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Reader Question: Zooms vs Primes for Mirrorless?

Reader Glenn K writes:

Sometime, when you are musing on things to write about, I would be curious to hear your thoughts on the current state of zooms vs primes.

Primes can still, clearly, outperform zooms in many cases, but the margin of superiority (except perhaps corners) is getting pretty small when you consider the best available zooms. For example, the Nikkor Z 24-70 f/2.8 seems exceptional, while the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 is good.

One begins to wonder if the advantages of more control on framing with the zoom, e.g. using it at 39 mm wouldn't outweigh the prime. And 16-35 mm zooms are getting much better.

The Sony GM is ranked very highly and we can hope that the forthcoming Nikkor Z is as good or better. All of this has me rethinking my hiking kit to two zooms over 3-4 primes. Although the Voightlander 21mm f/1.4 might stymie that plan.

DIGLLOYD: nothing wrong with a mostly zoom kit with a prime lens or two for important situations. Many of the zooms are really good. Things get tricky when doing panoramas and such, and/or shooting in dim conditions (lens speed), plus it’s awfully nice to have a compact lens or two for carry purposes.

CLICK TO VIEW: Best Zooms for Mirrorless

I’d bet on Canon for the best optics in mirrorless, but Canon has no high resolution camera body as yet.

Sony has the broadest lens so far.

f4 @ 3.2 sec, ISO 50; 2019-07-16 20:36:03
Canon EOS R + Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM @ 35mm
ENV: Lundy Canyon, altitude 8150 ft / 2484 m, 58°F / 14°C
RAW: Enhance Details

[low-res image for bot]


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