Zoom or two bodies with primes?

May 31, 2017
124
Central Florida
Timothy Williams
I may have made my mind up this morning. I started with the 16, shifted to the 90, too tight. Settled on the 23 which is happening a lot lately. The 16 may have just got the ax as I'm not seeing through it anymore. The 23 may be my prime. I naturally frame it better. The 16-55 will cover the rest of the low end.
 
May 31, 2017
124
Central Florida
Timothy Williams
I gotten familiar with the 35mm view the last year and it just clicked as a small prime that I frame easily, landscape or street. I still have a 12 f2 Samyang for ultra wide stuff which I'm shooting very rarely these days, but I'll hold on to it. The 18-55 does a good job and I'm sure the 16-55 will be better if I'm steady. What will really piss me off is if I spring for it and then an OIS version is introduced.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
124
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Tony
I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks going through thousands of images in my archives. I've owned a lot of different cameras, and have gotten nice images with all of them. It seems I've had a lingering wanderlust to try different gear, but I keep being drawn back to Fuji. Possibly the best images I got were with the X-T20 I owned briefly, but I wasn't enamored with the handling of that camera. I also found myself lingering in the folders with many nice images from my old X-T1.

With retirement looming, I've decided to make a seismic shift in my camera gear. Although I have enjoyed my stay in that world, gone soon will be the mu4/3 gear. Gone also will be the A7II and FE 35mm/2.8. I've ordered a like new X-T2 from mpb, as well as an XF 18-55, a brilliant little lens that I never should have sold. The adapted lenses that have been trickling into my house over the past few months will go on eBay.

I'm reducing my kit down to the X-T2, XF 18-55, and XF 55-200. I don't need multiple bodies, and I don't need multiple lenses cluttering my desk and shelves. The size and weight of Fuji cameras and lenses fits my ethos, and I'm looking forward to once again using the Q menu and Fuji film simulations. For the type of outdoor activities I enjoy, this kit should serve me for a long time.
 
Feb 6, 2015
124
Central Ohio, USA
Andrew
I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks going through thousands of images in my archives. I've owned a lot of different cameras, and have gotten nice images with all of them. It seems I've had a lingering wanderlust to try different gear, but I keep being drawn back to Fuji. Possibly the best images I got were with the X-T20 I owned briefly, but I wasn't enamored with the handling of that camera. I also found myself lingering in the folders with many nice images from my old X-T1.

With retirement looming, I've decided to make a seismic shift in my camera gear. Although I have enjoyed my stay in that world, gone soon will be the mu4/3 gear. Gone also will be the A7II and FE 35mm/2.8. I've ordered a like new X-T2 from mpb, as well as an XF 18-55, a brilliant little lens that I never should have sold. The adapted lenses that have been trickling into my house over the past few months will go on eBay.

I'm reducing my kit down to the X-T2, XF 18-55, and XF 55-200. I don't need multiple bodies, and I don't need multiple lenses cluttering my desk and shelves. The size and weight of Fuji cameras and lenses fits my ethos, and I'm looking forward to once again using the Q menu and Fuji film simulations. For the type of outdoor activities I enjoy, this kit should serve me for a long time.
When I sold off all my Fuji back in the day (my X-E1, 18/2, 35/1.4, 55-200) days...my biggest regrets are losing the IQ of the 35/1.4 - but not the AF speed, that annoyed the heck out of me....and the 55-200. That 55-200, at the time was an awesome performer even wide open and at the time was way better IQ/sharpness than the comparable Nikon 70-300 zooms at the time.

Now that I'm back into Fuji with the X-E3, I'm looking to supplement my 18-55 with the 55-200. I also picked up a used Mitakon Lens turbo II for cheap and will support the faster apertures I need with my older nikon legacy primes. Today, I'm wanting to test the Nikon 200/4 QC.
 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
124
I've always been a practitioner of the two identical bodies and two zooms. Old habits die hard, and two identical bodies reduces the possibility (but not entirely thanks to user error!) of muscle memory failure when manipulating the controls. The zooms are my preference to carrying too many lenses - there's very few times when it's the "right" time to swap when I'm out and about. As long as the zooms approximate the quality of the primes, I have no qualms about any image quality being compromised.

