Before diving in and getting your prime lens, do your research. With a variety of sensor sizes now available, it's not quite as clear-cut now. Please refresh the page and try again. There’s a lot to like about Prime Lenses and most serious photographers will own at least one or two. Even with the very best glass. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like... What prime lenses do you own? With few moving parts, prime lenses are more compact and lighter than their zoom siblings - perfect if you want to travel light. There are a couple of reasons for this choice. My Personal Journey. They generally have less moving parts and so manufacturers are able to concentrate their efforts on adding quality glass and menanisms. Of course it’s not as simple as this and quality is determined by many factors and as a result price varies a lot even in the prime lens range of most manufacturers. In an age when zoom lenses are all the range – I’ve been surprised to be getting more and more questions about prime lenses of late. Keep in mind however that just because it’s a prime lens doesn’t mean that it is going to be of the highest standards. The main two reasons given by prime lens lovers are: Maximum Aperture – one of the biggest arguments used by prime lens lovers is the speed that prime lenses are able to offer. (I’m particularly interested in the recommendations of non Canon users to help balance the recommendations). This will force the shutter speed to be extended, allowing you to shoot wide-open at f/1.4 or f/1.8 and avoid overexposing the shot. A maximum aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.8 enables you to blur the background much more effectively than you'd be able to with a budget 18-55mm zoom lens. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. For example, in the Canon range the fastest lenses available are all prime lenses (down to f/1.2) where as in the zoom range f/2.8 is as fast as you’ll get. Another big bonus of using prime lenses is that they're usually 'faster'. Manufacturers make a range of lenses at different price point (zoom and prime) and some are always going to be better than others. Because a lot of prime lenses are so small and light, they make great travel photography lenses. Firstly, prime lenses are likely to be faster than zooms, which means they allow more control over depth of field in shots. That said, some expensive primes with lots of quality glass elements that's matched by a tank-like build quality can be heavy beasts to lug around. That's because it gives pretty much the same perspective as viewing a scene with the human eye, without the magnification of a telephoto lens or the shrinkage a wide-angle lens uses to squeeze more into the frame. You may think you need a 24mm prime lens, but a quick look at the focal lengths you use most in Lightroom (or similar) might reveal that in actual fact you tend to shoot more at a focal length of 28 or 35mm with your zoom lens. I’m a Canon user and have three prime lenses that I’ve used and love: is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. Invest in a neutral density filter if you want to shoot with large apertures in sunny … TechRadar is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. With all that in mind, to help you get more from your fixed-focal length optic we've offered up below our 9 points you should know about using prime lenses. In low light you'd be limited to a shutter speed of, say, 1/15sec with a typical zoom (unless you increase your ISO setting). More light is let in when the shutter opens, meaning… What do you see as their advantages and disadvantages. If your budget can stretch to it, It's a good idea to buy a professional optic, such as a full-frame compatible lens, even if you currently use an APS-C format DSLR. An important factor to consider when you're buying a prime lens is which focal length to go for. What Lens to Buy: 24mm Prime. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Prime lenses will be a preferred option for photographers specialising in portraiture or landscape/architectural photography. Weight – once again, a simple lens with less moving parts can mean that in many cases prime lenses are smaller and lighter than zooms. © It future-proofs you in case you ever decide to trade up to a full-frame camera later on. Invest in a neutral density filter if you want to shoot with large apertures in sunny conditions. Cyber Monday deals: see all the best offers right now! Variable NDs are a great option when you're shooting video and want the cinematic, shallow depth of field that's all the rage. Perhaps there’s a return to a more ‘pure’ or ‘back to basics’ form of photography going on? Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. ). Prime Lens Typically used in portrait photography , primes lenses work just as beautifully as landscape lenses, and are especially adept at capturing urban landscapes (especially urban ones! My father is a great photographer. An f/1.8 lens is 3.3 stops faster than an f/5.6 lens, and even an f/2.8 model is two stops faster. The 'fastest' lenses have apertures of f/1.4 or f/1.8 and enable higher shutter speeds and reduced depth of field. Zoom lenses are also often more prone to ghosting and flare. With a zoom lens, it's easy to get lazy and zoom in and out, letting the lens do the hard work for you, but a prime lens makes you have to think about the shot much more, which intern forces you to be more creative with your composition and exposure. Sharpness should also be excellent, so you can really make the most of the high-resolution sensors fitted to current digital cameras. If you've got a DSLR with an APS-C sized sensor like a Canon EOS Rebel T7i (EOS 800D) or Nikon D3500, things are a little different because of the crop factor applied, with a 35mm lens providing pretty much the same perspective as a 50mm lens on a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Visit our corporate site. Switch to a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens and the largest available aperture is four stops faster. When shooting at the maximum aperture with fast f/1.4 prime lenses, outright sharpness can be a bit lacking in some instances, particularly at the edges of the frame, but this varies from lens to lens. A wide-angle lens is one of the best lenses for landscape photography because you’ll never have to be strategic with your cropping. The latter effect is most commonly seen when you're using large apertures at the wide-angle end. Had I had my trusty 24-105mm lens attached I’d have been able to get those tightly cropped shots as well as some full body shots. There was a problem. While zoom lenses are ever popular and come as the standard kit lens with most DSLRs sold – prime lenses remain the favorite of many. For example, in the Canon range the fastest lenses available are all prime lenses (down to f/1.2) where as in the zoom range f/2.8 is as fast as you’ll get. With complex arrangements of large groups of lens elements moving back and forth to enable zoom, the optical purity suffers. However, an f/1.4 lens will enable a much faster shutter speed of 1/250sec. © 2006 - 2020 Digital Photography School, All Rights Prime lenses come in a wide range of focal lengths from wide angles through to the very longest of tele-photo lenses used by many sports photographers and paparazzi. 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