What are prime lenses and zoom lenses?
Most ordinary DCs can use “zoom far, zoom near” to compose pictures, which is really very convenient. In the DSLR world, the lens can be changed, and of course there are such lenses that can zoom in and out. Did you ever heard Prime Lens?
Features of zoom lens
- Appearance and weight:
Because the zoom lens needs to move the focal length, there are more components that can be moved. Usually, the lens combination is also more complicated, which makes the lens large, heavy and long.
As the name suggests, the zoom lens allows photographers to change the focal length at the same location, making composition easier.
Generally speaking, the price of a zoom lens will be higher because of its complicated construction and many components, plus the problem of lowering the quality of the image. But zoom lenses are not necessarily more expensive than prime lenses.
This refers to the speed when focusing and opening and closing the aperture. Because there are many components to move, the zoom lens is generally slower. Of course, the current technological progress is fast. Lenses such as Canon and Nikon have used built-in motors, which has made the overall speed much faster.
Features of prime lenses
- Appearance and weight:
Fixed lenses are generally small and light because they have fewer lenses and moving components.
Compared with the zoom lens, the prime lens must be very inconvenient, because the focal length cannot be changed at will, so the photographer must use his own movement to compose the picture. If you are shooting some activities and occasions with time constraints, it will greatly prevent Obstructed shooting.
Of course, the simple structure reduces the cost, but this does not necessarily mean that the prime lens is cheaper than the zoom lens, especially some high-end prime focus lenses, the price is even more amazing!
- Speed: The
overall speed is generally faster than the zoom lens. Of course the gap is now very small.
Generally speaking, the price-performance ratio (imaging quality / price) of a fixed focus lens is often very high. Because of the continuous advancement of lens manufacturing technology (such as the emergence of ultra-low dispersion lens-ED), the imaging of zoom lenses can now compete with prime lenses. Of course, such zoom lenses are much more expensive.
Should I choose a prime lens or a zoom lens?
If you are shooting some events (such as wedding banquets, ball games, etc.) or things that often move (such as puppies at home), you better prepare a zoom lens! In this way, you can avoid missing precious shooting opportunities due to lens changes. In these occasions, the importance of seizing the moment is far greater than the quality of the photo.
If you have high requirements for photo quality, or you are engaged in artistic creation (such as shooting advertisements, portraits, etc.), prime lenses must be your best choice! One more thing, if you don’t have much money in your pocket and want to enjoy the large aperture (please refer to the article on the relationship between aperture and depth of field), take a quick look at which prime lens is suitable for you, the price often makes you overjoyed!
Author: Alex Tam