Prime vs Zoom Lens

You might be a budding photographer who has a little knowledge about prime or zoom lenses or you might be in a conundrum to select prime or zoom lenses before setting off to click photographs. Let’s make it easier for you to choose what type of lens to choose through this blog.

Prime Lens

A prime lens has a fixed and a singular focal length. The lenses tend to be lighter, compact, and offer wide apertures of f/2.8, f/1.8, and f/1.4 which makes it faster as well. The large aperture creates various avenues for a photographer as you can shoot in both low light and bright atmospheres. 

Zoom Lens

A photographer will have various options of focal length while using a zoom lens. The photographer can get a perfectly focused image even if the subject is at a considerable distance.

Pros and Cons of Prime Lens

Quality of images improves

You don’t have to worry about distorted images when you’re using a prime lens. It ensures accurate and sharp pictures.

Better portability 

You’ll have a much better time carrying a prime lens because of its lightweight and small size. It’s better to carry two prime lenses with different focal lengths than to carry one zoom lens.

A good option for low light

It's a beast when you use it in places with low light. The wide aperture helps the lens capture good photos in low light. The trick is to use a high ISO and step up the shutter speed.

Lack of versatility and flexibility

Though it is a good option for low-light photography, you would lack flexibility while clicking photographs. Because a prime lens has a fixed focal length you have to carry multiple lenses to click photographs of different types.

Pros and Cons of Zoom Lens

An array of options

You don’t need to think about changing lenses when you use zoom lenses. It gives you the option to photograph your subject at close range as well as at a long distance. The lens has a zoom ring which helps you zoom in and out from your subject.

Flexible framing

As your subject can stand anywhere within a certain distance, you have the option to choose what elements your frame should have. You can adjust your framing easily and add some variety to your shot.

A bulky lens

It is already known that carrying more prime lenses is better than one zoom lens. It is a bigger and heavier lens because there are more glass elements inside the lens.

Risk of distortion and aberration

Though it is a good option to get a zoom lens to get a wide array of options in framing, all of it comes at a price. Zooming in too much might create distortion and chromatic aberration around the wider and tighter ends of the lens.

As you can see that both these lenses have different significance in photography. If you plan a shoot beforehand and if you know what your framing will be then a prime lens is a better choice but in times of uncertainty, a zoom lens will come in handy. Although, at the end of the day, the choice is yours to be made and this blog should help you decide on it.


Written by: Sauvik Chatterjee

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