What Is a Prime Lens?

If you’re a photographer, you know that you can choose different lenses categorized into zoom and prime lenses. They include standard, telephoto, wide-angle, and macro lenses.

In this blog post, we shall be looking at what a prime lens is.

So, What Is a Prime Lens?

What is a prime lens?

A prime lens doesn’t zoom in or out; thus, it has a fixed focal length lens.

The lens has a wide aperture. When it opens, the apertures measure the size of a hole. Prime lenses have gaps ranging from f /1.2 to f /2.8.

Most photographers use prime lenses for boosting their creativity, affordability, and portability.

Prime Lenses vs Zoom Lenses

  • Prime lenses are not adjustable, meaning they have a fixed focal length lens, while the zoom lenses are adjustable, meaning they can zoom in and out.
  • Prime lenses are smaller than zoom lenses, making them comfortable for a photographer to carry.
  • Even though zoom lenses are flexible, Prime lenses are more popular due to their low price and durability.
  • Prime lenses are lightweight, and they perform better in low-light conditions than zoom lenses.
  • To some photographers, the prime lenses create sharper images than the zoom lenses because they have fewer glass
  • The prime lens makes you capture pictures in the dark, without any flashes or lighting more than the zoom lenses

Why Should You Choose Prime Lenses Over Other Types of Lenses?

Why is a prime lens better?

They Have More Light and Wide Gaps

The wide gaps in prime lenses enhance the quality of your images. Your background is blurry, making you focus on the image only.

With blur images, they always make your subject stand out, making you have beautiful pictures.

Another advantage of having wide apertures is the amount of light they let you have.

You can let in more light with prime lenses due to the wide gap, which is the best for dim light situations. 

Prime Lenses Have Clear Quality Images

With more petite focal lengths, there is less distortion. With less aberration, you can make better quality and sharper images.

It is simpler to create better quality and clear images. 


Professional prime lenses can go wide as f /0.95, meaning they offer a better light gathering ability than zoom lenses.

They also provide a shallow depth of field, which makes pictures have a background highlight known as “bokeh.”

You can get stunning images with “creamy” backgrounds with prime lenses.


Prime lenses are cheaper than other lenses like zoom senses. For photographers on a budget, they can purchase prime lenses.

Even if you cover longer focal lengths of 70mm with fast primes like 85mm f /1.8, you will still acquire the lens at a lower price.


They have fewer internal components than other lenses, thus making them lighter as you carry them in your backpack.

This is good for photographers hiking or having long shooting days like weddings while taking lots of gear.


Unlike other lenses, prime lenses have simple designs, like fewer glass elements.

The lenses have fewer parts to break, making the manufacturing cost below. Cleaning prime lens is also easier.

Prime Lenses for Films

Prime lenses for films

Prime lenses are used in photography, but you can use them in film or videos.

For a photographer, they give you shallow depth-of-field at wide apertures for your videos, just like in photography.

Blade Runner 2049 is an example of a film that shot some scenes using the prime lens.

With the Nikon D-SLRs, most photographers shooting HD videos love the prime lens’s ability to autofocus sharply and quickly when manually focused. This lessens noise from the lens.

Choosing the Right Prime Lens

What is a prime lens?

When choosing the right lens, it all relies on your subject and the approach you’re using in your shoot.

Longer prime lenses have a shallower depth of field, making them best for you to take portraits.

Having a smaller depth of field, you can separate the background from the foreground and isolate the image

Telephoto lenses have focal lengths longer than 60mm, and they can either be prime lenses or zoom lenses. The telephotos flatten facial features than the wider angle lens.

If you’re shooting in the streets, a short focal distance may be the best option.

Wider lenses are the best for big open landscape shots since they exaggerate features.

Final Thoughts

Having the best lenses is always an added advantage for producing the best quality pictures. Prime lenses give photographers clean images and in low light.

The quality of the pictures makes you a photographer to invest in for your shots.

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