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51

Who in the world buys large primes? Wildlife and sports photographers, mostly. I'm struggling to see how one would find use in a long focal length prime, 300mm and above for example: without zoom, isn't your shot composition always at the mercy of how close or far away your subject is, meaning heavy cropping is almost always necessary in post? It's the ...


37

Broadly speaking wide aperture lenses are easier to design the longer the focal length. The reason that you don't see any 400mm f/1.4 lenses is due to manufacturing difficulties, e.g. keeping dispersion low while producing elements of the size required for such apertures. It's worth restating that the designation f/1.4 means that the size of the aperture ...


30

As of today there are 38 prime lenses with image stabilization. Almost half (16) of them are from Canon and 2 are Canon-mount Sigma (data from these search results at NeoCamera). What you will notice is this is less common in the wide focal-length, with the only wide-angle stabilized lenses being Canon's 24mm, 28mm and 35mm, (all others below 100mm are ...


27

At 50mm on your 18-55, the max aperture is f/5.6. On the 50mm f/1.8, the max aperture is - obviously - f/1.8. It is perhaps not immediately obvious, but f/1.8 lets in 10-12 times more light than f/5.6. That is the difference between shooting at 1/10 second shutter speed (which is absolutely a no-go for moving subjects) and shooting at 1/100 (which is a ...


26

The first question to ask yourself is Why do I need this prime lens? Is it because they are usually faster than zoom lenses? Is it because they are usually lighter and smaller than zoom lenses? Is it because I like changing lenses frequently (cause with prime you just have one focal length)? Is it because they are usually cheaper than zoom lenses? Or is it ...


24

Yes. Prime lenses usually offer both superior image quality and larger apertures compared to zoom lenses of similar price. This is due to simpler mechanical construction, as less moving parts are needed, and due to especially chromatic aberration being easier to correct for just one focal length. The decision between 35mm and 55-200mm is in the end about ...


24

The 24-70 is an incredibly good lens - it's as sharp wide-open as just about any prime at every focal length across just about its entire field. But it's only 24-70. As you're talking about a full-frame Canon, that's as wide (16mm * crop factor of 1.5 = 24mm), but you'll be losing a lot of length at the telephoto end - your 90mm on APS-C is equivalent to ...


23

Presumably because the people who buy their first DSLRs mostly come from the point-and-shoot world and care about the versatility afforded by the zoom more than about image quality. Also, a 50mm is way too long to be a good "default" lens with an APS-C camera, and good-quality ~30mm lenses are, due to certain quirks of optics, much more complex (and thus ...


21

The key to using prime lenses effectively is to use them enough that their field of view becomes instinctive to you, so that you can stand somewhere and know what the resulting image will look like, without even looking at the viewfinder. Then, rather than watching your camera, you watch the world, and when you see a photograph, you take it. With a zoom ...


19

I'm by no means an expert. But one thing that I've tried is having 2 bodies. It sounds expensive, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. I have an old Canon Rebel, and more recently bought a Canon 7D. I was shooting a series of soccer matches and ended up putting a long lens on the 7D and a wider lens on the Rebel. Most of my shots were with the long lens ...


17

Prime lenses with image stabilization do exist, and I believe they will become more popular with time. One great example of the implementation is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM. It provides 4 stop hybrid image stabilization, great for angular as well as shift movement. A 50mm prime will not benefit nearly as much as a 50mm, especially when you start ...


17

A prime likely still has several advantages over a zoom at a given focal length. (Well, depending upon your needs and habits.) A less complex optical design. All else being equal, a less complex design is likely to have fewer compromises, which means the prime is more likely to have less distortion of any sort -- pincushion, barrel, coma, and chromatic ...


16

I am on the edge of investing in the Sony a6000 ... Ok, fallacy #1. :) You never invest in a camera unless you're a pro and can write it off on your taxes. Cameras depreciate. Even while new. Your "investment" will never give you any monetary returns. This is an expense, pure and simple. (If anybody has other suggestions in that price range - I am ...


15

The filter doesn't protect against dust getting "into" the lens, it just protects the front element. So the arguments for a filter are equally valid for zooms and primes. Personally I don't use them, as they have a negative impact on image quality. Always keeping you lens hood on is another way to protect the front element. Also, I recently damaged my lens ...


15

Provided you keep focus distance, ISO, aperture & shutter speed the same, and you zoom your 18-55mm lens to exactly the same focal length as the 50mm prime (which wont be exactly 50mm) then the images will very extremely similar when viewed as a whole. On closer inspection you will see differences in the level of distortion, sharpness, contrast and ...


