Conventional wisdom says that prime (non-zoom) lenses are the highest quality lenses money can buy. But that wisdom is being challenged by high quality zoom lenses that match or even rival the sharpness and contrast of the best primes. Make no mistake, the best zoom lenses aren’t cheap or small. But the convenience afforded by a zoom lens, even an inexpensive one, to crop with a twist of the wrist or the touch of a button is hard to resist.
The ubiquity of the zoom on compact cameras and as part of SLR kits may have led some to believe that zooming in on a subject is the same as getting physically closer. But there is a big difference between zooming with your lens and “zooming” with your feet.