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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:07 am 
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Hello everyone!
It's only my second post but I am a regular lurker and I enjoy reading stuff I can find here. Gordon, I really, really like your reviews and video clips. Keep up good work!

I've been trying to get back into slr photography which I abandoned around 1991-92. In those times zoom lenses were pretty horrible pieces of work and then I would not hesitate to pick up prime over a zoom anytime. But times change, technology goes ahead and I was wondering how much better current zooms are? I've noticed that people posting to these forums use mostly zooms. But these zooms are still usually f3.5-5.6 and that's what puts me off. VRs, ISs and other stabilisation stuff sounds like a gimmick to me. I just loved primes that gather so much light that one could shoot at night and without a tripod, well maybe this is slight exaggeration but you get my drift. Or am I just an old fart that should try new zooms instead of whingeing how crappy they were in the old days :wink:
Why do you guys use zooms? Convenience, price, performace, quality? What makes you use a zoom?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:27 am 
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Hi csnaus, welcome to the Cameralabs forums! I reckon a few people might want to reply to this, so I've moved it to the General comments section...

Have zooms improved, or have people got lazy? I'd say a bit of both coupled with them simply being in fashion. I've always said some of the best photos I've taken are with primes, and that you end up with a more creative shot when you have to move around the subject to get an angle which works - as oppose to standing rooted to the spot, zooming in and out.

Primes are also still generally faster, lighter, smaller and better quality than zooms - and there are some bargains out there, like most 50mm f1.8s...

I think one of the biggest problems facing primes today though is dust. It's a real problem for DSLRs and a zoom simply minimises the need to swap lenses and run the risk of dust entering the body...

IS isn't a gimmick though, and you'll find it on many primes too...

What does everyone else think?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:01 pm 
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Gordon Laing wrote:
... I think one of the biggest problems facing primes today though is dust. It's a real problem for DSLRs and a zoom simply minimises the need to swap lenses and run the risk of dust entering the body...


Of course this one! I didn't think about it. It's never been a huge problem in the old days of film cameras, has it? One tick for zooms :!:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:02 pm 
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On the other hand...the action of zooming can create suction within the lens which will take in dust that way.

Zorro.

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 Post subject: Suction
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:16 pm 
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zorro wrote:
On the other hand...the action of zooming can create suction within the lens which will take in dust that way.

I'm not sure how universally true that is. I only have two zooms, both Canon, so my sample size is small but as far as I can tell, and it's not easy to see, the rear lens assembly on both seems pretty airtight so while dust may enter the lens due to suction I don't think it will get from there into the camera body. Just speculation on my part, however.

Bob.

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Last edited by Bob Andersson on Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Suction
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Bob Andersson wrote:
zorro wrote:
On the other hand...the action of zooming can create suction within the lens which will take in dust that way.

I'm not sure how universally true that is. I only have two zooms, both Canon, so my sample size is small but as far as I can tell, and it's not easy to see, the rear lens assembly on both seems pretty airtight so while dust [i]may[/u] enter the lens due to suction I don't think it will get from there into the camera body. Just speculation on my part, however.

Bob.


Speculation? Hmph!

Actually, me too :lol:

Zorro.

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 Post subject: Speculation
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:16 pm 
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.
I wonder whether I could get a new definition for Speculation in Wiktionary along the lines of:
    Speculation - Spots before the eyes. Impedes clear vision. :)
Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:58 pm 
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Sheesh, everyone knows spots before the eyes is attributable to dust in the viewfinder.

Call yourself an expert? :lol:

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:06 pm 
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Bob and zorro,
I can see that both of you are using camera models that I have been looking at buying. Originally I was convinced that D80 is the way to go but now considering dust removal system of 400D (even if it does not remove 100% of dust) and my inclination to go with primes, Canon looks like a better option for me. Or can you make a general conclusion: if you want to play with primes then look at camera body with dust removal. Would you agree?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:33 pm 
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Hi csnaus, I wish I could say dust removal systems were 100% effective - sadly none of them are. Every DSLR owner will experience dust at some point, so unless someone comes out with a super-duper new system, I wouldn't choose a new camera based on its anti-dust capabilities.

Unless it's a Four Thirds body (like Olympus and Panasonic) that is - they still suffer from dust, but the filter on which the dust settles is sufficiently far from the sensor itself for the marks to be rendered into very faint patches which are essentially invisible at all but the smallest apertures...

Check out the Features pages in our DSLR reviews for anti-dust reports...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:12 am 
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csnaus wrote:
...my inclination to go with primes, Canon looks like a better option for me...

Gordon's a wise man. I certainly wouldn't choose a camera because its anti-dust system was rated slightly better than another. Conversely, I probably wouldn't choose a camera with no anti-dust feature at all as every little helps. Even with one you definitely need to carry a blower in the camera bag if you make a habit of changing lenses.

Talking of which, provided the associated camera bodies tick the right boxes, choose your lens system first. Your lenses are likely to outlast any body you buy now.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:15 am 
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Bob Andersson wrote:
...Your lenses are likely to outlast any body you buy now. ...


Indeed, indeed...
That's why I am spending lots of time looking at lens options and camera bodies sort of come second. And that's the reason why I asked my original question.


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 Post subject: It's a Canon for me!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:00 am 
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Just came back from my local photo store where I was able to play with D80 and 400D. I loved size, weight and general feel of Canon body. Nikon is a beautiful machine but I did not like its size and weight. D80's LCD screen on the side is too hard on my old eyes so what I first thought to be a big advantage turned out to be not so useful for me. On the other hand display on 400D was bright and clear and I could read it without probs. So that's the one for me. But more importantly I was also looking at lenses and saw a Sigma 30mm (by 1.6 = 48, kind of old 50mm all rounders), f1.4 (don't you love that!) HSM which looked good and costs around AUD600. I thought that would be a good general purpose lens. I searched on the net and reviews are a mixed bag. Some people are happy, some say there are some problems with AF. Anyone here used this piece of glass?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:05 am 
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There's a thread about it here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=483


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:41 am 
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Unfortunately the size of the pics is to small to really judge the IQ of the lens :(

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