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Thread: Prime Lenses

  1. #1

    Default Prime Lenses

    Are prime lenses mostly used for portraits? How practical is it if I used it as a walk around lens in the street at night (say, taking photo of christmas deco in orchard during Christmas)?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    If your signature is what you have, 10-22 and 28-135 would be the best combination for what you need. I'm serious.

    Though if you don't mind the trouble of prime being fixed focal, 35 F2L would be good.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Im on the nikon system, the lens on my body most of the time is the 50mm F1.4.
    Love the image quality it produces!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    u can consider the 50mm f1.8 / f1.4 or 85mm f1.8

    The latter 2 are great portrait lens.
    As for the f1.8, its great, but the bokeh isnt very fantastic.

    As for walk around for xms, the large aperture will do you good in the low light situation, but do not the f1.8 hunts in low light.

    if no budget. 50 f1.2L / 85 f1.2L =x

  5. #5
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by KY1977 View Post
    Are prime lenses mostly used for portraits?
    Not necessary. Like zoom lenses, it can be used for landscape, macro, architecture, sports. Anything one can think of. But there are a couple of wonderful prime lenses for portraiture if that is what you are referring to.

    Quote Originally Posted by KY1977 View Post
    How practical is it if I used it as a walk around lens in the street at night (say, taking photo of christmas deco in orchard during Christmas)?
    Yes you can as well. I often use my 50mm prime to shoot under dim lightings.

    Ryan

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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by KY1977 View Post
    Are prime lenses mostly used for portraits? How practical is it if I used it as a walk around lens in the street at night (say, taking photo of christmas deco in orchard during Christmas)?
    If you are going to be shooting night scenery, just bring a tripod with your 10-22. You're not going to be able to get a fast prime for portraiture that will also be versatile enough as a landscape lens (unless your idea of portraiture is shooting at 14mm or 20mm all the time).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zeckson Chow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Are prime lenses mostly used for portraits?
    Yes and no. Yes is because if you are asking a portrait photographer, he/she will tell you he/she prefers using prime lenses as their primary portrait lens. So you can expect them to use their primes for their portrait work most of the time. No is because if the person answering you is a landscape photographer or a photojournalist.

    How practical is it if I used it as a walk around lens in the street at night (say, taking photo of christmas deco in orchard during Christmas)?
    Practicality also depends on what lenses you are using and in what situations. If you are refering to using a 50mm f/1.4 in a museum in the day, I would say yes. If you are using a 85mm f/1.4 to take Christmas lights in a busy Orchard Road, I would say not quite practical given the long focal length, which means you have to stand pretty far away from your subject and given the crowd around which will most of the time block your photographic sight.

    Just for your information, I love my AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED lens!
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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by KY1977 View Post
    Are prime lenses mostly used for portraits? How practical is it if I used it as a walk around lens in the street at night (say, taking photo of christmas deco in orchard during Christmas)?
    For your first question yes. For your 2nd question, depends on whether the FOV suits u.
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeckson Chow View Post
    If you are refering to using a 50mm f/1.4 in a museum in the day, I would say yes. If you are using a 85mm f/1.4 to take Christmas lights in a busy Orchard Road, I would say not quite practical given the long focal length, which means you have to stand pretty far away from your subject and given the crowd around which will most of the time block your photographic sight.
    True. Unless you want to be creative and capture pretty close up not-so-landscape style photos. Might have some potential here too, especially with a fast aperture. Mind you, bokeh isn't the strong point of EF 50mm/1.8, an otherwise great lens.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by estel View Post
    True. Unless you want to be creative and capture pretty close up not-so-landscape style photos. Might have some potential here too, especially with a fast aperture. Mind you, bokeh isn't the strong point of EF 50mm/1.8, an otherwise great lens.
    Hi Estel

    got a newbie qns, how do you define EF 50mm/1.8 a great lense? thought of getting one as well.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by user1 View Post
    Hi Estel

    got a newbie qns, how do you define EF 50mm/1.8 a great lense? thought of getting one as well.
    Some examples for you:







  12. #12

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Hi Caleb. Nice photos...so is it a good lense now or a good photographer???

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by user1 View Post
    Hi Caleb. Nice photos...so is it a good lense now or a good photographer???
    Good equipment in the hands of a bad photographer, does not make good photographs, and vice versa.

