How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

Started Mar 24, 2015 | Discussions
stephy
stephy Contributing Member • Posts: 630
How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

This could have been posted on the "Lens" forum but I feel it's equally OK here.

I don't currently use a mid range zoom and prefer Nikon primes lenses. Am I alone with this or do others feel a mid range zoom better for them?

 stephy's gear list:stephy's gear list
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overniteman
overniteman Senior Member • Posts: 1,173
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

I only have one prime these days, a 50mm 1.8D. It sees moderate use.

Being that I use my 70-200 a lot these days, when I put it on, it seems like a wide angle lens.

It's a pretty decent little lens.

John Cote Senior Member • Posts: 1,477
Why?

I am really interested in why you use prime lenses and don't use a mid-range zoom. I take a mid-range Nikkor zoom to be the 24-70 so you must be using prime lenses in this range?

I am not trying to be a snot. I just want to know.

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JohnCote
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olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 3,362
Re: Why?
9

I can't answer for the OP, but while the 24-70 is optically excellent, it's also big and heavy and I tend to use mine less and lees i favor of primes. Many get somewhat intimidated when I point the 24-70 at them and regard me as kind of a papparazzi. A prime is much more low key. And primes are much lighter and less bulky.

John Cote Senior Member • Posts: 1,477
Good Points

So, weight and sort of the blend into the crowd factor. I get it. It works for what you shoot...which sounds like street.

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JohnCote
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wasserball Veteran Member • Posts: 4,098
Re: Good Points

24-70mm is a heavy bulky lens to carry around all day long. Unless you really need this pro lens, I prefer the 24-85mm kit lens as a walk around. When I shoot indoor water polo, I carry the 70-200mm, but most of the time I use two sweet spots, either 135mm or at 200mm. Sometimes, I ask myself wouldn't primes would work better because rarely do I use anything in between.  But, then when I want to capture the expression at the end of a foot race in cross country, the 70-200mm is great for those shots.  So, it depends on situations.

When shooting portraits, I prefer the 85mm f1.8 prime.

 wasserball's gear list:wasserball's gear list
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stephy
OP stephy Contributing Member • Posts: 630
Re: Good Points

The 28-70 is a classic but it's fat and heavy because it used Nikon's early silent wave motor tech. The later 24-70 is much slimmer but still big when bolted on a camera. I've had both the 24-85 AFS but it really wasn't fast enough so I bought the better 28-70, amazing glass on a Fuji S3 Pro but ultimately too heavy for all day use.

Primes are tack sharp and offer accurate colours. This has been my experience.

 stephy's gear list:stephy's gear list
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Tharaphita
Tharaphita Senior Member • Posts: 1,156
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?
1

I prefer primes. 50 and 85mm 1.8G are my favorites. When i have some very special shoot, i rent zooms. I like the AF speed of pro zoom, but i dislike the weight and lack of bokeh compared to primes.  Body is D750.

Art Jacks Senior Member • Posts: 2,850
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

58 1.4g as my walk around lens, a 35 and 85 are available if required, that is my total outfit for my D810, not suitable for everyone's usage  I understand but works for my photography.

romfordbluenose Veteran Member • Posts: 3,644
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

stephy wrote:

This could have been posted on the "Lens" forum but I feel it's equally OK here.

I don't currently use a mid range zoom and prefer Nikon primes lenses. Am I alone with this or do others feel a mid range zoom better for them?

As you can see from my gear list I have a selection of primes and non-professional zooms.

The zooms although not the professional zooms are great lens in their own right.

I use the primes when I need extra IQ or control over DoF. I don't use them because they are faster as modern sensors can cope with slower lens through improved ISO capability.

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StanyBuyle
StanyBuyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,058
Re: Why?
7

John Cote wrote:

I am really interested in why you use prime lenses and don't use a mid-range zoom. I take a mid-range Nikkor zoom to be the 24-70 so you must be using prime lenses in this range?

I am not trying to be a snot. I just want to know.

IQ, speed, size and weight..

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Kindest regards,
Stany
Registered on Dpreview since 2003, nov 8th as stany buyle. Later as photoforfun and nikonuserinfo. Troubles with old email addresses to log in.

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Rich Rosen Senior Member • Posts: 2,452
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

stephy wrote:

This could have been posted on the "Lens" forum but I feel it's equally OK here.

I don't currently use a mid range zoom and prefer Nikon primes lenses. Am I alone with this or do others feel a mid range zoom better for them?

