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Thread: Prime vs Zoom

  1. #1

    Default Prime vs Zoom

    hi all,
    have this question I always want to ask. Does a prime lens with the same max aperture (e.g 2.8) focus at the same speed or faster than a zoom with the same max aperture. Will a macro prime lens has the same speed as a non marco prime lens?
    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by elcap View Post
    hi all,
    have this question I always want to ask. Does a prime lens with the same max aperture (e.g 2.8) focus at the same speed or faster than a zoom with the same max aperture. Will a macro prime lens has the same speed as a non marco prime lens?
    Thanks
    depends on alot more other factor than just aperture...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    depends on alot more other factor than just aperture...
    Can you explain on it? Shooting in the same light conidition, which focus faster? For sports, which gives a more sharp picture?
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Sharp pics in sports will mainly depend on shutter speeds, not as much of AF..
    You'll also need to read up on the AF motor technologies used like for Canon has i think 3 types of USM(ultrasonic motor) and nikon has their SWM (slient wave motor) if i'm not wrong..
    Another point to note is that the DSLR body also plays a part in achieving the correct focus: eg how fast can it decide the pic is sharp..
    Last edited by SnapJaX; 27th February 2007 at 02:01 AM. Reason: typo
    Canon 400D:18-55:75-300:50F1.8:tokina 28-70F2.8:
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    The speed of auto focusing is highly depend on the motor speed for auto focus.

    The USM/HSM lens f/5.6 (prime or zoom) will (but not always) faster to focus than lens using motor inside body for Auto Focus.
    Why it is not always? As we know pro series body tend to have faster motor (to auto focus) than prosumer body. And many other factor like processor/sensor algorithm to achieve what called 'sharp picture'.

    Regards,
    Arto.

  6. #6
    Senior Member xunjas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by elcap View Post
    Can you explain on it? Shooting in the same light conidition, which focus faster? For sports, which gives a more sharp picture?
    for sports, u need long telephoto lens for eg. X00mm ones , plus tripod to support them, plus image stabliser feature of the lens to achieve sharp photos..

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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by xunjas View Post
    for sports, u need long telephoto lens for eg. X00mm ones , plus tripod to support them, plus image stabliser feature of the lens to achieve sharp photos..
    IS is bad for sports...as you would not want IS to counter your movement...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Lemme take a stab at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by elcap View Post
    Does a prime lens with the same max aperture (e.g 2.8) focus at the same speed or faster than a zoom with the same max aperture.
    It really depends on the design of the 2 lenses themselves and since it isn't a apples to apples comparison (a prime lens will never be a zoom lens and vice versa), you can't really make any judgement. For example, prime lenses without USM or HSM or whatever fancy high-speed AF motor can definitely focus SLOWER than a zoom lens with such technologies and of course the reverse is true. So the moral of the story is that you've got to look at each lens individually.

    Quote Originally Posted by elcap View Post
    Will a macro prime lens has the same speed as a non marco prime lens?
    I suppose you're talking about focusing speed. Macro lenses normally tend to be slower, partially due to the much greater range of focus. They however, normally have range limiters which allow you to set the focusing to only work within certain distances. For example, if you're not shooting macros, you can set the AF to work only from longer focusing distances and that speeds up the AF quite a bit. But again, as with the above statement, it really depends on the lens itself. A macro lens with a fast AF motor will still probably outperform a non-macro prime lens without one.

  9. #9
    Senior Member xunjas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by westwest1 View Post
    IS is bad for sports...as you would not want IS to counter your movement...
    freeze movement without involvement of e IS? ~~

  10. #10

    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    IS doesn't help you freeze movement. It just stabilises your lens. When shoot sports, you normally want to freeze motion so that means high shutterspeeds. With high shutterspeeds you really don't need IS anymore. However, if you're talking about panning shots then IS in panning mode helps somewhat since it evens out the vertical movement of your lens while allowing you to carry on with the horizontal tracking.

  11. #11
    Senior Member xunjas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by Denosha View Post
    IS doesn't help you freeze movement. It just stabilises your lens. When shoot sports, you normally want to freeze motion so that means high shutterspeeds. With high shutterspeeds you really don't need IS anymore. However, if you're talking about panning shots then IS in panning mode helps somewhat since it evens out the vertical movement of your lens while allowing you to carry on with the horizontal tracking.
    if panning without IS, wad happens?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by xunjas View Post
    if panning without IS, wad happens?
    if you done it correctly, IS or not, you still get a sharp shot (subject)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Yeah, you can definately pan without using IS. It's just that with IS, your success rate tends to be higher.

    For example.

    Sigma 70-200 F2.8 @ 200mm, 1/50s, handheld without IS:
    http://www.sgl.per.sg/users/denosha/...boat_panning_2

    Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS @ 200mm, 1/50s, handheld with IS mode 2 (panning):
    http://www.sgl.per.sg/users/denosha/...boat_panning_9

  14. #14
    Senior Member xunjas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime vs Zoom

    Quote Originally Posted by Denosha View Post
    Yeah, you can definately pan without using IS. It's just that with IS, your success rate tends to be higher.

    For example.

    Sigma 70-200 F2.8 @ 200mm, 1/50s, handheld without IS:
    http://www.sgl.per.sg/users/denosha/...boat_panning_2

    Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS @ 200mm, 1/50s, handheld with IS mode 2 (panning):
    http://www.sgl.per.sg/users/denosha/...boat_panning_9
    the second picture background looks more softer.. nicer..

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