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Learn with prime or zoom first?
My cameraNikon D300 + Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR AF-S+ Nikon 35mm f/2 AF-D+ flash Nikon SB800.

My settingTake photos of my family at home in dim available light..

My personChanged from Point and Shoot to DSLR over the past 3 months..

There was some saying that we should learn prime first.Only after mastering prime, should I venture into the zoom land.Does anyone agree with this? Or is this old school..

Of course the 18-200mm is much more convenient.I bought the 35/2 lens to try available light, butI never think I get good results with dim light.With bounced flash, it looks good..

Is there anything to gain by more experience with prime?Is 35mm way better than the 18-200mm at 35mm?.

Many thanks...

Comments (6)

KennethKwok wrote:.

There was some saying that we should learn prime first.Only after mastering prime, should I venture into the zoom land.Does anyone agree with this? Or is this old school..

Utter old-school rubbish. Developing an eye for good composition is irrelevant with zoom or prime. I dare say a zoom might be better for beginners, as they can compare one scene to another and see how it changes perspective etc..

Of course the 18-200mm is much more convenient.I bought the 35/2 lens to try available light, butI never think I get good results with dim light.With bounced flash, it looks good..

Don't follow others' solutions. If flash works for you and you're happy with the result, that's all that matters. If you want to learn how to use the prime better, keep practicing with it. Btw, in which way you're not happy with the results. We might be able to offer more help if you can be specific.

Is there anything to gain by more experience with prime?Is 35mm way better than the 18-200mm at 35mm?.

A prime lens is designed for that specific focal length (35mm in this scenario). The quality is better, but that doesn't mean you can see the difference in all cases..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comment #1

I don't think you'll actually learn more with one lens over another. The IQ of that 35 f2 is so good, you might be spoiled at some point, IMO. The only thing the zoom gets you is that you don't have to zoom with your feet as you have to with a prime. I can't see how that changes the learning process much..

Learn good composition, exposure and technique and don't worry about which lens you're using. Bounce flash is nice, but you've got Nikon's CLS which allows easy off camera flash triggering. Try that. You'll be quite surprised how that improves your portraits amazingly. Get a cheap light stand with a strobe grip..

Have fun learning..

Http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html.

Http://www.diyphotography.net/...mposition-the-rule-of-thirds-or-golden-ratioCheers, Craig..

Comment #2

It is so good to receive such to-the-point andconstructive advices..

I might try "remote" flash after I master more ofmy "on-camera" flash, if that's how I call it.It certainly feels cool..

When I try available light, without flash with the35/2.0,first, the shutter was too slow, with blurred photos,which I increase minimum shutter to 1/60 secondsat the forum's advice.The colour does not look too yellow, as my home lightis very yellowish. After I "preset" / "set the whitebalance to a white piece of paper, the skin colour is more"natural"/less "yellow".BUT, even the subject (my 2 year old daughter), does notlook very "sharp" compared to18-200/3.5-5.6 + flash..

35/2 + flash looks good..

So, the complaint is that it (35/2) does not look very sharpwhen it's not with flash..

I look forward to your comments, as I feel it's probably me,than the wonderful Nikon 35/2..

Comment #3

You've got quite good gear there .

I wouldn't worry too much about what they say. It should be fun and pleasing to YOUR eye. Using a prime and zoom with your feet to get things right is good, though, when out and about not versatile enough. Thing is, don't be lazy. Get as close as you can, then zoom. Sweet spot for zooms is mostly somewhere in the middle, not at the ends.The prime will be used when you know in advance what you are going to shoot:low-light indoors for instance, it is also less obtrusive..

The 18-200 can not compete with the prime, it has max F 3.5 and as a rule, primes are sharper. But when you use them both at F8 at 35 mm you will be hard pressed noticing differences. Most differences will be the nicer OOF-areas (bokeh) in macro or portrait..

With high-iso and F 2.8 on "S" and dial in lower speeds, you will hardly notice the bounce-flash. Things may be a bit dark underexposed, grainy, noisy, capturing the mood is the objective not? Try to shoot a burning candle at the speed you can still see the flame and it's shadows. That will also be the speed to see the candles' glow on the face(s)..

Have fun experimenting.

Http://s259.photobucket.com/albums/hh315/alex_837/Just trying to get better.......

Comment #4

I understand the logic of what you are saying. Back when I first started taking pictures, I would use new lenses exclusively until I felt so comfortable with them, I could concentrate on seeing and capturing images without fiddling with the equipment. But complex digital cameras and do everything zooms have changed how we learn photography. Or maybe we don't learn the craft of photography anymore, just how to take pictures..

One thing you can do is use a tripod. Using a tripod will slow you down and force you to think more about composition and the content of your photographs. VR lenses do not replace good photographic techniques..

KennethKwok wrote:.

There was some saying that we should learn prime first.Only after mastering prime, should I venture into the zoom land.Does anyone agree with this? Or is this old school..

Larry Bermanhttp://BermanGraphics.com..

Comment #5

Since the 35 is close to what they call 'normal', you might glean something.

From this thread. http://www.prime-junta.net/...raphy_lessons/j_Lesson_9/a_The_Faithful_50.html.

Regards,.

JamesDW..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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