would you swap your zooms for primes?

Started Feb 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 14,798
If you know where to stand, you want a zoom

Forrest wrote:

BertIverson wrote:

Modern zooms are very good compared with 20-30 years ago. My modern zoom is just as sharp at 50mm as my 15 year old 50mm prime. Furthermore, a zoom allows one to fill the frame when shooting thus avoiding cropping. Without cropping, the image when viewed/printed will be better. Hence some of the extra IQ that primes offer is lost due to cropping.

This, of course, ignores the benefits of larger apertures typically found on primes (less noise, narrower DOF, probably faster focusing)
So no. I will remain a zoom user mainly because of the convenience.
my 0.02

You make it sound like walking is something you just can't or won't do. If that's the case, then sure, zooms will be a profound help.

Using a zoom to avoid getting the right perspective is poor technique. Using a zoom to get the right framing when you have the right perspective is good technique.

But for people who aren't impaired by a belief that walking is for losers, this is rubbish. The times when you can't get exactly the shot you saw in a dream the night before because you're standing cliffed-out on the edge of a precipice are kind of rare; this just isn't something people encounter on a day to day basis.

In some people, zoom lenses breed laziness, which brings a lack of creativity along with it.

After all, didn't Ansel Adams say "A good photograph is knowing where to stand?"

But that's exactly why a zoom is beneficial. Once you're standing in the right place, you need a certain angle of view to properly frame your shot. Now, how many primes do you want to carry? 24,28,35,40,50,60,85,105? That makes for a heavy bag and it rattles, too. One good zoom and you have the shot you want to get, not a shot that you have to crop.

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Leonard Migliore

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