12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
idiotekniQues Senior Member • Posts: 1,255
Re: I used prime lenses only, if I can

Micromegas777 wrote:

why bother with a heavy and expensive zoom

there are a variety of reasons people choose zooms over primes and vice versa. i can't really say one is better than the other, it is subjective and both approaches have just as much merit as the other.

when i walked around anywhere from manhattan to marrakech to istanbul, my 17-55IS f2.8 was on most of the time. i could pop off a shot at 17mm and then 55mm almost instantly. in my case i always prefer to get what i want in the frame and not plan on cropping later - it's artistically easier to have the image framed as it appears on the sensor later and in an instant after those two shots i could reframe at 35mm, oh wait i think 50 is perfect, in an instant i'm at 50, etc.... with three prime lenses that would have involved two lens changes. it makes my process much easier - to have a wide, medium, and short zoom perspective at my fingertips with a twist, keeping my eyes on the prize the whole time.

for some, and myself, constantly changing lenses, well it does become tedious if you do it often. you will often lose shots if a moment happens during a lens change. it can be much faster to twist a ring and change perspective rather than doing a zoom in and back with your feet everytime. there are a variety of reasons that people prefer one heavy and expensive zoom vs multiple primes. it depends on your shooting style and it really works great for some. if you are a photographer who enjoys a fixed focal length, you go the prime route.

you can see in my morocco/istanbul gallery that most shots were with my 17-55IS on the 30D body. i know i got a lot of different shots because i had that range at my fingertips without needing to change lenses, to stop walking to change lenses, to take the camera away from my eye to change lenses - i could get a wide angle view of an alleway and then with a quick twist of the wrist and a step in one direction get a street portrait, and then back, etc...

i, like many, find that invaluable. what you can't get with generally even the expensive zooms is that fast 1.4 or 1.8 aperture a prime does, but for those of us who like a zoom, f2.8 hits a reasonable trade-off for the other advantages we get, and it's the most common aperture for high end walkabout zoom lenses. i do not like super range lenses like say a 14-200 or what not. i find they simply don't have the IQ, lenses that do wide angle to long zoom are jack of all trades, master of none. zooms like a 12-35 are much better than those - which is why they are so coveted by those of us that want that sweet spot between fast primes and the convenience of zooms.

i can't say my preference and the preference of others to shoot like this is better or more right than those who go with say 3 primes. there is no 'right' way between these two IMO. i think people choose it for themselves, and if it makes them shoot better, like i know it does for me, then it is the right way for them.

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