articles for photographers

The philosophy of using prime lenses. Part 2.

This article is a continuation of this material... Fixed focal length lenses have a number of undeniable advantages. This is, first of all, better image quality, which includes: increased sharpness at all aperture values, better contrast, more detailed elaboration of halftones, etc. Also, such lenses are more compact, lighter and significantly cheaper than high-quality zooms.

Another point that I have not written about before: fixes are many times better in terms of dust getting into the camera. Any zoom, even with an externally fixed design, sucks in dust, which settles on the matrix and affects the image quality over time. By the way, here matrix cleaning article.

It would seem that by buying a fix, you get the best result for less money. What else can you doubt? But fixes have a major drawback - less functionality and limitations in the scope of use. Next, I'll walk through disadvantages prime lenses from your favorite set for wedding photography.

14mm vs 16-35mm

14vs16-35Ultra wide-angle zooms are generally used at their widest position. The same applies to the sensational Nikon 12-24. Considering the cost of good zooms, where is it more practical to buy Samyang 14mm... Moreover, it is much sharper across the entire field at all apertures than the Canon 16-35 f2.8L II. Plus, 14mm is still wider than 16mm, which makes it even more interesting.

Cons of fixing

There are situations when you need to quickly change the angle. For example, in the registry office no time to change 14mm to 35mm and back. And beautiful shots with huge wide-angle coverage are very appropriate there. Plus, manually focusing Samyang is sometimes problematic. It's easy to focus on it, but if you make a mistake somewhere and forget about it, you ruin important shots, which you can no longer repeat. In terms of reportage photography, this is a rather specific lens.

35mm vs 24-70mm

35vs24-70A focal length of 35mm is essentially an average between 24mm and 70mm. In most situations, 35mm can shoot anything that can be 24-70mm... In addition, the lens Canon 35mm f2 IS USM much lighter, more compact and has a working f2. While the 24-70 at f2.8 is fine to shoot only portraits. Landscapes at the wide end and f2.8 cannot be captured on it. I'm not talking about the second version, the cost of which does not justify itself.

Cons of fixing

The 35mm lens is an excellent replacement for the 24-70 in news coverage. Especially if the reportage is for the whole day and you don't want to carry around with the heaviest lens. Although with the same filming in the registry office or church weddings, 24-70 much more convenient and allows you to get more diverse shots. In a couple of seconds you can get a general photo of the entire room, portrait photos of the newlyweds and close-up photos of rings. But that's not all.

I also use the 24-70 for subject and macro photography. At closed apertures, this lens is very sharp, in addition, it initially has a small minimum focusing distance. And with macro rings it works wonders. Of course for objects there are specialized fixes. But 24-70 performs my tasks with a bang.

Wonderful lens Canon 24-70 f2.8L Is a zoom that I cannot refuse. The range of tasks that he can perform is very extensive. With some reservations, it replaces 4 prime lenses: wide-angle, standard, portrait and subject lenses.

85mm vs 70-200mm

85vs70-200Owners of the 70-200, which I also used to be, most often use this lens at medium apertures around 135mm. Which leads to a logical conclusion, why not replace it with Canon 135 f2L? Some people do that. Changing 70-200 for a telefix, you need to be aware that you are shooting more - reportage or staged portraits. For reportage fix 135mm - can be convenient under certain conditions. And for portraits, I personally prefer 85mm, which I wrote about here.

Cons of fixing

The fixed focal length 85mm or 135mm or 200mm is inconvenient (the longer, the more inconvenient) if you need to shoot a reportage. Where 70-200 is especially needed is on the filming of all kinds of conferences and other official events with a large number of people. As a rule, your movements are limited there, but there is a need to snatch close-ups of faces. This also applies to filming concerts... At concerts, the movement of the photographer is very limited. A telephoto zoom is also required for shooting sports. So, if you often photograph various events with a large number of people in an open space or in large rooms, then 70-200 is your choice.


A few more details

In terms of focusing, neither zooms nor fixes have any advantages. If you're buying a good native Canon USM lens, you can be sure it will focus perfectly. The rest depends on your carcass and the straightness of your hands.

Another controversial advantage of professional zoom lenses is that they look convincing... Especially if the lens is large, white and long. For some, this is important. Image quality and ease of use are important to me, so I consider their size and weight disadvantages. And attention to your technique can sometimes be unpleasant, unnecessary, and even dangerous.

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PS Almost all the articles I write on this site are intended for people with some experience in photography. But recently I decided to write an article for beginners. Here it is at the link: How to learn to take pictures and choose a camera for a beginner?