Board index Photography Technical Questions ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Technical Questions

ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Discuss technical aspects of photography
aorimages
 
Posts: 22

ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:49 pm


Hi PBASERS all
I have a Nikon 200 with the zoom lens I was given when I bought it 18-70 mm. In the days of traditional photography we were always told that zoom lenses were not as good quality wise as individual lenses (28mm, 50mm, 135mm etc) Does this still apply with modern digital cameras. I'm not entirely happy with the quality I'm getting now but I don't know if this is due to the quality of the lens or my shaking when the lens is fully extended or processing in Photoshop. I should say that for many years I have been used to a Bronica and 50 mm lens so I suppose it is not surprising that the quality would not be comparable. I would like to hear of your experiences and suggestions for improvement if any.

Regards
Hugh

parpho
 
Posts: 235

Re: ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:17 am


My two cents worth. Like most of photgraphy it's all about compromise, convience over clarity. Most if not all 2.8 zooms are reasonably sharp, but expensive. A bag full of high end primes will be a pain to carry around, but will deliver the results. Along with Murphy's Law dictating that the wrong lens will always be on the camera body, meaning a change or a lot of exercise getting in the right position. Then there is the question of uniform quality across you lenses. I recently acquired a 200 2.8 prime and had to ditch two of my lenses because they couldn't keep up. My day to day lens is a 35-105 2.8 that covers most of the bases as a walking around unit. So I realize this does not answer the question becase there is no answer but maybe it will give you something to think about.

henryt
 
Posts: 168

Re: ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:27 am


I prefer quality zooms. I like the ability to compose w/out having to run back and fourth. I have a 17-55 2.8 Tamron and 70-200 2.8 Sigma. Love'em
both.

cwest
 
Posts: 83

Re: ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:59 am


Prime lenses always perform better than zoom lenses, without exception I'm afraid. But we all choose to have a couple of zooms in our bags simply because they are so darned convenient. Before buying any lense though, please do a google search for it and read what other owners/users say about the specific lense you have in mind - after a small amount of research you will quickly establish which lense(s) is likely to suit your purposes and expectations best.
Chris

jaxtion25
 

Re: ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:41 am


cwest wrote:Prime lenses always perform better than zoom lenses, without exception I'm afraid.


i think exceptions are starting to crop up. The latest Nikon zooms (eg. Nikon 24-70mm, 14-24mm) are outperforming their prime equivalents. It of course, comes at a high price penalty. But i do agree with you, it really comes down to personal needs. Zooms are so damn versatile, but under predictable shooting scenes primes are great. I don't think it comes down to choosing one over the other, you need the right tools for the right job. Sometimes primes simply can't keep up with an ever-changing scene that requires different focal length. I'm sure most people use both zooms and primes.

sean_mcr
 
Posts: 493

Re: ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:46 pm


It's rare that I shoot with a zoom lens, in fact I only ever owned one and the only time I really ever need that is when I'm in a fixed position which is rare for me. Prime lenses suite the way I work, I tend to get a nose bleed when I go beyond 50mm-though I sometimes do. All this has came about from years of shooting and finding a way of working that's right for me. It's not so much a quality issue with me, I like the way I work when I'm using a prime, none of which are slower then F/2.0. Consider what you want to shoot in the way you want to shoot it, study subjects that really interest you. Most of all photographs that mean something to me were taken with 35 & 50mm primes (not my own I might add) I can think of hundreds (in reality thousands) of important photographs taken at those focal lengths, I can't think of many beyond 100mm.

That's not to say somebody should just going out an buy a bunch of primes or zooms for that matter. I looked it it like wanting to be a musician, I didn't want to play every instrument, didn't want to play to every type of audience. I had an idea of what type of musian I wanted to be by studying and learning from those I loved. Of course I'm not talking about Lenon or Dylan, I'm talking about photographers-none of which used zooms. But in the same way that Hendrix inspired kids to pick up a guitar I was inspired by people like Bresson et el to pick up a camera and a 50mm prime. This may not be right for everybody but it was right for me. I never sort advice on it because I knew what I wanted to do before I had all the tools. Don't buy first then think later, that's just shopping. Study photography not forums, look at pictures see how they were made and why they look the way they do.

Mind you it's not a moral issue, go out and buy 100-400mm and shoot your cat all day. If it makes you happy it's nobody else's business
What uses having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling? -

W. Eugene Smith

amoxtli
 
Posts: 3173
Location: San Diego, California

Re: ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:40 pm


I like both fixed and zoom lenses. It really depends on what I am shooting. I must say the quality of zoom lenses has really improved since when I first began with a SLR and I like the versatility of having a walk around lens such as the Nikkor 18-200VR, but then on the other hand I love the Nikkor 10.5 Fisheye. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and budget. One good way to test lenses is to rent them for a weekend and use them in different situations. Here a local camera store rents out lenses, but there are also some on-line outfits that do so.
Walter Otto Koenig Architectural Photography: http://www.wokoenig.net

General Photography: http://www.wokoenig.com

Pacific Photographic Society: http://www.pacificphoto.net

madlights
 
Posts: 911

Re: ZOOM LENSES V INDIVIDUAL LENSES

Post Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:02 pm


It's strange...I always find myself shooting at near the limits of my zooms. Even find myself moving up, or back to do so. I know it makes little sense, but I might as well have all primes. :) especially the wide angle (of which there are regrettably few choices below 20mm in primes)


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