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... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Monday, August 29, 2011

Think About Buying A Prime Lens

Everyone is buying zoom lenses these days, including me. They are very handy, buy unless you spend some money on them, really slow. Most wide angle zooms are 3.5/4.5 maximum aperture. You can't do a lot of low light shooting with them. For years I carried a big bag of lenses, a 20mm, 24 0r 28mm, 35mm, 85, 105,
180 and a 300. All were f2.8's except the 300. The everyday 300 was a 4.5 , then later an f4. I still have a Nikkor 300f4. It is light, sharp and fast enough for lots of situations. High school football still requires a 300f2.8.

Zoey was with us yesterday, and I spent some time photographing her with the D70 and my Nikkor 28f2.8.
Our living room is really dark. Even with the 2.8 lens, I was shooting 1/20 second at 1000 ISO. If I had used my old favorite 15-30f3.5, I would have had to shoot at a slower shutter speed or gone way up on the ISO. The D70 really doesn't do well above 800. These are really grainy.

Anyway, if you are really interested in expanding your shooting experience and capabilities, consider a prime lens. Prime lenses are lighter, faster, and usually a bit sharper. They are not bad on the pocketbook either. 
Another cool thing about shooting with a prime lens is that they make you think more and work a little harder.
You can't zoom in or out, so you have to get off your butt and move some, keep your eye in the viewfinder and figure out what you want in your image.

So, next time you are thinking about new glass, consider a prime lens.

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