The big Prime lens Con Trick.

PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,370Member
Well Mr Hogan keeps banging on about the lack of DX primes (Buzz Buzz) but is this all a profit induced smoke screen?
Why would anyone want to carry a bag of 3 or 4 primes with caps and covers and keep changing them around like we did in the 1970's. Most primes are rubbish wide open , have no depth of field except at infinity so need to be stopped down anyway.
Now if Nikon could make a good zoom rather than the terrible 18-200/300 then we could all throw our primes away/not look like a camera geek (that's the bag and yellow strap).
So come on tell me, is it impossible to make a good zoom or do I misunderstand primes?
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Comments

  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    So, what are the problems with DX ?

    1. You require *extremely* sharp contrasty glass to resolve all 24mpix of the current sensor.

    2. The high iso performance is not so good, and at least one stop behind FX cameras.

    3. The Viewfinders are small and dark.


    However, there is a solution, put a sharp lightweight f1.8 prime lens on it !

    Then you get a really, really nice sharp image at f2.8, you have the option of opening up to f1.8 if you have to go above ISO 3200/1600 ( this is roughly the point at which blur from the iso outweighs the loss of sharpness from stopping down, and you have a nice bright viewfinder.

    If you put an f5.6 zoom on a DX camera, its a soft, noisy imaged, dark viewfindered slow to focus thing with horrible bokeh that can be easily be matched by a Sony RX with a Zeiss f1.8 lens on it.

    DX primes can be made smaller, lighter and cheaper than FX primes, and would sell well. Look at the 35mm DX - its one of the best selling Nikkor lenses ever.

    I own a 180mm Sigma lens that is one of my only lenses to actually give a resolution increase when using a D7100 over a D810, and it is massive, heavy and costs 1700 dollars new. If you were to build a DX 18-200 lens that gave the same performance it would be 3KG cost 2500 dollars and sell 1 or two copies. Look at the Sigma 18-35 DX F1.8 zoom - its as big and as heavy as my Nikon 24-70 f2.8 ! Take a look at the DX f1.8 50-100 - its as big and heavy as a 70-200 !

    I know you like to stop down to f8 - but most people don't, take a look at Flikr, there are hundreds of people making amazing images with primes.

    I shot a day at a kids farm with my Nikon D7100 and DX35mm, it was rainy so we spent the whole day inside the "play barn" on the slides and soft play, under some pretty low artifical light, I shot the whole thing at 1/160th, f2 and iso 1600/3200 and had great images with depth of field that was fine, your entire premise that primes are rubbish wide open with no depth of field is completely wrong.

    I would buy an 18mm/20mm DX only prime in a hearbeat. I would buy a DX only 85mm prime in a heartbeat. That and the 35mm would make a great, cheap, lightweight kit that could do everything I wanted.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited February 2016
    The problem with short primes are that they will be long ...
    By that I mean that due to the need for the retrofocus lense design to accommodate the mirror.. all short focal length lenses will need to be physically long. Once you have so complex a design and long lense, you may as well make it a zoom cos a zoom will cost only 5% more.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    The 16-80mm f/2.8-4 (24-120 equiv) seems like the perfect answer. The VR is the cherry on top. What's not to like?
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    edited February 2016

    Well Mr Hogan keeps banging on about the lack of DX primes (Buzz Buzz) but is this all a profit induced smoke screen?
    Why would anyone want to carry a bag of 3 or 4 primes with caps and covers and keep changing them around like we did in the 1970's. Most primes are rubbish wide open , have no depth of field except at infinity so need to be stopped down anyway.
    Now if Nikon could make a good zoom rather than the terrible 18-200/300 then we could all throw our primes away/not look like a camera geek (that's the bag and yellow strap).
    So come on tell me, is it impossible to make a good zoom or do I misunderstand primes?

    As someone who has 10 lenses, including 5 manual focus primes I bought brand new in the last couple of years, I think you misunderstand primes and the users who use them. But that is OK, you speak Greek to me - but I sometimes enjoy Greek.

