Do I really need a prime lens?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 7,512
Re: Do I really need a prime lens?

Jeff Farkas wrote:

As the title says.. do I really need a prime lens? So far I have two zoom lenses that suit my needs just fine. 1) Nikon 55-200 2) Nikon 18-200. The one I was thinking of getting is the 50MM 1.8 but I wonder if I really need it. I shoot mostly outside and when I shoot indoors I use a flash.

Would it be better to get a third party flash and not get a prime to deal with indoor work?


I use mostly f/2.8 constant aperture zooms myself. For sports its nice to be able to change focal length quickly. And I find it easier to shoot with zooms.

But . . . I have 2 prime lenses for my APS-C dSLR.

A 35mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.8.

The 35mm f/1.8 I got for shooting pictures in low light, like pictures around the campfire where I don't want to use flash.

The 50mm f/1.8 I use when shooting indoor portraits where my 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom is too long on an APS-C dSLR.

The thing with the 50mm f/1.8 vs. a kit zoom is that you can have a softer background.

Just think what it could do for your cat pictures!

The other benefit was when my oldest took a photography class.

I give her a camera with the kit lens, but I also tossed in the 35mm f/1.8.

The 35mm became her favourite lens.

I guess the thing was that in her course, the instructor made them take every picture in manual exposure mode.

I suspect it was easier to use the prime to explore manual exposure vs. a kit lens, because when you zoom with a kit lens, the aperture setting may change on you, messing up your exposure.

With a prime, you can't zoom, so if you set your aperture setting in manual exposure, it's not going to change on you.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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