Any benefit to a prime lens - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Me | General Topics > Visual Escape
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-03-2022, 07:37 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: New York, New York
Trailer: none
Posts: 5
Any benefit to a prime lens

Iíve had an Olympus camera with IBIS but unfortunately I broke it.
im thinking about a Nikon Z50 as a replacement.
I like to travel as light as possible and my m43 kit is the very small 12-32 and 20mm prime lens. I use the prime when the light dims.
my question is this: on the Nikon z50, which doesnít have IBIS, is there any point in the unstabilzed small primes over the stabilized 16-50 zoom? They seem to be brighter by a stop, but the image stabilization in the slower zoom lens gives it three stops. So arenít I better just using the zoom in low light?
am I missing something?
__________________

glennaeichmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 04:30 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Trailer: "Side Effect" 21C (Oct 22)
Posts: 703
A "Nifty 50" prime is great natural eye lens. It's my go to lens for the everyday situation.

There have been a lot of great photos taken over the decades without a stabilized lens.
__________________

WillyB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 09:05 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
JeffreyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Trailer: 2021 Escape 19
Posts: 608
Stabilization helps with camera movement, but not subject movement if you are shooting action. A faster lens increases motion freezing at the cost of thin depth of field (which is good when you want it, not when you don’t).

I used to use fast primes for sports and astro. I find F/2.8 zooms to be fast enough with modern sensors.
JeffreyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 12:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Mike G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Trailer: 2013 Li'l Hauley
Posts: 1,063
Prime lenses usually have greater potential optically to produce sharp images, whereas a zoom lens' optics are by necessity a compromise for making decent images throughout the zoom range. That said, I think only a very serious amateur or pro photographer will utilize that extra optical quality; it is most needed for enlargements, selling pics, etc. A casual shooter making memories for family & self probably won't see the benefit under most circumstances.


When I was shooting slide film for 3D (stereoscopic) pairs to be mounted and viewed in a backlit, magnifying stereoviewer, I could appreciate the crispness of a good prime lens. With digital photos viewed mostly on screen, it's hard for me to see any difference between primes and zooms.
__________________
Losing weight puts one at much greater risk of becoming thin.
Mike G is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 02:32 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
JeffreyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Trailer: 2021 Escape 19
Posts: 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
Prime lenses usually have greater potential optically to produce sharp images, whereas a zoom lens' optics are by necessity a compromise for making decent images throughout the zoom range.
This is less and less the case, especially with modern professional level zooms. My Canon 100-400 (the V2) is sharper than the 300/4 I used 15 years ago.

Plus some primes put emphasis on other things, like defocus performance or just having super fast maximum apertures.

BasicallyÖ..no rules are hard and fast and most modern zooms are so sharp, sharpness isnít going to be a reason for primes. Color, aperture, defocus appearance all might be.
JeffreyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 02:42 PM   #6
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 4,185
yes, bokeh aka defocus performance. my other prime is Canon's EF85/1.8, and it has gorgeous bokeh wide open.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 04:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
JeffreyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Trailer: 2021 Escape 19
Posts: 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
yes, bokeh aka defocus performance. my other prime is Canon's EF85/1.8, and it has gorgeous bokeh wide open.
But poor chromatic aberrations. I used Canonís 85/1.2 for some time. Excellent sharpness and defocus appearance. Also so-so coma and chromatic aberrations. Also insane purple fringing when pushed.

Anyway, I think there was a time when design wasnít up to the challenge of great zooms and primes really were better optically.

Now, Iíd buy a prime for the specific set of performance (focal length, aperture, optical features) but avoid generalities. Iíd only use a prime over the three zooms Iím using now if I needed something specific (probably, faster). For example, a 300/2.8 is always handyÖÖ.but expensive and heavy so I usually just make the 100-400 work.
JeffreyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 05:06 PM   #8
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 4,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
But poor chromatic aberrations. I used Canonís 85/1.2 for some time. Excellent sharpness and defocus appearance. Also so-so coma and chromatic aberrations. Also insane purple fringing when pushed.
...
mine is the EF85 f/1.8 USM, and I've never seen purple fringing with it on my EOS 60D, even wide open. I think the 85/1.2 was a much older lens, from the old Canon non-autofocus series.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 06:45 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Trailer: none!
Posts: 1
The z50 with that little zoom lens makes for a lightweight, compact system that produces excellent images and videos.

If you want to add capability later any Z-mount lens is compatible or you can get the FTZ adapter, which adds compatibility with tons of reasonably priced f-mount Nikon lenses. For example, f1.8 50mm & 85mm primes are outstanding bargains whether used or new.

