Upload & Sell: On
+1 @ perspective vs. framing. We can get very similar, seemingly same, framing ... but the difference @ moving your feet is that the perspective changes. Also, the issues of foreshortening vs. compression come into play as we move our feet vs. change focal lengths.
But, I think the point the Jim was trying to get across was that at the cost of the (debatable @ critical/non-critical) differences noted above ... the zoom offers a much more expedient opportunity for "exploratory" composition (i.e. framing). I can relate ... in that I will often times mount my 17-35 as my walkabout lens. Then, when I find something that inspires or intrigues me, I'll invest the time to explore the various "move your feet" perspectives. Then I'll make my decision to switch to a prime of choice for the best quality capture ... yet, sometimes the switch isn't necessary, subject/conditions depending.
It works reasonably well that way, in that IF I run across something that requires a "spontaneous" capture ... the zoom is helpful. Whereas the argument about time lost for switching glass @ primes becomes not critical for those more "calculating & exacting" shots.
I also go through times where I don't change lenses for days, when my pre-visualizing mind seems to only see things through a given focal length.
So, I can definitely appreciate the role of life with zoom vs. life with prime. I have my share of zooms, so I'm not knocking them at all, but there are some factors and differences ... subtle to some, a bit more critical to others ... the foreshortening effect likely being one of the more notable @ perspective.
But, after Ben's 30 years of shooting ... Ben is likely fairly rooted/established in how he "sees" the world. The zoom may or may not provide a liberating impact for Ben, the same way that Jim (et al) finds it so creatively useful. I know sometimes I feel like I've become a bit of a "one trick pony" at times. Then I have to purposefully set out to do something "radically different" to kinda shake things loose a bit ... lest I wind up too much like the Tin Man in Oz.
But, whether it is a switch to a zoom, or 360 degree walk around your subject, get on a ladder, get on the ground, switch orientation, move forward, move back, tilt, shift, stitch, rotate, etc. ... exploring various compositions is a worthy endeavor. For some, it comes naturally ... for others, we have to do it a bit more by intent.