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  1. #31
    MattKing's Avatar
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    David:

    I think you may think that I am older than I actually am .

    Most of my retail experience was in the mid to late 1970s and very early 1980s. Think of the heyday of the Canon AE1, the Pentax ME, the Olympus OM-1 and the Minolta SRT 101s, not to mention excellent rangefinders like the fixed lens Canons and Konicas.

    They sold like hotcakes (particularly the AE-1s). But people still bought longer telephotos and zoom lenses based on how much closer they made things look.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    MattKing said: "For many, many people, whether or not a lens exhibited higher resolution, better overall contrast, better acutance, more accurate colour rendition or any of the other technical measures of quality was relatively unimportant."

    Unfortunately , MattKing, this evinces the sad story of marketing in the 'informed' USA. During the Soviet period Russia had a plastic (Bakelite?) camera that took 35 mm film and, at a camera show a few years back, I bought one for $5. As much as 'for the downtrodden Soviet masses' that this camera was directed towards, it still had a fully adjustable aperture and a selection of shutter speeds. I was rather surprised with the relatively high sharpness of the slow f4.5 lens. Yes, we did have our Argus 35mm 'brick'.

    But what did actually SELL? Compare, within the same era, what the USA offered cheaply to its poor masses: cameras similar to the Kodak Hawkeye or Brownie or Instamatic 100: all utter garbage as far as quality was concerned. Why? Because much of the American public is amongst the most mentally lazy on Earth and, time and again, Kodak catered, and Japan had to learn to cater, to the quest for utter convenience (ie, little 'need' to exercise the brain) over sparse demand for either build quality or optical precision amongst this 'genre'. (Perhaps the 'point and shoot' era should be renamed 'point and don't bother to think'.) Of course, the more esoteric thinkers (many, admittedly, here) got what were truly great cameras like the early SLRs, but, back then, the cost was formidable and a genuine impediment towards attaining a vehicle allowing real photographic quality. The latter day obsession with the Holga (complete with 'trendy, artistic' light leaks) continues and confirms, with aplomb, this dire 'thought' process. - David Lyga
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  2. #32
    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixcinater View Post
    The most recent Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II is astoundingly good, but yes, it is a brick in your bag.
    This lens will get you shots that would otherwise be impossible. Try shooting a kids play from 20 rows back with a 50mm Summicron. Sharp, but not very useful.

  3. #33
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
    This lens will get you shots that would otherwise be impossible. Try shooting a kids play from 20 rows back with a 50mm Summicron. Sharp, but not very useful.
    It's like taking a knife to a gunfight
    Ben

  4. #34
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I worked in photographic retailing in the 70's and 80's, and as far as I recall the most popular lens after the 50mm standard lens was the 135mm.
    Ben

  5. #35
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
    This lens will get you shots that would otherwise be impossible. Try shooting a kids play from 20 rows back with a 50mm Summicron. Sharp, but not very useful.
    Indeed, especially with the image stabilization factored in.

    Sometimes there is no substitute, not a mono-pod, not a tripod, not a rock that would get you the same shot. Horses for courses.

  6. #36
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    I'm trying to understand if you're only speaking of older 70-200 range lenses, or new ones as well, the new ones are absolutely fantastic. The one I have is one of the best of course Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II, but I did own the 70-200 4L for a short time and it was also good, and the original 70-200 2.8L IS and it was also really great. My lens has very little if any CA and produces really sharp imagery, certainly no "fog" as you said.

    My 3 most used lenses are the 70-200, the 50 1.4 and the 50 2.5 macro. However I think in the PAST perhaps the 70-210 range was the most common of the zooms, but now, it's certainly the 24/28 to 70/80/105) range lenses that are the most popular by far. Especially in the professional market, the 24-70 2.8 lenses are a must have in your kit, they are relatively sharp (I know nikon's old version isn't but I hear their new one is, and canon's old one was better but not perfect and their new one is supremely better but way too expensive for me to care hah!).

    Especially now, why? because the IQ of these lenses is at a level that it doesn't really matter so much the difference for most people between a super expensive sharp prime, and a super expensive relatively sharp zoom. Heck my 70-200 is sharper than one of canon's prime 100mm's ...

