To prime or not to prime - 16-55 mm questions

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
yokken Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: To prime or not to prime - 16-55 mm questions

I've recently found out for myself that the 16-55 is indeed a great lens. I love the 16/23/56 stepping for primes, and this zoom lets me use all of those. I try to stick to those focal lengths when using the zoom as it still keeps my brain in "prime mode". I don't like changing lenses constantly, so I will typically go out and shoot with a single prime, with one in the bag for alternate framing if I see it while I'm out. Primes are smaller, too, so I can do some street shots without worrying I'm going to make someone feel uncomfortable with a big lens pointed at them (like the 16-55 or heaven forbid the 50-140). I do like to stick to the longer focal lengths for reach and compression. My 56/1.2 is maybe my new favorite lens even though it focuses slowly. The 16-55 @ 55mm is a pretty good substitute in terms of IQ, but it can't match the specific rendering of the 56/1.2. Still, the versatility of the zoom is really hard to argue with, if you try to stick to specific focal lengths instead of always zooming and using whatever focal length that ends up providing the frame you want. I still try to zoom with my feet when using zooms, again to stay in "prime mode".

If you think you'd get some good use out of the 50-140, you can snag that plus the 1.4x TC to get 70-200 @ f/4 for when you need more reach. I have read very good things about the lens. It's about as long as the 55-200 is with the barrel fully extended, I think, so if you feel comfortable using the 55-200 in public, then the 50-140 shouldn't be a big deal either. It's heavier for sure though.

You shouldn't have any hesitation about using a zoom - some people love them, some people refuse to use them, and some people use them sometimes when they are a convenient solution. It is OK to be a zoom user

That being said, I think the 23/1.4 would be a fantastic prime that you might end up using more than you think. 23mm in my X100F provides a very natural framing, close to what my eyes see, and often feels just wide enough to capture close-up scenes like food at a dinner table, whereas my 35/1.4 sometimes feels not wide enough, with 23mm still providing more reach than 16mm which some people love for street photography (I think it's just a little too wide for most scenes, but you can crop). I could probably live with only 2 lenses, the 23/1.4 and 56/1.2. The 23 isn't wide enough for everything, but it's so much more versatile than 16mm (or 14mm, or 12mm, or 10mm) that I am willing to sacrifice the wide angle-only shots (or simply a different framing of shots that would look great with a wide angle lens).

 yokken's gear list:yokken's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +2 more
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