Prime v Zoom....should I???

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by darich, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Hi folks.
    I own 3 Canon lenses, and mainly use the 24-70 f2.8 L USM along with the 70-200 f2.8 L USM. I also have a 10-22 E-FS but don't use that as much.
    I've been reading how many people on this forum say that primes are better and sharper for various reasons. I've been thinking for a while now about getting a Canon 50mm f1.8 II USM or maybe even the 85mm version.

    The question is....If I'm already using "L" series glass for most of my photography will i gain much in getting the prime lens?
    I know I'll gain a stop thamnks to the aperture, but is the quality in the prime noticeably better than an "L" series zoom??
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    General rule for photographers [not collectors]:

    A. Be critical of your work. Measure it against that of others.

    B. Buy new gear only when your pictures tell you there's a need for it.
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Are the 50 and 85 great lenses? Yes.

    Do you need a 50mm f/1.8 or an 85mm f/1.8? No. You've got those focal lengths covered with great glass already. I doubt you'd notice a difference. The 85mm might interest you though, because it's small and light compared to the 70-200, but I don't think you'll get sharper pictures.
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, you've already got the two biggest reasons covered: L for quality and 2.8 for wide aperture. The other big reason I can think of to use primes is less measurable: how they help you to see and develop as a photographer, but really you can do that by simply forcing yourself to only use certain focal lengths on your zoom. And if you are already picking the focal length based on what you want out of the image and then walking to frame instead of the other way around, you've already learned that.
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    thanks guys.....looks like you've saved me at least £75 for one of those lenses. I've never used a prime before so can't say what the quality is like but i do know my current lenses are among the best on the market.

    On the downside it means i now have to buy something else!!!!

    thanks all!!
    David
     
  6. ShutteredEye

    ShutteredEye TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, that's a real bummer.:er:
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you have extra $$ to spend, pick up an old copy of Steichen's exhibit 'The Family of Man.' There are more lessons in there on composition and the photographing of people than you can absorb in a lifetime.
     
  8. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    You don't shoot a lot in low light, do you?
     
  9. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Doc
    you're right - I don't shoot a lot in low light. I do take photos at family engagements which are indoors and sometimes at motorsport events when a friend is competing. For the motorsport though I need the zoom because of limited places i have access to.

    I suspect you're going to advise that if i don't need the extra stop of light then don't buy??
    :mrgreen:
     

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