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Toronto, CA
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DanielOB Registered since 01st Nov 2005
Thu 23-Mar-06 01:41 AM

Just went through the tread about zoom vs. prime lenses.
As I could see many photogs says that zoom lens is better than prime lens. Photography is a fun for many and to be really fun I can accept it for the fun reason. But only for the fun, or in other words who care just lets shoot.

If outside that quality frame I cannot get such a point. If it is really true I would say prime is worst than zoom.

This is my point:
every lens element has manufacturing tolerances and roughness on its surface, which influences image "quality". All errors are cumulative. In assembly every lens element has its relative position tolerances along the lens and in radial direction. Some groups of elements in zoom (especialy in autofocus lenses) are even loose, movement sake. How important is exact relative position of the lens elements can be seen through some high quality lenses that even in the most precise manufacturing they cannot be positioned accurately enough so mechanical accuracy is improved by adding one optical element that make opticaly smaller mechanical tolerances. Now and more elements make more flare, that is more soft image, or less sharp (sharpness is subjective lens quality) due to contrast drop. One lens with 15 elements has (do not know exactly by hart) 100 times more reflective surfaces than one lens with 6 elements. It is really funny that one say zoom is better than prime lens. I have to say also that image quality is depend of photographers standard for what is good image. Details in highlight or shade reproduction, lost tones, flat and lifeless image, different lens fidelity on left and right side on image might be do not bother many so accordingly his zoom is good lens. And now are many prime Nikkors so bad that even and zoom with 15-20 elements outperform them. I do not think so.
Look at 1.4/85d AF lens. Just two elements more that Leica but filter size 77 mm and 67 in Leica. It is partially due to loose autofocus elements that have to be opticaly corrected. So how about the same lens with 15 elements. Guys get down.

So what are your points that zoom is better that prime. Again if you find any photograph that prove it then say: this prime is terrible it is worst than zoom.

It is not intention to push down your beloved zoom lens. If you like it use it, you paid for it by your hard work. I have only two Nikkors 1.4/85d and 2.8/55 micro, so I know what they can make, and do not tell me any zoom is better. For other primes I can judge just through Nikon reputation and cannot beleive they are (again) soooo bad. Do not forget that lenses cannot be compared through internet images comparison.

Daniel OB