Photographers are often faced with two options when choosing a lens for their camera: prime or zoom. Prime lenses come with fixed focal lengths while zoom lenses cover a range. While zoom lenses may be better suited for shooting subjects from a distance, it may not be as useful for creating shots with a dreamlike style and quality. 

A good quality lens is key to capturing sharp, detailed images. It is often what defines the perspective of an image as well. In this article, we will be sharing with you some reasons as to why you should choose to shoot with prime lenses!

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It helps you achieve a dreamy look

To achieve images with a gorgeous background blur, we recommend using prime lenses such as the Canon EF50mm f/1.2L USM and Canon EF28mm f/1.8 USM. These are highly favoured lenses for creating images with an aesthetically pleasing shallow depth of field. Their wide apertures help separate the foreground from background, all while keeping the main subject in focus, a sure way to draw your viewers’ attention to the shot!

Prime lenses also have the ability to capture images that feel more natural and intimate. In fact, the field of view of the 50mm closely mimics the human vision. This makes your composition seem almost effortless! 

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It creates high-quality images

Generally speaking, prime lenses produce images that are of better quality. After all, manufacturers only have to focus on building for that one focal length. The Canon EF24mm f/1.4L II USM, for instance, comes with an aspherical lens that corrects common faults such as field curvature and distortion. This leads to images that are not only sharp in focus at the middle, but also along the outer edges of the frame.

Instead of limiting your usage to solely zoom lenses, consider adding prime lenses to your current set of gear. Whether it is a zoom or prime, these lenses are beneficial in their own ways. Having both simply increases your chance of acing a shot in different situations!

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It lets in more light

Due to the wide apertures of prime lenses, more light is able to enter the camera. When shot wide open, this helps to improve the general quality of images when shooting in low-light conditions. We recommend using a lens with a wide enough aperture such as the  Canon EF35mm f/1.4L II USM or Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM  for well-exposed images. However, do note that the wider the aperture, the shallower the image. Be aware of the focus to avoid winding up with a blur shot!

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It is small and lightweight

Avoid lugging around a ton of photography gear when out on a shoot. Instead, travel lightly with a handy prime! Prime lenses are significantly smaller in size and lighter in weight since they are built using fewer elements. This simpler construction creates a big difference in your comfort level when shooting.

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Quit letting the weight of your gear be an excuse for you to leave your camera kit behind. When choosing to do so, you are also potentially missing out on many great shots. The lightness of prime lenses will encourage you to explore more when you are out and about. This makes photography a fun activity for you to look forward to, as opposed to one that makes you feel dreadful.

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It encourages creativity

Photographers may sometimes become too reliant on the capabilities of zoom lenses. Instead of searching for the best shots, they simply zoom in or out until they find a composition that is suitable. With a prime lens, you will be forced to physically move around and to examine a wide possibility of shots. 

Prime lenses are also a great way for you to train your photographic eye. After using a fixed focal length for a period of time, you will become intuitively familiar with that particular field of view. You will even begin forming compositions in your head without having to look through the viewfinder! In other words, the limitations of a prime lens will turn to an advantage in the long run since it pushes you to think creatively.

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Having said that, each lens is bound to have its own advantages and drawbacks. After all, they are built to serve different purposes. It all depends on your style of shooting and the situation. When building up your collection of gear, take the time to deliberate on your choice of lens especially since these are long-term investments. At the end of the day, be sure to understand your needs and only pick ones that will be best suited for you.

If you’ve managed to experiment shots using prime lenses recently, make sure to share them with us at #CanonSG!