5 Reasons You Should Own At Least One Prime Lens

If you’ve just made the move from smartphone or point and shoot to a DSLR body, you should now be considering the lenses you use. You have gotten the kit lens along with the camera and wanting another lens for variety, or you are looking to improve the technical quality of your photos. Toby Gelston (aka CameraRec Toby) suggests that at least one of the lenses in your arsenal should be a prime lens.

Prime lenses are lenses with a single focal length (e.g. 50mm, 85mm and so on). While Toby lists 5 reasons for using a prime lens – Bokeh quality; get more light; quality; value for money & size – I think Toby is only scratching the surface with the reasons to go prime. Do you own a prime lens?

[5 Reasons you should own a prime lens via picture correctPetaPixel]

  • NILPhotography

    Nikon 50mm f/1.8 (@f/5) and some mid evening golden light, everyone needs a niffyty fifty in their bag great lenses. http://goo.gl/9bclJM

    • Andor

      Absolutely true – being a N50/ 1.8 owner too, I can only agree.

  • Just Me

    Agree – the very first lens outside the kit the camera came with should be a 50mm. It’s cheap but takes your photography to a whole new level instantly.

  • https://www.facebook.com/chrismartinDOTtv Chris Martin

    My clients will at least smirk if I have a prime? That’s cool.

  • http://wilcfry.com/ Wil Fry

    Definitely. Most people I know (including me) go for a telephoto lens to follow the kit lens. But if I had it to do over again, I would have saved for a 28mm f/1.8 or other ‘normal’ prime. (50mm is too tight for ‘normal’ on a crop sensor).

  • Steel Fish

    My 35mm prime and 40mm macro primes are my favorites. The 35mm lives on my camera and only comes off for the macro or telephoto. Haven’t touched the stock lens in months.

  • Rick Scheibner

    I’ve got a 50, but I also picked up a 135mm f/2 last year. It’s not my go-to lens for single-subject portraits.

    • Peter Bower

      Now or not?

      • Rick Scheibner

        Ha, I wish autocorrect could read my mind sometimes. Should read ‘now’. I’ll edit accordingly.

        • Peter Bower

          Aha. DYAC! I’ve been contemplating a 135mm for portrait work. I have 50mm and 85mm 1.8s, and more recently acquired 35mm 1.4, and now my 35mm is what I go to most. Just find it a lovely focal length to work with.

  • https://www.facebook.com/funface Sam Torres

    I love primes.

  • Ralph Hightower

    I own three prime lenses. The Canon FD 50mm f1.8 was the kit lens for my Canon A-1. I bought a Spiratone 400mm f6.3 T-mount lens because, well, it was cheap.
    I got a used Canon FD 28m f2.8 lens as a consolation for talking my wife out of buying me a Canon T3i. The 28 has become my favorite lens.

  • https://www.facebook.com/justin.dunn.7921 Justin Dunn

    Prime @ F8!

    • onnevan

      so you have a f/1.8 for using it at f/8?? I know sharpness will be best at f/8 but did’t you buy it precisely because you wanted to shoot at 1.8?

  • SJ Fotography

    I love primes, very helpful to compose since you do not have a choice to change focal lengths :) difficulty at times not able to zoom in or zoom out, but never upset with the results.

    I own
    50 1.4
    135 2.8
    200 4
    500 8

    All the lenses are manual, Ais, except 500 is a mirror lens :)

    Just had a discussion with a friend explaining the advantages, and coincidentally this article appears :)

  • https://www.facebook.com/andrew.sible Andrew Sible

    Just got a 50mm f/1.4 to replace my f/1.8 :)

    Then I have a 24mm f/2.8 I use heavily, and assorted other primes I don’t use as often (105mm 2.5, 35mm 2.8, and a beautiful 105mm f/1.8 that has fungus issues :( )

  • let_it_go_713

    the first lens i bought was a 85mm f/1.8. works great for all the reasons listed above. also its “wide enough” to some general purpose shots, if you can back up.