Prime vs Zoom Lenses

 

I am often asked the same question: what is better, prime or zoom lens?

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Prime Lenses

Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, meaning that you can’t zoom in or out from your subject. In order to “zoom” in or out, you have to move towards or away from your subject. Having a fixed focal length really makes you think about how you want to frame your photo. Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

Because of their construction, prime lens can be opened up to much wider apertures than zoom lenses. I love using prime lens when I work because I’m able to blur the background and make my subject stand out. My lowest aperture lens is a Sigma 35mm F1.4. It’s one of my favourite lenses in my camera bag.  The main advantage of prime lenses is that they are more affordable and are often better quality than zoom lens.

 Zoom Lenses

As stated above, zooms are different to prime lenses, in that you are able to zoom in on your subject. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The advantage of having a zoom lens is you can have three lenses all in one. Four example, if you had the Canon 24-70 F2.8 lens, it fits three prime lenses, the 24mm, the 35mm and the 70mm all into one lens. The disadvantage of having a zoom lens is that you have to sacrifice some image quality. Zooms just aren’t as good as primes lenses.

When buying a zoom lens, always try and get one with a low aperture. As a rule of thumb, if you have a low aperture then the overall lens will usually be of good quality. For example the Canon 24 – 70 mm F2.8 lens is much better than the Canon 18-135 F3.5-5.6

For my own work as a professional photographer, I only use prime lenses. The quality is better and it encourages me to really think about the framing and the lighting of each photograph for my client.  

However I would use a zoom lens on a holiday, as I don’t have to carry around so many lenses. If we are talking quality of photograph then prime lens will always win over the zoom. But it totally depends on what you intend to photograph and how professional you want your images to be in the end.

Prime Lenses

Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, meaning that you can’t zoom in or out from your subject. In order to “zoom” in or out, you have to move towards or away from your subject. Having a fixed focal length really makes you think about how you want to frame your photo. Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

Because of their construction, prime lens can be opened up to much wider apertures than zoom lenses. I love using prime lens when I work because I’m able to blur the background and make my subject stand out. My lowest aperture lens is a Sigma 35mm F1.4. It’s one of my favourite lenses in my camera bag.  The main advantage of prime lenses is that they are more affordable and are often better quality than zoom lens.

 Zoom Lenses

As stated above, zooms are different to prime lenses, in that you are able to zoom in on your subject. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The advantage of having a zoom lens is you can have three lenses all in one. Four example, if you had the Canon 24-70 F2.8 lens, it fits three prime lenses, the 24mm, the 35mm and the 70mm all into one lens. The disadvantage of having a zoom lens is that you have to sacrifice some image quality. Zooms just aren’t as good as primes lenses.

When buying a zoom lens, always try and get one with a low aperture. As a rule of thumb, if you have a low aperture then the overall lens will usually be of good quality. For example the Canon 24 – 70 mm F2.8 lens is much better than the Canon 18-135 F3.5-5.6

For my own work as a professional photographer, I only use prime lenses. The quality is better and it encourages me to really think about the framing and the lighting of each photograph for my client.  

However I would use a zoom lens on a holiday, as I don’t have to carry around so many lenses. If we are talking quality of photograph then prime lens will always win over the zoom. But it totally depends on what you intend to photograph and how professional you want your images to be in the end.

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