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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 20 Aug 2014 (Wednesday) 16:15
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Why zooms allow for greater creative control than primes

 
CanonYouCan
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Aug 26, 2014 12:42 |  #196

I almost sold all zooms as they had only 1 advantage : zooming, and all was said..

My types of photography are :

1.Urban exploring (shots of abandoned rooms inside) :
In past I used the best optical zoomlens possible : the Tokina 16-28 2.8 zoom
It's the only lens I used for this type of photography, but honestly I used it always at 16mm, the zoomrange to 28mm wasn't that big or interesting.
Although my tripod is the most stable, my camera fell on the ground and a part of the lens hood cracked, it was heavy as a brick! The only optical negative was the flare (bold lens).
I replaced it with a Tokina 17 3.5 ATX Pro prime, out of production (thanks Ebay)
Man, a world of difference, superlight, no flare, compact and equally sharp, a joy to use it.

2. Modelphotography

Advantages of primes :
-Faster focusing in lowlight (less hunting)
-More atmospheric pics in lowlight without flash
-Lower iso's in lowlight so less noise
-Primes are sharper (less glass)
-Dreamy f1.2-f2 bokeh
-More compact and lighter

Disadvantages of primes :
-You need more primes to cover the distance so more expensive, but after a while you know which mm's you need.
-Some have CA, but if you chose the right primes you can minimize this
-No zooming capability

But for me I find it boring to have for example a 24-70 or 24-105, I had 3 of them in past.
It's just like you have a compactcamera, start zooming lazy in your seat and have no bokehlicious wowpictures, being able to isolate a subject with a sweet bokeh is a great advantage for portraits.

The only magical zoom I kept is the 70-200 2.8L II, ideal for events & modelphotography and wowpictures with nice bokeh thanks to the combination of 135-200mm focal length + f2.8.

Maybe i'm too picky, but even on holiday I use my 35 1.4 Art + 70-200 2.8LII.
So they are complimentary, but for my experience (bought/sold many lenses, yes i'm a gearhead :) ), I ended up with primes as they are more pure optics.


Sony A7 III | Metabones V | Canon 16-35 F4 L | 70-200 2.8L II
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Lighting : Godox AD600B TTL + Godox V860II-S + X1T-S
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Tripod: Vanguard Alta 253CT carbon

  
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MalVeauX
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Aug 26, 2014 12:48 |  #197

CanonYouCan wrote in post #17118960 (external link)
Maybe i'm too picky, but even on holiday I use my ....

You're not too picky.

I use a fully manual 85mm F1.4 lens on a 5D classic when I'm just walking down the street with my kid on one of our walks. I use a lot of manual primes.

I often want F1.4 as an option.
And I want to be able to focus without it ever hunting. I never hunt focus when I'm doing the focusing, in low light. And I can nail focus more consistent than some of my AF lenses.

It just comes down to how you use your tools, preferences, etc.

Zooms just mostly do not deliver what I want, except at the extreme ends (11mm & 600mm). The rest in the middle are primes for me. And often lack autofocus.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
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Ken ­ Nielsen
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Aug 28, 2014 22:48 |  #198

This is subjective. Glass quality is the first consideration for me. My best shots, bar none, are one's taken with a high quality lens. Some zooms deliver superb quality, but the 'L' lenses of note (my fav the 500 f/4) knocks the others out of the park. Forget the 'creativity' talk, I'll put the 'L' lens results up against any zoom lens pic and let the eye decide which one really brings the image home.




  
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InfiniteDivide
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Aug 29, 2014 01:45 |  #199

I was in love with my 17-55mm lens, but then I tried the 24L II.
The 17-55mm was night and day compared to my kit 18-55mm zoom.
The fixed aperture made all the difference for me.
Once I tried f2.8 I wanted faster, for a thinner DOF.
I could always stop the lens down to f2.8 or even f8.0
but didn't have a zoom faster than f2.8.

I completely agree that having a 17mm, 18mm 19mm, +++... lens
can allow for an additional advantageous variability in photographic composition.
I could 'zoom with my feet' but this does little in comparison to zooming from 17mm to 55mm on the fly. There has been many times I could not get the street shot I wanted because my prime's FL was not optimal.
There has also been many times I could take a photo in natural light that a f2.8 zoom could simply not get.

I would love to have a FF zoom faster than f2.8 for very low light and a thin DOF, but that won't happen. Therefore, I will rely on my primes for now and choose an individual FL as needed.
I completely understand the pros and cons of both types of lenses.
I am not stating one is 'better' than the other.
It is an opinion left to be decided by the individual user.
But it is a great topic for discussion and it is enlightening to hear individual reasonings.


