Prime vs. Zoom

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Hock, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Hock

    Hock TPF Noob!

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    Are there more pro's to Prime lenses other than that they are sharper?
    more pros to Zoom lens other than that they can zoom?
    -H
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Fixed focal length lenses (sometimes called prime lenses) are often smaller, lighter, brighter and less expensive.

    -Pete
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    also note that prime lenses will normally be much sharper than zoom lenses (in the same quality and price range).
    Plus everything Christie said ;)

    but they lose out on the versatility that a zoom has - and if you buy a high quality zoom (like a Canon 70-200mm) then the results will be more than sharp for use.
     
  4. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    I feel like primes also unlock some creative thinking patterns that get locked up by zoom lenses. Like angles, and moving around more and all that stuff.
     
  5. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    Average lenses around same cost; (Canon zoom 28-138mm vs. Canon prime 50mm f/1.4)

    Pro to zoom lens-
    ... Less walking to take the shot and get more shots without taking too much time fumbling with lens changing

    Pro to prime lens-
    ... will usually produce better quality bokeh and can take more shots in lower light situations
     
  6. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    My primes are 2 stops, and 2 1/3 stops, respectively, faster than the fastest professional zooms.

    And I can do stuff like this

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The $80 Canon 50mm f/1.8 beat every Canon L zoom (all over $1000) it was tried against in resolving fine details in a Pop Photo (I think that was the mag) lens shootout a few years back.

    It's easier to make great fixed focal length lenses; the design is fairly simple, and the basic concepts were mastered 100 years ago. Really good zooms were pretty rare even 30 years ago. It took computer aided design to work out the kinks (not all of which have been worked out).

    Each has it's advantages; I wouldn't want to give up my primes or zooms.
     

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