Backpacking Prime Collection vs Zoom + Prime

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JWreno
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Backpacking Prime Collection vs Zoom + Prime

Post by JWreno » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:54 am

I recently bought the Fujifilm X-T3 as a lighter alternative to my Canon 6D. It also has much better video at up to 60P 10 bit 4K video. The sensor is a 1.5 crop compared to my Canon 6D. I have had the camera for a few days but I like having all the dedicated controls for aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure.

I bought the camera with the 18-55 (27-83 equivalent) f/2.8-4 IOS zoom since it was only $300 more than the camera alone. I also bought the Rokinon 12mm f/2 for astronomy but it is manual and a little more work as a daytime prime. If I was happy with just zooms I would also buy the 10-24 (15-36 equivalent) f/4 lens since I enjoy my Canon 6D with it's 16-35mm f/4 zoom.

Here is my thought for a modest weight 3 prime kit for longer trips when I do want to play with night scapes with stars. I bought a Trail-Pix so we can leave the tripod at home.

Rokinon 12mm f/2 9 oz.
Fujifilm XF23mm f/2 6 oz.
Fujifilm XF50mm f/2 7 oz.
Total weight 19 camera + 22 lens = 41 oz.

This would give me a 18, 35 and 75mm equivalent set of primes. I would keep my XF23mm f/2 on the camera on a shoulder strap clip for most of my on trail quick shots when I don't want my family waiting for a lens change.

My 2nd choice would be

Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 with IOS 14.5 oz
Fujifilm XF50mm f/2 7 oz
Total weight 19 camera + 22.5 lens = 41.5 oz
The IOS on the zoom would be useful for stabilizing video but I wouldn't have a good astrophotography lens unless my son carried the Rokonin 12mm.

3rd choice is what I currently own
Rokinon 12mm f/2 9 oz.
Fujifilm XF18-55 f/2.8-4 11 oz
Total weight 19 camera + 20 lens = 40 oz.

I wonder who else is using 2-3 primes instead of bringing a zoom. I might miss the IOS zoom for video.I like having a less heavy lens on my camera while on the shoulder strap clip but I did find the Canon 16-35mm IS zoom convenient for its focal length range. The X-T3 with XF10-24 would weight about 34 vs the 48 oz of the Canon 6D with 16-35mm that I carried for a 3 week JMT trip. My wife will be carrying a Sony RX100 m6 with a 24-200mm equivalent zoom so we would use that when we need the reach with the longer zoom.


Jeff






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SSSdave
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Re: Backpacking Prime Collection vs Zoom + Prime

Post by SSSdave » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:11 pm

Hand held street/news/portrait shooters often use large aperture primes in order to be able to shoot at widest apertures at higher ISO settings plus IS, thus faster shutter speeds so hand held movement blurring does not have as much effect. Thus they are not using those primes for best possible image quality but rather to improve acceptable hand held work for their modest output purposes. And such becomes more an issue with dimmer subjects.

On the other hand are those like this person interested in highest image quality of mostly static subjects that use primes at lowest ISO's, best middle optical apertures, with a good tripod, preferably in reasonable daytime natural light, with shutter speeds relatively unimportant.

If reason for primes is to be able to shoot at higher shutter speeds for less hand held blur, then adding all those primes is a significant penalty. Simply using a heavier stable tripod with zooms would result in better image quality. Otherwise using good primes hand held won't result in images with as much detail as those shot with zooms on a tripod. Forget testing such with your wide angle lenses. Take a several X telephoto and try and hold it stable. With the high digital sensor resolutions of this era even with IS (that also adds an IQ penalty), look in your viewfinder while hand holding and watch all the little jiggles regardless of how stable you think you are.

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JWreno
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Re: Backpacking Prime Collection vs Zoom + Prime

Post by JWreno » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:17 am

I agree that daytime zooms with IS are easier handheld and do well at f/5.6-8 for most of my needs. I want one astro prime (Rokinon 12mm f/2 and maybe a light f/2 35 or 50mm prime for lower light. I think the XF 10-24 IS zoom would be very useful for daytime. I don't think I will be carrying any telephoto on a hike and just leave the telephoto to my wife's Sony RX100 m6 which can go to 200mm equivalent.

I tested the Trail-Pix and think it will do very well with my X-T3 using a remote cable shutter release.
Jeff

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