Primes > Zooms All Other Things Being Equal?

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
Keith Z Leonard Veteran Member • Posts: 6,114
Re: Primes > Zooms All Other Things Being Equal?

probert500 wrote:

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.

My 600$ zoom is better than my 500$ prime in almost every respect.  In fact I think it stands up nicely to my L lenses.  I wouldn't call my 70-200 f4 L a "behemoth", I will grant you my 100-400 is though.  

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.

No, I don't, thanks for that though...many people are quite capable of using zooms and taking note of the framing, the focal length, compression, depth of field considerations, etc... like say, most wedding photographers, many portrait photographers (70-200 f2.8 L is an often used portrait lens), etc...  I will admit that I have gotten shots due to having a zoom on the camera that I would have missed with a prime by zooming quickly to grab a moment I would otherwise have missed, but I certainly don't let the zoom dictate where I stand.

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.


 Keith Z Leonard's gear list:Keith Z Leonard's gear list
Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EOS 400D +16 more
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