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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 06 Jan 2011 (Thursday) 04:57
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Zoom vs Prime

 
ProD1gy_KiD
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Jan 06, 2011 14:38 |  #31

primes. ;)




  
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richardfox
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Jan 06, 2011 15:11 |  #32

realmike15 wrote in post #11584201 (external link)
Don't ever change your gear because your friend or someone here told you their setup is better. Buy/rent one and see for yourself before making any big decisions. The very last thing I'd do is sell my gear to purchase something else based purely on what someone said. Doesn't matter if he's your friend or a world renowned photographer, try it for yourself before you buy into any mindset about lens choices.

No truer words have EVER been spoken.

It all depends on what YOU are attempting to do, not what someone else says is "the CORRECT way". Any time I hear the statement that "I ONLY shoot PRIMES" makes me feel people making that statement aren't smart enough to figure out how to turn that little zoom ring on the lens, and the statement itself smacks of snobbery. I can already hear it coming that "well, so and so is a GREAT photographer and he/she only uses PRIMES". So what?

There are uses for both primes and zooms. AND, both have their postives and negatives for each photographic challenge.


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bohdank
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Jan 06, 2011 15:52 |  #33

At the end of the day, your work stands or falls on its own merits.

Strangly, I never think "equipment" when I look at someone else's image. It just doesn't enter my mind. It may, later, if it was integral to the final look of the image, such as using perspective distortion. I see and think subject/framing/lighti​ng/color and, possibly processing.


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Shockey
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Jan 06, 2011 15:54 |  #34

You don't NEED anything else. Of course if you have some money burning a hole in your pocket....


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richardfox
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Jan 06, 2011 16:11 |  #35

bohdank wrote in post #11586940 (external link)
At the end of the day, your work stands or falls on its own merits.

Strangly, I never think "equipment" when I look at someone else's image. It just doesn't enter my mind. It may, later, if it was integral to the final look of the image, such as using perspective distortion. I see and think subject/framing/lighti​ng/color and, possibly processing.

Isn't this the whole point of the photo? If somone takes a fantastic shot with a Kodak "Brownie" box camera, is it not still a fantastic shot?

It's the value of the image captured, not the equipment used.


Canon 50D gripped, EF 50/1.8, EF-S 10-22, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/2.8L, 100/2.8 macro, 100-400L, 300 2.8L, Canon 500 f8 mirror with chipped EF mount, 580EX, 1.4x and 2x Canon teleconverters, Canon EF Life-Size converter.

  
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ni$mo350
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Jan 06, 2011 16:30 |  #36

Sold my zooms to go primes. I had absolutely no desire to move to primes until I started looking through the lens sample threads. I had the 17-40L and 70-200 f/4L IS which I loved both of them and they gave me exactly what I wanted and more out of them but when it came down to it, it couldn't produce the same as primes.

I think people move over to primes for one of 2 reasons. They are fan boys and get what is popular or they honestly can see the difference in their work. It took me one shoot to realize that I wanted/needed primes. The colors, bokeh, contrast went from good to great. Sharpness really is splitting hairs because I was plenty happy with the shots on my other lenses.

I now have the 35L and 135L and will soon be picking up one of the 85's to finish it off and couldn't be happier. It takes a little getting used to not having the zoom there and forcing myself to frame as well as not having IS but it's well worth it and obvious with the shots I've taken thus far.

I should also point out that since moving to L primes, I'm now lusting over zeiss glass and would still love to get my hands on a 70-200 2.8ii.


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JeffreyG
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Jan 06, 2011 16:36 |  #37

gasrocks wrote in post #11585965 (external link)
I doubt you can find anyone here who has been shooting for a long time, has some money and only owns zooms.

That would be me (within the EOS system). I sold the 35L, 50/1.4, 85L and 135L because I was not using them much at speeds faster than f/2.8.

I might use primes again (particularly the wider ones like the 35L) but for the moment I'm not sure.

A lot of people who cite the need for primes post shots like the ones Dragos did in this thread. And if had been shooting those pictures with the 85L I probably would have stopped down to f/2.8 or so. The DOF is too thin for my tastes and I know that foliage background would look fine stopped down a bit.

I find when the DOF is that shallow the periphery of the subject is so OOF that they start to run into the background. When framing that tight, you actually get better subject separation from the background by stopping down.

If your tastes run towards super thin DOF and you prefer the look of Dragos shots, then primes might be a good choice for you.


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Dragos ­ Jianu
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Jan 07, 2011 00:13 |  #38

me thinks the number of prime-only experienced shooters is still greater than that of the zoom-only veterans.




  
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Beni ­ N.
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Jan 07, 2011 00:15 |  #39

There's a reason Optimus went with Prime rather than Zoom when he chose his name. Go with prime people




  
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tkbslc
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Jan 07, 2011 00:50 |  #40

Dragos Jianu wrote in post #11589857 (external link)
me thinks the number of prime-only experienced shooters is still greater than that of the zoom-only veterans.

The vast majority of the time when I see professional wedding, fashion and portrait shooters in the real world they are using f2.8 or F4 zooms on FF.


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Robertogee
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Jan 07, 2011 01:21 |  #41

I agree: your shooting style determines preferences for primes or zooms. Both have their places for me, but here’s what I’ve observed.

Most photographers today begin with a kit lens, almost always a zoom. The IQ is great (relatively), the focal length range is incredibly handy and convenient, image-stabilization, near-macro capabilities, etc. “Wow,” it’s tempting to think: “This one lens does it all!”

But it doesn’t. The next lens, often / usually another zoom, goes for longer reach (say, for wildlife) or wider angles than that initial zoom.

Then – the first prime. Perhaps the irresistibly cheap 50mm f/1.8. “Wow! Sharper! Low light! Shallow DOF!” Etc.

More subtly, that prime insinuates a whole new awareness and shooting style compared to zooms. “Zooming with your feet.” Before, you stood in one place, zoomed in and out for composition, cropping, DOF or whatever. NOW, with the prime, you have to physically move in and out, which is to say become more physically involved and intimate with what you’re shooting.

Some like that, some don’t. I love it. The photographer I probably most admire is Cartier-Bresson, shooting with the original Leica 35 and its 50mm lens. Watch him on YouTube (he hated being photographed but there’s a rare clip), moving like a cat on the sidewalk, stalking his shot for the decisive action, angle, light and moment.

It’s one thing to “sneak” street shots with zooms. It’s another to get in the middle of things with people and “participate” with primes – and to learn to do that inoffensively, unobtrusively, respectfully.

I’m naturally comfortable with and genuinely interested in strangers, and shooting with primes has necessarily developed and refined my natural traits along with my photographic skills – and led to increasingly wonderful shots.

Same with shooting children. Instead of staying back, observing, and zooming, I’m on the ground or the floor or the playground swings or slides WITH them, with primes.

Same with adults and portraits. I’m not a studio or wedding or outdoor sports photographer: those are whole other ball games. The demands of shooting with primes forces a completely different kind of intimacy than using zooms, for me, and I find it incredibly rewarding both as a photographer and a human being.

I’ll never ditch my zooms, though in truth I rarely use them. But that’s just me.


EOS 7D | EOS 40D | EF 85mm 1.8 | Canon 10-22 | Canon 50mm 1.8 | Canon 28-135mm | Tamron 17-35mm | Tamron 28-200mm LD | Tamron 70-300mm | 580 EX II | 430 EX II

  
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phreeky
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Jan 07, 2011 01:40 |  #42

Robertogee wrote in post #11590053 (external link)
More subtly, that prime insinuates a whole new awareness and shooting style compared to zooms. “Zooming with your feet.” Before, you stood in one place, zoomed in and out for composition, cropping, DOF or whatever. NOW, with the prime, you have to physically move in and out, which is to say become more physically involved and intimate with what you’re shooting.

That is using a prime to force a photographer to overcome their lack of appreciation of the effect that perspective has on their shots. As a learning tool I think it makes a heap of sense to limit focal length options and force people to move. Once you accept how important it is then you can still "move" with a zoom lens like any other.




  
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Frugal
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Jan 07, 2011 01:40 |  #43

Robertogee wrote in post #11590053 (external link)
It’s one thing to “sneak” street shots with zooms. It’s another to get in the middle of things with people and “participate” with primes – and to learn to do that inoffensively, unobtrusively, respectfully....

....Same with shooting children. Instead of staying back, observing, and zooming, I’m on the ground or the floor or the playground swings or slides WITH them, with primes.

Err... you seem to be implying that primes don't cover the same focal range as zooms. Camera to subject distance is all about perspective, not whether you're using a prime or a zoom.

I have 2 primes and 3 zooms and I select which to use depending on the shooting situation. Horses for courses


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Drozz119
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Jan 07, 2011 02:03 |  #44

Sportidi wrote in post #11585128 (external link)
...
I've be going back to my camera shop tomorrow and they should have an 85L for me to rent out...I'll let everyone know the results.

:D Game over! If you rent that lens.. You might as well close this thread... I'll be looking for your zooms on the 'buy and sell' section!


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tkbslc
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Jan 07, 2011 02:11 |  #45

These prime vs zoom threads always get out of hand. How about if we tackle a safer topic, like say politics or religion. To start, I'll propose the topic: "Abortion should be banned within same-sex marriages among illegal aliens granted amnesty by the death panels."


Taylor
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Zoom vs Prime
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