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Prime or Zoom lenses?

  1. Allan Swindles
    I have to admit that I am not a fan of zoom lenses. I don't own any and have always thought that fixed focal length Zuiko's produce better quality pictures than vari-focal ones. When out hiking I usually carry the Zuiko 28mm f3.5 on the camera and my favourite 100mm f2.8 in my jacket pocket, together with the appropriate lens hoods and a couple of extension tubes. Most of my shots are landscapes but I am seriously interested in close-up natural history photography. I have been through the stage where I carried all the lenses and gear I own, just in case, and narrowed the equipment down to that previously mentioned as the most frequently used, but I'm now wondering if a zoom or two would rekindle inspiration.
  2. Q.G.
    One of the first zoom lenses i encountered in my photographic life was the Zuike 75-150 mm.
    I found it such a bad lens that it turned me against zooms. Later i tried the short Zuiko 35-70 zoom. It too was really bad. (Though i understand that there is a better version).
    So i stuck to fixed focal length lenses.

    By the way, the only "prime" i used on OM cameras was the 80 mm bellows-head lens. It became a prime when the secondary, i.e. close-up diopter was attached.
  3. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    You have confirmed my own fears, O.G., I don't have any problems with any of my fixed focal length lenses. I also use the 80mm/vari-extension tube combo. for macro work and the 135/vari-extension tube set-up for much of my natural history work, two of the finest lenses Olympus have ever produced, IMHO.
  4. Ken N
    Ken N
    I'm using the 35-80/2.8, which is an amazing lens. But as to "inspiration", I'm not so sure. Your 28/100 combo is very close to my own favorite, the 35/100 combo. The 100/2.8 is a lens which just warms the heart.

    Recently, I've been forcing myself to use 50mm as a stretch project. Well, it's fine and everything, but I just don't "see" the world in 50mm. A 24/2.8 is my preferred wide-angle when 35mm isn't enough, but your 28mm cuts right in between and is actually a wonderful compromise.

    You can always buy a new ND-Grad filter.
  5. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    Same thought process here Ken, I too have been restricting myself to the 50mm in a bid to 'start from scratch'. The thing is, I know I have all the gear I need, I really just need more time. Still, on holiday in a few weeks, English Lakes, camping, it's bound to rain, it always does. Is there a rain filter other, than an 81C?
  6. Ken N
    Ken N
    Rain filter? I'm assuming in an attempt to warm the image? An 81C does the trick, but I've been more likely to embrace the rain as poor visibilities tend to hide lots of ugly horizons. For vegetation, rain intensifies the greens, but a slight warming filter is necessary to skim down the blue content.

    Nice Avatar.
  7. Allan Swindles
    Allan Swindles
    Just joking Ken. I do use an 81C on overcast days to warm up colour positive film, if it becomes a downpour as it frequently does in that area, the camera gets put away.
  8. Chris Sweetman
    Chris Sweetman
    I bought into the OM system in 1979. Money was tight so after many weeks researching I went for an OM1 and Zuiko 75-150 zoom combo. This was all I had for a few years and to be honest I found the lens to be a decent performer. My next OM purchase was the recently released (at the time) Zuiko 28mm f2.8. With this outfit I felt I could cover most of the subjects I was interested in.

    The issue for me with the 75-150 zoom is that during focusing the front part of the lens rotates. This was only a problem when I started using polarising filters.

    BTW the Zuiko 75-150 is a true zoom and not a vari-focal lenght lens! The difference between the two designs in that a zoom lens holds it's foucs at whatever focal length is selected and with the vari-focal type adjustments have to be made with focus when changing the focal length.

    Cheers Chris
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