Questions tagged [prime]

A lens that has a single focal length.

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70
votes
12answers
82k views

Is there a noticeable difference between 1.8 and 1.4 prime lenses?

I have been shopping around for a prime lens for my Nikon D50. I noticed that the 1.8 is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the 1.4 AF-S. What will I gain for that cost difference? Is it really ...
50
votes
8answers
13k views

Why is the 50mm prime lens the most standard?

Seems that most photographers choose the 50mm as their prime lens (at least from what I've read). I'm looking at getting a prime lens for my Nikon D3000 and the cost difference between the 35mm 1.8 ...
40
votes
9answers
18k views

What software can show my most frequently used focal length?

Many people recommend a focal length of 35mm, 50mm, and sometimes even 85mm and upwards for those interested in purchasing a prime lens. I, however, would like to figure out what focal length(s) I use ...
38
votes
8answers
11k views

Why do people recommend 50mm or other prime lenses as starting lenses for learning photography?

I've seen quite a few people recommend the 50mm prime lenses, in particular the sub-$100 50mm/f1.8, as a starting lens for photographers (especially because they're likely to be using cameras with ...
34
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the definition of a “prime lens”?

There are many discussions of differences between prime, zoom and macro lenses. I have not heard about prime lenses until recently. Could someone explain what exactly a prime lens is? Is it ...
30
votes
3answers
7k views

Why do wide angle prime lenses have relatively small apertures?

I've noticed that many of the wide angle prime lenses (at least for Canon) have somewhat smaller apertures than their normal or telephoto counterparts. E.g. the regular Canon 24mm prime is f/2.8 while ...
29
votes
10answers
33k views

Why there is no image-stabilized Canon 50mm lens?

Canon's 50mm prime lenses are all non-IS (Image Stabilization) for some reason. Considering the popularity of these range primes, shouldn't Canon be interested in shipping a new, optically improved IS ...
26
votes
6answers
8k views

How hard would be photographing a wedding with just prime lens?

I was recently asked to photograph my cousin's wedding - ceremony at the church, some outside shots at the nearby park, maybe some shots at the reception. Since my photography-related budget is right ...
25
votes
9answers
5k views

Prime lens or flash: which upgrade will most improve baby photos?

I current own a Nikon D5000 with kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) and am looking to take better indoor photos of my fast-moving 9-month-old, which sometimes come out blurred or not natural I use the on-...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

Considerations when purchasing a prime lens?

What should I be aware of when buying a prime lens (other than that it will fit my camera)? What specs should I pay close attention to?
24
votes
4answers
5k views

Why buy prime super telephoto lenses instead of zoom super telephoto lenses?

35mm and 50mm primes make perfect sense to me: sharper images, simple operation, and framing can usually be handled by taking a few steps forwards and backwards. I'm struggling to see how one would ...
24
votes
7answers
6k views

Is it worth it to have the 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens?

Is it really useful to have a fast prime lens for portrait photography, considering a low budget? If it is, what about the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II? I have an entry level 18-55mm lens and a Canon 20D.
23
votes
7answers
3k views

Which scenarios are better shot with a prime lens versus zoom lens or macro lens?

What scenarios are better shot with a prime lens? A zoom lens? A macro lens?
21
votes
3answers
6k views

Fast prime vs. expensive zoom for indoor sports photograhy?

I plan to try shooting my kids' indoor activities (Tae Kwon Do and Figure Skating). I can get pretty close to the action for TKD, and I have access to ice/board level positions for shooting at the ...
20
votes
6answers
11k views

Is it true that there are no stabilized prime lenses (and if so, why)?

Fast prime lenses like the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens work nicely in low-light situations. But I'm quite sure they would work even more nicely if they had optical image stabilizers. It seems to me that no ...
20
votes
6answers
66k views

If I have a 18-55mm lens, is there a point in buying a 35mm prime lens?

I have the Nikon kit lens that came with a D5100 — the kit lens is 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom. I was thinking of getting a fast lens and I am looking to buy the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX. ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

How to speed up autofocus on moving subjects under low-light conditions?

Since I am usually taking pictures under low light ambient conditions I have discovered the nifty 1.4 lenses (such as the Sigma 30mm/1.4 or the Canon 50mm/1.4 or also the Canon 85mm/1.8) for my Canon ...
17
votes
11answers
40k views

Which prime lens for Pentax APS-C?

