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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 29 Dec 2014 (Monday) 17:44
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Has a zoom reduced the use of your prime?

 
lewisc
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Dec 29, 2014 17:44 |  #1

I've just bought a Canon 16-35mm 2.8 II. My main go to lens is my 35mm 1.4. Now I have a zoom that covers 35mm and more, I'm wondering if my use of the 35mm prime will reduce.

Does anyone have similar experiences with this?


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Dec 29, 2014 18:06 |  #2

In your case you kind of have a big, heavy (beautiful) prime. For us non-L peasants there is usually a weight and size advantage to going for the prime ;)

So in that case I do still reach for it quite a bit. My 17-50 2.8 zoom with hood has quite a bit more presence and weight than my 35mm F/2 or 24mm pancake.




  
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Nortonski
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Dec 29, 2014 18:11 |  #3

lewisc wrote in post #17356390 (external link)
I've just bought a Canon 16-35mm 2.8 II. My main go to lens is my 35mm 1.4. Now I have a zoom that covers 35mm and more, I'm wondering if my use of the 35mm prime will reduce.

Does anyone have similar experiences with this?

For myself, my journey has been initially from zooms to primes as I've sought faster glass.

I've not used either my 17-40L or the 70-200 2.8 L IS for a VERY long time (~18 months for 17-40 & probably ~2-3 years on the 70-200).

Now however, things have changed somewhat. Having recently purchased the 24-70 L II it's on the camera 95% of the time. Although I would consider this almost a 'honeymoon' period whilst I play with my new toy. Does it replace my primes, sure, if purely thinking focal length (read - a little more versatility for a walk around), but nowhere near regarding aperture...

Sure you'll probably use the prime less, but you'll make a conscious decision of do I need a wider aperture or the convenience of the zoom & choose accordingly...at least I do...;-)a


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JeffreyG
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Dec 29, 2014 18:13 |  #4

I generally use zooms first, only going for my primes in situations where I know I will want the faster aperture. Occasionally there are some other specific reasons I will use the primes, like the flare performance of my 50L or the low distortion of my 24L.

But if I'm shooting a picture at middling apertures, I'll probably use a zoom. It's nice to shoot the perspective I want with less lens changes and without needing to crop in post to get the framing I want.


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Dec 29, 2014 18:30 |  #5

lewisc wrote in post #17356390 (external link)
I've just bought a Canon 16-35mm 2.8 II. My main go to lens is my 35mm 1.4. Now I have a zoom that covers 35mm and more, I'm wondering if my use of the 35mm prime will reduce.

Does anyone have similar experiences with this?

Depends on the situation.

I only shoot zoom when I have to. Otherwise, I generally know the focal length I want, and thus use a prime for it. But I'm more of a prime person, than a zoom person. Just preference. But I like having F1.4 and F2 as an option for what I do. And my only zooms, well, are either ultrawide or 600mm, where I can't afford a prime, so I had to settle for a zoom there.

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SkipD
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Dec 29, 2014 18:40 |  #6

Many moons ago, when I was working with my Nikon F film cameras (which I still have and will be giving to my son soon), all I had was a set of four "prime" lenses - 28, 50, 105, and 300mm. In those days, I didn't know what I know now about perspective control and I didn't realize that I could benefit by having more focal lengths available. When I bought my 20D several years back, I outfitted it with three zoom lenses - 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200 (all f/2.8 L series lenses).

Because I never know what sort of photography I may be doing next, the zooms are perfect for me. If I was working with the same type of setup a lot, then a fixed focal length lens might be a good choice if it were smaller and lighter than the zoom lenses.

I often read how some folks feel that fixed focal length lenses somehow force them to learn more about composition. I don't understand this, as I feel that a zoom lens can provide MUCH more flexibility for framing after having judged positioning for the best perspective. Each to his/her own, though.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Dec 29, 2014 18:52 |  #7

I went from mostly zooms to almost exclusively using primes over the course of my time using SLR.

that said, the new 100-400mm markII appears to be about to render my 400mm f/5.6L redundant.


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lewisc
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Dec 29, 2014 19:58 |  #8

In your case you kind of have a big, heavy (beautiful) prime. For us non-L peasants there is usually a weight and size advantage to going for the prime

With each lens I get, I'm closer to being a peasant :-( I'm just set on buying "the best" without much experience of non-L lenses. I did pick up a 50 1.8 once. I found the L lenses very addictive.

