Saving up for 15-85mm, what are advantages/disadvantages of learning on a 50mm prime?

Started Jan 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Peter Kwok
Peter Kwok Senior Member • Posts: 2,300
Great for learning

Great for learning, but you will miss lots of opportunities.

A prime lens forces you to zoom with your feet. While walking around, try moving sideways as well to frame your object from different angles. You will learn composition better.

Just look at the average P&S shooters. They see something they like. They pull out their P&S and shoot from when they stand. With their zoom lens, they never have to learn how to frame. They get their average and mostly boring snapshots. By walking around, you learn how to position a foreground object with respect to its background.

50mm on a crop body is pretty long. You will not be able to take in the whole scene. This will force you to select what is interesting. Sometimes, shooting part of an object instead of the whole gives more impact.

Without the flexibility of a zoom lens, you may miss some candid opportunities. But you will learn to anticipate the action and position yourself at the right place.
Peter Kwok
WYSIWYG - If you don't like what you get, try to see differently.

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