What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

It's not as much about changing lenses as having a good lens that takes me from wide angle to zoom.  A good, multi-purpose lens.  That's what I consider a good walk-around lens.

To me, a fixed 28mm is a fixed purpose lens.  It's either what is stuck on some cheesy snapshot camera, or it's a very expensive prime used for a specific purpose.

Your explanation makes sense though, and I'd probably have to try using only a 28mm on my D7100 to see what I can actually capture with only that range.

I'm understanding, more and more, this camera is for a niche of photographers with a special purpose in mind.

Understand that for many many years up to today, a LOT of photographers have preferred shooting with prime lenses rather than zoom lenses. For any number of reasons, some technical, some creative. Personally, there are limited circumstances when I'd rather have a zoom, like shooting a parade where I need to go from wide to long and back, with many stops along the way, quickly and often. But 99% of the time I'd rather shoot with a prime. Both for technical reasons (they tend to have faster apertures and/or be optically cleaner, not to mention smaller) and photographic reasons - I can simply "see" better in a single focal length. I know the frame pretty much down to the level of my DNA and I can see photographs taking shape as I look at a scene, walk down the street, etc. With a zoom, the possibilities are endless and too complex. There are an infinite number of different framing options available from one position looking in one direction. My head simply can't be as creative when it has that many options to consider - I get so hung up on the possibilities I never fully see any of them. When I first tried using zoom lenses, I found myself petty much using them at the widest angle almost always with the very occasional telephoto shot, but rarely anything in-between. At which point carrying a zoom doesn't make much sense.

Maybe that's because I grew up and started shooting when there weren't many zoom lenses around, and what there were tended to be large, expensive, and technically pretty bad. The quality has improved and I've got nothing but respect for folks who can use them creatively or interestingly, but except for a telephoto zoom (where you're trying to get some distant subject and its just a question of how close you have to zoom to catch it), I almost never found a way to use zooms effectively. Or, more importantly, enjoyably - the process simply isn't as much fun for me with a zoom. And prime shooters are not that small a niche - this specific camera may be for a pretty specific niche - but lots of people prefer shooting with a single focal length most of the time...


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