-JPape
awaiting recreation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2022, 07:28 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21C, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 5,063
Another big difference between zooms & prime lenses is size & weight which will be smaller & lighter in a prime. I've also found that prime lenses focus a bit faster than zooms. While an inexpensive zoom may show more quality problems, I agree with Jeffrey; pro versions of zoom lenses are usually as sharp as a prime and the overall quality is acceptable.

For what it is worth, I used Lightroom to check lens usage, and while I have far too many lenses, it shows that with full frame Nikon DSLRs in my current library I shot around 6500 with a 16mm - 35mm f:2.8, 9000 with a 24mm -70mm f:2.8, and 1500 with a 80mm - 400mm f:4.5 (a non pro but pretty sharp lens).

Over the same period I shot 250 images with a 105mm f:2.8 Macro, and 350 with a 300mm f:2.8 prime. Less than 100 each for a number of other prime & zoom lenses.
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 08:51 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
JeffreyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Trailer: 2021 Escape 19
Posts: 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
mine is the EF85 f/1.8 USM, and I've never seen purple fringing with it on my EOS 60D, even wide open. I think the 85/1.2 was a much older lens, from the old Canon non-autofocus series.



EF 85.1.2 L USM II, not really an old lens, but the optical design is similar to the older V1.


In any case, you may have simply not shot your 85/1.8 in high contrast. I had one, it would fringe pretty badly too if you shot high contrast.


Unfortunately for the OP, I have extensive experience with Canon lenses, and some with Sony E-mount lenses, but I don't know the Nikon range very well.
JeffreyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 12:38 PM   #12
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 4,185
huh, I've never seen an "L": prime lens, I thought the L was reserved for the professional zooms, with low dispersion glass elements.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 12:50 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
JeffreyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Trailer: 2021 Escape 19
Posts: 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
huh, I've never seen an "L": prime lens, I thought the L was reserved for the professional zooms, with low dispersion glass elements.
All of the Superteles are L primes 200/2, 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4, 600/4 etc. And there are several L primes otherwise, usually exceptionally fast for focal length etc. Offhand I recall 14/2.8, 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2, 135/2.
JeffreyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 01:30 PM   #14
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 4,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
All of the Superteles are L primes 200/2, 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4, 600/4 etc. And there are several L primes otherwise, usually exceptionally fast for focal length etc. Offhand I recall 14/2.8, 24/1.4, 35/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2, 135/2.
I learn something new every day! I'll admit, about the only L lens I have any experience with was the 70-200/2.8 L IS that I rented and hauled around a 4-day music festival, man that was a heavy bugger, but it sure did take nice pics under stage lighting..
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 07:08 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
MrLynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Framingham, Massachusetts
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21C, NTU April 2022
Posts: 354
Can't address the expert comments here, but I generally use zoom lenses, for the flexibility (mostly 18-135mm on my Canon Rebel for snapshots and scenery, and a Panasonic 'bridge' FZ300 25-600mm zoom when out looking for birds and other critters.

I did buy a Canon 28mm prime lens (which is close to 50mm on a full-frame), mainly for its very light weight on a prospective air trip to Peru that was cancelled in Spring 2020. I have found it pleasant to use for general photography; just means you have to get closer to your subjects, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The lens is sharp. Takes me back to the days when I traveled with screw-mount Leicas, when changing lenses took some time.
__________________
ē "The Molded Fiberglass Obsession," https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress....ass-obsession/
MrLynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 10:00 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21c Sold Bigfoot 25RQ on order
Posts: 1,007
Been shooting since 1966, first with rangefinder compacts cameras, then a Nikon F series with prime lenses (F, F2, F4) Medium Format cameras a Mamiya C330 and a Mamiay 6. Then with Canon digital 20d 60d and now an EOS R6 with a combination of adapted EF Zooms and an R series Zoom (kit). I have a number of prints and zooms in EF at least two L glass series.
I shot weddings and portraiture as a weekend warrior. Now I mostly do 2 to 4 camera video shoots with cinema cameras of my music events and house concerts and an independent film or two.

