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Thread: change to primes??

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    change to primes??

    Hi all,

    I have just ordered a 100mm 2.8 is macro lens & I was also thinking of getting
    a 135mm f2 & possibly a 200mm f2.8 prime. At the moment I have a 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 is, 50mm f1.8 & 28mm f2.8. In order to get the 2 prime lenses I would have to sell off the 70-200.
    Also under consideration is a 85mm f1.2, but that be a little way off or maybe forego the other 2 primes & just get this??

    Going through some of my pics I don't seem to be using the long end of the zoom unless at motorsports (which I may only get to once a year). I do a bit of BMX racing photography & I think I could get by with the 135mm.

    A workmate has asked me to do her wedding in May next year & this is why I am not sure about getting rid of the 70-200. Are they used much in weddings or could I get by with the other lenses & the couple of primes?. Body I will be using will be a 1D MkIIn.

    Any opinions or options appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Dean.

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    Firstly, which brand are you shooting? Nikon's 100 2.8 is totally different from Canon's and Pentax's (well, theyr'e the same, but perfrom differently) ** Scratch that, I read the rest of your post.... **

    having a 100 and a 135 seems a little off kilter to me. The 100 2.8 Macro's make great portrait lenses too.

    Looks to me like you have some very good quality lenses already, and I'd be seriously reconsidering this line of thought purley due to the stellar performance of the 2.8 range of lenses avalilble currently.

    an 85 1.2 sits well with me though, it's kind of between the 2 major lenses you have and the whole world looks better at f1.4 and wider!

    For the record, Our wedding photographer did not pull out a zoom lens the whole day. BUT, he has excluseively used primes for years.

    If I was to do a wedding tomorrow, I'd have my 70-200 2.8 on one body and an 18-50 2.8 on the other, but I'd no doubt swap it out for the 50 1.4 during the day.

    That said, I'm not doing a wedding any time soon. (fullstop) I've seen just how much hard work that is!
    Greg Bartle,
    I have a Pentax and I'm not afraid to use it.
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    Sigma 10-20 | Tamron 17-50 F:2.8 | Sigma 50 F:1.4 | Sigma 70-200 F:2.8 Plus a bunch of Ye Olde lenses


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, for a wedding I think that 24-70 - if it's good - would be the go, Same thing for the other wide zoom. And another thing, you'd - that's if weddings become a thing - better get another body.
    Hmm! That'd go for the upcoming one, too.
    Am. (At a wedding recently and watching the togs.)
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I love primes, but do remember that there are some situations where a zoom is the best - not many, but some. I regret my lack of zooms for some video work and when I am trying to photograph whales. They always seem to appear where you least expect themand changing lenses, or even just changing cameras is too slow, so a zoom would be perfect.
    As for the primes, go for the ones that you think you will use the most. If I had just 2, they would probably be the 135mm and the 14mm, but that's just me. You need to decide for yourself.

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    I'm a big fan of primes, with five of my seven lenses being primes (the fastest you can get in their focal lengths).

    One of my zooms gets used like a prime (it rarely moves away from 16mm), and the other doesn't get used much at all.

    I took it to Africa recently, but only used it once or twice, sticking with the super-tele for the shots I wanted.

    If you get used to primes, you'll be a better photographer, and will compose and/or move for the image.

    Of course, in some situations zooms make life much easier, but for most of what I do, that benefit is negligible; and even so, I'm so used to primes that I find a way.

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    I just bought a 35mm 1.8, and so far I am loving it! Already moving around more and actually paying attention to the whole composition and not just what my main subject was!

    Will be buying a few more, especially a macro, when funds allow!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I couldn't see the value in going from a 70-200 f/2.8 to a 200 f/2.8 just because it's a prime!

    Does this 200/2.8 offer any advantage over the 20-200/2.8 in any way?

    In this situation, I'd be inclined simply to go for the 135/2 prime in addition to the lenses you already have in your kit ... you then use it when it's required.

    I'm not averse to acquiring and using primes myself, but I only see them as an advantage when they offer some form of advantage, or I can acquire them at a good price(which I then only use them for fun purposes).

