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  1. #1
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Whats the best normal ZOOM lens?

    We talk alot about how primes are better than zooms.. but theres been advances in coating and lens design over the years.

    So what are the best / better normal zoom lenses for 35mm cameras?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc View Post
    We talk alot about how primes are better than zooms.. but theres been advances in coating and lens design over the years.

    So what are the best / better normal zoom lenses for 35mm cameras?
    What kind of 35mm camera? If you had this you might mount it on this. (...makes me smile thinking about it, but I would still prefer a prime) It might help to define what range you consider "normal" and if you care about what it will mount to.
    Celac

  3. #3
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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    My God what a monster for a camera. The price is probably out of range anyway.

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    Canon L or Nikon ED are good in my experience, but expensive. The wide to short tele ones (24-70 or so) would cover "normal". However, even some of the cheaper ones are OK. I particularly like the Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 II USM as far as bang for the buck goes. It seems to really shine focused close and at 105mm. The problem is you never know which cheap ones are good and which cheap ones are dogs until you shoot with them.

    Over all, I find most zooms to be more of a hassle than the primes they are intended to replace. There are exceptions, like the ones with IS/VR, which I think is a great feature. But even so, this is only because IS is a feature unique to the zooms. Aside from the fat teles, zooms are all they put IS on. If they had IS on primes like the 200 f/2.8, 135 f/2.0, 100mm f/2.0, and even into the wide end of things, I would definitely never use a zoom for anything! I also don't find the wide zooms (such as 17-40 or 16-35) to be a hassle, as they are rather compact.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 10-30-2008 at 03:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  5. #5

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    BEST-- is probably the Leica 35-70 f2.8 but it takes a expensive Leica camera and has become asininely expensive.
    Angenieux has a good one.
    Other wise, Nikon is the most versatile and has probably surpassed Canon, who used to be optically superior to Nikon, but that was a long, long time back.
    Some of the generic lenses, if you find one to fit your slr, are extremely good but still not really cheap.

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    darinwc's Avatar
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    Well, right now I have a bit of a collection.. cannon FD, Nikon AI, Nikon AF, Pentax k, Minolta MD, and soon to be M42.
    To put it in perspective, I cannot afford Leica/Zeiss/canonL glass.. so I guess "reasonably priced" or even inexpensive.

    But my main reason for asking is to understand what goes into making a good zoom lens.
    For primes, the number of glass-to-air surfaces affect contast, as does multicoating all surfaces. Prime lens designs, such as tessar, planar, plasmat, etc are easy to recognize. However zoom lenses can have 12 or more lens elements so it's anyones guess as to what designs are better. Also primes can have rather simple barrels since the whole lens unit will move. But with zooms different portions of the lens move independently, and thus I bet that precise mechanical design and manufacture plays a much larger role than in a prime lens.

  7. #7
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    I guess I'm old-fashioned. I would rather have a fast prime lens than a slow zoom any day. As for framing the subject, back up or walk forward--or switch to another prime lens if you want to change the perspective.
    Charles Hohenstein

  8. #8
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    Best as in highest image quality or as in what normal zoom we use the most?

    I like a 24-70; aperture does not matter to me as long as it's useable at f/5.6. I don't like zooms that start at 28 or 35mm.

  9. #9
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a "Normal Zoom Lens". It is either a normal or a zoom.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

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    I love my Canon 24-70 F2.8...razor sharp wide open and great edge sharpness too. Colors are punchy, contrasty, and built like a tank, as it is weather/dust sealed...the negatives might be (user dependent) it's large size, and weight though...is it the best? I don't know...but for EOS mount I believe that it is.
    Coming back home to my film roots. Canon EOS-3 SLR, Canon EOS 1V SLR, 580ex flash, and 5D DSLR shooter. Prime lens only shooter.

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