Prime lens definition

A lens with a fixed focal length is called prime. Simply put, this lens cannot zoom in and out. It requires getting close or moving away from your subject. From one point of view, it is a disadvantage of the lens which limits its use by an untrained beginner. If you compare zoom lenses and fixes from the same price segment, the fix will provide better sharpness and picture quality.

Such a lens is mostly used for sharp photographs with beautiful color reproduction. Also at an open aperture, the fixed lens blurs the background beautifully. For bright photos, you need to expose properly and only then possess a fixed lens.

What is a prime lens used for

Primes help you take unusual shots by finding new interesting compositions. You see, with such lenses you don’t have a zoom option, so you need to move if you want to take a closer picture.

The closer you are to an object, the sharper it is, and the blurrer, even softer, gets the background.

What prime lens is used for

They are also very useful for shooting while traveling as such lenses are very light, so you can take them with you everywhere easily. Even if you need more than one lens, for example with different focal lengths, it would be lighter than one zoom lens.

Types of prime lenses

There are 4 types: ultra wide angle, standard wide angle, standard and telephoto. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones:

  • 35mm: This lens guarantees lots of objects in focus, and in most cases, you do not need anything else. While it's great to own an arsenal of 8 mm or 24 mm, the 35 mm lens is more versatile.
  • 50 mm: In case you need to choose one lens for all your shootings, choose a 50mm lens. This focal length is more similar to a person's natural vision, so you can use it in a variety of settings. From big one-person photoshoots to group shots. The 50mm lens is good for everything, and you'll probably use it a lot.
  • 85mm: If you want to take portrait pictures, you need this lens. And the reason is that you don’t have to get farther away from your subject to get the shot right. The 85mm allows you to work even from a close distance.

Each lens is created for a specific purpose. They can only be used instead of each other in certain situations.