Prime primer

Why do I shoot events with a prime lens?

My favourite lens is the 35mm f/1.4 lens on my full-frame camera.

Party figurine at f/1.4

I like primes because they:

  1. Are often smaller and lighter than zoom lenses.
  2. Are generally sharper as well.
  3. Are faster (meaning they have a lower f-number/bigger aperture) so that (a)  I can shoot in darker surroundings.
  4. Are faster (meaning they have a lower f-number/bigger aperture) so that (b) I can blur backgrounds more dramatically.
  5. Force me to use one view angle, meaning that (a) both my pictures and settings are more consistent.
  6. Force me to use one view angle, meaning that (b) I need to tilt and move more rather than zoom to achieve the right composition.

I love the 35 because it is also the perfect length for “grip and grin” party pictures.

For beginners, there is an additional huge benefit: by not zooming but using the same focal length, you get much more quickly to a deeper understanding of the relationship between aperture, focal length and depth of field.

Happy Xmas figurines

There is a lot of benefit there. So I shot two events in the last two nights, and you can be sure my 1Ds camera was my main camera, and it was fitted with the 35mm prime lens.

(As I have pointed our here before, if you have a crop camera, like a D90, Rebel, or 60D, you will want a 24mm lens instead, since 24 x 1.5 = 36).

3 thoughts on “Prime primer

  1. In regards to users with crop cameras (D90 what I currently use). Would you advise to get, for example, the (Nikon AF-S 24mm f1.4G ED) instead of the (Nikon AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX) lens if the future intention is to upgrade to a full frame camera.

    • Depends on how long. 24 for crop, 35 for full frame. But on full frame, the 24 will still be useful. (Conversely, the 35 turns into a 50 on the crop camera and that too is useful). So.. do you shoot a lot of events?

      • Not yet! But hope to in the future. I had taken 1 of your courses before and have been following your blog ever since. Very informative and have gained some very useful information. I look forward to taking the Flash course at Henrys with you soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *