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Has the high ISO capability of the latest DSLRs made prime lenses superflous ?

 
Edward Lever
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 12:37 on 3rd July 2017

I can see that for you, Andreas, sharpness is the most important factor, but this is a matter of personal preference and the type of photography you do.

Personally, I like the shallow depth of field obtainable with a prime at large apertures. I agree that the performance of a prime is often not great wide open, but this can be corrected to some extent using the in-camera lens correction profiles.

The comparison with the Sigma 18-35 and lets say the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is of limited use, because the Sigma is an APS-C lens and therefore cannot be used on a full-frame camera. There are faster Canon primes which outgun the Sigma in terms of maximum aperture. 

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Andreas LindbergPremier Member - Click for more info
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quotePosted at 21:11 on 3rd July 2017
On 3rd July 2017 12:37, Edward Lever wrote:

(1) I can see that for you, Andreas, sharpness is the most important factor, but this is a matter of personal preference and the type of photography you do.

(2) Personally, I like the shallow depth of field obtainable with a prime at large apertures.

(3) I agree that the performance of a prime is often not great wide open, but this can be corrected to some extent using the in-camera lens correction profiles.

(4) The comparison with the Sigma 18-35 and lets say the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is of limited use, because the Sigma is an APS-C lens and therefore cannot be used on a full-frame camera.

(5) There are faster Canon primes which outgun the Sigma in terms of maximum aperture. 


1) I completely agree with what you said about personal preference and type of photography.

2) I also like shallow DOF, very much so. But one doesn't necessarily need a prime for that. A constant field of view provided, DOF only depends on the aperture.

3) Correction profiles, either in-camera or in, say, Photoshop can not correct for lack of sharpness.

4) I would not compare those two because they don't share a focal length. The fact that the Sigma is for APS-C is irrelevant for a comparision of lenses on, as I said earlier, the same body. We need to compare apples with apples.

5) That is of course correct and I never claimed otherwise.
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Andreas LindbergPremier Member - Click for more info
Andreas Lindberg
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quotePosted at 21:39 on 3rd July 2017

This image was taken with the Sigma 18-35 on the 60D at 18mm and f/1.8.
If you want shallower DOF with this sharpness on APS-C, your only bet will probably be the Canon 35/1.4 II which is nearly three times the price of the Sigma. Or one of the Zeiss Otus lenses which cost more than double the Canon money.

 

Kingston Lacy
Picture by Andreas Lindberg


 



Edited by: Andreas Lindberg at:3rd July 2017 21:45
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Edward Lever
Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 22:26 on 3rd July 2017

This image of mine is an example of what I mean by the shallow depth of field which makes an image 'pop' from the page. I used a Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime at maximum aperture on a very old Canon 5D for that shot.

As for the usefulness of lens correction profiles (either in camera or in photoshop), I agree that sharpness cannot be corrected by this process. However, peripheral illumination drop-off, chromatic aberration and distortion can largely be eliminated by lens profile correction. Perhaps the most important parameter to be corrected with a wide open lens is peripheral illumination (even good quality lenses show significant fall-off in exposure at the edges when used wide open).

Andreas, if I may so so, you seem to be obsessed with sharpness, but there are many other factors which contribute to making a good image. 

 

Memorial to Trooper Potts VC outside the Forbury Gardens, Reading

Picture by Edward Lever


Edited by: Edward Lever at:4th July 2017 10:00
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Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 17:53 on 4th July 2017

“Good” images are a matter of opinion. This is clearly illustrated by the content on POE. My views on this have been aired to death in older posts.in fact it made me "go away" for a while.

As for sharpness, I do believe, that in images involving many subjects, sharpness and accurate focus coupled with wise aperture choices, helps considerably. I have, and will continue to strive for what I consider to be the appropriate amount of sharpness, even if that requires post production (heresy!). Post production was used by me in my old darkroom. My new “darkroom” has Photoshop CC and it’s great, and done without a red light. I wish I never felt the need to crop or alter what is stored in my camera, but sadly my exiguous skills have their all too obvious limits.

Our choice of which lens to use, is a personal one, be it zooms or, primes or even for the few, pinholes. The result is all that really matters. How you get there is all part of this great medium called photography.     

These are of course my opinions only.

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Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 17:56 on 4th July 2017
Oh yes, my answer to the original question is: Not entirely.
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Edward Lever
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quotePosted at 17:37 on 29th August 2017
On 4th July 2017 17:56, Rod Burkey wrote:
Oh yes, my answer to the original question is: Not entirely.


Thank you for your distilled words of wisdom, Rod. I suppose your final answer equates to  'it all depends'. 

The fact that the manufacturers continue to make primes and zooms proves that there is still a demand for both types of lens.  A serious amateur will usually acquire a selection of zooms and primes over the years. How they are used depends on the photographer's inclination, skill, and what camera bodie(s) they have at their disposal. Thankfully, no two photographers are alike, otherwise it would all be so predictable.



Edited by: Edward Lever at:29th August 2017 19:29
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Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 23:48 on 29th August 2017
Well said Edward. To each his own. 
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Rod Burkey
Rod Burkey
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quotePosted at 12:20 on 31st August 2017

It's a shame that the photography forum posts attract almost no response. I suppose they hold no interest, so as the Two Ronnies once said, "It's goodnight from me......"

No use flogging a dead horse.

  

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