Several fast prime lenses or one f/2.8 zoom lens


happyfrog

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2009
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#1
Just wanna get a feel among all bros and sis here. Do you prefer to own several fast prime lenses or one f/2.8 zoom?
 

AnsQ

New Member
Mar 21, 2006
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#2
personally, i'd prefer a mix of primes and a f/2.8 zoom.

for wide-angle, a 16-35mm f/2.8 will be good
for mid-range, a 24-70mm f/2.8 will be good
for telezoom, a 70-200mm f/2.8 may not always be practical due to its weight. i'd go with a 200mm f/2.8 prime instead for this range.
 

agws1970

New Member
Sep 9, 2002
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#3
Just wanna get a feel among all bros and sis here. Do you prefer to own several fast prime lenses or one f/2.8 zoom?
Fast primes like 20mm 24mm 35mm 85mm 200mm if shooting with buddies or alone in Singapore or Malaysia. Fast zoom (Note singular) if shooting on an overseas trip with your significant other (GF Wife). Unless your wife also happens to be a photography nut or your own very "chio" model, otherwise don't try their patience. You could end up being a patient.
 

2evans

New Member
Nov 8, 2007
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#5
It's up to personal preference. Do you like to zoom with your feet or not? Do you need wider apertures than 2.8?
 

Oct 19, 2009
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#6
Mt complete setup...


Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

Canon 85mm f/1.8

Sigma 70-200 f/2.8
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#7
There are times i wished i had a good zoom with me.
I have several primes, no budget for more camera stuffs :(.

ryan
 

Dec 12, 2009
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#8
I assume you are talking about focal length 200mm and below?

If I have to choose between the two options: several fast primes

It's because I can go "faster" if the situation needs it, a zoom is more versatile but I guess you can overcome the versatility of primes with experience and planning beforehand.

E.g. going to take photoshoot of some events and you cannot pre-determine your positions etc...it takes some planning to consider various possible situations, what lens you need to use etc.

Of course: depends on your travel gear and budget.
 

#9
I would prefer to have a few primes for specific purposes and I keep my zoom on most of the time. Many of the primes go larger than f/2 but most high speed zooms stay at f/2.8 max. If you're into low light and beautiful bokeh then primes are for you, if you want more versatility then zoom is the way to go. My few cents :)
 

woeilee

New Member
Aug 26, 2008
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#10
I would prefer fast zooms for events and prime for product shoot. Prime lenses gives shaper images I feel, while the convenient of zooms is advantage in events.
 

jopel

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2004
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#11
I would prefer fast zooms for events and prime for product shoot. Prime lenses gives shaper images I feel, while the convenient of zooms is advantage in events.
to date I yet to meet 1 guy that can differentiae images taken by prime lens or zoom lens.
but what I know of myself is that as I grow older and lazier I prefer the zoom than the prime.
 

happyfrog

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2009
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#12
I like primes as they give very nice bokeh, lightweight, relatively sharp throughout. And option to be very shallow in depth of field. Or shoot in dark areas.

Zooms.. easier, just sit down and zoom. Still f/2.8 lenses are awesome... but heavy.

In terms of convenience (or laziness), either sit down and hold a heavy piece of glass for long... or lightweight but need to move around a lot.

Image quality is all about the same I feel, as long as it's shot properly. No camera shake, properly focused and exposed.
 

Mar 9, 2010
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Clementi
#13
to date I yet to meet 1 guy that can differentiae images taken by prime lens or zoom lens.
but what I know of myself is that as I grow older and lazier I prefer the zoom than the prime.
i agree on that one. unless the photo has all the characteristics of a legendary prime.

anyway i would go for zooms. more worth it in my eyes.
 

Feb 22, 2004
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#15
It's a personal kinda thing here. If you like shooting wide open at say F1.4 or 1.2 of 1.8 then primes are the way to go. If you want to just 2 lenses that will cover nearly everything then zooms are the way to go. Personally I like the 50mm prime - it's the lens I use the most. So a zoom in that range - 28 - 85 would be good too. I normally carry 3 primes - 28mm, 50mm and 100mm - I'm not into wildlife photography or distorted super wide photography. I like the latter but to pay top dollar for a limited use lens is a bit too much for me. :) A nice to have but not a must have.
 

Sep 17, 2008
3,656
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#16
either way can do. see how fast u want. u wanna shoot at FAST (big aperture), u change lens must also FAST.

if u slow, stay with 1 lens.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#18
i agree on that one. unless the photo has all the characteristics of a legendary prime.

anyway i would go for zooms. more worth it in my eyes.
worth it or not is a different matter, although it is not easy to tell a photo taken with prime vs a quality zoom shot apart aperture stopped down.

For fast paced shooting or spontaneous walkabout street shooting, a quality zoom offers flexibility that is hard to beat. While i love going around with a light weight 24mm, there are so many times i missed the opportunity in split seconds the opportunity to ""zoom" a little.. I find larger aperture prime lenses of less use since i step down aperture prefocus and shoot manually anyway

ryan
 

thenomad

New Member
Nov 17, 2008
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Singapore
#19
Some types of photography are more suited to primes, while others to zooms

Portraits or products i think is better with primes, as you can achieve shallower DOF, plus primes are also more cost-effective
Other types such as events, or especially photojournalism, requires one to be able to capture a particular moment quickly, and in this case the versatility of a zoom makes it more suitable

Personally i like using primes, as they are compact, sharp, fast and versatile (for low-light)
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
5,785
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#20
my line of work, faster then f/2.8 primes is more useful then the convenience of a zoom.
 

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