Which prime lens to buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by jeff0809, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. jeff0809

    jeff0809 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use a Canon Digital Rebel XTi and have a couple of zoom lenses. I want to buy a prime lense but am not sure what focal lenth to buy. If I were going to only have one prime lens in my bag what should it be?
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,601
    Likes Received:
    1,929
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Don't limit yourself to just one prime. :lol:

    I don't shoot Canon, but all reports are the same. Best bang for the buck is the 50mm f/1.8. I have the Nikon version and you can't go wrong IMO.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ask yourself why you want the prime - what do you want to take photos of with the prime. The 50mm f1.8 is often agreed to be a great deal - cheap but very sharp with a lot of uses - whilst I would go for a 300mm 400mm or even up to a 600mm for wildlife - costly.
    So first what do you want to do with the prime - if that is not giving any answeres just look to your own kit and see where you are normally sitting with the zooms - if you find you are always around a certain focal length then that is as good a place as any to aim for.
    After that an idea of budget helps us help you as well
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yeah, like kundalini said - why just one? ;)

    And like Overread says - if you already have a couple zooms, what focal lengths do you find yourself using the most?

    Or maybe you want something that's not covered by your current lenses?

    Both 50s are good (the f/1.4 and the f/1.8), the 85 1.8 is good too. The 100mm macro lens is great, and can be used for things other than macro.

    The primes I have right now are: 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, 135mm f/2.8 (soft focus). If I had to choose only one it would probably be the 85mm, but maybe the 100mm macro. Then again I like the 50 a lot too. lol.
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,601
    Likes Received:
    1,929
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Dude, you're all over the map. :lol: Drive that Jeep straight! :lol:

    That's exactly why it's best not to limit yourself. I have 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8 and 300mm f/4. Zooms take me to the other focal lengths I want, but the primes are so sweet.

    To the OP, please don't interpret what we are saying as showboating. The primes do have their place, well and truely. You just have to know what type of scenes you want to shoot. Primes, by nature, will have a better IQ than any zoom.
     
  6. jeff0809

    jeff0809 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    What are some of the advantages of using prime lenses over zoom lenses?
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Typically (there are exceptions, of course) primes are smaller, lighter, faster, and sharper. I guess the only down side is that it only has one focal length.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    OIIIIIIO (or how ever you get that name ;)) summed it up mostly. Primes don't need to have as much glass in the lens as they only have to deal with a single focal range - thus there is less glass to block light from reaching the camera - so you get better photo quality, lighter construction (generally) and they are capable of being made to faster apertures.
    The down side is that you do lose your zoom so its a case of having to use your legs to zoom in and out of a shot at times - and cropping the photo after shooting at other times.
     
  9. jeff0809

    jeff0809 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Guys, I really appreciate all the input. This is the first time I have participated in an online forum and the response has been very helpful. I have decided that my first prime lense shall be the 50mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.2 as most of my photos are of family and object at close range. I don't reeally do much landscape stuff. Thanks for all the advice. Jeff.
     
  10. PattiS

    PattiS TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I love my prime lenses. My favorite length (for portrait work) is 85, however my 50 is a close second for more of an all purpose lens.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    well the difference in price between the f1.4 and f1.2 is big with the 1.2 also being an L lens (ie top quality canon lens.)
    I suggest before going to that amount with using your kit lens set to 50mm (just turn the dial a little bit before the 55 mark) and use it like a prime (no zooming in or out) for a while and see if that range is really what you want.
    If it is there is no beating the f1.2 at 50mm - all you need to do is raise the cash for it
     
  12. Sarah23

    Sarah23 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I love my 50mm f/1.8

    I do a lot of family/child photography, and its been wonderful!

    I opted for the f/1.8 over the 1.4 because I dont use it at 1.8 very often...I would never use it at 1.4! I need more depth of field then you get with those aperture...especially with kids that like to move and fidget. :)
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

which prime lenses to buy