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Archive 2005 · A possibly silly question about standard primes
  
 
MontrealMitch
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


I know this will sound silly, but am I correct in thinking that a standard Canon prime will be optically superior to an L-series zoom? I'm debating between buying an L-zoom or individual standard 35mm, 50mm and 85mm lenses. Much of this would be for studio work, or at the least, work under relatively planned and controlled conditions.This would be for a 20D.

Don't hurl eggs at the newbie, !



May 22, 2005 at 08:45 PM
nutek
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


Either way will work well (assuming you get good copies). If you're using strobes and shooting at small apertures, you may not need the fast low-light apertures of the primes. On the other hand, the bokeh of the primes, esp the 85mm, will be better than the zoom's equivalent (I am assuming the 24-70/28-70). Take your pick


May 22, 2005 at 09:02 PM
reggie747
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


Not necessarily correct, No.

If, and that is the keyword here, you get a good copy of a 24-70 f 2.8L, I believe you would have no chance of telling shots between that and the primes you mention at the same apertures.

Also, higher up the focal range, the 70-200 L's are a zoom lens to be reckoned with giving quite outstanding performance too.

Cheers

Greg



May 22, 2005 at 09:03 PM
slitherjef
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


Ummm...I think my Canon 70-200mm f/4L would slap my other two primes around a bit (A 24mm f/2.8 canon and 50mm f/1.8 mkII). But I have not done any test on the lenses. But the bottom line is, I like my three main lenses


May 22, 2005 at 09:12 PM
andrew_rs
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


The primes might not give you much of a bump in image quality. However, they will be brighter.


May 22, 2005 at 09:19 PM
MontrealMitch
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


Thanks everyone. This board is incredible. So, all this talk about getting a good copy worries me. Erm, how common are bad copies?

In the end, if I aim for a 50mm prime, a 10-22, 24-70 L and 70-200 L(F4, because the faster one is just so heavy), would this be a good setup?

Also wondering, along the same lines, I'm positively drooling over everything I've read about the 35mm L . I've no doubt it's sensational, but would the optics be that muchy lower if I just used a 24-70L for that lens size? I definitely can't afford the 35L if I go for the other lenses, which is why I was initially thinking about focussing (no pun intended!) on primes.

Thanks again everyone. You folks make this board such a wonderful resource. A tip of the hat to you all!




May 22, 2005 at 09:39 PM
Flappie
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


I think the standard primes in the 24-70 L are not up to the 24-70L, except for the 50 f1/1.4 (cfr test William Castleman).

The standard primes in the 70-200 range are optically superior to the 70-200 (85 f1/1.8 100f1/2.0 135 f1/2.8)

The zooms add some framing flexibility in the equation and are very good... so...


Flappie




May 22, 2005 at 10:02 PM
 

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John_B
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


The Prime will win in the end, I took some shots with my 17-40L and my 50mm f/1.4 lens and at first they seemed identical. Then with some magnification the 50mm showed more detail. The same was true when I compared my 100mm f/2.8 macro to my 100-400L.

So I would recommend the 50mm f/1.4, cheaper then any "L"
but true sharpness, color and bokeh.



May 22, 2005 at 10:15 PM
RobertP
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


The 50mm f/1.4 is superior to the 24-70 f/2.8L. I'm not sure about the non-L 35mm lens, but the 85mm f/1.8, and the other popular inexpensive primes that have been mentioned will surely match or beat the L zooms by a slight margin, and in some cases, a very noticeable margin. I love shooting with primes.


May 22, 2005 at 10:22 PM
MontrealMitch
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


Fascinating. I now have noooo idea what to do. I think I'm predisposed to primes myself though. It seems rational to assume that when glass is engineered to do a wide variety of things, there will be compromises when held up against something optimized for one lens size and one lens size only. Also, primes are lighter and lens provocative for subjects. But the diversity a zoom would give me if I only leave the house with one lens for a day would be great if the optics are there. It seems there are strong opinions from either side of the fence on that.

Anyone else care to chime in with their experiences?



May 22, 2005 at 10:35 PM
Roy Pertchik
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


MontrealMitch,

I have 2 zooms that are very nice, and 2 legendary primes. The primes are sharper. BUT, you will want to get a sense of how much sharper. I must say, a little bit sharper. I'ts not that big a deal unless you are just into getting the verrrrrry sharrrrpppeessst kind of image where the point is detail. Now, if you are into, for example portraits, you might want sharpness, but the poitn of your pictures might be form and lighting and softness of skin and composition, etc., in which case the difference in sharpness from zoom to prime, though real, is only marginal and may not be important for that use.
That said, a huge advantage of L primes, really, is that they are fast! You can hand hold the 35 1.4 or the 24 1.4 in available light indoors. But guess what... at wide open thoses magnificent lenses loose a little sharpness! So, the real advantage is big aperture, not sharpness. Aint that a kick in the head! (I want to get the 24 for the speed.) So, what I am getting at is that you should get to know the kind of pictures you want to make and see if you need to boost sharpness a tiny bit (a tiny deal), or boost speed by a few stops (a big deal) or boost flexibility, which means zoom (also a very big deal). As you get into it, you can always rent a prime you are interested in and see what it gives you. I must say, though, that in this comunity there is a lot of testing and fuss about ultimate sharpness, and the difference between the very good lenses and the legendary lenses is only a slight increment of sharpness. Speed is the big difference. Figure out what you like to shoot and what's important to you will emerge.



May 22, 2005 at 10:58 PM
jhom
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


Here is a current discussion regarding primes you might find interesting: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/228135. The conclusion is that primes are better than zooms.


May 23, 2005 at 01:06 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


IMO some of the best buys in Canon lenses are the prime lenses between 50 and 200mm. The 50 1.4, 85 1.8, and 100 2.0 are all inexpensive lenses that are L-class optically. They blow away the 24-70 and 70-200 zooms at at like focal lengths and apertures and are faster lenses to boot. Add the more expensive 135 2.0L and the 200 2.8L and you've got an amazing set of lenses that no zooms can touch - sharper, faster, and better contrast and color.

I have all of the above lenses. I had the 16-35 2.8L, 24-70 2.8L, and 70-200 2.8L IS lenses. There is no comparison in image quality. The zooms' advantage is convenience. But I've found that I take better pictures when I work harder at composition and zoom with my feet.

Scott



May 23, 2005 at 02:14 AM
chocy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · A possibly silly question about standard primes


I have the set up you are pondering Canon 10-22, 24-70L and 70-200f4L. It works for me. They are sharp enough and I don't like changing lenses too much even with three I have to do it often enough.


May 23, 2005 at 02:44 AM







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