Do you use both primes and fast zooms?

Joined
Feb 16, 2011
Messages
50
Location
Lisbon / Portugal
Hello,
How are you?
This is the thing...
I have a good deal on both an 50mm 1.4d and an 85mm 1.8d.
They are good deals, but it would still cost some amount of money...
The thing is that I don't know how much use they would really have, having already a Tokina 50-135 2.8.
I know the 50mm is two stops faster and the 85 is more than one stop faster, but for those you have 2.8 zooms, do you still give enough use to primes on those same focal lengths?

Cheers!
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
21,617
Location
South Florida
Depends on your needs and type of photography.
These two primes will probably have better image quality than the Tokina at 50mm and 85mm, besides being faster.

The need for f/1.4 and f/1.8 lenses is specialized. If you do not plan to use such a narrow DOF much, and use the lenses at their optimal focus at say f/7.1 or f/8 then there is no point in spending that kind of money. I do not own a 1.4 lens and that is the reason.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
Lompoc, CA
Hello,
How are you?
This is the thing...
I have a good deal on both an 50mm 1.4d and an 85mm 1.8d.
They are good deals, but it would still cost some amount of money...
The thing is that I don't know how much use they would really have, having already a Tokina 50-135 2.8.
I know the 50mm is two stops faster and the 85 is more than one stop faster, but for those you have 2.8 zooms, do you still give enough use to primes on those same focal lengths?

Cheers!
It depends. Do you find yourself wishing you had a faster lens than f/2.8? Do you shoot a lot at 50 and/or 85mm? Do you feel like the zoom is too big and heavy? I use both depending on the situation, but that doesn't mean everyone does.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
3,400
Location
New York City
Yes, I use both primes and zooms. I do not subscribe to the popular notion that one is any better than the other. Each photograph has a specific need. I use the lens that best fits that specific need, whether that be a prime or zoom.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
164
Location
Poland
As it was already said, it all depends of your needs. Both of these primes will let you shoot great portraits. If you photograph people it's worth to get these lenses. These primes are also small, light and let you get shallow depth of field.
I assume you're getting good deal on second hand glass. If so, go for it. You will be able to sell them for the same money you're buying them for.
I tried many lenses until I realized what I really like. For specific purposes I use either primes or zoom and I find both of them very useful.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,616
Location
Riverside, CA
I sold my 85 1.8, I really never used it. I have a 50 1.8, but again, I never use it. I have owned 24 and 28 primes, and once I got the very sharp 17-35, I never used them. I just find prime lenses too limiting, especially when shooting from a tripod.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
514
Location
The Netherlands
I only have primes, but have a 28-112 zoom in my x10. I use the X10 for convenience, the primes when I want pretty pictures. I am, however, a pixel peeper.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
872
Location
Austin
I love being able to shoot in available light and I love shallow depth of field. I feel like the D3 and a 50 1.4D was the best bang for the buck route to get there. (at a shorter focal length)

Zooms are convenient at the shorter focal lengths, but I can step forward or step back. I'm not willing to give up two stops of light. And I'm not willing to give up the shallow depth of field that a 1.4 aperture gives.

Just my opinion.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
872
Location
Austin
I like my tele zoom for action and candids, or in situations where I just can't get close enough. Of course, in good light, typically outside, during the day. When I'm out during the day, light isn't an issue, and the longer focal lengths give me the shallow depth of field I like, regardless of the 2.8 aperture.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
1,814
Location
City of Angels
i use both primes and zooms, but not in overlapping focal lengths. two bodies, one with a 24/1.4, the other with a 70-200. with the wide prime, a step or two forward or backward can usually get me the framing i want, and the wide FOV + shallow DOF look is something i love. with the telephoto, i need a bit of zoom range to get the correct framing, especially when trying to get candids in a PJ manner.

im not big on getting lenses that overlap in focal lengths, unless they serve a distinct purpose, like a macro lens. if the only difference is speed, then i typically pass...
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
365
Location
Miami, Florida
I use primes, fast zooms, and slow zooms (with overlapping coverages). It all depends upon the assignment. I take the fast primes for very low light conditions; some of those, like the 24/1.4 and 35/1.4, also do double duty on remote cameras. For any night/indoor shooting, I go with the fast zooms. And for daylight shooting, when I'm primarily using heavier and longer glass, I'll try to pack the lighter and smaller slow zooms (e.g., 18-35 instead of the 14-24; 24-85 instead of the 24-70, 70-200/4 instead of the 2.8).

It all depends upon the job at hand.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
637
Location
SoCal
It all depends upon the job at hand.
+1

I primarily use zooms (28-70/2.8 and 80-200/2.8) for weddings because the action goes by too fast and I can't be sure I'll have time to switch lenses around.
In the studio, or for slower paced portrait sessions, I'm more likely to use my 50/1.8 or my old MF 85/2.0.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
6
Location
baton rouge, la
I use mostly primes because I like using the environment's light and take mostly pics of my boy. I have a 35mm and 60mm that fills most of my needs. However I'm upgrading to 24-70mm, 85mm, 80-200mm..... In time because I want to try fast zooms.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
4,215
Location
Belgium - Antwerp
I use both primes (50 and 85 1.4, and a 150 macro) and zooms (16-35, 24-120 and 70-200 all F4). What I use depends on my mood and interest to be honest. Yesterday I used my 85, 50, 16-35, 24-120 AND 70-200. I never did that before, but there was a neighboorhood party and I could easily change lenses and it just happened that way...

For every choice a consequence, and that's fine by me.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
197
Location
Hemel Hempstead, UK
I take a few magazines (one being 'Dorset Life') which use an A3 centre spread scenic photo. These are supplied by readers or pro photographers. I am noticing that quite a few of the photos are spoiled by smearing from optically mis-aligned zoom lenses where parts of the photo are not as good as the rest - often over one side only. I have zoom lenses myself and have had this effect on my photos. I now try to use primes where quality matters and it does show on larger prints - zoom lenses being more convenient but not even across the frame.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
11,072
Location
NH, USA
As others have said...it depends. I find that when I don't have the time, I'll use zooms. When I have more time available or have the ability to zoom with my feet, I'll use primes.

Pros of primes (IMHO): cheaper for fast glass, and I find that (especially w/MF) spending more time adjusting focus, field of view, and exposure forces me to think more about the shot in general and I get better compositions as well. With zooms sometimes I get lazy and turn to "point and shoot mode". The primes are WAY lighter.

Cons of primes: sometimes I just cannot zoom with my feet or don't have time to do so, and much more risk of getting contaminants into the camera, with frequent lens changes (happened to me on a trip and I didn't detect it until the next day).
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
5,301
Location
San Jose, CA
My primes (35 f/2, 60 macro, 50 f/1.4, and 85 f/1.4) are as vital to me as my zooms (17-35, 24-70, and 70-200).

It's hard to shoot weddings without the right equipment.
 
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