    I do have one zoom, the 14-24 2.8. I wanted 14mm and at 14mm, the optics were superior to the prime. This is the only circumstance in the Nikon lineup that I know is true, or else I would have other zooms in my bag.

    I find it curious that this zoom beats a prime and have come to the conclusion that it is a very mediocre prime instead of the 14-24 being a fantastic zoom (it is a great zoom). I have come to the further tentative conclusion that Nikon has been very careful to maximize the quality of their zooms, but has been a little sloppy with their primes. This means that zooms are not going to get much better, but primes are. And the primes are already better than the zooms, except for the case I mentioned above.

    The Sigma Art is further evidence in my view. Nikon has got a little lazy on their primes. That said, the comparison is not fair in my view. I have noticed a quality in the Nikon lenses that doesn't seem to exist in Sigma. Lens design is about tradeoffs. Sigma has chosen sharpness as the focus of their design and produced massive lenses. Nikon has often chosen design parameters that are hard to describe and market. I think that the 58 1.4 is a perfect example. Despite its softness wide open, which disappoints me, the lens has a quality that I find endearing. I see none of this in Sigma. However, for people that shop on spec and always shoot wide open, the Sigma is a good choice. Sharpness is simple to understand. The other qualities take a lot of time and energy, something Thom understands well, - so I will buy the 58 eventually and tend to stick with Nikon. My advice to Nikon is to continue to improve sharpness while maintaining that quality - which is what they are doing.

    This will all become more apparent as sensor resolution increases and primes are able to take advantage of the higher resolution (at 4.0 - 8.0, they are not sharp enough wide open) while the zooms cannot.

    I am not against zooms. They have their uses and convenience is certainly a factor. Pistnbroke, you are an event shooter and primes certainly don't make sense. I am this kind of shooter:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/westendfoto/

    where the pace is slower and changing prime lenses is a small price to pay for great images. You can keep shooting for money. I am shooting for pleasure and art. In response to your, "Why would anyone want to carry a bag of 3 or 4 primes with caps and covers and keep changing them around like we did in the 1970's. Most primes are rubbish wide open , have no depth of field except at infinity so need to be stopped down anyway." I will say, "Why would anybody choose photography as a profession as their is a pathetic amount of money in it?" Some will say, "I love it", to which I will respond, "Then get a real job that will enable you to afford great gear and shoot what you really enjoy rather than whoring yourself to "clients"". However, I don't really mean that as it is incredibly arrogant, prejudicial and not even correct. For example, if you like people, event photography (with zooms) is enjoyable - and I do enjoy that aspect. Photojournalism, sports photography are other examples.

    That said, I am making a major lens purchase before the prices go up at the end of March in Canada. It is either going to be the 24 PC or the new 24-70 - yes a zoom. I am considering a zoom because as the "Camera Guy", I am often asked to shoot events. The new 24-70 2.8 with its VR is very attractive for that. However, what I really want is the 24 PC because that will open up an entirely new creative avenue for me.

    Pleasure or work? I might suck it up and buy both.

    I hope that this helps you appreciate the mindset of a prime shooter Pistnbroke.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    Ironheart said:

    The 16-80mm f/2.8-4 (24-120 equiv) seems like the perfect answer. The VR is the cherry on top. What's not to like?

    Yes, this had the potential to be a real holy grail lens for DX. Unfortunately its as soft anywhere but the centre, the autofocus is slow, the 80mm end is weak and is 4 times dimmer than my 85mm prime, its got onion bokeh, and its is overpriced.

    My 35mm 1.8, my 50mm f1.8, my 85mm f1.8 FX are better at every aperture at every point in the frame and come much closer to realising the full potential of a small photosite DX sensor.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I have all three of those primes as well, but sometimes the convenience of the zoom wins. I also have a 20mm f/1.8 and a 28mm f/1.8. On my 7200 the 16-80 focuses fast, and at least my copy is sharp across the frame, I generally stop down a notch or two. Never noticed the onion bokeh, I"ll have to check that. I agree it gets weaker on the long end, but what zoom doesn't? 5 primes vs a zoom? There are times/places for each.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    Pistnbroke, you enjoy shooting with zooms, you've advocated about the benefits of zooms many times in the past. Just because you enjoy shooting with zooms doesn't mean that works for everyone.

