Who shoots only with prime lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ballistics, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Ballistics

    Ballistics Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm beginning to start a lens collection with primes.

    So far I have the 24mm 1.8 (en route) and 50mm 1.8 and am looking at picking up an 85mm 1.8.

    For those of you who shoot strictly primes, what lenses do you own?


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I prefer primes, though I do use zoom.

    I have (and have had) ... 14mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 90mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm, and 400mm ... mostly f/2.8, the 50mm was f/1.4, f/1.8 or f/1.7... in the upper end I could not afford f/2.8 so I had to settle for 4.0, 4.5, and 5.6.
    That was 35mm SLR. I only had primes with Medium Format.
     
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  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, I do have one zoom (70-200)... Everything else is prime though.

    50mm 1.4
    50mm Lensbaby
    85mm 1.8
    100mm 2.8 Macro
    135mm 2.8 SF

    And then I have two cameras with fixed prime lenses:
    Olympus XA - 35mm 2.8
    Fuji GF670 - 80mm 3.5 (80mm is normal in that format)

    A couple lenses I want to add to that: A 35mm, and either 24 or 28mm (undecided).
     
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  4. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    have a mix of primes and zooms.. but do love my primes!

    85 1.4 Nikon
    50 1.4 Sigma
    105 2.8 Nikon Macro
    And seriously looking to pickup the nikon 200 macro...
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Who shoots only with prime lenses?

    Mostly fanatics. And view camera users. And many medium-format rollfilm users.

    All kidding aside, I cannot imagine shooting "only with prime lenses", except for a few specialty areas. Most of the telephoto focal lengths are covered very well by primes; 180mm and 200mm f/2.8 lenses are handy. Same with the 300mm f/4 autofocus primes--VERY handy, the modern ones, which focus very close, and are easily transported, carried, held, and shot. "The best" wideangle lengths are now almost all found in the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 zoom; it is FAR, FAR better than most all Nikkor primes and all Canon primes (yes, even the L-primes like the 24-L), but it is big, and heavy, and fairly expensive. A good number of prime lenses are now pretty old optical designs, and are low-cost or medium-cost. The single biggest criteria for quality these days is final,retail price point; that's why an $1899 to $2499 zoom lens can actually be BETTER than a $199 to $699 prime lens design, which might be 15 to 25 years old, or older...

    Anyway...the 70-200 2.8 is nice, but it's so danged BIG, compared to say, a 135mm f/2.8. And it is wayyyyyy slower, and much bigger and more distracting than an 85/1.8. And it's slow compared to a 50mm 1.4 or an 85mm 1.4. 180mm macro lenses are nice to have--really a nice length for macro stuff outdoors. The 100 and 105mm f/2 primes are really nice. The 135/2 gives a LOT of foreground and background defocus, with a rapid transition from out-, to in-, to out-of-focus in normal close and medium-range shooting,and I think might be the most-useful single prime to have...longish, FAST, with a real visual "impression" on the images, AND capable of being pressed into service with a TC unit if needed. Also, smallish,light, and not "Outrageously" expensive either. The slower 135, the f/2.8 models like Canon's SF (Soft Focus) are REALLY light and compact; it's a shame NIkon doesn't make a 135/2.8 AF lens.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, it IS really light. Easily my lightest lens (not counting the Lensbaby, which is 100% plastic (lens included)).

    No USM is mildly annoying, mostly because it doesn't have full-time manual focus. AF speed is pretty good (though a little 'buzzy' sounding) in decent light.
     
  7. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Any comment on the 135 D F2 DC lens by Nikon? I have thought about picking one up...
     
  8. Austin Greene

    Austin Greene Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ignore my signature, I only shoot with soda can lenses. When I go "prime", I go all the way.
     
  9. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    15mm fisheye f/2.8, Sigma 20mm f/1.8, 35mm f/1.4L, 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Tamron macro 90mm f/2.8, 135mm f/2L.

    I probably get canon 100-400 for fun that I will never use for a wedding.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    About five years ago, I wanted to see if the 135 f/2 AF D.C. (a pre-"D" model from maybe 1992) I own was as good as the Canon 135/2-L I had just bought for my initial foray into Canon d-slr-dom. So...I figured the best way to do that would be to shoot BOTH the Nikon and the Canon lens, and switch back and forth between them during short sessions, so that I would know that I had shot with BOTH lenses, in the SAME conditions and the same,exact situations. So, I did that for a day one summer's day.

    I shot them both on the same Canon 5D FF body, via lens adapter for the Nikon. BOTH lenses create images that look very similar. Very similar. The Canon tends toward more of a green color fringing up close on the front edge of subjects at close distances, and the Nikkor a bit more of a magenta fringing on the rear edge of subjects at close ranges and wide apertures. The 135 D.C. I own, and its 105/2 DC brother, both seem to have a warmer-than-modern color rendering, compared against newer ED glass Nikkors; something I have talked with another user about. So, when for instance, shooting under studio lights, I think the 135 DC is about 800-900 Kelvin units TOO WARM, compared against my "new" AF-S ED Nikkor lenses. Color fringing is worst wide-open and close-up, and is well-controlled by f/2.8, and negligible at smaller f/stops.

    It's a solid lens. Doesn't feel all that heavy...handles and balances well...has really "grippy" focusing ring rubber...works almost as well in Manual Focus as in AF,and focuses accurately and easily at close "portrait" type distances, which MANY more-modern AF-S lenses simply do NOT do. Mine seems to have an innately high T-stop; it is the BRIGHTEST lens I own at f/2....and at f/2.5 and f/2.8...it just makes a BRIGHTER image than many other lenses; I attribute this to the simple design and the very low loss of light at each air-to-glass surface. This lens is also a fantastic lens when used in FLAT lighting conditions--it was, I believe, optimized to produce a crisp, bright image under low-contrast, and also low-level lighting conditions. For example, in open shade, the lens produces very crisp, well-differentiated tonal and color values. Same as the 105 DC does. It is a most unusual lens design.
     
  11. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Derrel! I have been looking at that lens for a while... thinking it might do well on the D4 (when and if it ever gets here!) I may have to rent one and see how it does.
     
  12. e.rose

    e.rose Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As of right now, me.

    And NOT because I am any of these things:

    Because I'm poor. :lol:

    I would LOVE to buy a zoom lens right now, but I don't want to buy a "cheap" one *just* to *have* a zoom. I'd rather wait and buy a better quality one.

    I buy most of my equipment around the fact that the most challenging thing that I shoot are live bands... and that requires a certain minimum aperture for the types of places I shoot in... So to get a zoom, that opens up to f/1.4... from what I can tell... is REALLY expensive.

    So instead, I bought a 50mm f/1.4 and later down the road I ended up acquiring a 28mm f/1.8.

    My NEXT lens *will* be some sort of zoom... but that won't be for a while.

    I'm trying to decide if I want a new lens first... or a body upgrade first... but again, neither of those will be happening for a while.
     

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