5d mark iii - primes or zoom for landscape?

Started Dec 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
landscaper1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,467
Re: 5d mark iii - primes or zoom for landscape?

As a serious landscape photographer, I prefer zooms; here's why.  Apart from the ease of handling fewer lenses, there are advantages in image quality as well.

If you check out the resolution numbers on lenses at Photozone, you'll find that quality zooms perform pretty well compared to primes.  True, there's more fall-off in resolution at the edges and corners with many zooms, but generally the numbers are still pretty good.

So, why not primes?  Well, unless you plan on packing a whole load of primes to cover every conceivable focal length, you'll likely find you have to crop the image from a prime to get the exact composition you want.  If you crop a 28mm image to get the equivalent of a 35mm image, you crop away about 1/3 of the 28mm image.  You also effectively crop away 1/3 of the resolution as well.  Once you've done that, your cropped prime image isn't likely to be superior to an actual 35mm image taken with a quality zoom.

Bottom line:  think less about individual lens sharpness and more about getting the best possible composition in the camera rather than through post processing.  Yes, with a prime you can walk your way ("sneaker zoom") to the correct composition (discounting changes in perspective).  However, I don't recommend sneaker zoom in places like the Grand Canyon.

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