James Patrus
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mystik610
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Aug 29, 2014 06:39 |  #200

Even better is a bag of primes! This gives you flexibility with DOF AND FOV. During a portrait session, I'm usually constantly switching lenses, as I like some variety in the 'looks' of shots that I present to clients, while still having creative control over DOF. Shooting an entire series with a single focal length can be a bit redundant, especially if they're all shot at longer focal lengths (which create totally nuked backgrounds).


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Charlie
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Aug 29, 2014 15:46 |  #201

Ken Nielsen wrote in post #17123803 (external link)
This is subjective. Glass quality is the first consideration for me. My best shots, bar none, are one's taken with a high quality lens. Some zooms deliver superb quality, but the 'L' lenses of note (my fav the 500 f/4) knocks the others out of the park. Forget the 'creativity' talk, I'll put the 'L' lens results up against any zoom lens pic and let the eye decide which one really brings the image home.

glass is really important, but "nothing worse than a sharp shot of a fuzzy concept"

I happen to have some really good shots with poor glass, really wish it was better glass at the time, but oh well. I've participated in photo competitions and lost to people with significantly inferior gear to mine...... it's a heaping serving of humble pie.


Sony A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - SY 24/2.8 - FE 28/2 - FE 35/2.8 - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 17-28/2.8 - 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
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Ken ­ Nielsen
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Aug 29, 2014 21:10 |  #202

Charlie wrote in post #17125097 (external link)
glass is really important, but "nothing worse than a sharp shot of a fuzzy concept"

I happen to have some really good shots with poor glass, really wish it was better glass at the time, but oh well. I've participated in photo competitions and lost to people with significantly inferior gear to mine...... it's a heaping serving of humble pie.

Agreed. The whole creativity concept has nothing to do with anything but the paring up of genius with the correct tools to do the job.

For the OP topic, I just wanted to differ from the concept that zoom equals creativity. - Hogwash.




  
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DoughnutPhoto
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Aug 30, 2014 09:32 |  #203

Charlie wrote in post #17125097 (external link)
glass is really important, but "nothing worse than a sharp shot of a fuzzy concept"

I happen to have some really good shots with poor glass, really wish it was better glass at the time, but oh well. I've participated in photo competitions and lost to people with significantly inferior gear to mine...... it's a heaping serving of humble pie.

Humble pie is good sometimes. When was the last time you were in the critique forum and someone said "Great picture, amazing composition and concept... I just wish this was taken with a 5d3 and a proper L lens!". I sure haven't seen such remarks...


Canon 5d, 60d, 17-40mm L, 30mm Art, 50mm, 85mm

  
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monkey44
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Aug 30, 2014 10:52 |  #204

We all have different set-ups, one way or another, and use what we have to do the best we can. And, when I see a great shot, the first thing that occurs to me is "great shot". Not, 'wonder what gear he used' .. It's NOT the gear, it's the photographer understanding what the gear he owns will do for him, and for the ability he has to interact within the boundaries of that technology. That is the idea behind creativity - use what you have and do whatever it takes to get what you want in the image.

As a general rule [except for studio work], we are not in control of the setting, the light, the movement, or the subject. So, understanding what your equipment can do has more to do with a shot getting the "WOW" comments.

The second part of it, if you know what kind of shots you want, then figure out the equipment that will give it to you ... for a wild example to emphasize a point -- if you're shooting basketball, you don't buy an 800mm fixed lens no matter how great that lens might be ...




  
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Mornnb
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Aug 30, 2014 17:46 |  #205

monkey44 wrote in post #17126240 (external link)
We all have different set-ups, one way or another, and use what we have to do the best we can. And, when I see a great shot, the first thing that occurs to me is "great shot". Not, 'wonder what gear he used' .. It's NOT the gear, it's the photographer understanding what the gear he owns will do for him, and for the ability he has to interact within the boundaries of that technology.

Depends on the shot, sometimes if a see a great portrait my first thought will be something alone the lines of, 'hmm I wonder what lens he used to get that milky smooth blur'.

The second part of it, if you know what kind of shots you want, then figure out the equipment that will give it to you ...

Exactly this. One should get gear only if they know it will help them get the shot they want, or if they are running into the limitations of their current gear.


Canon 5D Mark III - Leica M240
EF 16-35mm F/4 IS L - EF 14mm f/2.8 L II - - EF 17mm TS-E L - EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II - EF 70-200mm IS II f/2.8 L - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art - Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX
Voigtlander 15mm III - 28mm Elmarit-M ASPH - 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M FLE - 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
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Why zooms allow for greater creative control than primes
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