As you deeper into the world of photography, you will discover some magical tools professional photographers are using to achieve amazing results. One of such tools is a prime lens. For many years, there has been a raging debate whether the prime lens is better than a zoom lens. While this article may not be about this debate, you should know that I always consider prime lens better for beginners who are still moving up because of unique advantages it can offer. You are going to find most of my reasons in this article.
When it comes to professional photography, it is important to note that the type of lens you use will definitely affect your final outcome. Perhaps, this is the reason why most professional photographers carry various types of lenses when going to the field, this is in order to have a lot of options. Lens mastery is a must in professional photography. One of the lenses you need to know and use is a prime lens and in this article, you will learn some amazing facts about prime lenses.
What is a Prime Lens Anyway?
A Prime lens is a lens with a single focal length. Since prime lens doesn't zoom, it means that the only way you can get closer or farther from your subject when you are making use of the prime lens is to move your camera.
In most cases, prime lenses are called by their focal length. For instance, you may have heard about 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and even 85mm - all these lenses are common focal lengths for prime lenses. A prime lens such as 50mm is referred to as "nifty-fifty”, and it is one of the most popular types of prime lenses.
There are a lot of reasons why many photographers favor prime lenses over other types of lenses. Some of the benefits of prime lenses include:
- Prime lenses are simple
- Prime lenses are small
- Prime lenses are fast
- Prime lenses come with better build quality
- Prime lenses produce better image quality
- Prime lenses are more comfortable
Without a doubt, these lenses can make you a professional photographer depending on how you use them. They have so many advantages for both amateur and professional photographers. In order to ensure that you are making the most of your prime lenses, there are certain things you need to know:
7 Things You Should Know About Prime lenses
Most photographers favor prime lenses over zoom lenses because of their more compact and lighter weight than their zoom counterparts. If you want to travel, prime lenses will make better travel companion as they are less heavy. Please do note that some high-end prime lenses can come with heavy weight.
2. Understand Your Focal Length
Don't ever purchase a prime lens without making your research. Before you make your order, know exactly the type of focal lengths that will work best for your need. All focal lengths don't work the same, choose the one that matches your type of photography and needs.
3. Bigger is Better
When you are in the market for a prime lens, I will recommend getting the "fastest" lenses as they have apertures of f/1.4 or f/1.8 and offer higher shutter speeds. Additionally, they provide you with a reduced depth of field. These qualities are why they are more useful than f/2.8 lenses.
4. Prime Lenses Push Your Creativity
It is easy to get lazy when you are using zoom lenses as the lens will do most of the work for you. When you are using prime lenses, you will be forced to think more and be more creative.
5. Experiment with lights
You can play with lights when you are using prime lens by investing in a neutral density filter. This filter allows you to shoot with large apertures in sunny conditions. You can be able to achieve an extended shutter speed which will allow you to shoot wide-open at f/1.4 or f/1.8 and also able to avoid overexposing the shot.
6. Open Wide
Your image may lack sharpness when you are shooting at the maximum aperture with fast f/1.4 lenses. In most cases, this lack of sharpness will be more noticeable at the edges of the frame. However, this will vary from lens to lens.
7. Great Focal Length for Portraiture
If need a great portraiture, I will recommend you use 50mm lens on an APS-C format body. This will help you blur the background much more effectively by using maximum aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.8 than you would be able to achieve when you use 18-55mm zoom lens.
No doubt, prime lenses can be very useful in a lot of situation, if you want to get the most of out of your prime lenses, you must learn how they work and how you can use them to achieve what you want. You can start by putting into practice the points above.