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Old Dec 14, 2010, 10:12 PM   #11
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Location: Eastern Appalachains
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i love shooting with primes, i own a 28, 4 50's, a 55, 58, 90, 135, 200, 300 in primes and my only current zoom is a 24-60. I have owned over 10 primes and have ended selling all but the sigma 24 60, which covers such a narrow range is very much like a prime and holds up with sharpness.

I think zooms are great but there are few that still allow us to be truly happy with on the final product with any amazing shots. There are too many times I found some great shots I took only to find out they're just not usable to my liking for a large print. I was extremely disappointed to get back a print from one of my favorite birds photos over the summer came out down right blurry in 16"X20" shots using 14 megapixels. Funnily enough the shot looks great in PS. There are inferior shots with prime lenses I took that looked much nicer in print using only 6 mp. I realize megapixels dont say much but I blew up a 30X20 shot with my IST, the pic came out very sharp and I am humble to say absolutely gorgeous. This was odd to me at first but even tho both pics look good in 75% in CS4, at 100% the shots with the prime are much superior, even with the vast difference in blowing up the image. With this proven, I would pit a 3-4 megapixel paired with prime over a 14 mp zoom any day. Of course this cant be said with any prime versus any zoom, but its just food for thought.

Last edited by NMRecording; Dec 14, 2010 at 10:16 PM.
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Old Feb 2, 2011, 7:46 PM   #12
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My list of primes is a little odd since I have been "collecting" anything I could get cheap.

DA 14mm f2.8 (refurbished) excellent lens but heavy because it is very well built. It gets great wide shots but the DA 10-17mm is so much fun I rarely use the 14.

FA 35mm f2 AL (new and not cheap), love it, such a marvelous lens that I bought my wife, Annette, the DAL 35mm f2.4 just so I could get it away from her (the new lens is just as good as the old, just a little cheaper build with a plastic mount). Beautiful images that are hard to beat (and shooting wide open).

FA 50mm f1.4, (won it from Pentax on their Pentaxian website) the DOF champ. What can I say, the same optical formula as a Zeiss and images with a look all their own. Not as sharp as the 35 but the images have some "feel" that other lenses lack.

M 100mm f4 macro (traded for it), very sharp inspite of what looks like a possible lens separation ("clouding" inside the front element, not fungus). This flaw means I have to be careful of flare.

Takumar K-mount 135mm f2.5 (cheap) a very poor film lens becomes a pretty decent digital lens since the soft corners have been mostly cropped out. Average colour but good sharpness.

M 200mm f4 (traded for it) this is a marvelous lens but I need a split image screen to allow me to focus it more quickly and accurately (my fault not the lenses). This is a fine lens that produces great images.

My dream lens right now would be the DA* 300mm since it would be so much better than the F 100-300mm zoom I use right now. This zoom is not terribly sharp nor does it have great colour or contrast. The DA 55-300mm would probably be an improvement.

I use zooms often but always like the results more when I use the primes, images have more character and atmosphere.
Riverview, NB, Canada
Current equipment
Pentax K7, K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-PM1, E-PL1, E-P2, E-P5: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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