24mm and 50mm, or just 35mm?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
LordKOTL Senior Member • Posts: 1,644
Re: Photo Audit

NotASpeckOfCereal wrote:

LordKOTL wrote:

Beat me to it with the "Audit" part.[...]
That will give you the answer of what primes you'll want to look into. If, for instance, you have very few or no photos taken at 35mm why get a prime of that length?

I'm going to push back on this.

A zoom is often for convenience and flexibility. Often, that means being able to shoot from where you are. There are probably a lot of FLs you will get in that audit list that don't exist as a prime.

If you decide that you want the superior performances of high end primes, then you might go out and get a trio of them that fits close, but not necessarily perfectly to such an audit.

And if that trio consists of a 35mm, even though that actual FL didn't peak on any charts, that doesn't mean that you won't work it. You may even find (as I did) that "wow, I'm really diggin' this 35mm FL", even if you didn't often dial it in with the zoom.

Zooms are great and they make them better today, but zooms can also make you lazy.

Primes make you work harder and there's nothing wrong with that. Primes also force me to think harder about perspective, something that often took a back seat when I could just dial it in with the zoom from wherever you happen to be.


Your point is valid, but the counterpoint is that the OP (or whoever) buys a prime which they tend not to shoot at...and then they still don't shoot it.  If they are an amateur on a budget, there's an inherent risk of wasting money there.

My opinion, of course, but I think the best starting point if someone wants to make the jump from a zoom to a prime is to start with the focal lengths they use more often than not.  They gravitate towards them for a reason.

However, there's also absolutely nothing wrong with experimentation.  In that case, I'd recommend renting if possible.  That way if they end up not liking the lens, they simply return it rather than it collecting dust or trying to sell it (likely at a loss).

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There's no shame in using auto or semiauto modes--no matter what the salesdroids at Best Buy tell you.

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