joosay wrote in post #10533768
I wouldn't call the 35L as a one trick pony of a lens. I've seen it used for street photography, portraits, and other random still-life/candid shots. I don't believe that all primes are specialized. Maybe if you were talking about a longer lens like a 300mm or a 400mm prime where it's hard to shoot it indoors and/or need a tripod, etc. However, I do agree with the performance-cost difference between the Sig30 and the 35L. Also there are hobbyists who focus on just portraits or landscapes or birds or macros. I think specialized lenses aren't just for people who are making a living out of photography.
Just playing devil's advocate
This is very much my own opinion, but let me explain why I consider primes to be one trick ponies.
When you're using a prime... it's either because you need something *extremely* sharp, a very shallow depth of field, or are shooting in extremely low light. But most of these obstacles can be over come using a zoom....
1. Need to shoot in low light with a zoom? Bump the ISO up really high and reduce noise later in PP. Yes you'll lose a little PQ... but PP Noise Reduction is damn good in LR3.
2. Need an extremely shallow depth of field with a zoom? Zoom as far in as you can and open the aperture up as wide as it goes. You can get very close to primes shallow DOF simply by zooming in. (300+mm Primes excluded)
3. Need a sharp picture like the one your 85mm f/1.2 gives you? The 70-200mm IS Telephoto Zooms are quite sharp, just about as sharp as the best primes.
On the other hand, let's say your out taking pictures. And you're trying to compose your shot... but you can't get any closer and/or further away. Sure you might have quite a few primes, but you're still limited to those focal lengths. 14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, 200mm. There's a lot of missing focal lengths in between those very specific numbers.
Composition in my opinion, is probably one of the most important factors to great photographs. Sure you can always go wider and crop... but that's only after you've left your shoot. I'd rather know immediately if I'm happy with the shot. Not to mention carrying around enough primes to cover every situation requires a large bag and ALOT of lens swapping for each picture. And the price tag for each of these lenses... the good ones are just as expensive as the zooms.
I'll sacrifice a little sharpness, low light performance, and DOF... in order to get my composition right, and not have to swap lenses every 30 seconds. Again this is just my opinion. I used to be a prime lover, and thought they were the most important lens in a collection. Since then, I've come to the conclusion that Zooms do a lot more for me than Primes do. YMMV