Marrying the prime and the zoom.


zozzcyx

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Aug 19, 2010
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#1
Hi fellow photographers! Hope you guys had a good day at the Canon Photomarathon for those who went :)

I was thinking about this as I read more in Clubsnap, coming upon people who support the primes 100% while some people state the benefits of zooms. For me, it is not that I do not support the prime and support the zoom, but for now I havent have got the economic capacity to purchase some primes. So back to the question, will zooms become as good as primes one day, producing a piece of glass that marries the both?

Given the technology advances, will the future bring us lens that are as convenient as zooms and as good as primes in terms of IQ? Lets say, Canon were to make a 24-70 f1.8. Though there are still points such as a zoom being bigger and definitely bulkier than primes, but will their IQs ever match? Thoughts and criticisms are welcome, I am here to learn, thanks guys! :)
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#2
There are some zooms which reach to the levels of primes (or surpass them), premium or otherwise.

But these zooms are usually very high-priced. One example where IQ blows away even prime lenses would be the one of the Nikkor ultra-wides, or the Leica 70-180mm f/2.8 Vario APO R Elmarit (manual zoom lens, ranging from US$4000 USED on ebay to that popular place in HK with an asking price of about SGD9K).

In certain brand marquees, there are pros and cons, depending on which one prefers - ultra wides, mid-rangers or tele zooms. Very few are equally good at both ends of the spectrum. Or will be astronomically priced.

Nonetheless, how many need to crop extensively, or blow up their imaged to a something as restrained as say ... a 30" x 40" enlargement with a certain degree of cropping?
 

zozzcyx

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Aug 19, 2010
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#3
Wow, thats really a high price, hope one day Canon will come out with that sort of lens at a lower price in future when the advancement in technology can possibly lower the cost of lens production..
 

Aug 25, 2009
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#4
Wow, thats really a high price, hope one day Canon will come out with that sort of lens at a lower price in future when the advancement in technology can possibly lower the cost of lens production..
Do you think they would do so and cannibalize on the sales of their own primes?
 

zozzcyx

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Aug 19, 2010
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#5
That is true, unless they are able to come up with such a brilliant design as to sell so well that the sheer volume of sales can justify the wiping out of today lenses! Well just a speculation, this will definitely not come true in the near future or even come true anyway :bsmilie:
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#6
Wow, thats really a high price, hope one day Canon will come out with that sort of lens at a lower price in future when the advancement in technology can possibly lower the cost of lens production..
If they do that, then why would they make it cheaper for you? They'd just pocket the extra $$$.
 

ovaltinemilo

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#7
Wow, thats really a high price, hope one day Canon will come out with that sort of lens at a lower price in future when the advancement in technology can possibly lower the cost of lens production..
in optical technology..I think it's more true that more advanced technology/design = higher price rather than lower...every manufacturer use their optical technology to give themselves the competitive edge...the better the quality, the higher the asking price usually..
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#8
Given the technology advances, will the future bring us lens that are as convenient as zooms and as good as primes in terms of IQ?
The tri-elmars are primes that behave like zooms.
 

Jul 26, 2002
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Woodlands
#9
You want zooms that are as good as primes? How about the Olympus SHG grade 14-35 f/2? Actually, any of their SHG glass is probably as shart as primes even wide open.
 

zozzcyx

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Aug 19, 2010
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#10
Well not really looking for zooms to be as good as primes, just wondering whether one day there will not be a line drawn between zooms and primes anymore. Am content with what I have for now :)
 

Sep 13, 2009
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#11
zoom plus aperture larger than the conventional f2.8 will surely make the lens as big as a bazooka... i don't think technology can fix this since aperture and the size of the sensor is co-related.
(e.g. a PNS sensor's f2.0 is different from a f2.0 of a dslr's sensor, correct me if i am wrong though)

and like what some have said
it's a marketing problem more than a technological one
it's business after all

but as a consumer
i would dream of such a lens as well
 

JJLoke

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Aug 2, 2009
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#12
The dispersive properties of the optical glass is the limit to how the lens can be designed.

Designers can always use the best fluorite lens like the FPL-53 glass used in astronomy grade telescopes but cost wise is not for the mass consumers.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#13
Well not really looking for zooms to be as good as primes, just wondering whether one day there will not be a line drawn between zooms and primes anymore. Am content with what I have for now :)
Actually for the current crop of new professional zooms, the IQ between zooms and primes is already mosquito level nit picking.

Ryan
 

zozzcyx

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Aug 19, 2010
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#14
Actually for the current crop of new professional zooms, the IQ between zooms and primes is already mosquito level nit picking.

Ryan
Yup I would tend to agree with that, but again I havent used a professional grade prime extensively before, so I guess my perception will change with time :)
 

An drew

Senior Member
May 27, 2005
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#15
There are some zooms which reach to the levels of primes (or surpass them), premium or otherwise.
How about the Olympus SHG grade 14-35 f/2? Actually, any of their SHG glass is probably as shart as primes even wide open.
Actually for the current crop of new professional zooms, the IQ between zooms and primes is already mosquito level nit picking.

Ryan
I think we are really quite fortunate nowadays as the image quality of zoom has reached very good level and still getting better. This was not the case in the earlier days.

Well not really looking for zooms to be as good as primes, just wondering whether one day there will not be a line drawn between zooms and primes anymore. Am content with what I have for now :)
There will always be a physical difference between zooms and primes as their f-stops are usually different. So if you need a really fast f-stop then you need a prime, otherwise a zoom can often do as well, albeit a little heavier and bulkier.

zoom plus aperture larger than the conventional f2.8 will surely make the lens as big as a bazooka... i don't think technology can fix this since aperture and the size of the sensor is co-related.
Yes, so something like a 24-70 f1.8 would not be physically practical, unless it is on a really small sensor.

Having said that, the process of creating a picture with a prime versus a zoom feels very different, so you should try both.
 

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