14

There is no answer to your general question. Prime lenses are usually sharper than zooms at the same focal-length and aperture, mostly at wider apertures when the sensor out-resolves the lens. At one point lenses can out-resolve the sensor and then you will see equal sharpness in your images despite a potential difference in lens sharpness. If someone were ...


14

The 50mm is a simpler design compared to the retrofocus 35mm, as such it's much cheaper and slightly sharper. 50mm on an APS-C body corresponds to about 80mm on full frame, which is a very popular focal length for portraits. The kit lens covers the wide angle needs so sometimes a longer prime makes a good companion, for tighter compositions with blurred ...


14

I think this is a great exercise and can really help you with your photography — even if you end up using zoom lenses in the future. And, there is a commonly-used "trick" here — it's called One Lens, One Camera, One Year, suggested by longtime prime-lens enthusiast Michael Johnston (also see his The Case Against Zooms). A Method The original suggestion was ...


14

Would switching to full frame Canon and getting that lens be an upgrade over my Fujifilm gear? For some shooters it would be. For others it would not. For a true photographer it shouldn't make a ton of difference either way. They'll do good work with either. One system may make doing that work easier than the other, but the work you are describing can be ...


13

The answer to the question "should you consider a 35mm lens" is obviously going to depend a lot on you and on the type of photography you like to do. However, there are at least two factors (other than the very different focal lengths) that set the 35mm f/1.8 lens apart from the other two lenses. 1) Speed of the lens (how much light it lets in): An f/1.8 ...


13

The question here doesn't — or shouldn't — come down to what we prefer, but rather what you want to use it for. These lenses (because of their different focal length) have a significantly different angle of view, which means that they serve different purposes. Eventually, you may find that you want both. On your APS-C Nikon, the 50mm lens acts as a short ...


13

Just because you buy a zoom lens doesn't mean it is the only lens you are now allowed to use! And just because you are using a zoom lens doesn't mean you can't still alter the composition of your photographs by using your feet! The advice you have been given is primarily a warning not to stand in one place and stop exploring shooting angles and perspectives ...


12

Let's start with what is similar with all three of these lenses: They all have a focal length of 50mm. You should also be able to have a lot of overlapping focusing distances and aperture values. Now, to what's different. When it comes to a zoom lens, they tend * to have a different maximum aperture values that are smaller than with a prime. The advantage ...


11

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Suits (1) (2) ad (3) perfectly, and it is not expensive. While it makes sense to get a non-macro and a macro lens for a similar focal length, I see that you are on a budget, so that wouldn't be your best choice. I did not suggest the 50mm f/1.4 because 50mm is very slightly short for portrait, and you cannot do macro at all,...


11

With an APS-C camera like your T4i, 50mm is a good focal length for a portrait lens. This gives you several decent options: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II for only around $115. This is a cheap, plastic-body lens, but it benefits from the ease of making lenses in this focal length, and years of history. This is actually my top recommendation, as it leaves you room ...


11

This is called axial chromatic aberration (or longitudal chromatic aberration) and it's fairly common with large aperture lenses. It appears as a purple halo around objects that are closer than the plane of focus and as a greenish one around objects that are further, regardless of where they're located in the frame. It often shows up around highlights, ...


10

It depends on where she's feeling the limitations. I have a kit made up of 15mm, 40mm, and 70mm prime lenses (on a dSLR with the same 1.5× format as the Nikon D90), and for me, that's just about right. (I'd probably trade the 40mm for a 35mm were I starting over — tough call.) For my style, I don't miss having a zoom at all. Since she has (and is presumably ...


10

I prefer the 35mm. I actually have the d3100 and upgraded to the nikkor 35mm f/1.8 a few months ago. I will get the 50mm however, but use it only for portraiture (not the best, but still cheap, fast and compact). As an exercise try to shoot all day at 35mm with your kit lens. And then 50mm. You will know for sure what you need.


10

More or less, today's lenses are better than yesterdays. Historically, yes, primes have been substantially better than zoom lenses. Most modern primes are still outstanding. Zoom lenses, however, have steadily improved -- better coatings, lens formulas, and more precise glass grinding has allowed zooms to improve substantially. Pro level f2.8 zooms are ...


10

What's the point in high quality rather expensive cameras with permanently mounted prime lens? To take pictures. By creating a camera intended for only one focal length a lot of things cans be optimized for that particular lens. The camera can also be simpler with no need to adapt to a variety of different lenses and focal lengths. A through-the-lens ...


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