Lens dilemma: Multiple Primes vs Standard zoom

Started May 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
Doug_PS
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Re: Lens dilemma: Multiple Primes vs Standard zoom
In reply to qianp2k, May 7, 2013

qianp2k wrote:

All these primes are very good.  If you choose all prime road, you will have at least 5 primes or may add another one 50mm.  Carrying many primes in travel is pretty challenge.  Not only you need a big camera bag and it will be heavy, but you will keep changing lenses in reality.  If you had time then it's perfectly fine as many professionals only use primes. However the latest Canon zoom especially two F2.8 zoom, 24-70L II and 70-200L II are excellent and more versatile and flexible  as sharp as those primes but AF faster at F2.8.  But primes are still better in bokeh and could generate even shallower DOF that could be a better choice in portraiture. My traveling bag now contains these two zoom (or replaced 70-200L II with much lighter/smaller but still excellent 70-200L/4.0 IS) and two special primes - 17mm TS-E (also a UWA lens) and 15mm FE.

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Thanks for the feedback. If I go the all prime route, I'm going to try really hard to limit the overall number of lenses to 4: 24, 35, 85 and 135 (ie I'll likely sell the 200 f/2.8). To do so, I'd have to be content with wide gaps in my coverage. I don't see that as particularly a problem, but I'd just have to be aware going in that that's the case.

The 24-70 L II would in my case replace the 24, 35 and 85. As you mention, this is certainly a more versatile and flexible option and the 24-70L II is by all reviews a fantastic lens. The downside is the shallow(er) DOF that I'd be giving up at the 35 and 85 range....as you also mentioned.  I do place a high premium on shallow DOF....and if Sigma (for example) came out with an 85 1.4 Art, I might have even better "shallow DOF" options in the 85 range.

Really a tough call as once I head down one road.....it's tough to go back!

 Doug_PS's gear list:Doug_PS's gear list
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM +2 more
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