Or 'prime' vs. 'zoom.' I've seen many references to both types of lenses recently. Perhaps it's time to mention a few of the strengths and weaknesses of both. [Please note that the following statements are not absolutes. I'm sure, for example, that you can find a specific fixed focus lens [Diana] that isn't as sharp as a certain [Vivitar] variable focus lens.] Fixed focus lenses are sharper and have greater apertures than variable focus lenses. This can be important in low light situations or when maximum sharpness/image detail is important. Variable focus lenses provide the ability to 'crop' without moving camera position. They also provide the ability to vary the relative size of a distant object to a nearer object without changing the size of the nearer object on the film/sensor. The choice of the 'ideal' lens type depends on the particular photographic situation. In low light where longer exposures are not an option, the fixed focus is probably the one to use. In situations where camera movement is restricted, the variable focus may be the best bet. I tend to use fixed focus lenses. However, if faced with the choice of improving a composition with a variable focus lens as opposed to an increase in sharpness with a fixed focus lens, I'll use the variable.