Main Difference between Prime lens and normal zoom lens?


Status
Not open for further replies.

sotong9

New Member
Feb 4, 2010
3
0
0
#1
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:

Galdor

Senior Member
Jul 5, 2006
9,544
0
0
Planet Gaia
s105.photobucket.com
#2
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.
 

sotong9

New Member
Feb 4, 2010
3
0
0
#4
Hi Thank you everyone! I know what i need now!
 

Jeremy1

New Member
Oct 10, 2009
619
0
0
#6
You need to do a bit of walking using Prime lens.
It's lighter but not so convenient with it's fix focal length.
 

Dream Merchant

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
9,659
6
38
#7
Welcome to CS!

Main difference between a prime lens and a zoom:

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

Numnumball

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2009
13,899
0
0
Central
#8
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)
 

DonnyDan

New Member
Dec 4, 2009
231
0
0
30
#9
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.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
6,232
2
0
SG
#10
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
 

sabee

New Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,187
0
0
32
Upper Serangoon
www.flickr.com
#11
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.
 

lamberry

New Member
Feb 2, 2010
124
0
0
#12
AF 50mm f/1.8D for taking portrait?
 

Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom