There’s a lot of questions in the photography world but one really stands out. Why does every photographer need a Prime lens? This query took me a lot of time to answer. Let me share with you the gathered information and knowledge to leave with you the answer.
Firstly, let me introduce to you what a prime lens is. A prime lens is a fixed focal length lens. This means that you cannot zoom in or zoom out using the lens to be able to capture the subject on a frame you wanted. You can do the zooming by getting nearer or farther from the subject. So why do we need a prime lens if that is the case?
Here is a simple but technical answer.
Prime lens is all about the features and/or specifications.
Now, let me give you the reason why every photographer needs a prime lens. Mainly, prime lenses provide great images with superior quality as compared with a zoom. Sharper images are produced. This ability is made possible because of its aperture. Most prime lens have wider aperture which allows shallow depth of field that gives blurry background. Everybody loves to achieve that blur or “bokeh” effect. Bokeh gives the subject sharpness as it pops out and gets the attention you want it to have. You would love that blur in your background as it gives the image more professional look. Wider aperture also provides you to shoot in low light condition because more light enters the camera. This type of lens has fewer elements or parts which means less complication with respect to different conditions. Less chromatic aberration for instance. Prime lenses usually have 1.8 or 2.8 maximum aperture.
Aside from the above-mentioned reasons, prime lens is also light-weight and small which allows you to move freely without any hassle. It can also be kept easily on your camera bag or storage. You could also improve your framing and composition because it provides you with a fixed focal length, for example 50mm.
Most common prime lens are 35mm and 50mm which are great for portrait. Macro lenses are also example of prime lens (though there are some macro lenses that are not fixed in focal length) like 90mm macro. Some telephoto lenses are prime like the 400mm and 500mm which are used in sports photography and wildlife photography.
As for the price, there is a prime lens that could cost some 110 USD or Php 6000. It is the 50mm 1.8. There is also a brand of camera lens that offers the same feature but half the price or less.
Using expensive camera and lens could give you the best result you wanted but other factors are as important. Keep in mind that your skill as a photographer still is the best resources you have.