What is a prime lens and what are its benefits?

A guide to prime lenses and everything you need to know about them

What is a prime lens and what are its benefits?

You can learn a lot using Prime lenses. If you are an aspiring video maker or a photography enthusiast then Prime Lens will amaze you. The functionalities of the Prime lenses have the ability for a true learner to make them a successful filmmaker or photographer. Prime lenses do not rely on the automatic mechanism of photography, and therefore there is a lot to learn with them.

What is a prime lens?

A prime lens has a fixed focal length which means you cannot zoom in or zoom out. Rather, to position the subject in a certain way, you have to physically move closer or farther to bring the zoom in or zoom out effect in your picture. Prime lenses have large apertures with maximum aperture ranging from f/2.8 to f/1.2. The prime lens helps a person sharpen their techniques greatly. How you position yourself and the camera determines the zoom and angle of the picture.

ALSO READ: What is a macro lens and what is it used for?

Benefits of choosing a prime lens

One would be wrong to think that the use of fixed lenses defeats the purpose of modern digital photography. Since one cannot use more than one focal length, they are forced to experiment with different perspectives and angles which in turn enhances their photography skills.

The lens not only challenges one’s creativity but also improves one’s photography skills.

Here are the top benefits of choosing a Prime lens:

1. Wider Aperture

Larger or wider aperture means there will be more room for the lights to enter, and the subject will get isolated. This happens because a wider aperture creates a shallow depth of field, and hence the range of focus for the image is narrowed down. This makes the background blur and out of focus and the subject remains the main focus of the Prime Lens. Also, a wider aperture is helpful in low-light situations.

2. Sharper image quality

The image distortion is less when fewer or single focal lengths are taken into account. This helps to capture a sharper and good quality image.

3. Prime lenses are compact

Since the mechanics inside the lens are less, the weight of the lens is much lighter, making it very convenient to keep in a bag and travel along.

Four most common Prime Lenses

Although the category of the prime lens is not restricted to only 4 options, here are our top picks:

1. 28 mm 

28 mm prime lens is perfect for landscape or outdoor photography. The wide-angle of the lens gives one a wider frame, enabling one to fit more landscape into the frame. Whether one shoots images in optimal or low lighting conditions, your images will always come out sharp and stunning. You can use a 28 mm Prime Lens for architecture, weddings, events, groups, street photography, and even astrophotography.

2. 35 mm 

The 35mm prime lens is used for capturing immersive images. The larger aperture helps in capturing a smooth video both during the day and at night. The 35mm prime lens is best suited for building, food, and animal photography.

3. 50 mm 

Almost every professional photographer will recommend a 50 mm prime lens. The low-light capabilities and sharpness make this lens a must have in one’s kit. One can use this for architecture, outdoor, and also portrait photography. You can also capture highly focused portraits, wildlife, and detailed landscape shots using a 50mm Prime Lens.

4. 85 mm

If one needs something affordable and reliable for portrait photography, then an 85mm prime lens is all one needs. The versatility level of the 85mm lens might not match the 50 mm, but it is a perfect fit for portrait photography. Without getting too close to the subject, one can capture them as the main subject. The marvellous bokeh effect acts as an icing on the cake by separating the subject from the background.

ALSO READ: What are the types of lenses every photographer must have?

Prime Lens

Compared to zoom lenses, prime lenses are more specialized. A prime lens beautifully fulfils the sole purpose of capturing images with a specific focal length. The result is always fantastic; you can expect your pictures to be optically superior, sharper, and with the least distractions. The layer of creamy background makes your subject look tack sharp.

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