Primes > Zooms All Other Things Being Equal?

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
probert500 Senior Member • Posts: 1,375
Re: Primes > Zooms All Other Things Being Equal?

Keith Z Leonard wrote:

I'm going with no on this one, in general modern zooms are REALLY good, very sharp, good color, and good distortion characteristics. As zoom range increases this gets worse, so there seems to be a happy zoom range (3-4x1). With IS/OS in modern zooms they have a lot of advantages over primes.

For a very large price you are correct - ie an expensive zoom can match an inexpensive prime.  But most zooms are not so good on the extremes.

You also fail to mention size - L glass users can hit forward since all their lenses are behemoths - but most of the ef series is quite light and compact - it makes a real difference.

Primes have a few things going for them too, typically even better distortion, good sharpness, etc...the biggie though is that they tend to be faster. f1.2, f1.4, f1.8 primes can give interesting results that you just cannot get with the typical f2.8-f4 zooms. The newer primes coming out with IS are typically a stop slower to accomidate it, they are interesting trade offs. There is also the thinking that making you walk around instead of zoom a lens makes you a better photographer, generally I think that's not very convincing, either you think about framing, DOF, or you don't.

In an ideal world where we're all handsome men of honor perhaps - but not in reality.  If you have a zoom you start standing in on place  and trying to frame from there.  But it's also a matter of getting used to a specific focal length , rather than just framing a pic - each focal length treats forground/background differently etc.

btw, I use both, I use primes wide open and zooms when I need flexibility. I would suggest trying them both and seeing which you personally like more, they both will produce great images.


 probert500's gear list:probert500's gear list
Sony a7R Sony a7R II Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II +3 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow