continue to explore it.

Seeing is the key to anything good photographically speaking TO not see as a photographer is to a musician to not hear and I'm speaking in the true sense of the word. By the time Beethoven wrote the 9th from all accounts I've read he was deaf (probably from about the 5th on actually) but he could still hear. It takes time discipline and the ability to hear and feel time to be a great musician. And much of that is discipline. You have ot have natural ability but to for most to really get great it takes practice and discipline to get there. Its not that much different with photography.

Heres a couple quotes about seeing from some of the greats.

"The photographer’s most important and likewise most difficult task is not learning to manage his camera, or to develop, or to print. It is learning to see photographically – that is, learning to see his subject matter in terms of the capacities of his tools and processes, so that he can instantaneously translate the elements and values in a scene before him into the photograph he wants to make."
Edward Weston

"Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things."
Edward Steichen

"In my mind's eye, I visualize how a particular . . . sight and feeling will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice."
Ansel Adams

"Photographs now speak in an eloquent way about the nature of vision itself. The philosophical implications of sight, of being able to see the world in three-dimensional terms, becomes very important within the context of the artistic photograph. The riddle of space and time is somehow stated with a little bit more clarity by virtue of seeing in-between the heartbeats."
Ralph Gibson

"To be able to see in concrete terms what was created in a fraction of a second is a rare luxury. Even though fixed in time, a photograph evokes as much feeling as that which comes from music or dance. Whatever the mode – from the snapshot to the decisive moment to multi-media montage – the intent and purpose of photography is to render in visual terms feelings and experiences that often elude the ability of words to describe. In any case, the eyes have it, and the imagination will always soar farther than was expected."
Ralph Gibson




  
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airfrogusmc
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Dec 22, 2010 14:49 |  #32

tommykjensen wrote in post #11498230 (external link)
Ok posts have been cleaned up.


Play nice or you don't get to play at all.

Thanks Tommy...




  
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mds2004
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Dec 22, 2010 14:54 |  #33

Im trying to not to get into primes until I have the zooms I want. I think after I get the Tamron 17-50 or Canon 17-55, Il try the 50mm 1.8.


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WhyFi
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Dec 22, 2010 14:57 |  #34

mds2004 wrote in post #11498354 (external link)
Im trying to not to get into primes until I have the zooms I want. I think after I get the Tamron 17-50 or Canon 17-55, Il try the 50mm 1.8.

Both great lenses, but it's so cheap to try the Nifty and it opens up the world of big apertures, why delay it?


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chugger93
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Dec 22, 2010 14:59 |  #35

17-55 is over 900 bucks. I'm a hobbiest and couldn't ever afford to spend that kinda money. I guess thats why I settle for 300-500$ primes


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tkbslc
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Dec 22, 2010 15:04 |  #36

chugger93 wrote in post #11498383 (external link)
17-55 is over 900 bucks. I'm a hobbiest and couldn't ever afford to spend that kinda money. I guess thats why I settle for 300-500$ primes

Primes are rarely cheaper than zooms for similar coverage when you do the math. You normally get a faster lens with primes for the money, but once you get the 2-3 primes needed to cover the zoom's range, there is no savings.


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WhyFi
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Dec 22, 2010 15:16 |  #37

tkbslc wrote in post #11498410 (external link)
Primes are rarely cheaper than zooms for similar coverage when you do the math. You normally get a faster lens with primes for the money, but once you get the 2-3 primes needed to cover the zoom's range, there is no savings.

I certainly don't have numbers to back it up, but I have a hard time believing that people that own primes exclusively have 2-3x more lenses than people that own zooms exclusively.


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darktiger
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Dec 22, 2010 15:17 |  #38

The Nifty Fifty got me hating primes, it was not until I got the 35L f/1.4 that I started loving primes. But for some reason I still shoot with my 24-70 because of the convenience of the zoom. Even though I have the 35L, 85L, 135L :)


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mds2004
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Dec 22, 2010 15:22 |  #39

WhyFi wrote in post #11498367 (external link)
Both great lenses, but it's so cheap to try the Nifty and it opens up the world of big apertures, why delay it?

Because Im afraid of spending more money than I need to after discovering what they are about. I have no self-control and cannot tempt myself just yet :lol:


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WhyFi
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Dec 22, 2010 15:29 |  #40

mds2004 wrote in post #11498513 (external link)
Because Im afraid of spending more money than I need to after discovering what they are about. I have no self-control and cannot tempt myself just yet :lol:

:D And what if, after being kitted out in zooms, you find that you like primes more? Let's not even talk about monetary loss, what about time lost? 100 bucks is a small price to pay to broaden horizons and get closer to understanding how you like to shoot; it may provide a more sure sense of direction, whether it's zooms, primes or a mix.


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Dec 22, 2010 15:31 |  #41
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airfrogusmc wrote in post #11498320 (external link)
Many photographers actually see at different F/Ls and sometimes you have to explore different avenues to find that out about yourself. I think what you see is very natural and I say continue to explore it.

