Primes vs zoom

Started Jun 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
bhollis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,735
Re: Primes vs zoom

Whitty wrote:

I have made the decision to stay in the APS-C world for now until perhaps full frame is even more attainable than the 6D currently.

For quality, which would be the better combo

I have a 450D, thinking about the 60D for video and articulating screen mostly.

Will likely get a speedlight 430, as my lightscoop is too wimpy

Option 1

24-105 f4 L.

Option 2

17-55 f2.8 IS

option 3

30mm f2 + 85mm f1.8, possibly 50mm 1.4

option 4

24-70 f2.8

How do the primes compare to the zooms? Obviously I would give up speed, but in terms of IQ, how will they compare to my 50mm? I have decided not to worry too much about having to sell EF-S if I go full frame one day, but it is of small consideration.

Don't normally shoot too wide, but my 50mm 1.8 prime is too tight. Love that lens, except the bokeh.

People rave about the 17-55, but perhaps I would rather something a bit longer, and how would it compare to my 50mm at 2.8. Seems weird to replace my kit zoom that I rarely use as I have the 50mm prime on my camera all the time, often frustrated I cant zoom out just a little and cant get further away. Would I still like my 50mm prime, or a 30mm prime better.

I am more interested in Canon lenses as I had a pretty bad experience with a sigma. It just is a confidence thing.

I suppose I am concerned I will buy a zoom, then still decide my prime is better.

I'd recommend you also consider the EF-S 15-85.  More useful zoom range on a crop than either of the 24-xx zooms, excellent IQ, and 4-stops of IS.  This was my general purpose zoom on my 7D before I went to a full frame, and if I still had a crop, I'd still be shooting the 15-85.  IMO, for a crop, it really comes down to the 17-55 vs the 15-85--the former if you want/need f/2.8, and the latter if you want the wider zoom range.

IMO, the primary reason to go with primes is their faster aperture.  If you need that for lowlight shooting/subject isolation, then they're great.  But of course you lose the versatility of a zoom.

BTW, you haven't told us the most important thing when it comes to lens selection:  What you plan to shoot with it?

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