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Thread: Zoom Lenses

  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Zoom Lenses

    What do people think about zoom lenses? I hate them and don’t use them. My main reasons are not only the loss of quality compared to fixed focal lengths, but mainly because fixed focal lengths provide a better learning curve for appreciation of perspective control. Look at this HCB shot

    http://www.moma.org/collection/brows...&template_id=1

    and how by creating the right camera to subject distance he was able to match the angle of the line on the wall with the angle of the cart. However, I suppose if you use a zoom lens at specific focal lengths for what you are trying to achieve, it achieves what you have in mind.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quality schmality; learning schmearning.

    Use whatevah gets the job done
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Don't know if it's a fact, but when I was building my Canon 35mm system 25 years ago during Canon FD days, I was told that prime lenses are sharper than zoom lenses. I didn't own one FD zoom. I find today's zoom lenses are good as prime lenses. Does anybody know if I'm full of it?

  4. #4
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    While one can measure the difference in the laboratory, one would be very hard put to pick up a print or look at a slide and definitively say that it was taken with a prime lens or a zoom lens.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5

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    I think the quality of lens technology n glass has improved over the years so zooms aren't as bad as they once were.. altough still slower than primes.

    I'd say you'd have trouble finding differences in picture quality.
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  6. #6
    jp498's Avatar
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    New zooms are much better. Superzooms now will have some vignetting and pincushion at some lengths. Old zooms had more chromatic abberation than prime lenses. Most zooms made in the past ten years are pretty decent, except for some of the super zooms.

    I mostly use prime lenses as I like the bigger apertures and can zoom with my feet just fine much of the time.

    If someone is too much of a snob to use a Nikon EDIF 80-200/2.8 AFS or a 70-200/2.8 AFS or 70-300 ED, I'll take it off your hands so you can have your credibility back.

  7. #7

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    I like zoom lenses but I like prime lenses better!

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    TL;DR
    Shoot more, worry less

  9. #9
    fotch's Avatar
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    The quality is more due to what the photographer does than the quality of the tool.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  10. #10

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    My thinking, usually, is that I'd rather spend money on optics than mechanics. Modern zoom lenses can be really, really good, but all other things being equal they tend to be more expensive than comparably good primes.

    That said, I've got a Kiron zoom lens in FD mount that I just love. (On the other hand, I believe it cost me US$8.99, so it's a pretty clear exception to the rule above!)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

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