Are L primes "better" than L zooms?

Started Sep 19, 2010 | Discussions thread
sparkling elk
sparkling elk Contributing Member • Posts: 829
Re: The answer (if it was ever needed)

maiaibing wrote:

carlk wrote:

The more important question you did not ask is how the ability to vary focal length would affect composition in terms of framing and perspective. I happen to think the ability to vary focal length in real time is indispensable and perhaps even more important than IQ.

Well, I for one happen to think that having the flexibility of more light options and DOF options is far more important than a few mm of framing and perspective.

With a little planning and a few primes you're home safe when it comes to framing and perspective, not that it matters much in the first place.

And please - don't give me that "bump up the Iso" line back as it will do nothing to make the zooms focus correctly in low light or give me flexibility in choosing my DOF.

The bottom line is that primes give you a much range of shooting options than zooms. The advantages of zooms are convenience and speed in framing. But that's it.

example between an L-prime and L-zoom:
i am using the 1635 for landscapes and events.
for landscapes and/or lowlight i could get something better, the 24L.

as described, i cannot miss the 1635 (could also be a standard zoom).

so i'll need 2 (L) wide angle lenses which is too much for me as a hobbiest.

same for the 85/100-135-200 versus 70200L (version II of course):
dont want to sell my tele primes! its too nice to shoot with!
so i also would need both and thats again too much.

if you are not limited you just get both: nice L-primes and 2-3 nice L-zooms.

concerning the creative possibilities of using wide apertures: agree ! i will never go for an event without my 50L and 135L and mix when its possible.

last week i was photographer on a special boat tour with around 100 people. most of the pics were realized with the 1635 (mounted on a apsh body, so its always 20-46 for me), at iso 3200, bounce flash (-2) and f5-f6.3. many of the captured scenes (frames !) were really great and sharp and i could deliver a very good and convincing result to my client. but the most beautiful photos came from the 50L and the portraits i could arrange during the blue light hour on board, all @ f2- f2.5 and without problems.

with time and space i would always use my few primes. its pure joy for me to portrait people and to capture scenes (including action) with the 200L (f2.8), working from a certain distance (not needing to zoom...) and playing with DOF and bokeh colors.

people report that the new 70200 is as good.

can it be true? the prime has 9 lenses, the zoom has 23 lenses which are breaking the light. it must be a miracle - and then a problem for the people in the less-is-more-camp (including me).
Eckhard Aland

 sparkling elk's gear list:sparkling elk's gear list
Ricoh GR Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM +12 more
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