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One expensive lens, 2 cheaper primes?

PaulWog

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I've been eyeing up the Tamron 15-30 f2.8 lens for a while now. I'm not in a position to buy at the moment, but I've still been interested in it.

However, a 24mm 1.8g and 35mm 1.8g FX would cost the same amount almost exactly.

In a perfect world I'd have the cash to buy the primes and the ultrawide zoom. I'm curious what you would get more value and use out of, given some of the applications overlap, and the price-point overlaps.
 
I wouldn't choose any of the 3 honestly; so my personal choice is of no use to you.


But if I were in such a situation I'd say the best option is to see if you can try them out and see what feels best to you. You can go to a local store to try and buy - you can ask around local camera clubs and see if anyone has the same lenses.

I would also rationalize some things; eg:
1) Consider if you really do need the wider maximum apertures the primes offer. Will you ever have a need for them properly; or do you just want them there as an option etc...

2) Consider how you shoot - do you like primes? Do you like zooms?

3) Do you have anything that covers the same range - ideally in a zoom. You could try a day setting your zoom to the fixed focal lengths and also playing with it limited to just the range on offer here by the new lens. Again this a trying it out situation where yo'ure just getting a rough feel for how those focal lengths would feel to work with
 
This is definitely just a theoretical thread, though I do know I want to get something that fits that wider ticket & can get an aperture of f2.8 or quicker with correctable/next to no distortion.

To answer your reply directly:

1) The wider max aperture is for starscape photography, and walk-arounds (I love shooting wide but with oof in the city and in some other places, the beach, etc).

2) I prefer zooms for sure, but it's all a trade-off.

3) Nope. But I know the range. I used to have a 10-20, I used to have a Sigma 18-35 Art. That's why I like it all, but can't have it all. Trade-offs every which way.

I'm leaning toward the 15-30 since to me it feels like a great walk-around combo, and it will help me get a lot of the photos done that I have planned at the moment. The 50mm 1.8g + 15-30 would be quite nice as a medium-weight two-lens combo. For hikes on mountains, the 15-30 + 150-600 (taking the bit of weight) would be a great combo as well.

However, I am interested in hearing what you would personally choose.
 
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For light walk around setup, I usually pack a standard zoom and a fast prime. For 15-30mm on full frame, it may not be what I like. I prefer 24-135mm range better. So those 24-75mm , 24-105mm or 24-135mm lenses on full frame fit better for me. I currently only have a cropped body, so I only have 17-50mm range (with the FoV close to 24-75mm 35 equiv.)
 
I've never liked standard zooms, other than the 18-35 Art which was overly-flawed in practice.. I slightly value aperture flexibility over zoom range, but it's a tough choice. For example, the 85mm 1.8G is a wonderful lens, but it goes on and off the camera too frequently.

Ideally I would have a 24mm prime, 35mm prime, 15-30, and 24-70. Each has its own uses, and I would use each almost equally. I've experienced all these different focal lengths, and I tend to love the wide end with a wide aperture. In an ideal world, I'd have every lens though... and I probably wouldn't have many more pictures to show for me, but I would be happy ;)

I think the only two things halting my thought process are:
1) Total cost
2) Starscape and stitched photography. I'm not too familiar with this on the wide end, I'm usually doing panoramas at 50mm or 85mm. I've hardly done any starscape / star+landscape photos.

Definitely not interested in Sigma's 24-35 though :-/
 
May I ask why you do not like the standard zoom? Too wide of the range? Quality? Too heavy? Not fast enough?
 
May I ask why you do not like the standard zoom? Too wide of the range? Quality? Too heavy? Not fast enough?

