I've looked at longer primes from Nikon 200mm/2, 400mm/2.8, etc but I've also seen Telezooms such as the Sigma 150-500 and Tamron 150-600. I know that primes are usually sharper than their zoom counterparts and in many cases more expensive. I've used my 24mm/1.8 over my 16-50 kit zoom and in these focal lengths it is usually not hard to walk backwards or forward to compose the shot.


Are telezooms worth their price in terms of sharpness given their inability to zoom in the telephoto range? (I don't know if it's possible to walk back or forward shooting at this range.) Related do people usually use primes more so than zooms when they are shooting birds or other animals far away?

I'm guessing people prefer zooms?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What it's worth? That's basically the money you can make with the primes that you wouldn't be able to make if you didn't own them. And that typically depends on whether your customer/publisher cares about it. But note that another big benefit is the larger aperture that a prime usually has compared to a zoom, meaning shorter exposure times = capturing action. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 6:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ For example it is much easier to keep chromatic aberration down for a prime than to achieve the same over the full range of a zoom lens \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 8, 2016 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


I really think this depends on what your are using it for. Generally, most people would get the prime because they have better aptures than their zoom counterparts. Also, for things like birding, most people usually just get a 600mm prime or something along the lines. The reason to not get the zoom is that they can usually just crop the photo if they didn't get close enough.

so generally, most people do prefer zooms because of how convenient they are, but in the ranges of 400-800, i assume most people opt for the primes due to their better performance.


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