Why do I shoot events with a prime lens?
My favourite lens is the 35mm f/1.4 lens on my full-frame camera.
I like primes because they:
- Are often smaller and lighter than zoom lenses.
- Are generally sharper as well.
- Are faster (meaning they have a lower f-number/bigger aperture) so that (a) I can shoot in darker surroundings.
- Are faster (meaning they have a lower f-number/bigger aperture) so that (b) I can blur backgrounds more dramatically.
- Force me to use one view angle, meaning that (a) both my pictures and settings are more consistent.
- 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.
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).