To prime or not?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by 5doorfury, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. 5doorfury

    5doorfury TPF Noob!

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    Hello all! This is my first post here!

    I have a burning (newbie) question.

    I understand the difference between lenses such as the nikkor 18-55mm kit lens and primes such as the 35mm 1.8.(speed of lens, focusing speed, and sharpness) But my question is simply; do I really need one?

    I have heard rave reviews about this lens, but if I shoot with my flash while I am indoors, will I really see a difference? Or better yet, where would I realistically see a difference.

    THanks in advance, Joe.
     
  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    With a fast prime, you won't need a flash indoors. You can get proper exposure with a fast enough shutter... so you won't have blurry subject matter.
     
  3. 5doorfury

    5doorfury TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the response. I am VERY new to the world of photography and I still have a few basic questions.

    What would I need to adjust in the camera as far as shutter, aperture, iso, etc. to achieve those results?

    I guess I am just trying to decide if the 200 dollars is worth it. Or if I should just use my flash and be happy until my skills can match my equipment.

    I have been very satisfied with the flash when bounced indoors.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You will realistically see a difference when shooting under poor lighting conditions, where the f/1.8 lens will allow you to see through the viewfinder better, and also when it is necessary to have fast,sure focusing under poor lighting conditions without flash, and without any AF assist beam from a speedlight or a camera body that emits an AF assist beam when it has difficulty focusing.

    The greater light gathering power of an f/1.8 lens rather than a much slower lens means that your AF system will have a slight edge. You know how the kit lens sometimes hunts for focus when using an off-center AF point? That type of behavior is minimized by having a fast, f/1.8 prime lens that is optimized for focusing at one length,and which is not a compromise.

    The other place you will notice a difference is the lack of zoom on the prime; after using a particular fixed focal length lens, you start mentally framing shots in your mind's eye; there is less indecision about where to stand, and instead of debating about how close or how far to be, or what zoom setting to select, you will find yourself composing shots almost by instinct, once you become familiar with the angle of view of a particular prime lens on a particular camera format. Zooms by their very nature work differently than high-speed prime lenses do.
     
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Darrel has it covered. As far as taking advantage of it with your camera, you'll still need to use your settings like normal to get the results you want. Some differences between a fast prime and your kit lens:

    -You can shoot with a lower ISO to reduce noise.
    -You can use a faster shutter speed to freeze motion.
    -The larger max aperture will allow you a narrower depth of field for when you would like to throw the background out of focus and isolate your subject.
     
  6. 5doorfury

    5doorfury TPF Noob!

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    That makes sense, so it will basically take some of the gadget fidgeting out of the equation and let me focus on taking better pictures? (aside from being an all around better lens.)
     
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Well not less fidgeting. You won't have a zoom function to mess with, but everything else will still need to be adjusted as necessary.
     
  8. 5doorfury

    5doorfury TPF Noob!

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    Great! Thanks everyone for the info! I think I am going to go ahead and pick up a new lens then!
     

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