Today, the most popular first lens bought with a new body is a zoom. The…
Everyone by now has heard the sage old advice told to every young photographer without a zoom lens. Use your feet. Or Sneaker Zoom, as most of us old timers call it. Sneaker Zoom means getting closer or farther away from your subject to effectively change your angle of view without having to change the lens itself. With Sneaker Zoom, as long as I have the space to get in and out, I can work anything using only a wide angle lens, including getting some pretty unique looking images.
I prefer shooting with prime lenses, both for their extra speed and smaller, lighter physical footprint. I do like some of the extra creative options zoom lenses can provide. I love how I can use the parallax effects as creative tools. I use Sneaker Zoom distortion sometimes as creative elements in my photos, such as the ones on this page shot using the newest version Nikon 14mm-24mm f/2.8. Zooms can work at many points of perspective with a subject, as long as it is not required to move about. Using primes though means to change my angle of view, I either need to change lenses or change my position relative to my subject or subjects.
The nice thing about using a zoom lens is that you have much more freedom in your choice of compositions from any point of shooting. It is hard not to find a decent angle with a zoom, which is precisely why they are chosen by many. The downside, most zooms are slow, limited to f/2.8 at best, and often big and heavy even with an f/4 or greater aperture.
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