whats so good about the prime lens that similar to the kit lens?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by mrm83, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. mrm83

    mrm83 TPF Noob!

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    why do people replace their kit lens with a prime lens thats similar in focal length, but lower in aperture?

    Is it just for the aperture? Or is there something else?
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Sharper image, faster aperture, no kit lens can shoot at f/1.4, smoother the bokeh looks more natural and you have more control over it.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Because of the simple design, prime lenses often have much better image quality compared to cheap zoom lenses.

    When the companies design a 'kit lens', the most important factor is that it be cheap, and less important that it be light weight etc. In other words, image quality or maximum aperture are not the top priorities...so there is a lot of compromise in those areas.

    So by 'replacing' your kit lens with a prime lens, you likely get better image quality and a larger maximum aperture, which has several benefits.

    This leads us to high quality zoom lenses. They can be as good or better than cheap prime lenses...but they are very expensive. And past that, we have very high quality prime lenses...they are also very expensive but the image quality is outstanding.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I remember a test between Canon's 24-70L, tamron's 28-70, and the Canon 50mm f/1.4, and the 50mm consistently yielded better results.
     
  5. mrm83

    mrm83 TPF Noob!

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    serisouly?? its pretty crazy how mcuh a 50mm L prime lens can go... Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L cost like 2k..
     
  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The cost of manufacturing a lens with an unusually wide aperture ... and at the same time reduce optical aberrations to a minimum ... is extreme.

    Canon could have made a 50mm f/1.2 for a very low price ... but the lens would probably have so much optical affects it would render it useless ... such poor image quality that no one would want to buy it.
     
  7. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Most current optics manufacturer's tend to make their prime lenses of high quality. Generally, their target audience is the photographers that will spend a lot of money for high image quality.

    Back in the old days prime lenses were the norm, so the optics manufacturers made a larger variation in quality of these lenses ... such as you see in the current zoom lenses.
     
  8. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Sw1tchFX was noting the 50mm f/1.4 USM (non-L) which is only around $300-400. It constantly outperforms way higher level zooms. The 50 f/1.2 is only marginally better from my understanding (I've not had much experience with them, other than to note their build quality). The 50 1.4 is an awesome lens. I use it for 90% of my shooting.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You're going ahead of primes into special purpose territory here. f/1.2 lenses are reserved for a few pros and serious amateurs, compare that to the cost of the f/1.8 which has a wider aperture and is still of significantly higher quality than the kit zooms. Costs only $150 or so.

    But while in this special territory it's still a very cheap. This is Canon's best wide aperture prime along with the 85mm f/1.2, comparatively the Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 fetches a cool 4k on ebay, which is not bad for a lens that stopped production in the 80s.
     
  10. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As with any technology the closer you get to "the ultimate" the more you have to pay for the least amount of gain (is a ferrari really THAT much better then a corvette?). There's a HUGE difference between a typical f4 kit lens and an f1.8 prime, there's a bit of an improvement between an f1.8 and an f1.4, but the difference between f1.2 and f1.4 is almost imperceptible.
     
  11. jdwyer

    jdwyer TPF Noob!

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    how about the difference between the 50 1.8 and newer 1.4. is there that big a difference between the two?
     
  12. docphotog

    docphotog TPF Noob!

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    Apparently you get 2/3's more light with the 1.4 and 250+ dollars added onto the bill =(
     

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