Prime vs. Zoom

Started Dec 20, 2012 | Questions thread
OP ch382 Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: Pretty close these days

Leonard Migliore wrote:

ch382 wrote:

I know how good of a lens the 35/1.8 is- I pretty much use it for most everything :).. Which is why I wanted to confirm how a similar zoom would look IQ wise.. I understand it won't be as good as the Prime, but I wonder if it will CLOSE- cos I'm looking for an all-you-can-eat lens and as bad distortion is on those things; I wonder if it will be better than missing a photo opp- changing lenses :S

I have a 35mm f/1.8G and a 16-85 zoom on my D300. The 16-85 is very nearly as sharp as the 35; you would never see any difference in normal use. Both lenses are sharper and have better contrast than my 55mm Micro-Nikkor, a lens with a reputation for sharpness. Distortion and chromatic aberration is a non-issue because it can be corrected by software. Anyway, the 16-85 has less distortion and CA than the 35.

This is why the 16-85 is on my camera most of the time and I only drag the 35 out when I want a physically smaller lens.

Things are a bit different on the long end, where my 85mm f/1.8 (a wickedly sharp lens) is noticeably better than the zoom and, of course, 3 stops faster. So I have a lot more reasons to go to the 85 prime when I need that focal length.

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Leonard Migliore

Hey Leonard, thanks for your input.

Very interesting note on the sharpness you detail on the 16-85 vs the prime 35! I def have to check out that lens.

1. Im just a little confused when you say where your "85 f/1.8".. Does that mean you have a dedicated prime 85mm? Which would also mean your 16-85 pretty much never makes use of its 85? Is there a reason for this [i.e. changing to the prime 85mm] (if that's what Im understanding). I have to admit I've heard amazing things about the 85mm prime

2. Have you ever shot a wedding, or baptism, or anything? if so- how do you find the zoom works in that kind of environment.. Do you have any other lenses that you change over to in that instance, or just use the 16-85?


 ch382's gear list:ch382's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G
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