    You have to know what you are doing, and only then will good equipment fulfill its potential.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Good equipment in the hands of a bad photographer, does not make good photographs, and vice versa.

    You have to know what you are doing, and only then will good equipment fulfill its potential.

    Stop making excuses about the gear, you take nice photo hoho!
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
    my flickr - adamloh.com

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    Moderator Cactus jACK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by KY1977 View Post
    Are prime lenses mostly used for portraits? How practical is it if I used it as a walk around lens in the street at night (say, taking photo of christmas deco in orchard during Christmas)?
    if you are trying to take christmas deco, then i would say that what you need is not so much a fast lens but a tripod.

    fast prime lenses are often used in the portrait work for its optical quality and, when needed, the thin DoF for the resulting bokeh... (of course, i'm also generalising here, as not all portaits are shot at f1.4 or f1.8, as there are other considerations in getting nice oof area)

    fast lenses, as the name implies, would allow you to shoot at faster speeds, thus avioding some amount of handshake in the picture. but given that you're thinking of doing deco, either a tripod, or a good VR (105, 70-200) lens might what you're looking for.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus jACK View Post
    if you are trying to take christmas deco, then i would say that what you need is not so much a fast lens but a tripod.

    fast prime lenses are often used in the portrait work for its optical quality and, when needed, the thin DoF for the resulting bokeh... (of course, i'm also generalising here, as not all portaits are shot at f1.4 or f1.8, as there are other considerations in getting nice oof area)

    fast lenses, as the name implies, would allow you to shoot at faster speeds, thus avioding some amount of handshake in the picture. but given that you're thinking of doing deco, either a tripod, or a good VR (105, 70-200) lens might what you're looking for.
    I concur. Usually in landscape shots, whether in the day or at night, one would prefer a wide aperture (not too wide, or you'll fall into the trap of diffraction) and a wide lens to get maximum coverage and Depth Of Field. As this would result in a low shutter speed, a tripod is preferble. I also find that the 50mm FOV on a FF is too narrow for landscape shots, much less on a crop body.

    Samuel
    f/8 and be there.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by user1 View Post
    Hi Estel

    got a newbie qns, how do you define EF 50mm/1.8 a great lense? thought of getting one as well.
    calebk already made the point much better than I possibly can, so I'll just add on to the bokeh issue: When out of focus bright points are in the background, you can see the bokeh is quite harsh, and if you are the nitpicking type you can see that the points are really pentagonal. But As long as the out of focus points are not too bright, this isn't an issue. Lens is reasonably sharp even wide open (these pics are f/2.2 and f/2) and focusing isn't too much of a hassle in bright conditions. You can see the bokeh in the first photo isn't what you call appealing, but one could live with the bokeh of the second, darker, photo. In short, you should know what you are shooting.




  18. #18

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by alternatve View Post
    I concur. Usually in landscape shots, whether in the day or at night, one would prefer a wide aperture (not too wide, or you'll fall into the trap of diffraction) and a wide lens to get maximum coverage and Depth Of Field. As this would result in a low shutter speed, a tripod is preferble. I also find that the 50mm FOV on a FF is too narrow for landscape shots, much less on a crop body.

    Samuel

    Wide aperture resulting in low shutter speed? And what has wide lenses to do with increasing the depth of field? Or did you mean wide angle for maximum coverage?

    I agree that 50mm on a crop body isn't exactly 'wide angle' that's why I mentioned creativity. One doesn't necessarily have to stick to wide-angle shots to make an interesting capture of night lights. As for the depth of field: Out of focus lights can make as much interesting an idea of festivity as in-focus lights.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/estudiante/318584544/

    no wide angle, shallow DoF, as festive as Christmas can be.
    Last edited by estel; 9th June 2008 at 10:03 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    I guess if you buy the 50mm f1.8 now you might want to upgrade to a 50mm f1.4 later...
    so might as well get the f1.4 now.

  20. #20
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prime Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by huipiiing View Post
    I guess if you buy the 50mm f1.8 now you might want to upgrade to a 50mm f1.4 later...
    so might as well get the f1.4 now.
    TS is a canon user. Then there is the 50mm f1.2 when he gets the 50mm f1.4 ..

    Ryan

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