I've only bought the 16-35mm for the wide end. I love my 35mm lens so it'll be interesting seeing which one I reach for first.

The thing I enjoy best about the prime lenses I have is the simplicity. Zooming is one less thing I have to worry about.


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Dec 29, 2014 20:16 |  #9
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More like my primes have reduced the use of my zooms.


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Dec 29, 2014 20:27 |  #10

I spent a period of time with just primes, but I've recently returned to zooms. Having said that, I often shoot at either one end or the other of the focal lengths, as opposed to in-between. I shoot mostly people, so on my 24-70 I'm pretty much always at 70mm shooting portraits. But if I need to switch to wide for a landscape or something, I often just pull back right to 24 as opposed to finding a focal length in the middle of the spectrum. So for me, zooms are like having two primes in one....without the wide apertures, of course. I still have a 50 1.4 and want to re-acquire a 100 F2 because I love that focal length/aperture combo. I've heard rumours here of Sigma making a 24-70 F2. Now that would be nice.


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Dec 29, 2014 22:59 as a reply to  @ lewisc's post |  #11

Back in the day we didn't have many zoom lenses. Plus the ones we did have were not all that great. So I really only shot with primes.
But now-a-days I have as many zooms, maybe more, as I do primes. I don't use the primes very much at all. The fact of the matter is for real world photography zooms are just as good...............alm​ost!
I have yet had a client say, "Man I wish you had used a prime."

Things change. :rolleyes:


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awesomeshots
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Dec 29, 2014 23:24 |  #12

I have zooms and primes and I use them both all the time. Just shot a wedding last saturday in a small barn and I had use my 24-70 99% of the time. I had the 135 2.0 mounted on the second body but I couldn't fit anything in to the frame, switched to 85 1.8 and it was still too long. Only time I was able to use my 135 when bride and the groom stepped outside.

So the long story short...I need both. :D


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Dec 29, 2014 23:58 |  #13

Yes.

I was raised on primes on a 35mm SLR. Zooms back then sucked. Today they're excellent. While I love my primes, I really love my zooms and use them all of the time.

Most of my work involves dynamic situations, events where I have almost no time between seeing a situation and creating a photo. I'm usually shooting people, sometimes strangers (usually kids), and I either capture the moment now or the photo doesn't happen. "Zooming with my feet" isn't often an option. Even with models in the studio, I'll take a zoom over a prime. I might use primes more if I could afford (re: justify) two or more full frame bodies, each loaded with different primes, but I can't.

I'll switch between a 24-105 and a 70-200, often begrudgingly, but I'll do that. I continue to toy with the idea of the 28-300mm, but the price is just a bit too high. I've also considered the new 100-400mm, but the 100mm end isn't short enough for what I shoot. Doing what I do only in primes would require use of my 28mm, 50mm, and 85mm. I'd also need a 135mm and a 200mm. That said, there are events (marching band half time show) where I use the 70-200mm exclusively. I shoot a 10 minute performance and easily span the full focal length range of the 70-200. One lens switch kills 10% of the half time show. I have field access, so I can get as close as I want and need. I'll still need my zoom.

There are reasons to use a prime. There are also reasons to use a zoom.


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mathogre
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Dec 30, 2014 00:17 |  #14

Here's an example of a shot where I had no time, and a zoom was an essential part of making the photo.

My daughter's high school hosts a marching band competition each year. This one band was staged for their performance. I went to take a photo of band members lined up. These three girls, whom I didn't and don't know, saw me and posed. They were about to compete, so they were wired and ready to perform. I was using my 5DM3 with the EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM. I had no time to make this work. I took the picture anyway and thanked them graciously. Among other things, the preprocessed exposure was horrible, as the sun was behind them. The composition was wrong. Their expression however was priceless. They were nice kids! Give me the zoom (and Lightroom).

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WaterBoy2090
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Dec 30, 2014 02:52 |  #15

Short answer, yes.

IMHO the quality of the lenses has to be comparable though; my kit 18-135mm didn't get used much at all, especially for portraits when I got the 50mm f1.4.

Having said that, the 50mm f1.4 hasn't been used since I got the 24-70mm L, especially for portraits. I haven't used an L prime though, so maybe I don't know what I'm missing, but I suspect that zooms suit me more, especially with my kids.


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Has a zoom reduced the use of your prime?
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