After we graduate from the complete beginner phase of our photography journey and as we start to ask the important questions like "which camera should I buy next," we invariably land on a discussion thread or Fstoppers article lampooning the plebeian zoom lens over its rival prime. "Move with your feet, you lazy so and so" and "look how light my backpack is," cry the baying mob as you hang your not-so-sharp head in shame. But, not all is as it seems.
My tounge-in-cheek introductory paragraph aside, I actually do enjoy using prime lenses. For me, Canon's 50mm f/1.8 (nifty fifty) is the first thing to come to mind when this discussion pops up. For such an affordable lens, the image quality is fantastic, at f/1.8, it's great in low-light situations, but more than anything, I enjoy the simplicity.
Coming to you from Andrew of the YouTube channel Denae & Andrew is a much-welcomed counterargument to the eternal saga that is prime versus zoom lenses. Many photographers wax poetic about their superior prime and how using a zoom lens will turn you into a lazy shooter. As Andrew points out in this video, however, in many scenarios, having a zoom lens is far more beneficial, especially to the inexperienced photographer. Starting out with a zoom can give you more perspectives of the same subject, so it's much easier to figure out what works and what doesn't. Going forward, it's easier to decide on your preferred shooting style; maybe then you can invest in a prime.
As a landscape photographer, oftentimes, moving closer to a subject with my feet could land me in a spot of bother, such as in the sea or at the bottom of a cliff. So, for me, when out shooting in nature, it's a no-brainer: zooms all the way. Andrew points out some other interesting misconceptions around the comparisons, so the video is well worth a watch.
What do you think? Are primes really that much better than zooms?