Primes vs Zooms

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Chad Gladstone
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Re: Don't listen to these wishy-washy miscreants...
In reply to Mssimo, 11 months ago

Mssimo wrote:

Chad Gladstone wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

ata3001 wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

Mssimo wrote:

Primes are much better.

That simply just isn't always the case.

Zooms are slow, big, only shart in the center, have a ton of CA and cost more money.

NC on that one.

If you like to compare a $2000 zoom with a 50mm f1.8...well the 50mm prime still wins.

You pick the absolute cheapest and easiest to make prime to compare with.

Lets try again with a 24mm lens. The 24 F2.8 is pretty much a dog. Soft edges and CA goes up as you stop it down. The only other prime is fast but the edges are soft until f5.6 and it's also almost $2000. For $1200 you can get the 16-35 F4 zoom, you get VR and "drum roll please" you also get a 16mm + a 35mm lens thrown in for free!

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Stacey

If you are going to compare the latest zooms to primes, then compare them to the latest primes as well.

I did, the 24mm f.4 prime is the newest 24mm they have, the other option is the 24mm f2.8D. neither are super performers.

My point was, not all "primes and better than zooms" and not all "zooms are better than primes"..

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Stacey

The nikon 24mm f1.4G is one of the best lenses on the market. Are you comparing its performance at f1.4 to the 24-70mm at f2.8?

On DXOmark, it ranks 9th for lenses tested on the D800. First place zoom on the list is the 70-200VRII, it ranks 24th.

I have the 70-200mm by the way..great lens.

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The DXO ratings are fundamentally suspect in this particular ranking as none of the primes in this range (save the 105 2.8 VR) has VR that provides at least a three stop advantage over the faster primes, focuses faster and substitutes for at least 4 primes in the range (70, 85, 105, 135, 180, etc). This is one particular instance where the zoom makes a compelling case (well at least until the (105 1.8 VR, 135 1.8 VR and 180 2.8 VR are released).
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Chad Gladstone

Can VR hold a sugar filled child still? I rest my case.

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At the shutterspeeds necessary to handhold this FL range, absolutely. 1/180 -1/320 is about where VR is at its absolutely most effective, and yes my gallery is filled with sugar filled children.  Also, you are forgetting the pedestrian autofocus speed and substantial AF tolerances that these old screwdriver primes were designed to accomplish far less than what is now demanded.  Snark, hyperbole and preconceived notions aside, there are many Nikon primes that deserve to receive the nanocrystal coatings, ED glass, computer aided optical redesign, AFS and VR to remain relevant in the telephoto range.

Many are even advocating that the variable aperture 80-400 VR meets or exceeds its 300 f/4 rival at equal FL, aperture, at handheld shutterspeeds.  Okay, so your not in agreement with their conclusions, but with every passing generation, most lenses exceed the previous benchmarks just to keep up with the punishing sensors and no sweeping generalization will disturb that engineering progress.

I am an ardent statesman advocating the proposition that primes are usually superior and I elect to shoot them over most of my wide, normal, and short telephoto FL range, but without the increased flexibility and versatility of AFS/VR in telephoto FL's and comparing the state of the art Nikon zooms, the 70-300 range of old primes that lack VR are becoming less capable in optical performance, VR and focus acquisition and tracking effectiveness.  Notwithstanding how well prime lenses preformed on film, they are becoming largely orphans of a bygone era in the telephoto lineup.  They just need a generous optical and technological make over or they will continue to remain out classed in this range.

Now you can rest your case.

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Chad Gladstone

 Chad Gladstone's gear list:Chad Gladstone's gear list
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +7 more
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