My girlfriend is buying a Pentax K-5 (I already have a Pentax DSLR so we thought it made sense for us to be able to share lenses), and she's not sure about which lens to get with it, so I've been ...
17
votes
5answers
69k views

What's the advantage of buying a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens when my camera has an 18-55mm zoom lens?

I've got a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm zoom lens. I'm keen to experiment with some other lenses and a friend of mine recently reccommended I purchase a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens as he said it's good for ...
16
votes
10answers
3k views

Is replacing all my Fujifilm gear with this Canon zoom lens an upgrade?

I'm a hobby photographer. I like taking portraits, which I often do at festivals and conventions. I usually take the following gear: Fujifilm X-T2 (an APS-C sensor mirrorless camera), a 16-55mm f/2.8 (...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

Can I use my APS-C kit lens as a reference for choosing between 50mm or 35mm prime lenses?

I'm looking at getting a second lens in addition to my Nikon D7000's kit lens. I want to know if it's possible to use my 18m-105mm kit lens to get an idea of the focal length for a 35mm lens vs. a 50 ...
16
votes
4answers
38k views

What is a 200mm lens good for?

I just found that there is a 200mm lens at my school. It is a Canon with Image Stabiliser (with red detail). It is old, at least 10 years. It has been great playing around with it, but I really don't ...
15
votes
4answers
18k views

How can a lens with a single focal length focus on more than one plane?

By definition, a prime lens is a fixed lens system with a fixed focal length. Then, simple physics tells us that it should be able to focus only on one plane (at a fixed distance) in front of it. But ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

Would a prime be redundant with a fast zoom?

Now that I am finally getting a fast zoom (Tamron 17-50mm 2.8) I've been considering a fast prime to go with it, specifically a Sigma 50mm 1.4. Despite its shortcomings, it still does really nice ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Other than speed and weight, what advantages might a prime lens have over a zoom at the same focal length?

At the same focal length, apart from speed and maybe weight, what other advantages does a prime lens like the 50mm have over a zoom lens like the 24 - 70mm? To put it better, If I set my 24-70mm lens ...
12
votes
8answers
34k views

What is a good wide-angle prime lens for Nikon DX (APS-C) format?

I am looking for a wide angle lens for my D90, between 12 and 18mm focal length, preferably a prime, because I like fast(er) and cheap(er) lenses. Any recommendations ?
12
votes
9answers
18k views

Nikkor f/1.8G 35mm or 50mm?

I'm new to photography. I got a Nikon D3100 with the 18-55 kit lens. I was looking to buy a f/1.8 prime lens, and I found two options: AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G How ...
12
votes
14answers
78k views

50mm vs 85mm for portraits on a crop sensor?

I've read several times that a 50mm lens will make features like noses noticeably stand out compared to an 85mm lens. However, I'm never sure if the post/article is describing results on a full frame ...
12
votes
4answers
394 views

Does it make sense to get a non-macro and a macro of similar focal lengths?

I recently asked a question on which prime lens to get after the kit lenses, and in my shortlist of lenses there was quite a lot of overlap of focal lengths along with macro & non-macro versions ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it normal for a fast prime to exhibit purple fringing in middle of the image?

I have just bought a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D prime lens. I took this picture (leg of my glasses frame on a mouse, and a LED desk lamp is on top of it) : f1.8, 1/80s, ISO 200 The purple fringing is right ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Why are 50mm no longer the default kit lens for prosumer SLRs?

Every time someone asks me for a kit recommendation I point them towards some sort of prime lens with a standard focal length. Similarly, almost anyone I talk to about the ideal budget kit swears that ...
11
votes
8answers
5k views

What options do I have for a normal and fast prime lens for a Canon APS-C camera?

I'm looking for a normal prime lens, desirably fast and not too expensive, for my 450D. 50mm seems to be the normal focal length on FF, thus for APS-C, I need about 30mm. I want it to be fast as I'm ...
11
votes
6answers
510 views

On smaller prints, will a high-quality zoom lens provide near equal image quality compared to primes?

Let's say I shoot with Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, and a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. Can these 3 primes be replaced with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 for the convenience of not needing to change ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Should I postpone buying a zoom lens until I've learned to zoom with my feet?

After several years of shooting with my point-and-shoot, I upgraded to an NEX-5R, with two prime lenses — a 35mm f/1.8 and a 19mm f/2.8. I don't have a zoom lens, not even the kit lens. I've been ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How to avoid changing lenses all the time when shooting with primes?

I recently purchased an entry-level DSLR and a couple of nice prime lenses, mostly for the purpose of taking artistic shots of city streets. The primes are 35mm and 15mm, or about 53mm and 23mm full-...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Which prime lens to get after the 18-55mm & 55-250mm?

I started out with the 18-55mm IS kit lens on my Canon EOS 550D over a year ago, and added the 55-250mm IS a couple of months back to augment my telephoto reach (based on the recommendations in one of ...
10
votes
4answers
637 views

Would a fixed or zoom telephoto lens be better for learning?

My daughter has a Nikon D-90 camera body and two prime f1.4 lenses 50mm and 35mm. She is interested in learning more, and I am curious which of a zoom or fixed telephoto lens would help her best? Is ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Is the Nikon 35mm 2.0 worth the extra money over the 1.8?

After asking this question I'm thinking the 35mm prime lens will do the job for me. Since I take a number of photos indoors and in low light conditions, this lens will let me sty reasonably close to ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it the same if you take a picture by setting 50mm in a 18-55mm lens and by using a 50mm prime lens?

Is it the same if you take a picture setting 50mm with a 18-55mm lens and a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens? Assuming that ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are the same, will both the lens give same results? I ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Does a 35mm prime lens show the same bokeh as a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor?

I came to know that a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor behaves like an 75mm prime lens. So, does the 35mm prime lens behave like a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor? If yes, then will it show ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

Is it difficult to focus on 1.4F prime lens, and if it is how to counter that?

Does difficulty in focusing have anything to do with 1.4F (Nikon G)? Will it be still difficult if I use manual focus? Is auto focus too slow? Is there a way to counter it? This example photo (from ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Canon 50mm f/1.8 vs Canon 28mm f/1.8 (vs Sigma 30mm f/1.4)

I have the nifty-fifty and I am in love with the kinds of images it can produce, particularly when it comes to portraits. I really enjoy the lens, but I have one problem; it is a little bit too tight ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Any tricks to escape the zoom lens trap?

I have been taking pictures for several years now and slowly improving at that. My camera is Olympus Stylus 1 with the 28-300mm f/2.8 super zoom lens. I like travelling and feel the camera is a great ...
7
votes
5answers
390 views

What's the point in high quality rather expensive cameras with permanently mounted prime lens?

Sony RX1R II and Leica Q are two good examples for the current state of technology. Both are packed with a lot of neat features, both have high ISO, impressive stabilization, both are rather compact ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

Is the difference between a good 50mm vs 85mm lens just your distance from the subject?

I was wondering: is the difference between a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 85mm f/1.8 lens just your distance from the subject? Let's assume that distortion is minimal; both lenses are of high quality. Does ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I accurately focus manually on an APS-C DSLR?

My favorite portrait lens is the Nikon 50mm 1.4G. I love the light and what it is capable of. My problem with it is that on my D90 the AF is sometimes horribly slow, and in many cases (mainly low ...
7
votes
7answers
4k views

Is the Canon 28mm f/2.8 sharp and good compared to the 18-55mm kit lens?

I have a Canon 500D/T1i with the kit 18-55mm IS lens. I need to replace the kit lens with a prime as a work around lens. I usually take photos of streets, people etc., and use the 20-35mm range of ...
7
votes
1answer
199 views

Is a fixed length macro lens better at some tasks than a non-macro lens of the same focal length?

I'm considering getting a 35mm prime lens to augment my current lenses. I'm not looking for a zoom. I can get an f2.8 macro, now, or special order an f2 non-macro lens. Both are roughly the same ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I focus a Nikon 50mm f/1.8?

I recently bought this lens, but it seems to me that it hunts a lot in low(ish) light, and sometimes (often) does not achieve focus at all. I never had any problems with the kit lens. Pointing the AF ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I compose photos with prime lenses?

I own a Sony NEX-5R, with two prime lenses: 19mm F2.8 Sigma, and 35mm F1.8 Sony. How do I best compose photos with prime lenses like these? I can think of a few: Walk towards or away from the ...