    There are advantages to both styles.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    NSXTypeR said:

    Pistnbroke, you enjoy shooting with zooms, you've advocated about the benefits of zooms many times in the past. Just because you enjoy shooting with zooms doesn't mean that works for everyone.

    There are advantages to both styles.

    Well Said. +1 +1
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    edited February 2016



    That said, I am making a major lens purchase before the prices go up at the end of March in Canada. It is either going to be the 24 PC or the new 24-70 - yes a zoom. I am considering a zoom because as the "Camera Guy", I am often asked to shoot events. The new 24-70 2.8 with its VR is very attractive for that. However, what I really want is the 24 PC because that will open up an entirely new creative avenue for me.

    Pleasure or work? I might suck it up and buy both.

    I sucked it up and bought both. The 24-70 2.8E is in my hands - it just arrived this morning. I know this because on Wednesday night they did not have one and they told me – I trust them. I am confident that handling has been very limited. I will need to wait six weeks for the 24 3.5PC as it is a special order item.

    The price increases at the end of March are pushing 20% (the Canadian dollar has lost 30% against the US dollar in the last year) and I got $500 off for buying both, so it made financial sense - how is that for "GAS Rationalization".

    And what is happening to me! I have two zooms now and all those DX cameras! I think I have to see my shrink!
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Feel the power of the dark side!
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Ironheart said:

    Feel the power of the dark side!

    Sigh....... my voice is getting really deep and everyone can hear me breath a mile away.

    :((
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,370Member
    It is a testament to the members of this site that the question has not caused an aggressive riot....True as you say I only use zooms ( well I do have a Samyang 14mm because its cheap and does a specific job) but Is it impossible to make a quality zoom of the 18-200 or 28-300 range or are we being fed softies and hence forced to buy primes and push up Nikons profits...
    I have still not been given a convincing argument to buy some primes and a pick pockets jacket to carry them in ......
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,491Moderator
    There is no convincing argument that can make primes better than zooms in a wedding shooting environment. You will not ever hear one. All you are asking for and need is a massive zoom range, high quality, fast, light zoom with a £1000 price tag. Simples.
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited February 2016
    =P~
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,370Member
    Forget the wedding bit ...If Zeiss bought out a 28-200 quality zoom would that negate them selling prime lenses in that range? For me "fast" is not an issue because I am forced to work at f5.6 or 8.
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    I don't buy the Weddings require zooms argument. There are award winning Wedding Photogs that use only 35 mm and 85mm prime lenses.

    If Zeiss brought out a quality 28-200 it would be manual focus only !

    If you look at how complicated the 70-200's are, and how vulnerable they are to damage, and how high the sample variation is ( check lensrentals reports on them ) across both Canon and Nikon and Tamron, it is pretty clear a sharp high quality zoom is not easy. A really high quality 28-200 would be so internally complicated it would be a QA nightmare and terribly vulnerable. Look at how many floating groups the new Leica 24-90 has and that is 1/3rd the range.

    You say you want only f5.6 - the problem is that a lens designed for f5.6 is not sharp at f5.6. Even my sharpest lenses need stopping down. So you are in reality talking about an F4 zoom at minimum.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    I don't think there is a con. There are to many lense makers to pretend that it is harder than it is to make a high quality long range zoom.
    How about using two cameras with different lenses?
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Nikoniser said:

    I don't buy the Weddings require zooms argument. There are award winning Wedding Photogs that use only 35 mm and 85mm prime lenses.

    If Zeiss brought out a quality 28-200 it would be manual focus only !

    If you look at how complicated the 70-200's are, and how vulnerable they are to damage, and how high the sample variation is ( check lensrentals reports on them ) across both Canon and Nikon and Tamron, it is pretty clear a sharp high quality zoom is not easy. A really high quality 28-200 would be so internally complicated it would be a QA nightmare and terribly vulnerable. Look at how many floating groups the new Leica 24-90 has and that is 1/3rd the range.