    Having had a 70/80 - 200 f/2.8 for most of my digital photography life, I was offered a 180/2.8 prime, and I only took up the offer as it was 'too good to refuse'.
    While it is a good lens(actually great lens!) ... I can't see the advantage in using it over the zooms I either had or still have, at their 180mm settings .... other than the 180 prime is sharper at the very far edges of the frame in wider open situations.
    While that initially appears to be an advantage in some way, the reality is that it's a very rare situation to specifically need.
    99.9% of my images at this long focal length and at f/4 or larger will be rendering bokeh at these parts of the frame .. (ie. that extra resolution is completely wasted).

    And in the situation where the edges of the frame are required to be sharp, I'd generally be shooting at a minimum of f/5.6 anyhow, where the zoom lenses perform as well as the 180 prime anyhow!

    Think of lenses as tools that are required to perform a specific function as part of the assessment of whether to get into them.
    ie. what does it offer that you don't already get with your current gear?

    Using this sort of philosophy, my 180/2.8 prime is kind of just like a vintage car(only cruchy .. no! I mean only cheaper to own and run! ) so it's a more of a play thing when boredom sets in and I just want to stuff around a bit.
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Personal taste i suppose but you'd be giving way what's likely one of the best in any line up in the 70-200. Not only is it a beautiful portrait lens, it's fantastic for candids to sports and everything in between. I'll always have it on a a camera, be it a first or second body and the last I'd want to part with.

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    Yep, I wouldn't swap my 70-200/2.8L IS for a 200/2.8L, as I already have the focal length and aperture combination in the former, plus stabilisation.

    The 70-200/2.8L IS is fantastically sharp, and as far as zooms, they don't get much better than that.

    I would swap it for a 200/2L IS, though.

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for the feedback, I think I will be keeping the zoom lenses & maybe save up to get some primes. I guess I am just impatient & when I get an idea I normally just jump in.

    Dean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    ......

    The 70-200/2.8L IS is fantastically sharp, and as far as zooms, they don't get much better than that.

    I would swap it for a 200/2L IS, though.

    That's what I mean by advantage!
    Same here, if I had the vocational need, I'd probably have 2 200/2's myself .. but at the price they retail for and considering photography is a hobby ... well one day!

    But the advantage I refer too is obviously the one stop better light gathering ability.

    Even if it is a sharper lens too .. I doubt that this extra sharpness will be be taken advantage of. But an advantage that would be capitalized on would be the f/2.0 aperture.

    A few weeks ago, I acquired a (Nikon) 105 f/1.8(ais of course), and the only reason was for the advantage of the 1.3 stops extra aperture over the 105/1.8 VR macro.
    Even tho the 105VR is great at portrait rendering .. nice and sharp and creamy bokeh ... this 105/1.8 came up after a few years of searching at the right price, so I snapped it up.

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    I acquired a (Nikon) 105 f/1.8(ais of course), and the only reason was for the advantage of the 1.3 stops extra aperture over the 105/1.8 VR macro.
    Sorry, please explain how there is 1.3 stops between these to lenses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    That's what I mean by advantage!
    Same here, if I had the vocational need, I'd probably have 2 200/2's myself
    One's enough for me. If money was no object, I'd have one; it'd go nicely with my 300/2.8.

    I'd buy a 500/4 first, though. My recent foray into African wildlife photography found me shooting mostly at 600mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    .. but at the price they retail for and considering photography is a hobby ... well one day!
    I've never let my photography's deliberate and decidedly hobbyist status prevent me from investing serious money in serious gear.

