Sovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2699 posts, RR: 16 Posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4000 times:
Every once in a while while browsing photos I come across images which list the equipment as 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, etc.. prime lenses. Are these really worth it? As far as I can see the only advantage is that they are faster. But on the other hand you lose all versatility and there is only some narrow margin in which you can shoot photos(when the aircraft is far away), otherwise you will cut off parts of the aircraft. For example there are three 400mm prime lenses which are F5.6, F4 and F2.8. You get F5.6 on a 100-400 as well so why limit yourself to only 400mm? The F2.8 is more than $6000!! Sure it's faster but it has no zooming capability and for $6000 that is very limited use. I guess I don't understand what attracts people to buy long prime lenses, to me being able to zoom in and out is very important and many shots are not possible without it. Anyone care to explain?
Dehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1088 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3993 times:
Well i own a 300/2.8 500F4 and 600 f4 and all are truly amazing lenses.
There ability to resolve detail is sofar ahead of a zoom as to be like comparing a VW Beetle anda Ferrari F4. The zoom buys you flexibility the prime buys you the best money can buy in detail colors and reach.
At many airports the reach comes in handy and when not it buys you a crop no one else can match for detail.
I find it very hard to use the old 100-400 these days as once you have used the best money and technology can buy its hard to go back.
Maiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 45
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3981 times:
I'd take a prime over a zoom any day of the week for IQ, although I have both for different situations. Place the zoom on one body and the fixed focal length lens on the other and you have flexibility.
As much hype as the 70-200mm F/2.8 L gets, its got nothing on the 200mm F/2.8 L as far is IQ goes.
Dlowwa From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 7328 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3942 times:
Don't forget the wider end of the range for primes! When getting down to the wider end of things, besides IQ, the size of primes is actually a strong point, especially when traveling. Both of these were taken with tiny little pancake primes, 40mm and 21mm, respectively.
Ruudb From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 167 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3915 times:
I started some time ago to use primes too and now I would love to have only primes, you miss the universal zoom only in some cases, but taking pictures of moving object, you really won't!
Primes are really much better than you would think before you've used them! And the good thing is you can't zoom, and can concentrate on a few shots!
Cpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4941 posts, RR: 35
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3803 times:
I have used both prime (300mm) and super-zoom (50-500mm).
You see the difference with the prime immediately. The 50-500 is consistently less sharp, and it is very obvious. They are worth the money.
They also force you to think about framing your shot a bit better, because you don't have the versatility of clicking off 10 or so shots of the one subject.
Quoting DABZF (Reply 5):
I love my 70-200 F2.8 Nikkor to death... or did until I recently got a change to try out a 200mm and 400mm Nikkor primes (both F2.8)... WOW... the difference in quality is just amazing
The 200 is the F/2.0 - amazing lens if you can get it. The 400 is impressive too. My 300 is one of the older series - (non AF-S) but I love it to death. It really does the job.
TopGun3 From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 278 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3790 times:
Primes are definitely the way to go if you are after quality of photos. One of the first lenses that I have purchased when I got into spotting was a 300mm F2.8 prime....at first I wasn't sure if I got the right lens for the job because everyone was shooting with the customary 70-200mm or 100-400mm glass. Well, I got myself 80-200mm f2.8 as well, and I use it a lot too, but I have definitely started appreciating more and more of some of my shots that I make with the 300mm. Since then I have also purchased 50mm and 16mm fisheye primes.
I would sell any of my other zoom lenses, but none of my primes (only to maybe buy a newer model).
Sluger020889 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 456 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3683 times:
Quoting AKE0404AR (Reply 15): Borrow one, go out shooting, look at the results => then you know why people spend a good amount of money.
I agree. I spent a weekend shooting with a good buddy of mine last year and the results from his 400 5.6 pretty much convinced me to sell my 80-400 for a 300 f4 in about 30 minutes. The difference is night and day.
Of course people are worried about missing a shot because of the lack of versatility with a prime, but the way i see it, where you lack versatility you posses the ability and quality to be more creative with your shots.
I would love to fly a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!
Skidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3585 times:
Prime lenses are the best, no doubt about that. But, for versatility, a zoom is the only option unless you are in a position where time and locaion are not a problem.
If you can move around your subject for the best point to shoot, f you have an unobstructed view and maybe a slave to carry your gear, then prime lenses all the way. Oh, and did I mention a very healthy bank balance!
On the other hand, if you are a spotter with a limited budget, heaps of enthusiasm and limited access/shooting options, then a zoom is a must. This category, I believe, encompasses the bulk of photogs on A.net. And the pictures still get accepted, are still damn good and comprise a large bulk of the DB I would imagine. Which, lets face it, is what A.net is all about.
I am currently about to open negotiations with my accountant (aka the wife) to buy a prime lens. Sadly, it will not be a 200/300/400 but a lowly 60/105 Macro with which I hope to expand my photography skills (such as they are). The chances of geting, like so manyof us, a long lens for a small mortgage is fairly remote.
Soon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3486 times:
This thread could not have come at a better time...I currently have a 300 2.8 and a 600 f4. I've been struggling with the nikon 200-400 trade off as flexibility is key...however, that 300 2.8 can't be beat. I've also got the 70-200 2.8 with a 1.4 extdr. In reading replies on prime optics...think I'm convinced...I'll keep the heavy artillary. When you hold these lenses in your hand you can't help but appreciate the quality of the lense itself and the images they yield. Currently I shoot with a prime set up and a zoom set up simultaneously...that way I keep flexibility close at hand...the $$$ should always be placed into the glass...
Does anyone know if a 1.4 xtndr exists for Nikon 300,2.8 AF/ED. for use on digital bodies?...j
JakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3482 times:
I've been eyeing up primes for a few months now. I already have the 70-200 F4 L and the 28-105 F3.5-4.5 USM II, and am about to expand my horizons with the 100-400 L (next week). Now for what I do zooms are pretty essential and, let's face it, the high-end ones do produce fantastic results. I'm aware primes present better quality but how expensive do you have to go to see the difference? Would a prime at £250 ($500) - £350 ($700) for my Canon give better results than my L zooms or would the primes have to be Ls themselves to match the quality?
For what its worth...When I purchased my Nikon 600mm, it was used,...Hardly...but in perfect condition and still is...but I paid $5,000 US for it. My Nikon 300mm 2.8 was $3,200.00 used. In mint condition...still is...Now with the introduction of VR technology, the masses are switching over to the new tech toys...this is driving down the price of ultra high end prime lenses. Currently you can buy a Nikon 600, m/f for about $1,000.00. Give or take a few hundred depending on condition. The Nikon 300 2.8...same thing...anyware from $650.00-$1,800.00. These lenses come with hard shell cases and all the other goodies. These are incredibally good optical pieces of equipment that will stand the test of time...unlike the fragile NEW stuff...Another point is on the 600mm...MANUAL focus...this lens to me is more advantageous as it makes a great sunrise/sunset lens...With lens flare fooling the autofocus mechanism...in these conditions, I have found that I must set focus to manual anyway...so the M/F 600mm is a good score. It offers VERY GOOD focus track, MANUALLY...even as aircraft is coming towards you. The 300 doesn't do this...you have to have A/F. Point is...Ebay offers fantastic deals on HIGH END optics...It's worth the $$$..j
600mmf4 From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3351 times:
yep,really no doubt about it,a prime is really stunning in qual.!
My too primes-AF Nikkor 85mm 1:1,4D and AF-S Nikkor 400mm f2,8 IF-ED II-,the supertele even with 1,7 or 2x extender,performs so great,just dont want to miss them!