I am not a big fan of zooms. There, I said it. They are bigger and slower than most primes within their focal range. At wide and telephoto ends, distortion can also be a nuisance, but my biggest gripe comes from an artistic standpoint. When you have the option to stand still and zoom into a subject to take a photograph, it’s very easy to become lazy. This can really take the creativity out of a shot and its composition. Zooming speeds up the process leading one to get a quick grab rather than truly thinking about what the picture should look like. Super-zooms (such as the “do-it-all” 18-200 lenses) are my worst enemy because of this, though admittedly, they are okay lenses for traveling light.
That said, I look at the three zoom lenses in the Series-E collection and note how two offer only a 2x magnification (36-72 and 75-150) and the other a 3x magnification (70-210). This is rather interesting, as with the restricted zoom ranges (especially compared to the 11x magnification of an 18-200), these Series-E’s can be treated as two prime lenses in one. For the 75-150, I tend to leave it at either 75mm or 150mm, rarely zooming to the middle of the range. I move forward and backward to frame a shot as I otherwise would with a prime lens—though that may very well be a carried-over habit from only shooting prime lenses. The problems of a relatively slow maximum aperture and unwieldy length are still present, but the shooting process is a bit more enjoyable using this method.
All that aside I’m looking at reviewing the lens here, rather than the methods behind its use, so let’s move on to how this 2x zoom performs! Continue Reading