Comparing Zoom vs. Prime Lenses

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

I like using prime lenses, but when I am unsure of what the layout of the land will be on my travels with several people, I prefer to take a zoom lens. On an outing to Wave Hill, a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx, NY, overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades, I carried the Olympus M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 Pro, my first tryout for this lens. It is bulkier than a prime, but manageable on my camera. As a benefit, there would be no need to switch lenses. I could keep up with the group’s wanderings and snap candids en route.

Wave Hill has many gardens scattered about the walking paths. Trees and assorted flowers abound and there is an aquatic pool filled with growing grasses and water lilies. Amidst its abundant growth, a large goldfish shimmered past in the pond’s darkness. A lotus flower stood erect, head and shoulders above the grasses.

Looking about, I caught a glimpse of a child in overalls with a single pigtail peering through an opening in the bushes. She may have been playing peek-a-boo with the tall figure in the distance. The scene reminded me of a secret garden scenario.

The zoom worked well enabling me to capture the variety of scenes at different focal lengths and also to keep up with my wandering group. I have more excursions in mind with this lens.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and the M. Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 Pro lens; the goldfish at 70mm with an exposure of 1/1250 sec at f/4, -1/3 EV, ISO 400; the child at 21mm with an exposure of 1/30 sec at f/11, -2/3 EV, ISO 400; the aquatic garden at 34mm with an exposure of 1/2500 at f/4, -1/3 EV, ISO 400.


Mildred’s books Winter Garden and Seedhead and St. Agnes Public Library Exhibit are available from MagCloud in print or digital form at most affordable prices.