How on earth can anyone pick a camera with a prime lens (if you're just into photography, this refers to a lens with as fixed focal length) instead of a model with an all-purpose zoom lens?
Some photograpers on the Internet have asked.
Bearing in mind that some old hands with the Nat Geo used a prime lens throught their career, that I myself used the fixed 50mm and 28mm lenses for over a decade with my film Minolta, I have a definite answer springing to mind immediately: No prime, no gain.
Two decades ago when photography just came into my dictionary, and surely the time before, prime lenses were the order of the day. I had been repeatly taught that prime lens, besides being better in optical quality, was best for training a photographer's eyes.
The advantages of a zoom lens are two-fold. First, it gives the photographer an elbowroom in choosing different perspectives for the shot. Second, the photographer is with a wider choice in compostion.
But first things first: you've got to in the knowledge of which is the best choice. The training comes, among other things, best from a prime lens which make you think and give you headache in choosing the best by scouting a location, moving closer or farther away from the subject, climbing up a rock or going down the stairs, so on and so forth.
Now in the digital era when the serious compacts are getting closer to the needs of the photographers, I would certainly recommend those fancing a serious model with a prime lens to go ahead. You won't regret it, especially if the camera suits your style.
Simon Griffee, our fellow photographer located in Italy, has this to say about his choice of a GRD over a zoom-lens model : (a gist; focus on reason no. 4; full text here)
1) Superior handling and controls.
2) Light, small camera.
3) Optical viewfinder on the flash hot-shoe. I don’t like framing by looking at a screen.
4) Single lens focal length. I like working with one focal length for an extended period to ‘learn it.’ I find it helps me concentrate on the scene in front of me. I think I would prefer if it were 35mm rather than 28mm, but it’ll do (and there’s an add-on lens to change it to 40mm I think). Been shooting with a 50mm equivalent lens on the Leica almost exclusively for 2 years…personally it’s time to learn a wider view…
5) Proven support by Ricoh—they seem to listen to what photographers want in a small ‘serious’ compact… Other cool features like fast f/1.9 lens (in the new GRD III).
Lastly, the GRD just looks damn cool :-)
(Thank you Simon for allowing us to quote him; copyright of the relevant text belong to him.)
Postscript: If this is an ad, I will let you know. No, this is just some biased opinions of us.