Depending on the zoom lens, there's usually a drawback:

Nikon 24-85 (newest version): Distortion, lack of sharpness especially toward the longer end, limited aperture range.
Tamron 24-70 f2.8: Distortion, lack of sharpness in a similar portion of the range up to f5.6, bokeh is bleh.
Sigma 24-105: Some QC issues, focus accuracy and speed aren't up to par, I don't particularly have confidence in the lens (f4 is good but I want f2.8 at 24mm and 35mm).
Nikon 24-120: A lot of drawbacks including lack of sharpness and distortion issues.
Nikon 24-70 f2.8 non-VR: Expensive and big. I do like the lens though.
Nikon 24-70 f2.8 VR: Reallllly expensive and even bigger.

Realistically for my purposes, any of these lenses would do me fine in a day. But I have planned out some specific shots, and I have a specific style I want to pursue, and that means I will need at the very least a 24mm f2.8, and distortion may ruin some things.

Talking this out, I am slightly steering myself away from ultrawide as I'm realizing I'm more interested in 24mm and 35mm specifically, but some of the specific shots and styles I want to do require ultrawide.
 
I've been eyeing up the Tamron 15-30 f2.8 lens for a while now. I'm not in a position to buy at the moment, but I've still been interested in it.

However, a 24mm 1.8g and 35mm 1.8g FX would cost the same amount almost exactly.

In a perfect world I'd have the cash to buy the primes and the ultrawide zoom. I'm curious what you would get more value and use out of, given some of the applications overlap, and the price-point overlaps.

Are you shooting DX or FX? For DX I'd find little use for carrying both 35mm and 50mm equivalent FLs. The zoom would be better for very wide angle.
 
I've been eyeing up the Tamron 15-30 f2.8 lens for a while now. I'm not in a position to buy at the moment, but I've still been interested in it.

However, a 24mm 1.8g and 35mm 1.8g FX would cost the same amount almost exactly.

In a perfect world I'd have the cash to buy the primes and the ultrawide zoom. I'm curious what you would get more value and use out of, given some of the applications overlap, and the price-point overlaps.

Are you shooting DX or FX? For DX I'd find little use for carrying both 35mm and 50mm equivalent FLs. The zoom would be better for very wide angle.

The majority of my gear is listed in my signature (50 1.8g, 85 1.8g, 150-600 Sigma C, D750 FF camera, tripod, some really cheap filters, and a couple little trinkets here and there).

I find 35 and 50 on DX are different enough, but I agree with you in many ways on that point.
 
Do you want the 15-30 to shoot from 24mm onward, or do you actually want/need the wider angle of view it offers?
If the latter, you could either get the Tokina that Derrel suggested, or, if you've come to peace with primes, get the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. It's a very popular lens, and I'm pretty sure LEE Filters makes an adapter for it with the new SW150 system, if that worries you. So in that sense, it would be better than the Tamron, at least at the moment.
Then you could get other primes to fill the gap. I personally wouldn't grab both a 24mm and a 35mm, instead I'd go for a 28mm prime. But that's just me, YMMV.
Another option is the Nikon 20mm f/1.8, if you don't need quite as wide an angle of view. It's still a lot wider than 24mm (you can google "Nikon focal length simulator," it's an excellent tool to visulaize the differences). You even get f/1.8 instead of f/2.8 with the Tamron, Tokina and Samyang/Rokinon, and a standard filter thread.
 
I appreciate the input. I checked out the Samyang/Rokinon: Interesting. I could get a Samyang for about $500, but that might leave me wanting 35 and 24 still.

I'm leaning toward the 15-30 after talking this out. The price is a little steep at the moment, might have to stack up some gift cards and wait a few months (to justify it). It fits the bill for the ultra wide end, 24mm end, and almost 35mm as well (granted f1.4 is realllly nice to have).

The 28mm 1.8g is definitely one that is on my consideration list.

I did check out the Tokina 16-28, really interesting lens as well. It's one of those lenses I can't check out in person though (The Samyang as well), which is a big turn-off. The flaring issues seem to be major, and I've heard some ups and downs about it. I think I need to do more research since most reviews have been all negative, or almost purely positive.
 

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