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Thread: Prime or Zoom?

  1. #1
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    Prime or Zoom?

    I just edited my signature and thought for a moment. I've transitioned from primes, to zooms, and seemingly, back to primes. A little more thought, no, I really loved the old MD 50mm I had, and had a hankering to get another 50mm in AF. I absolutely love it. It's sooo fun! Strangely, I can still use sensible shutter speeds, iso100 and whatever f-stop I want, even in fading light. I didn't exactly intend to go into another Primes phase, as I preferred the Minolta 28-70mm G, but the cost was slightly out of my budget, but I'm loving this 50mm phase. But I have to admit, I use the 70-300mm about as much as I do this 50mm at the moment.

    Hmm... just out of interest, what's everyone else's current preferences?
    Film and digital; best of both worlds. JapanesePhotos.Asia.

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    ***Prime or Zoom?***

    In my experience if you are just going to post shots onto a computer screen or choose 5X7" (maybe 6X8" ?) prints from a store/lab, then you wont see much difference between a GOOD zoom and prime. So I use both with two cameras e.g. 70-150mm 0r 70-210mm on one camera and other camera 24mm, 28mm or 50mm....why two cameras? well one reason is:- if you are cycling using a backpack and want to take a quick photo, it's easier to choose the camera than fumble around looking for another lens.

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    winjeel's Avatar
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    Interesting you should say that. I have my main kit in a backpack, but also a little waist pouch for swapping between two lenses. I did this recently at an event here. But I used the longer of the two much of the time.
    Film and digital; best of both worlds. JapanesePhotos.Asia.

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    A 'prime' lens is a lens used with a 'secondary' lens.
    A zoom lens can be a prime lens too.

    A non-zoom lens is a 'non-zoom' lens. Or 'fixed focal length lens'.
    Or just plain 'lens'. It needs no qualifier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    A 'prime' lens is a lens used with a 'secondary' lens.
    A zoom lens can be a prime lens too.

    A non-zoom lens is a 'non-zoom' lens. Or 'fixed focal length lens'.
    Or just plain 'lens'. It needs no qualifier.
    Technically you may be correct. But isn't the term "prime" now generally accepted to define a fixed focal length lens as opposed to a zoom lens?


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirePhoto View Post
    Technically you may be correct. But isn't the term "prime" now generally accepted to define a fixed focal length lens as opposed to a zoom lens?
    It was, alas, very widespread a few years ago, yes.

    Not always though: it was during a short period that everyone starting talking about "primes".

    Before, and after (!), people just said "lens".
    Zoom lenses already have a different name to distinguish them from other lenses, so there was and is no need for something else to distinguish zoom lenses from other lenses. Certainly not when that something was the misuse of a term that already means something else.

    I haven't heard it for a while, and would not say it generally accepted use of the term. And as you have noticed, i am trying to keep the misuse in check.
    I do know that i can't have it my way, but will not let that stop me from trying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winjeel View Post
    Hmm... just out of interest, what's everyone else's current preferences?
    I do not own even a single zoom lens.

    Way back when, they just weren't good enough.
    And now that they are, i still like putting a simple, small lens on my camera more than carrying half of my, or even all of my 'arsenal' hanging from my camera at once.
    I never missed having the opportunity to continuously change the angle of view any more than the lower speed of zoom lenses, or the bigger size and greater weight of zoom lenses.

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    I like the SFL approach myself. 28mm; 50mm; 100mm; and 135mm. Zoom with my feet.
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

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    Quote Originally Posted by FirePhoto View Post
    isn't the term "prime" now generally accepted to define a fixed focal length lens as opposed to a zoom lens?
    Yes, it most definitely is. I much prefer primes to zooms.

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    If you really want to challenge yourself, dump the autofocus and autoexposure and find yourself an old manual camera, perhaps an SRT. Meter the scene yourself. Focus on your own.

    Electronics have made us lazy.

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