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Thread: Is this a crazy thought I'm going to regret?

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    Member Ben's Avatar
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    Is this a crazy thought I'm going to regret?

    So I'm seriously thinking of selling my 24-70 f2.8 & 70-200 f2.8 and switching to predominately primes. Namely Sigma 30 f1.4, 50 f1.4 & 85 f1.4, I would also just buy a Nikon 70-300 VR to replace the long end (which I don't use very often) and a sigma 10-20 for the wide end (both cheap zooms second hand and very capable). I don't think I would miss the two pro zooms, both of which are awesome lenses though.

    My reasoning is I find myself wanting to do portraits and other shots with super shallow DOF and shed some weight for general walk about photography with just 1 or 2 primes instead of one big heavy zoom. Although I have before, i don't really want to do events and weddings, it doesn't excite me. All my photography is for me, where i have time to compose and move to get the shot I want the way I want. Financially I can only get the primes if I sell the zooms, I can't have both.


    Anyone eles made the switch to predominately primes? How'd you find it?

    Will I regret selling the zooms to be replaced by primes for my main photography work?

    This is not a prime vs zoom bashing discussion, they both have their place and strengths.

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    Actually understand where you are coming from, have thought the same thoughts too.

    I like the simplicity (and light weight) of primes, and as they say "zoom with your feet".

    I would consider getting one macro lens amongst the primes.
    I have this silly idea, that I should actually go and take photos with all this photography gear I have already accumulated, before I collect any more!

    See some of my photos here.
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    crazy is as crazy does

    hehe. enjoy the new lenses!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davearnold View Post
    I would consider getting one macro lens amongst the primes.
    I've got a tamron 90mm macro that I've had since my first DSLR, it's been the one thing I've kept through the whole journey. Would never part with it, even though it doesn't autofocus anymore. Still a great lens.

    Thanks for your response though, glad I'm not the only one to have these thoughts!

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    Can understand it. I don't think its a silly idea.

    I find I generally lean towards a zoom the wider I go, might seem strange but there are certain aspects to wide work that I think makes it invaluable...and until Nikon brings out the 10mm F2.8 FF I won't be looking for a wide prime. At the telephoto end I've often thought of primes, seems to be a nice balance of quality and decreased weight.
    Last edited by Xebadir; 21-06-2011 at 1:10pm.
    John
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    If you're not doing events (especially paid events), where the flexibility of zooms can play a big role in getting the shots, then I don't see why you shouldn't go for an all prime setup. I love shooting with primes (I also don't do events) and I often pack just my 35mm and my 100mm macro for a day's shooting and don't feel I'm missing anything.

    I'd second the comment about including a macro lens, or maybe some extension tubes, to give yourself a close-up option (although I may be biased as my 100mm macro is my favourite lens).

    Edit: Just saw your post about the 90mm macro - you're all set!
    Last edited by Jules; 21-06-2011 at 1:21pm.
    Canon DSLRs & lenses | Fuji X series & lenses | Ricoh GR


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    " Change is as good as a holiday "
    Cheers, Paul.
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    Five of my seven lenses are primes, and I tend to use my UWA zoom like a prime. I often forget it's a zoom and move the tripod forwards or backwards to change the framing!

    If you're not needing the versatility of zooms and tend to shoot subjects that aren't limited in terms of split-second timing or position for framing, a prime setup definitely could work for you.

    It can be fun to restrict yourself to one or two focal lengths and shoot only with what you have, rather than having a much bigger choice.

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    I think like many things... a good balance is best
    Canon 7D : Canon EF 70-200mm f:2.8 L IS II USM - Canon EF 24-105 f:4 L IS USM - Canon EF 50mm f:1.8 - Canon EF-s 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6
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    If you don't mind carting multiple lenses around it would seem a good plan. The zooms should be commonly available for hire so if you do need to shoot an event you could hire one for the day.