    Sure, professional shooters have the benefit of tax concessions and all, but I'm not fussed. My gear is a significant component of me landing the shots I want.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    But the advantage I refer too is obviously the one stop better light gathering ability.
    Definitely.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Even if it is a sharper lens too .. I doubt that this extra sharpness will be be taken advantage of. But an advantage that would be capitalized on would be the f/2.0 aperture.
    I'd expect the 200/2L IS to be a sharper lens, but you'd have to be a hair-splitting pixel-peeping type to tell the difference, and for most people, any very negligible difference between the sharpness of those two excellent lenses (BTW, I have used a 200/2L IS) would not mean the difference between a shot 'making 'the cut and being overlooked.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    A few weeks ago, I acquired a (Nikon) 105 f/1.8(ais of course), and the only reason was for the advantage of the 1.3 stops extra aperture over the 105/1.8 VR macro.
    I presume the older lens was a 105/2.8.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Even tho the 105VR is great at portrait rendering .. nice and sharp and creamy bokeh ... this 105/1.8 came up after a few years of searching at the right price, so I snapped it up.
    A few years ago I owned a Canon 85/1.8, which I eventually replaced with an 85/1.2L II.

    Both are fantastic lenses, and the stop-slower and much cheaper 85/1.8 is tack-sharp and delivers excellent results; but the 85/1.2L II is in an entirely different league, and has a 'signature' look about it that I've been able to recognise in other people's shots.

    At the time I owned the 85/1.8, I knew someone who had the 85/1.2, and I took the same photo on the same camera with both lenses for comparison. The image taken with the faster lens naturally had a creamier background blur, but the colour and tones of the shot-at-f1/1.2 image was noticeably superior. (I still have the images.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    Sorry, please explain how there is 1.3 stops between these to lenses?
    Arthur is one of three kinds of people: Those who can do mathematics, and those who cannot.

    (He clearly meant f/2.8, but must have fumble-fingers or summat.)

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    in the 70-200 range, going to primes yields about 1 extra stop at most.
    In the 24-85 range with the availability of f1.4 or faster primes, I feel its far more advantageous.
    Save the money for the 85/1.2 I'd say and keep your 70-200mm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    in the 70-200 range, going to primes yields about 1 extra stop at most.
    If you have a 70-200/2.8, moving to f/2 at the long end will be seriously expensive.

    By comparison, the Canon 135/2 is a stellar lens, exceedingly sharp, but very inexpensive for what it is.

    The longer the focal length, the more expensive it is to gain a stop of light; eg, 300/4 to 300/2.8 = bug bucks.

    200/2.8 to 200/2 or 200/1.8 (Canon had a 200/1.8) = big bucks.

    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    In the 24-85 range with the availability of f1.4 or faster primes, I feel its far more advantageous.
    Save the money for the 85/1.2 I'd say and keep your 70-200mm.
    A 35/1.4 and an 85/1.2 makes an excellent low-light combination which is very versatile for a two-prime combo.

    Add the 135/2 for more reach.

    I have all three, and when you need sharpness and light-gathering capability in a good selection of focal lengths which happily cover many shooting situations, it's impossible to beat.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I'm pretty much agree with what you've said, Xenedis.
    Hence my recommendation for fast primes in the wider range but stick with the fast zoom at the longer range cos of the tremendous extra expense at the long end.
    I own a 24/1.4, used to own an 85/1.4 but currently without it. Will likely get both Sigma 35/1.4 and 85/1.4 at some point. I also own a 70-200/2.8. So I guess I practice what I preach.
    The crossover point's a bit trickier.
    As good as the 135/2 is in pretty much all mounts (ok.. the Sony one is an f1.8), I find it hard to justify it when considering the excellent 70-200 (again in pretty much all mounts).
    But yes, when weight/bulk is an issue bringing a 135/2 would be far better than the 70-200 and an excellent trade off vs the versatility of the zoom.

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    Hard to go back to zooms these days for work, unless its travel work then I would be inclined to use it.

    If I am in the studio or shooting a wedding or on location for some fashion campaign

    24L = great to use in some situations at weddings for low light or purely ambient lighting

    35L = MAIN LENS = great for general usage and groups and close up shots

    85 1.4 Sigma = MAIN LENS = excellent for pretty much anything from candids, to products, to full and half body to small groups for all kinds of work

    135L = my favourite lens, but also a lens that is use mainly for outdoor wedding stuff or in big studios


    Lenses I had stopped using for work

    24-70L = simply borringggggg, snooozeeeeee. Do enough weddings and you will realize its not about trying to cover everything in the focal length

    70-200L = same as above

    85L Mark2 = simply stunning....BUT.......AF way too slow on any Canon body for wedding work, especially for candid stuff, the Sigma 85 AF locks a lot faster. Amazing for studio, but when shooting at f8 or f9 or f11 etc you cant tell the difference between the Canon or the Sigma

    any 50mm focal length = borrringggggggggg focal length


    Anyway, thats just my experience and opinion. For my line of work I have never felt the need for something over 135 or 200 max. Everyone works differently and has their own preferences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    24L = great to use in some situations at weddings for low light or purely ambient lighting
    Would love of these. Small problem, though: I don't use the focal length.