    So... I would say that back then, the IQ of shorter focal lengths was significantly better with Primes, but that for most people who wanted that farther zoom range, the 200mm prime was MUCH more expensive and probably not better enough to spend the extra money when they could get a decent one in zoom.
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  7. #37

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    I can't say I don't own one, because 80-200mm lenses sometimes come free when you buy a body. Personally I don't find the combination (zoom + telephoto) very useful.
    What lens might "come free" I guess depends on the age of the camera. In the last year or so I've bought a number of manual focus Canons. In nearly all cases a lens came too and they were all primes. If had bought AF models no doubt they would all have been zooms.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    No, it's not normals any more, so it seems. It is the ever present, and ever annoying due to the prolificity (sorry spell check, but that is, indeed, a legal word), of the constantly available 80 - 200, or thereabouts. Why? - David Lyga
    I don't buy or use zoom lenses. Ever.

  9. #39
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    No Stone, I do agree with you that the newer zooms are utterly fantastic. I am certainly not 'putting down' these lenses but I had wanted to remark that they, now, are amongst the cheapest in the used market. Honestly, maybe that is because they are so bulky and, in some cases, heavy. Certainly, those are formidable concerns, but, also the number of them in the used market adds to this price pressure. (All facets of a given product come into play here.)

    von Hoegh: You have your reasons for not wanting zooms and those reasons might not conform to, or confirm, mine. I do like primes, usually better, but there is much to say about the real quality of these newer zooms. And the older ones were good too, if you knew the best focal length to use and were not too greedy with the faster aperture stops. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 11-12-2013 at 04:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #40
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Really, Kodak and the like catered to the 'simple folk' by making the cheapest, simplest camera possible.

    My mother-in-law still only uses single-use cameras. Even though I gave her a nice olympus and she was also given a casio digital.
    She actually has understandable reasons for this.
    1. Single-use cameras are cheap. She doesnt have to worry about loosing it or breaking it.
    2. Always ready. as long as she has one, she knows its ready. She doesnt have to worry about charging the battery or buying film or batteries etc.
    3. Simple. No fussing with zooming, modes, or even turning the camera on or off.

    Kodak always wanted to make photography available to everyone. Even though many of their cameras we would consider junk, they fulfilled a certain role. They were certainly better than many junk/fake/toy cameras dumped on the public.

    -Getting back to the discussion about telephoto zooms. Many manufacturers were just out to make a buck. A picture on the box of a soccer player or giraffe would make the buyer think they could take pics like the pros. Hey that is still pervasive now. But the reality is that even with the best equipment, the output can still be junk. Trust me i know.. I have thousands of $ into equipement and most of my work is crap, at best mediocre. But most people dont even want to think about it. Auto everything? great. And the real good equipment is priced way out of reality for most consumers. $200.. um ok, whats the next level up? $2000.. um...


    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    MattKing said: "For many, many people, whether or not a lens exhibited higher resolution, better overall contrast, better acutance, more accurate colour rendition or any of the other technical measures of quality was relatively unimportant."

    Unfortunately , MattKing, this evinces the sad story of marketing in the 'informed' USA. During the Soviet period Russia had a plastic (Bakelite?) camera that took 35 mm film and, at a camera show a few years back, I bought one for $5. As much as 'for the downtrodden Soviet masses' that this camera was directed towards, it still had a fully adjustable aperture and a selection of shutter speeds. I was rather surprised with the relatively high sharpness of the slow f4.5 lens. Yes, we did have our Argus 35mm 'brick'.

    But what did actually SELL? Compare, within the same era, what the USA offered cheaply to its poor masses: cameras similar to the Kodak Hawkeye or Brownie or Instamatic 100: all utter garbage as far as quality was concerned. Why? Because much of the American public is amongst the most mentally lazy on Earth and, time and again, Kodak catered, and Japan had to learn to cater, to the quest for utter convenience (ie, little 'need' to exercise the brain) over sparse demand for either build quality or optical precision amongst this 'genre'. (Perhaps the 'point and shoot' era should be renamed 'point and don't bother to think'.) Of course, the more esoteric thinkers (many, admittedly, here) got what were truly great cameras like the early SLRs, but, back then, the cost was formidable and a genuine impediment towards attaining a vehicle allowing real photographic quality. The latter day obsession with the Holga (complete with 'trendy, artistic' light leaks) continues and confirms, with aplomb, this dire 'thought' process. - David Lyga
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

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