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Son of Groucho
9 things you should know about your prime lenses | N-Photo Magazine -
9 things you should know about your prime lenses | N-Photo Magazine
9 things you should know about your prime lenses | N-Photo Magazine
"Zoom lenses are undeniably great when it comes to convenience and versatility, delivering a wide range of focal lengths at the flick of a wrist. However, they demand a compromise in terms of outright image quality. With complex arrangements of large groups of lens elements moving back and forth to enable zoom, the optical purity suffers. Sharpness is often the first casualty, and barrel and pin-cushion distortions often appear at the wide-angle and telephoto ends of the zoom range respectively (learn How to find your lens’ sweet spot). You can also expect an increase in chromatic aberration (colour fringing around high-contrast edges in a scene) and vignetting (download a free photography cheat sheet explaining chromatic aberration). The latter effect is most commonly seen when you’re using large apertures at the wide-angle end. Zoom lenses are also often more prone to ghosting and flare. Switch to a high-quality prime lens, and distortion and vignetting should be much less noticeable. Sharpness should also be excellent, so you can really make the most of the high-resolution sensors fitted to current digital cameras. Another big bonus of using prime lenses is that they’re usually ‘faster’. This means they have a larger maximum aperture, which enables quicker shutter speeds. For example, a typical 18-55mm zoom lens has a maximum aperture of roughly f/4 at the wide-angle end, shrinking to a mere f/5.6 at about 50mm. Switch to a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens and the largest available aperture is four stops faster. In low light you’d be limited to a shutter speed of, say, 1/15 sec with a typical zoom (unless you increase your ISO setting). However, an f/1.4 lens will enable a much faster shutter speed of 1/250 sec. An f/1.8 lens is 3.3 stops faster than an f/5.6 lens, and even an f/2.8 model is two stops faster (for more on shooting in low light, see our guide to the 12 common errors of night photography – and how to fix them). So-called ‘faster’ lenses aren’t just good for... more... - Son of Groucho from Bookmarklet
Yay for primes! - ronin
I've not got many primes, but the 50mm f1.4 is a fabulous little lens. - Son of Groucho