    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    24-70L = simply borringggggg, snooozeeeeee.
    Great lens, but I never owned one, and don't need one. Not sure what I'd do with it, as it solves a problem I don't have.

    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    85L Mark2 = simply stunning....BUT.......AF way too slow on any Canon body for wedding work, especially for candid stuff
    I've shot bands with mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    any 50mm focal length = borrringggggggggg focal length
    Completely. Useless focal length (IMO), and gives me the boring view I get without a camera.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    Sorry, please explain how there is 1.3 stops between these to lenses?
    LOL! .. I wished I had a 105 f/1.8 VR lens

    .. Of course the 105VR lens is f/2.8 (a case of phat phingers!) and the old 105mm ais lens is actually an f/1.8, and why I chased one down for about two years.
    I would have liked a 105 f/2.5 to play with, being small and light, but in the end the faster f/1.8 aperture was a compelling advantage to have access too.

    Wide open, there's apparently no contest, the f/2.5 lens at f/2.5 is sharper than the f/1.8 lens is at f/1.8. But then at f/2, the faster lens is quite impressive, so again, there is that level of extra performance when it's wanted.

    Nikon could do themselves a favour in releasing a new AF-S version of the 105/1.8, and replace the DC lens lineups .. $1.5-2K for the 105 and 2.3-3K for a 135/1.8 would probably sell quite well I reckon.


    I was thinking of getting the 105f/2 DC lens, but the prices are still a bit too steep in the second hand world.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    .......



    Completely. Useless focal length (IMO), and gives me the boring view I get without a camera.
    I don't think it's all about just the facts and figures of focal length.
    I suppose some people see things differently and can use the gear differently.


    It must be remembered that 90% of the classic images of yesteryear captured by the typical famous photographer was predominantly with a 35mm camera of some type and a 50mm lens.

    I'm pretty sure I understand the philosophy behind your lack of enthusiasm, but you have to also remember that the focal length isn't the culprit here, it's the actual design of the lens itself that probably makes it boring for you.
    The focal length is just a focal length. It's just a number, which really corresponds to a technical point(magnification). But if it's used in a creative manner, it should provide interesting results!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I don't think it's all about just the facts and figures of focal length.
    I suppose some people see things differently and can use the gear differently.
    There's no denying that some people love 50mm lenses.

    I personally don't, as the field of view is very ordinary; 50mm is neither wide nor long, and doesn't give much dynamism to images.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    It must be remembered that 90% of the classic images of yesteryear captured by the typical famous photographer was predominantly with a 35mm camera of some type and a 50mm lens.
    Sure, and the chord structure of a lot of popular music is I-IV-V. Common and 'classical' doesn't mean 'desirable' to everyone. :-)

    Even if the world's greatest photographers used little more than a 50mm lens, I still consider it an utterly boring focal length that does nothing for me and doesn't suit the kinds of images I create.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I'm pretty sure I understand the philosophy behind your lack of enthusiasm, but you have to also remember that the focal length isn't the culprit here, it's the actual design of the lens itself that probably makes it boring for you.
    It's the field of view I dislike, and that's directly related to the focal length.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    The focal length is just a focal length. It's just a number, which really corresponds to a technical point(magnification). But if it's used in a creative manner, it should provide interesting results!
    For some people. I just don't like it and never will.

    I don't have any lens -- prime or zoom -- which offers that focal length. Quite deliberately, too.

    I don't begrudge other people for liking 50mm; to me, it's just an over-rated, boring focal length which isn't useful for anything I do.

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