The advances in lens design with modern zooms in the new mirrorless cameras is outstanding combined with built in correction in the RAW conversion software. A Nikon Z50 with a kit zoom will give you outstanding results . You can pixel peep etc. A lot of the decision depends upon the application: Are you taking professional portraiture to sell? Then you would want a fast medium zoom or a dedicated portraiture lens etc. Wedding Photographer ? Two zooms covering wide to moderate telephoto . Old school would have a wide angle 24 or 28, a 35 or a 50 an 85 or 100 and a 135 and a 200 etc. A good starting place is medium wide to medium telephoto 24 or 28 to 100 etc. Your budget and your intended application will be your guide. Even on the low end of mirrorless cameras you will get outstanding results.
oldwave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 10:11 PM   #17
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 4,185
I used to shoot fairly serious amateur, starting in the mid 70s with a Pentax MX 35mm, later graduating to a Pentax 6x7 medium format, shot some 4x5 on borrowed cameras, etc. Most of my best work was landscape stuff.

I went digital with an EOS Elan (film) when our first kid was born (1990) because my wife just flat couldn't focus a camera and her pictures were awful. Later got a couple digital P&S cameras (Nikon Coolpix 950, etc), then a Canon EOS 350D in 2005. That got upgraded to a 60D in 2008, and later I picked upa EOS M with the 22mm pancake lens to use as an 'everyday carry'.

I kind of lost interest in 'serious' photography somewhere along the way, and now mostly just use my cellphone, since the cell cameras got so good, and I was just taking pictures for travel and fun, and documentation. I've had a Pixel first generation, Pixel 3a, and now a Pixel 6a, each took excellent pictures given the inherent limitations of a tiny wide angle lens, etc.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 10:54 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21c Sold Bigfoot 25RQ on order
Posts: 1,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I used to shoot fairly serious amateur, starting in the mid 70s with a Pentax MX 35mm, later graduating to a Pentax 6x7 medium format, shot some 4x5 on borrowed cameras, etc. Most of my best work was landscape stuff.

I went digital with an EOS Elan (film) when our first kid was born (1990) because my wife just flat couldn't focus a camera and her pictures were awful. Later got a couple digital P&S cameras (Nikon Coolpix 950, etc), then a Canon EOS 350D in 2005. That got upgraded to a 60D in 2008, and later I picked upa EOS M with the 22mm pancake lens to use as an 'everyday carry'.

I kind of lost interest in 'serious' photography somewhere along the way, and now mostly just use my cellphone, since the cell cameras got so good, and I was just taking pictures for travel and fun, and documentation. I've had a Pixel first generation, Pixel 3a, and now a Pixel 6a, each took excellent pictures given the inherent limitations of a tiny wide angle lens, etc.
My photography bug came back with the interest in film and video, as I always loved technology and making complex things. Now I am dealing with timecode, shot matching, color correction and editing. Hey Everyone has to have a hobby. We host house concerts so I film them and give our artists nice quality mulitcamera video of the performance. Too old to delve into into as a pro but 30 years ago I would have gone a different way .
oldwave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2022, 08:21 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
escape artist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2016 Ram Eco Diesel 4X4
Posts: 7,714
Snaps?

Hi: All snap shooters... My Olympus OM1 w/ multiple lenses sits at home in the bag. My P&S Panasonic w/ Leica zoom sits in my pocket. Now I just have to remember to snap a pic now and then.
It's almost time for Niagara Wine Escape '22 Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Attached Thumbnails
P1050278.jpg  
__________________
Quote Bugs Bunny..."Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it ALIVE"!!!
'16 Ram Eco D. 4X4 Laramie Longhorn CC & '14 Escape 5.0TA
St.Thomas (Not the Virgin Islands) Ontario
escape artist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2022, 02:40 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: Future 2023 E19 Owner
Posts: 67
I have a mix of Nikkor primes and zooms. I tend to favor zooms for event/action photography...or any situation where I have a limited window of opportunity to compose and grab the shot.

I'll use primes in situations where I have more time/control over the shot, such as studio work, portraiture, macro images, etc. I also still prefer primes for long focal lengths (300mm).

Having said that, I agree that zooms like the 24-70f2.8 really don't sacrifice much (if anything) in the way of quality for 35mm full frame digital. Even my my old trusty 80-200f2.8 is plenty sharp for the work I do. I've also been impressed with some of Nikon's modern, less pricy, slower F-mount zooms (the 70-300f4.5-5.6VR comes to mind).

I should mention that most of my photo work is either in a studio environment using strobes or fast shutter speed action shots in generally good outdoor light, so neither image stabilization nor super fast primes (>2.8) are a terribly important feature for me.

I'm not very familiar with the newest generation of mirrorless formats, but I use an old Nikon J1 with the 10-30 kit lens for casual/personal photography and snapshots. I find that it's fine for the purpose.....
__________________

Selkirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×