I have to say that the 16-55 is stunningly good, and I had very little to complain about with the 18-55. Same-same with the 55-200 vice 50-140. The improvements of the Red Badges though show up in my post-process; there's simply another level of color repro, contrast and sharpness that the slower XFs can't reach, especially in marginal lighting situations where I often am. And that's expected - camera optics are very much one place where what you pay for performance margins can be clearly measured and articulated.
 

Phoenix

All-Pro
Dec 28, 2011
124
Melbourne, Australia
Phoenix Gonzales
I have gone through this dilemma in the past, I enjoy shooting with primes immensely but I cannot deny the convenience of using a zoom. I have had many a sleepless night debating this with myself, especially when the Xpro 2 came out the and the price of Xpro1 has gone down. Should I get a zoom? Should I get an extra body and mount another prime?

The answers I have given myself are;
  • If I was shooting for a paid job where capturing the image is paramount, I’d use a zoom. It’s not that I can’t do just as good a job with a prime, it’s just that using a zoom would give me more of an advantage, and considering it’s for my livelihood, I would welcome that.

  • As to whether I should get another body for a prime, I told myself to remove the lens currently attached to the camera then attach the other prime I want to use. Apparently that’s why they’re interchangeable lens cameras, to be able to change lenses.

  • It depends on how you shoot, do you shoot with the intent of shooting? Carrying a tripod, a flash umbrella, a couple of reflectors? I usually shoot when going on leisurely strolls and when I’m on holidays. I don’t carry a lot of photo gear, and It’s a lot easier to carry an extra lens, compared to an extra camera with a lens.
 

KillRamsey

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2012
124
Hood River, OR
Kyle
My 2 cents, for what little it may be useful…

- I thought for years that having a second body would be a LOT more valuable to me than the same $ spent on a 5th or 6th lens. That’s proven to be correct. The 2nd body stops me from changing lenses out in the wind and dirt. And dust/dirt is why I’ve eventually had to replace 2 shutters now. It’s also small enough (XE3 now living alongside XT1) that both can fit in a rather modestly sized Domke F5B bag with any lens that’s XF18-55 sized or smaller on each.

- I thought I might be annoyed by the 2 bodies not being the same model. That’s been mostly not the case. There’s a moment’s glitch as muscle memory switches over, sure. But I shoot with both enough to make that glitch VERY brief. What I didn’t anticipate was how nice it is to have a choice between the two when I’m only taking one… hear me out.

**When I need quick access to video, it’s the XT1 and its dedicated little red button up top.
**When things might get damp or dirty, it’s the weather-sealed XT1.
**When I’m going to be wearing warm gloves while shooting, it’s probably the XT1 and its better grip, unless some other compelling reason overrides.
**When I’m focusing manually (rokinon 12 I’m looking at you), it’s the XT1. MUCH easier to do with split screen center 100% mag available, vs. the XE3.

**When I absolutely need SMALL, it’s the XE3 (and very likely the XF27 pancake).
**When it’s low light and I need quick focus, it’s the XE3. Hands down faster processing and focusing, especially in low light.

- As for what lenses on each, that varies so, so much. I like the images I get from primes better, and I like most of the shooting experience better, just not in a wedding / working environment perhaps, when there are quick surprises you can’t miss. Often I roll with the Rokinon 12 on the XT1, and the XF35 1.4 on the XE3. That’s a delightful, killer combo. And it’s probably what I’ll hike the grand canyon with in the Fall, down to Havasupai, with possibly the XC50-230 stashed in a separate lens case.
 
Dec 31, 2013
124
Louisville, Ky
After reading everyone's thoughts. And a lot of pondering. I think that I will keep the 16-55, as it is a great lens. Plus I have an extra sharp copy. Like @Phoenix , I prefer using primes, and the results I get from them. But there are times when even two bodies is not better than one good zoom. Like when we go trail riding in the Jeeps.

With that said, I am also going to start saving to buy a second Pro2, or T2. When I am doing behind the scenes and other things, two bodies would be awesome. This will give me the flexibility of two primes, two zooms, or a prime and zoom.
 
Dec 31, 2013
124
Louisville, Ky
I'm bumping this back up due to a change of mind over the past month. Since having this discussion, my 16-55 has literally sat unused. With the exception of getting it out just to use it, during a family get together for my boys' birthday yesterday. And even then I wound up switching it out for the 35mm 1.4. So I'm putting it up for sale. Then getting either another Pro2, or a X-H1 while the really good deals are still on.
 

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