Why do I love my Contax Zeiss primes so much? I prefer them over Canon zooms just about any day. At least, any day I have time to change lenses between setups. Consider the following two frame grabs of my coffee mug…
Besides being faster (enabling me to shoot the first frame at ISO 1000 and requiring the second one to be shot at ISO 1600), the Zeiss has a dreaminess to it. And that bokeh with it’s hooked aperture blades? Pure magic. The Canon has a little higher contrast both in color and luma. But I would call that “clinical sharpness.”
Nevertheless, if you see me rolling handheld you’ll probably see me rocking a Canon zoom, for one reason: the ability to keep shooting without having to change lenses all the time is priceless for documentary work. Not to mention that you can do with a single zoom what you’d need a whole Pelican case full of fixed lens glass to do.
But if I’ve got the time, don’t get between me and my primes!