    My only concern would be having nothing fast-ish under 30mm. You could always add a 20mm or 24mm if this was a problem - they are not hugely expensive in the scheme of things. Another option might be something like a Tamron 17-50/2.8, the non-VR version can be had for about $350 new - if you don't need the UW end of the 10-20 maybe this would do instead?


    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be getting rid of those two lenses. I'd add to them, but personally I sure wouldn't want to be without them.
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    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    I wouldn't be getting rid of those two lenses. I'd add to them, but personally I sure wouldn't want to be without them.
    That appears not to be financially workable for the OP.

    While the 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 undoubtedly makes for an combination which appeals to many, and while such lenses are of a very high standard, some people just don't need or use them much. I'm one such shooter, in that I don't own a 24-70, don't want or need one, and seldom use my 70-200.

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    Interesting thread, as I might make that switch someday.

    Would one expect much of an IQ improvement with this switch, other than those f/1.4 primes being much faster lenses? The 24-70 and 70-200 are already very highly regarded lenses.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I use to own the Nikkor 24-70 and 14-24 (although not at the same time).
    I now have 24/50/85 primes all at f1.4
    Can't say I regret it a bit because the primed suit my shooting style. Having said that for FL beyond 85 I do plan to buy a 70-200 unless Nikon release a new 135mm to die for.

    The 24-70 and 14-24 were both fantastic but I tend to find myself shooting at the widest or longest ends. The 14-24 was also very front heavy and didn't balance well on my S5 then although I have since switched to using a D700 predominantly.

    My only problem now with my prime setup is finding a nice side bag for quick lens changes. But if I had two FX bodies, I can do almost 100% of my shooting with an 85 on one and the 24 on the other. My backup body's currently DX so the FL differences are a bit annoying.
    I also find 24mm on FX plenty wide and don't miss my old Sigma 10-20 that I use to have.
    But if my widest was a 30mm on DX I think I'd struggle so u may need that Sigma if u went your 30/50/85 prime direction.

    Here's another suggestion given you've already got two stellar lenses in the 24-70 and 70-200 and the Tamron 90's pretty good too. Why not just go FX?
    Nikon FX

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    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    Here's another suggestion given you've already got two stellar lenses in the 24-70 and 70-200 and the Tamron 90's pretty good too. Why not just go FX?
    Thanks for sharing your experiences swifty, that's exactly what I was after.

    As for full frame... I wish I could. But even then I think I would want those primes even more. My next camera body will be FX, but I think that will be next year. The D300 will have to suffice for a little while longer.

    After plenty of thinking, i've started the process. The 70-200 has been put up for sale, I'll buy the first couple of primes before selling the 24-70.

    Thanks to everyone that has contributed so far.

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    If I where you I would try to keep the zooms because they have specific uses which primes can't come close to replacing, namely speed of use or efficiency. I suggest you slowly save and buy the lenses you covet.

    I have way more primes than I care to think about, really. Pretty much all of them have a worthwhile use or reason for being, yet I only take my zooms to jobs with maybe one or 2 primes for those extra shots which only certain primes can provide. At the same time, I virtually never take the zooms for personal work, with a few exceptions where the zooms are actually the best lens for the job (better than primes).

    Keep your zooms, save your money, slowly add the lenses you want. Of course you can always buy the zooms back if you need them but it's almost always at a cost.

    JJ
    Last edited by jjphoto; 22-06-2011 at 9:56pm.

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    i am with JJ and others. zooms are indispensible and you have the top normal range zoom pairs. they were expensive to acquire and would be costly to replace.
    i love my primes, but couldn't live without my zooms. for dependability and flexibility. but for enjoyment, i do like the primes.

    the cheapest way to experiment would be to get the 30mm first. the 90mm could cover for the 85 1.4 for a while.
    just pack your small bag with the 30 and 90, use that for a little while and see how you feel with the focal lengths that combo gives you.

    i have not found the need for a 50mm (maybe because the nikkor 50s haven't been that stellar), but i will try the new AF-S 50/1.8 to see how it goes.
    Thanks,
    Nam

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