Fast primes vs good zooms

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
gary0319
gary0319 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,731
Re: There is no "versus"

spike29 wrote:

MeVee wrote:

spike29 wrote:

Primes are often faster in aperture so f2.8 against a f1.7 is a officious victory for the prime.

It's not an "officious victory" in some nonsense rhetorical nothingburger "versus" battle. It's a meaningful difference that allows a different photographic result.

The versus isn't a "battle" it's a "what does it bring me", I have versatility and a great zoom with the pl12-60 which delivers tack sharp nice images with DUAL IS2. The prime fals inside this focalrange so... therefore the list.

You either want that different photograph, or you don't.

So why is a PL15mm f/1.7 preferable over a PL12-60?

- 15mm on the pl12-60 is about f/3.1 so around 2 stops slower then f/1.7

Let's imagine uses for two extra stops of light:

1/ Shooting the 15mm, you're able to use a shutter speed two stops faster. Say, 1/250 instead of 1/60. That's the difference between motion blur and tack sharpness for many subjects.

2/ Or you're able to use an ISO two stops lower. Say, ISO 400 rather than 1600 in marginal light. The photo from the zoom will be noisy and bloomy, the photo from the prime will be clean and crisp.

3/ Two stops means a significant depth of field and bokeh difference, particularly for a near-wide angle field of view with a fairly close subject. The prime's image therefore will have a blurred background, a suggestion of dimension, or an isolated subject; the zoom's won't.

You either want the faster shutter speed, the lesser noise, and the shallower depth of field, or you want different focal lengths at a twist.

That's the difference, the perfectly valid reason for both lenses, and the end of this story.

Sold !

All that MeVee has said is right on, and you should try the prime.

But, in the end, you most likely will either be a prime shooter....or not. The technical pluses and minuses will make very little difference. I have one prime lens, I bought it about 4 years ago, shot it any number if times, kind of liked it, put back on the shelf. I take it down now and then, sometimes I even put it in my bag ....that’s as far as it gets.

I’m just a zoom guy, with the exception of my Oly f1.8 Fisheye that I actually use a lot.

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