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Thread: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

  1. #1

    Default Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Can anyone tell me what is the main difference using a Prime Lens 50mm compare to 18-135mm?
    Why most people prefer to use 50mm for portrait?
    Last edited by sotong9; 5th February 2010 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    For prime lens, it can have a bigger aperture (f1.2, f1.4, f1.7, f1.8) while for zoom lenses, the maximum it can go is f2.8.

    Due to this, the DOF is affected hence people tend to prefer the prime lens, besides the 50mm lens is one of the cheapest fast lens one can lay their hands on.
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

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    Member DrSpock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    A simple search should give you most of the answer like this http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/pri...om-lenses.html

    The juice of it is Most use this 50mm cos it's a 'Normal' lens and depending on the max aperture the bokeh can be excellent.
    Photography? It's all in your mind...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Hi Thank you everyone! I know what i need now!

  5. #5
    Senior Member madmartian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Welcome to CS, sotong9
    Take the shot!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    You need to do a bit of walking using Prime lens.
    It's lighter but not so convenient with it's fix focal length.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Welcome to CS!

    Main difference between a prime lens and a zoom:

    One has a fixed focal length and the other, variable.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Numnumball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Welcome to CS
    Primary diff address by Dream Merchant above;

    Secondary diff is lee distortion issues in prime where most zoom bound to have some sort of barrel distortion and such;

    Thirdly, weight less and cheaper (if compare apple to apple... like 14-24 compared with 14 prime and 300mm tele compare with 200-400 tele zoom)
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Prime is cheaper, lighter and usually sharper though I can say zoom is matching it very closely when N14-24 came out.

    It is difficult to control the quality of a zoom, thus for a zoom. Example, you might get a sharper/ distorted picture at 17mm but not 25mm but it changes again at 50mm 55mm.
    D300/700/3S|14-24|24-70|70-200|17-55|16|14|24PC|28|50|85|105M|135DC|500|18-200|24-120|200-400|T11-16

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    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Actually with the barrage of revised and really sharp zoom offerings by various manufacturers, the old debate of better IQ of primes vs zooms have really narrowed to a close. I for one cannot tell the difference if one is taken by a zoom or prime. For me the idea of choosing one over the other doesn reside much on IQ arguements ( but thats for me ).
    DonnyDan has cited the classic example of Nikon 14-24mm zoom that puts the 14mm prime lenses to shame.

    My main consideration is actually prime lenses often offer ya a larger aperture compared with zoom lenses.

    ryan

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Main difference: Variable focal lengths on zooms

    Not so obvious differences: You'll notice that prime lenses often have a much bigger aperture like f/1.8, f/1.4 not found on zooms. This is very useful for subject isolation (bokeh / blurring of background) which is often what many portrait photographers desire.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    AF 50mm f/1.8D for taking portrait?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by lamberry View Post
    AF 50mm f/1.8D for taking portrait?
    Yes, one of the cheapest portrait lens to start with. At 1.8, it will produce nice bokeh that normal kit lens cannot produce.
    Canon 60D | EF-S 15-85mm | EF 50mm f1.8 | flickr

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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    hmmmmm....... this is tough question that few people talk about ...... let me google that for you....

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    Last edited by ed9119; 8th February 2010 at 09:42 AM.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Haha . Good 1

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    Member DrSpock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    hmmmmm....... this is tough question that few people talk about ...... let me google that for you....

    I Enjoy Helping You
    Hey, how did you do that? I like it man
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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrSpock View Post
    Hey, how did you do that? I like it man

    here u go .............................. help spread the gosple of Using Google ha ha
    Last edited by ed9119; 9th February 2010 at 03:16 PM.
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
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    Senior Member Numnumball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    I m always puzzled how some of the guys here do that, tks for sharing MOD
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    Default Re: Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    here u go .............................. help spread the gosple of Using Google ha ha
    Cool Man I can't stop playing it Thanks for the FUN
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