Seeing is the key to anything good photographically speaking TO not see as a photographer is to a musician to not hear and I'm speaking in the true sense of the word. By the time Beethoven wrote the 9th from all accounts I've read he was deaf (probably from about the 5th on actually) but he could still hear. It takes time discipline and the ability to hear and feel time to be a great musician. And much of that is discipline. You have ot have natural ability but to for most to really get great it takes practice and discipline to get there. Its not that much different with photography.

Heres a couple quotes about seeing from some of the greats.

"The photographer’s most important and likewise most difficult task is not learning to manage his camera, or to develop, or to print. It is learning to see photographically – that is, learning to see his subject matter in terms of the capacities of his tools and processes, so that he can instantaneously translate the elements and values in a scene before him into the photograph he wants to make."
Edward Weston

"Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things."
Edward Steichen

"In my mind's eye, I visualize how a particular . . . sight and feeling will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice."
Ansel Adams

"Photographs now speak in an eloquent way about the nature of vision itself. The philosophical implications of sight, of being able to see the world in three-dimensional terms, becomes very important within the context of the artistic photograph. The riddle of space and time is somehow stated with a little bit more clarity by virtue of seeing in-between the heartbeats."
Ralph Gibson

"To be able to see in concrete terms what was created in a fraction of a second is a rare luxury. Even though fixed in time, a photograph evokes as much feeling as that which comes from music or dance. Whatever the mode – from the snapshot to the decisive moment to multi-media montage – the intent and purpose of photography is to render in visual terms feelings and experiences that often elude the ability of words to describe. In any case, the eyes have it, and the imagination will always soar farther than was expected."
Ralph Gibson

None of those quotes have any direct correlation with prime lenses.

The 'greats' all cropped (altered the Fov, just like a zoom lens does) their photos.

So, your point.....well....ther​e isn't one.

Just an attempt at a correlation.

Correlation does not equal causation

.


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dmstraton
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Dec 22, 2010 15:37 |  #42

I have fewer lenses now than I did previously - so the whole having more primes to cover same focal range doesn't ring true. In the normal ranges, you are talking a few steps backward or forward to get same FOV. I don't use telephotos much. Additionally I still had a dedicated 100mm macro lens, a 135L and a 50 1.4 when I owned all zooms.

Think about zooms anyway: I had 3 or 4 of them all the time. I switched lenses just as much, because one was ultrawide to normal, and the other from wide to medium telephoto, and the other from medium telephoto to long.

I got rid of the zooms and the 135L as I didn't like that length.

My new 50 doubles as a macro if I want it. The other two lengths are great for what I want. I still carry 3 lenses, but they're smaller overall, can be used in less light, and deliver better performance (in my opinion).

...a preference only...shoot with what you like.

And no, I don't miss IS, or at the focal lengths I shoot at, AF.

It's a choice and at some point I am sure I will get another zoom, but I like the results I get and thin DOF shooting options in low light.


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JeffreyG
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Dec 22, 2010 15:51 |  #43

I think the OP will find this interesting because he's headed down a path I started on four years ago:

I picked up a Rebel XT dSLR with kit lens knowing very little about photography. I found POTN and based on recommendations I picked up a 50/1.8. Soon I was hooked on using primes for low light because the wide apertures allowed me to avoid using the popup flash. I bought more primes because I needed more focal lengths.

After a while I started to notice the limitations of using primes for low light - mainly the very thin DOF when shot with large apertures. I have a ton of shots from this era that really had inadequate DOF but which I thought (at the time) were neat because the thin DOF seemed new and I was willing to accept one eye being a bit soft etc. I read up some more and added a 430 EX flash. Soon I was stopping down more and using flash a lot more inside to gain DOF.

From there I progressed to off-camera flash. I also learned about gelling flash to match ambient, a surprisingly powerful tool to use in large rooms or where bouncing a flash is impossible. I now have three flashes and a remote trigger.

So this past year I actually sold off all of my primes. I just have f/2.8 zooms now (and the 100-400). I rarely find situations where apertures faster than f/2.8 really have enough DOF for even one person. And now I can use flash or the incredible high ISO capability of recent bodies to work in low light at f/2.8.

Even for sports the 1D Mark IV is capable to ISO12800 which means I can shoot with the 70-200/2.8 instead of the 85mm and 135mm primes I was using before.

I think my progression is typical of a lot of people, and worth considering before plunging too far into one direction.


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WhyFi
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Dec 22, 2010 16:07 |  #44

Yeah, the because-I-can infatuation with low light and thin DoF does take hold of many and it is responsible for quite a few poor shots, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of situations where it's appropriate. Particularly at the wider end, those big apertures can get enough shutter speed and separation from the BG while still providing enough DoF for the subject(s). Too bad wide and fast is never cheap!


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timnosenzo
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Dec 22, 2010 16:13 |  #45

Love that folks get their panties in a bunch about this topic. Use whatever works for you, it's just a lens - not a religion.


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