Ever since buying my first prime lens last year I have been in love with it. My fast and small 35mm lens is always on my camera body, and Chris likes to tease that if he had bought me that lens first he wouldn’t have had to buy any of the others! I guess I can let him think that for a while, but we all know that once you get a taste of something you love you’ll only end up wanting more! Or is that just me? Ah well. Poor Chris will just have to deal with my slight camera lens obsession!
Today I’m going to try to get you to fall in love with a prime lens too. It’s pretty easy to do! Use it once and you’ll never want to use any other lens every again. Okay I may be exaggerating just a tad, but prime lenses really are awesome! Here’s why…
Better Image Quality
The glass of a prime lens is very precise, which results in extremely sharp images. While you can buy zoom lenses that also can produce sharp images, they come at a hefty price. I am longing for a 24-70mm zoom lens (one of the best in my opinion!) but it costs $1800! Compare that to my $200 35mm 1.8 lens and you’ll see why I decided to buy the prime. Not only is it much less expensive but it also still has a better image quality than the zoom lens!
More Comfortable to Carry
Most of us tend to pull out our cameras and spend hours shooting, and on a typical day at Disney it is not uncommon for me to carry my camera for 14 or more hours at a time. Carrying around a camera can take its toll on your shoulders and neck, so having a small prime lens attached to your camera body can definitely lighten your load! The first few times Chris and I went to Disney I carried around my telephoto (55-200mm) lens and I was tired and sore within the first hour. While my shoulders still get sore after a long day of shooting, it is a completely different experience now that I have my Nikon 35mm . On long shooting days, lighter is always better on your back, shoulders, and neck!
One reason I absolutely love both of my prime lenses is the fact that I can snap picture after picture and not miss anything that is going on around me. With a zoom lens, it can sometimes take a few seconds for the lens to process everything, which means there is a delay from when you hit the shutter release to when the camera takes the picture. I got incredibly irritated at Disney last year because my zoom lens was not fast enough to capture the Festival of Fantasy parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I missed out on so many fun shots because the camera was trying to figure out what to focus on. I needed a different lens, and my prime probably would’ve been a better option.
My 35mm lens has an f/stop of 1.8 and I love it! Using that large of an f/stop allows for a ton of light to enter in the lens which means my shutter speed can be incredibly short. If you love nighttime photography, opening wide can result in better pictures because you don’t have to up the ISO to get the shot you want. I tend to use the highest apertures on dark rides at Disney so I don’t have to deal with all the grain associated with a high ISO setting, and it tends to work out very well!
Pushes Your Creativity
Because a prime lens does not have a zoom feature, to get up close to your subject you have to use your feet. This will push you to think more about camera placement and photo composition. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are situations where a zoom lens is the only way to go to get the shots you want, but if you can switch it out for a prime I really urge you to do so! Primes push you to try different angles, focus on new things within your frame, and to get close. I wouldn’t get half the photos I have now if I didn’t push myself with my prime lens.
What do you think? Do you own a prime lens and love it? Let me know in the comments below!
And if you’re looking for more posts about photography equipment, check out these posts!