Primes vs Zooms

Started May 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Tim A2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Re: The best Pentax lenses are primes

Guidenet wrote:

Tim A2 wrote:

There seems to be agreement among Pentax owners that by far the best Pentax lenses are primes. In fact some of those primes have been put on a pedestal. I have read several comments similar to this, "there I was with my pancake lens surrounded by a bunch of Canikons with their honkin hugh lenses". For some reason my impression is that in the Canikon world primes just don't seem to be as highly regarded.


Pentax makes some good lenses, but understand, both Nikon and Canon make more prime lenses than does Pentax. More highend primes and more medium end primes and more inexpensive primes.

Tim, maybe you're not very knowledgeable concerning the "Canonikon world" and might be the reason for your ignorance on the subject. Do you really believe some guy was at some place surrounded by people with Nikons and Canons, all with large zoom lenses while he had a pancake? I think it could mean two things. One, maybe he was not where he was supposed to be and was surrounded by professionals; or Two, he might have had the wrong lens on for the subject and just then realized it.

Also, maybe the best Pentax lenses are prime lenses. That would mean they need to really start work on some good zoom lenses to go with them. A lopsided catalog can't make for a good selection of glass for Pentax owners.

Take care.

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Cheers, Craig

Craig, it was a pleasure to read such a pleasant, polite and effective response. You could have pounced on me like a lion on raw meat. My intent really was only to point out that primes play a larger role in the Pentax world than in that of other brands. The comment about hugh honkin lenses was unnecessary. One of the factors in the popularity of Pentax primes is the large number of quality legacy lenses from the film camera days.

I can believe the statement about the pancake lens though, based on my own observations. This particular person had a 40 mm lens at an orchid show. The quality from that lens would be about as good as you can get from a lens. I was also at a local orchid show. I have a limited lens selection and thought my best choice from what I have was a 35 mm f2.4. A little zoom now and then would have been nice, but I can't say I missed it (my only zooms are 18 - 135 mm and 55 - 300 mm). Tripods were not allowed. All the other photographers, and there were many, had these hugh zoom lenses. I did not see another prime lens or another Pentax camera for that matter. Now I don't know the significance of that, but I couldn't help but wonder what was with all the big lenses and why not some primes for better quality. I guess the other brands do have big lenses appropriate for that that situation.

Another time I was at a Chinese Lantern Festival where the displays were very large. I chose my only other prime so I could get up front of the crowd and because the FOV was ideal. Here is an example

There were many other photographers there and they all had these big lenses. They were at the back or in the middle of the crowd trying to set their tripods. I never had a single instance when I thought of using anything but 15 mm.

I do have Pentax and am pretty much wedded to it by my few lenses. I do hear some grumbling now and then about the selection of zoom lenses, although I personally can't imagine needing anything more. I certainly could not afford it. You are absolutely correct that I have very little knowledge of other brands and should not comment on them.


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