Prime Lens vs Zoom Lens

Prime Lens vs Zoom Lens   Blog00007 Prime Lens vs Zoom Lens

What are prime lenses and zoom lenses?
Most ordinary Defocus Control (DC) lens can also “zoom far and zoom near” to compose pictures. It is indeed very convenient. In the world of digital single reflex (DSLR), the lens can be replaced. Of course, there are also this kind of lenses that can zoom near and far, but do you know that some lenses cannot zoom (moving focal length)? These lenses are called Prime Lens.

Features of zoom lens

  1. Appearance and weight:
    Because the zoom lens needs to move the focal length, there must be more components that can be moved. Usually, the lens combination is also more complicated, which makes the lens larger, heavier and longer.
  2. Convenience:
    As the name implies, the zoom lens allows the photographer to change the focal length at the same location, making it easier to compose the view.
  3. Price:
    Generally speaking, the price of a zoom lens is naturally higher because of the complexity of the manufacturing process. The large number of components and solving the problems of image quality price is higher is reasonable. However, despite this, the zoom lens is not necessarily more expensive than the fixed focus lens.
  4. Speed:
    Here of course it refers to the speed of focusing and opening and closing the aperture. Because there are many components to move, the zoom lens is generally slower, but of course the current technological progress is very fast. Lenses such as Canon and Nikon have already used built-in motors. , So that the overall speed has been accelerated a lot.

Features of prime lens

  1. Appearance and weight:
    In general, the prime lens can be made smaller and lighter because they are made of few lenses and moving parts.
  2. Convenience:
    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 it is shooting some activities with time-limited situation, it will surely hinder the shooting process.
  3. Price:
    The simple structure is usually reduces the cost, but this does not necessarily mean that the prime lens is cheaper than the zoom lens, especially some high-end prime lenses cost. The price is sometimes incredible.
  4. Speed:
    The overall speed is generally faster than a zoom lens, but of course the gap is now becoming small with application of built-in motors.

Photo quality
Generally speaking, the price/performance ratio (image quality/price) of a fixed focus lens is often very high, but because of the continuous advancement of lens manufacturing technology (such as the emergence of Extra-low dispersion lens-ED), the imaging quality of zoom lenses can now be compared with the prime lens. Of course, the price of such a zoom lens is much higher.

Should I choose a fixed focus lens or a zoom lens?
If you are shooting events such as wedding banquets, ball games, etc. Or things that often move such as a puppy in the house, you should better prepare a zoom lens! This can avoid missing precious shooting opportunities due to changing lenses. In these situations, time is often more important than photo quality.

If you have high requirements for photo quality or you are engaged in artistic creation such as shooting advertisements, portrait photos, etc.. a prime lens must be your best choice! Another point, if you don’t have much money in your pocket and want to enjoy the fun of a large aperture such as controlling between aperture and depth of field, you better consider the prime lens that suits you. The price often makes you feel more comfortable.

Written by Collin Smith @ Holborn London

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