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Back to prime lenses?
#1
It find myself migrating away from zoom lenses and back to prime lenses. I think I detect a general trend in that direction. There have been a whole bunch of prime lenses recently released.

I have been buying older film-camera Nikkor lenses on E-bay at low prices. The D40 mounts almost any of them. I enjoy using them manually. In my opinion sharpness is better than it is on zoom lenses. I did buy an old 35-70mm Nikkor for under $25. This is a wonderful lens that lets me use autoexposure on my camera with manual focus.

Has anyone been following a trend toward prime lenses?
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
#2
I've noticed this as well, both personally and in the market.

For the market, I think there are two different things happening with the same effect.

• Nikon has been releasing new DX lenses and updating older FX ones with the focusing motors that let them work across their line. Most of their important zoom lenses have already been updated for the new cameras, and now they're catching up with the prime backlog.

• Olympus always took two criticisms for its 4/3 cameras: everything was too big and there were very few every-day primes. Micro 4/3 shows both lessons being learned, and that has set the tone for the systems that followed it.

Personally, I've gone from the 'every focal length covered' school to the 35/85 prime pair. Me being me, that actually means about eighteen lenses for seven cameras in six different mounts… and I still have a system that covers every focal length from 14mm to 280mm in 35mm equivalent terms. But the vast majority of my photos are taken with prime lenses in the bands between 35-50mm and 80-105mm.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
#3
matthew Wrote:Me being me, that actually means about eighteen lenses for seven cameras in six different mounts…
Hopefully not using all at once... Big Grin
#4
What a heavy kit you have. I just like primes because they are lighter.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
#5
I rarely use more than one camera at a time, and usually only one or two lenses per camera. That keeps everything nice and light.

Unless I'm carrying a really, really big camera…

I'm currently planning a multi-city road trip, and expect to do the entire thing with just one lens on my 'main' camera, and my little point-and-shoot in a pocket. I'm not sure which camera it'll be yet, but I have a good idea of what lens I'll use.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
#6
Have fun!
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
#7
My current walk-around photo rig is down to 2 primes - 28mm and 50mm.

I have the 90mm range covered as well, but I have never warmed to it, and don't tend to carry the 90. Frankly, I even find the 28 a marriage of convenience - I need that perspective sometimes, but we're not in love (like I am with the 50).

There is something liberating about carrying a camera with a single prime on it and nothing else. Sometimes less is more.
#8
I quite agree: with just the one focal length on a walkabout, one can really zone in and adjust one's eyes to it, using one's feet to help compose and enter the action. I've on several occasions found a tele-zoom too "safe" and almost either distant, "generic" or plain voyeuristic. I have to say I find 50mm the most difficult length with which to capture something truly exciting, as my eye is simply unused to using it exclusively. It's good "therapy" to occasionally go out with just one's least-used lens...it does refresh the eye. I make the mistake so often of merely taking my fave lens...the results are generally good but can easily become "stock" for me.
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#9
You are right Zig. The psychology of habit and adaptation level is really important for seeing photos. I don't like 50mm either because it's so uninspiring. Thanks for this response.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
#10
Don Schaeffer Wrote:I don't like 50mm either because it's so uninspiring.
Speak for yourself, Gringos...
#11
I was out for a walk today with the D700 and 50/1.8D, mostly to see how I like that focal length. I'm pretty sure now that my next investment will be the 50/1.4G, and that's the camera and lens that I'll be taking on my little 3000km road trip. (Although the Zeiss 35 f/2 on my rangefinder is so tempting…)

I'm a huge fan of boring focal lengths.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
  


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