    You say you want only f5.6 - the problem is that a lens designed for f5.6 is not sharp at f5.6. Even my sharpest lenses need stopping down. So you are in reality talking about an F4 zoom at minimum.

    I am strongly inclined to agree with your point about the complication of zooms. My new 24-70 2.8E has 20 elements and is only a 3 times zoom range. And it is likely not as sharp at 2.8 as my 50mm 1.4G or 1.2AIS at F/2.8. Or let's consider the 50mm 1.8G at 2.8. Less than the tenth the price and probably sharper and if not, the difference is trivial. Compare the 85mm 1.8G at 2.8 to the 70-200mm 2.8G, and you have a superior lens at 85mm for a sixth of the price.

    I also think I agree with you on the weddings argument though as I have never shot a wedding, I am not certain. However, I do shoot events (mostly as favours) so I know something of the merits of a zoom vs a prime. If I was a professional, I might carry a 24-70 on one body, a 70-200 on another body and have a 20 1.8 in the bag for awkward rooms and a 85 1.4G and 135DC 2.0 in my bag for artistic shots. Heavy, but you are working and when working you suck up whatever you need to suck up to do a good job. However, I will likely never be a professional photographer, so it is academic.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    The reality is that it is a trade off. Here is a zoom that will wipe the floor with all of the Nikon primes:
    Angenieux Optimo DP 25-250mm T3.5 10x Zoom Lens
    The Optimo DP 25-250mm T3.5 10x Zoom Lens from Angenieux delivers optimized optical quality with low chromatic aberration, telecentricity, and low distortion for S35 digital cameras. With an image circle of 31.4mm diagonal, the lens is fit for illumination of S35 sensors. The lens is equipped with robust and precise zoom and focus mechanics with Angenieux rod guiding system design.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1179340-REG/angenieux_25_250_optimo_optimo_dp_25_250mm_f_3_2_t3_5.html

    It only weighs 16lbs (7.4kg) and costs only $43,000

    However it is exactly what @Pistnbroke is looking for; this is the result of optimizing for quality over price.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Well said. And if you buy now, there is an opportunity to save $20 on a bundle.

    I wonder what we could get for a 50mm 1.4 with a $43k budget?
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    We can start here for $4,500
    Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T1.5 Super Speed F Mount
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/857830-REG/Zeiss_1956_609_Compact_Prime_CP_2_50mm_T1_5.html

    I'm glad you understand my point. Here is a $234,000 101x (8.9 - 900mm) zoom that have features folks here drool over, I mean talk about:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/840667-REG/fujinon_xa101x8_9besm_tk_xa101x8_9besm_pf_2_3_precision_focus.html
    It does weigh 54.5 lb (24.7 kg), so you need a team(ster) to place it.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I would probably prefer an Otus and would expect better IQ. Video lenses have to minimize or eliminate focus breathing, which is irrelevant for still photography, by compromising on something else, which is likely relevant for still photography.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Video lenses also have to be parafocal (maintain focus point while zooming).
    One reason the best of them have always been rented.
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    haroldp said:

    Video lenses also have to be parafocal (maintain focus point while zooming).
    One reason the best of them have always been rented.

    I always wondered how that was done. Now I know.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited February 2016
    Having had the 18-200, a Tokina 12-24 f4 and the lenses I currently have. The zooms still don't match my primes. I do leave my 17-55 on my camera most times , but it isn't my favorite lens...it is convenient. Hands down I was going to have my 105 f2.8 on one body at the wedding...such a versatile lens for a prime with the macro capability and awesome for portraits with bit of reach. I miss not changing lenses using my 18-200, but that is about it. It never had the sharpness or characteristics of my primes. The bokeh is always nice with the 105 and the 300 f4 is amazing. Although I have never seen pist's photos so it is hard to say what would be required. Corner to corner sharpness just seems difficult in zooms. Primes can be tailored to be sharp at their focal length.

    I will say I never thought my 18-200 was terrible especially on my D5000. I never tried it on the new 24 MP bodies so that might make a difference. It still didn't have the bokeh ability unless you were wide open over 100mm and then it still wasn't great.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
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