Why Primes?

As many of you have seen, I shoot with prime lenses as often as I can. Here’s why:

Primes are smaller, lighter, sharper, less likely to exhibit distortion, and above all: faster. The ability to go down to f/1.8, f/1.4 or even f/1.2 is often a life-saver.

I have four primes:

  • 100mm macro f/2.8
  • 35 mm f/1.4
  • 50mm f/1.2
  • 45mm f/2.8 tilt-shift

The 85mm f/1.2 is the sharpest lens I have ever seen, but alas, I do not own it. Yet!

One advantage that I also need to point out again: primes are consistent. In terms of your compositions, but also -especially when you are learning – in terms of behaviour. Why? Let’s look at what changes with focal length:

  1. Depth of field
  2. Minimum shutter speed you can use handheld
  3. Perception of depth

With a zoom, all these change with every shot. With a prime they do not.

So if you do not have one yet, get a prime – like a 50mm f.1.8, which casn be had very affordably. And go play with it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good you get!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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