Three Reasons Why Prime Lenses Are Great Besides Wide Apertures

No doubt, a lot of photographers love prime lenses because they often offer super-wide apertures and creamy bokeh, but that is not the only advantage primes offer over zooms. This fantastic video discusses three reasons prime lenses are not just for crazy bokeh.

Coming to you from John Gress, this great video discusses three reasons prime lenses are good for more than just bokeh-heavy images. Personally, the biggest reason for me has always been sharpness. Modern professional zoom lenses can be fantastically sharp, but a top-level prime lens often features a noticeable jump in image quality, offering piercing sharpness that makes a photo instantly stand out. And of course, the wide apertures that prime lenses often offer are good for more than just blowing the background into a creamy swath. They allow you to shoot in very dark environments while still keeping your shutter speed fast enough to stop action or the ISO low enough to avoid high levels of noise. This can make them a great tool to have in a variety of situations in which you cannot control the amount of ambient light, ranging from wedding receptions to nighttime sports. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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6 Comments

Greg Silver's picture

Just reading the article... What are the 3 reasons?

Jan Holler's picture

1. sharpness, 2. weight. But the third "Wrong place at the wong (sic!) time" I did not understand as a reason for the sentence: "Three Reasons Why Prime Lenses Are Great Besides Wide Apertures". It says, a smalll DOF is often not the correct approach.

Tom Reichner's picture

For the focal length I shoot, I don't see primes as.having wider apertures than my zoom.

My Sigma zoom is 800mm at the long end, with an aperture of f5.6

Canon's 800mm prime has an aperture of f5.6

For shooting at the long end of the zoom's range, the prime doesn't offer any advantage, inasmuch as aperture is concerned. Of course there are lenses with wider apertures at the short and middle parts of the zoom's range, but for shooting at 800mm, a prime offers no aperture advantage.

Dakota Brown's picture

You seriously have to start making written articles Alex, instead of just sharing someone else’s video and posting your own credit at the bottom of the “article”. If I wanted to just watch videos I’d go to YouTube

Tom Reichner's picture

I concur. I really enjoy original content that is published here on Fstoppers. But I don't need a website that just tells me what is out there on other websites. I can find things myself - don't need any help with that.