First, let’s discuss different types of lenses and how they’re used.
Standard Zoom: These are the most common type of lenses and practically all the kit lenses bundled with cameras fall into this category. The most popular is the 18mm-55mm lens, which is good for general purpose photography and is commonly used by amateurs and first time photographers. A few years ago, the quality of these lenses was not good enough and earned a bad name for their manufacturers. Realizing this, the camera makers started bundling much better versions that give very decent results.
Zoom: These are long-range lenses, which have longer focal lengths as compared with the standard zoom lenses. The popular lenses are 55mm-250mm, 70mm-300mm, and 75mm-300mm. These lens are used by semi professionals and serious photography enthusiasts to shoot animals and birds.
Wide Angle: These lenses are most popular with landscape and nature photographers. The common wide-angle lenses are 10mm-20mm, 12-24mm, and 11mm-16mm. Another variant of wide-angle lenses are called fish-eye lenses. They give maximum angle of view and in that process distort the view in a circular fashion.
All the above lens types are used by amateurs, serious hobbyists, and semi-professionals. Then what is the choice of many professionals? The answer: prime lenses.
Prime lenses are often the most coveted and preferred lenses, and not without reason. With fixed local lengths, these lenses provide the best possible results and truly complement a camera’s raw power combined with the photographer’s honed skills.
The following Canon prime lenses are most popular: Canon EF 14mm, Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm, Canon EF 100mm, and Canon EF 200mm. Similar range of lenses are available from other popular camera and lens manufacturers like Nikon, Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina, etc.
Prime Lens Advantages
The most obvious advantage is image quality. Prime lenses are bought by professionals to obtain the best quality photographs from their camera gear. The general parameters on which the image quality is tested are: sharpness, distortion, vignetting, and chromatic aberration. In all prime lenses, the test results show the highest ranking for the sharpness and lowest values for the other three parameters: distortion, vignetting, and chromatic aberration.
As professional requirements demand the best images that can be used by clients, it is prudent to invest in a prime lens as per the photographic assignments and budget.
Prime Lens Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage of using a prime lens is the fixed focal length. You will experience the limitations when you start shooting with a prime lens. There is no zoom, which implies that you have to compose the frame by moving further away or by going nearer to the subject. With practice and patience, you will soon overcome this handicap and fall in love with your prime lens and discover the joy of photography all over again.
Another drawback of the prime lens is the price factor. Prime lenses, barring the very basic models, are much more expensive than their zoom counterparts.
In conclusion, it is always wise to invest in and explore the possibilities of shooting with a prime lens. The resulting images are nothing short of awesome with razor sharpness that is the hallmark of a professional photographer.
About the Author:
Pashminu Mansukhani is part of an Industrial Photography service company.
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