Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Primes vs Zooms for portraits

  1. #1

    Default Primes vs Zooms for portraits

    The following questions apply more to digital photography.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    I have heard some people who ask why use a prime lens to shoot portrait when a good zoom lens (eg, 70-200 f2/8) can do the job at producing good bokeh and image sharpness.

    I am interested to know what are your thoughts on this? Is weight the issue that makes most people use a prime? Or are there some special inherent qualities in an image produced by a portrait prime lens that no zooms can ever touch?
    Last edited by gremlin; 22nd October 2003 at 10:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    West
    Posts
    945

    Default

    - Prime lenses are also often much faster than most zoom lenses eg f1.4

    - prime lenses still often have half the elements of zoom lens and therefore less flare versus zoom lenses and greater contrast

    - More creative as prime require you to move from your shooting positions

    - If you have prime lenses, you probably carry several prime lenses to replicate the zoom's range. If one lens dies, you can still take pictures with the other prime lenses.
    Last edited by malkw; 22nd October 2003 at 10:58 AM.
    Light. Artistic. Moments.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gremlin
    The following questions apply more to digital photography.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    I have heard some people who ask why use a prime lens to shoot portrait when a good zoom lens (eg, 70-200 f2/8) can do the job at producing good bokeh and image sharpness.
    Primes generally have wider maximum apertures and smoother bokeh. But if that is not an issue......

    I am interested to know what are your thoughts on this? Is weight the issue that makes most people use a prime? Or are there some special inherent qualities in an image produced by a portrait prime lens that no zooms can ever touch?
    A 70-200mm is rather intimidating to the subject and can be tiresome if used for long sessions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Town of Queens doing PORT-9YOU
    Posts
    12,716

    Default

    IMO, prime lense is,

    (1) sharper (mostly)
    (2) lighter
    (3) cheaper (relatively but not absolutely)
    (4) has bigger aperture (f/1.4, f/1.8, etc)
    (5) has nicer bokeh

    cons
    (1) yourself is the zooming engine
    (2) need several primes for a "range" of focal length
    (3) looks small and cheap (for some ppl)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Town of Queens doing PORT-9YOU
    Posts
    12,716

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gremlin
    I am interested to know what are your thoughts on this? Is weight the issue that makes most people use a prime? Or are there some special inherent qualities in an image produced by a portrait prime lens that no zooms can ever touch?
    Weight is one of the consideration, most 70-200mm f/2.8 or f/4 lenses can take beautiful portraits, but then the weight factor will kick in for long sessions. And I don't like to use a tripod to take portraits.

    A consideration is camera shake, inside the studio might be still ok at higher shutter speeds, if at outdoors in low light or shooting ambient, you would appreciate a lighter lense.

    And shooting portraits, I like to move around looking for different angles and "zooming" in physically, a zoom lense will make me lazy, I need more exercise.

    But again, like old Comrade Deng once said, "Be it a black lense or white lense, can capture picture is a good lense."

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Singapore / Japan / China
    Posts
    1,928

    Default

    use whatever you feel comfortable with...?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Town of Queens doing PORT-9YOU
    Posts
    12,716

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rncw
    use whatever you feel comfortable with...?
    I agree with you on this one, or rather, use whatever is neccessary for the occassion.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •