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What is a Prime Lens?


Staff member
Mar 22, 2024
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Oftentimes, when someone first gets into photography they have the urge to buy a big telephoto (zoom) lens. It looks professional right off the bat, and it gives more flexibility in composing your image. Why would someone purposefully choose to use a smaller, less “professional looking” lens? Some photographers even choose to only use prime lenses when working professionally. This is something I wondered myself when I first started picking up a camera.

What is a Prime Lens?​

First, let’s start off by defining what a prime lens actually means. A prime lens is a lens with a fixed focal length lens, meaning it can’t zoom in or out. If you have a 50mm prime lens, then all your photos will have to be composed accordingly. Prime lenses typically have a focal length of 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm, but there are also wide-angle primes and telephoto primes with focal lengths below 35mm and above 85mm. So, whether you’re shooting landscape photography or portrait photography, there’s a prime lens out there that’s perfect for the job.

7 Reasons to Use a Prime Lens in Photography​


As a general rule of thumb, a fixed lens is always going to give you sharper, cleaner looking image. Why is this? When we look into the construction of the how the lenses are made, the optics of the glass are more precise. Think about it: if all the optics in a lens are specifically crafted to focus on one set focal length, the engineers can make sure that it is near perfect optically.

prime lens
or sporting competitions. Sometimes in these conditions, even the quick process of changing a lens (5-10 seconds) means missing the opportunity to take an important shot.

Prime Lenses Pack a Lot of Punch​

If you’re looking to improve your photography, a prime lens is the way to go. The best part? They’re not as expensive as you might think. We hope this guide has helped you see the value in adding a prime lens to your camera bag—and that you’ll be inspired to take some amazing photos with it!


The post What is a Prime Lens? appeared first on Sleeklens - Tools and Training for Photographers.
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