I have both zooms and primes. My "better stuff"  are zooms, but the Nikon 1.8g primes (28, 50, and 85) are no slouches. I have always had a 50, but recently added a WA and short tele. I've expanded my use of primes for a number of reasons. I like their smaller size and if used right, sharper images, and of course lower light situations.

But the zooms I have, are also pretty good, and a lot more convenient (yeah, I'm lazy).

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arrr
arrr Senior Member • Posts: 1,910
I like primes
1

I'm not a fan of f2.8 zooms. I feel they are a compromise versus even a cheap prime. Sometimes I use the zoom for convenience but to be honest I'd rather be using a fast fixed lens.

I've rented the Nikon 24-70 f2.8, it's nice.

Owned the 70-200 f2.8 VR... now own the Tamron which cost me 1/4 as much and works just as well. I almost never use this lens.

I've owned the Canon 70-200 F2.8 and F4 Ls as well as the 24-70 f2.8 L. The 24-70 f2.8 was probably the best zoom I've ever owned. Sometimes I get hung-up pixel peeping on photos taken with the 24-70 L and 5D & 5D II. Probably the only time I miss my Canon gear.

LOL, I probably like collecting bikes more than cameras now.

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j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,417
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?
2

I use zooms for event work, where I need the flexibility. I use primes for my personal work, where I prefer the simplicity and discipline of shooting fixed focal lengths.

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KR Photo Contributing Member • Posts: 675
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

I think we're lucky to have such a nice series of primes available to us in Nikon's 1.8 G lineup.

I have the 50 now and hope to add the 35 and the 85 this year, at which point I can see myself experimenting with leaving the 24-85 (which I like a lot) at home.

As others have said, the size, weight, IQ and imposed discipline are the attractions.

 KR Photo's gear list:KR Photo's gear list
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talmy
talmy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,320
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?

When I went from DX (history: D70 D200 D300s) to FX D810 I decided not to buy any zoom lenses because of their size and weight, cost, and lower IQ than primes. I already have 5 prime lenses and just bought a sixth (Samyang 85mm F1.4).

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Equipment in my User Profile.

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hiro_pro
hiro_pro Regular Member • Posts: 283
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?
1

i find the more i use primes the less i miss zooms.  Put another way, you figure out that primes are manual zooms controlled by your feet;). when i use a combo of both zooms and primes to shoot an event or location i find that the best shots come from the primes.  there is just something about them that looks better to me.

my walk around zoom is a tamron 24-70 2.8 vc but for night and low light indoor work when you cant use a flash i switch to a nikon 50 1.4g.  even with vc on the 24-70 the nikon at 1.4 is such a stronger low light lens.  i know the 50 1.4 is not the most loved prime but to my eye it outshoots any 24-70 in the 40 to 60 mm range.  Plus the sub 2.8 bokeh can be magical in night shots.

i have the tamron 70-200 vc and as best i can tell the lens is perfect but when i shoot portraits i reach for my nikon 85 1.8g or my old sigma 150 macro.  my 85 is tack sharp but for headshots nothing is as good as my 150.

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Nikon D600 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D +3 more
talmy
talmy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,320
Re: How Many Folk Here Use Primes?
5

hiro_pro wrote:

Put another way, you figure out that primes are manual zooms controlled by your feet;).

Frequently said, but even though I love primes this statement grates me! A zoom lens changes the angle of view. "Zooming with your feet" changes the perspective. Two different concepts.

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 talmy's gear list:talmy's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF Nikon Coolpix P7100 Nikon D200 +12 more
John Cote Senior Member • Posts: 1,477
Re: Why?

StanyBuyle wrote:

IQ, speed, size and weight.

Stany,

Do you really think that the prime lenses give you appreciably better image quality than the top quality zooms? I am not saying that perhaps you could not measure some slight quality difference but I mean appreciably by anybody looking at your final output in print or on the web?

Also, as far as speed is concerned, how do you mean? Do you mean lens aperture or something else...such as speed of acquiring the subject or whatever?

Just asking. I don't do much street or landscape/cityscape.

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JohnCote
www.johncotephotography.com
'Cameras are just cr@p we have to lug around because there is no direct brain to PhotoShop connection...yet!'

 John Cote's gear list:John Cote's gear list
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DigitalFFUser Senior Member • Posts: 1,015
Re: Good Points

After reading this thread I have decided to buy Sigma 35mm ART instead of Tamron 24-70.

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Nikon D610 Nikon D850 Nikon 85mm F1.8G Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Tamron SP 45mm F1.8 Di VC USD +8 more
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