I didn't always shoot with just prime lenses...
When I picked up my first DSLR it came with an 18-55mm and a 55-200mm lens. I learned a lot from these lenses and made tons of mistakes with them, but they were fun. I was able to zoom in to get close-ups and also get those wider environmental shots as well.
I learned most of the basics with these lenses. The best thing was that whenever I wanted to I could zoom in.
Over time I found myself using the 55-200mm lens more because I could take photos of things I couldn't quite get close enough to.
I would take photos of birds, flowers, and other plants at my nearby garden.
As I got into portrait photography and eventually into wedding photography I found that I needed an upgrade. There were better lenses out there for low light situations, sharpness, contrast and with improved depth of field. Who knew all that would become important to me.
So I went and bought a nice 28-75mm lens and a 70-200mm lens. These were both much more expensive, but were clear steps up. I was so pleased with them and found myself getting more joy out of taking photos.
Right around that same time I picked up a 35mm and a 50mm lens. These were prime lenses and everywhere I read they were supposed to be sharper and possibly get me better images.
I did see an improvement with these lenses (which cost about a third of both of my zoom lenses at the time). It was amazing. For such a small price tag these were amazing! But, I wasn't sold on them at that point.
Sure they were sharp, but indoors I had to constantly change them as they were either not wide enough or not long enough for me.
This frustrated me so I continued with my zoom lenses. I found they were more flexible and it was easy to get a couple different shots quickly.
Then, I started to use my prime lenses more as they were small and light weight. I found that they were easier to use if I made an effort to anticipate the setting I would be working in.
Lucky for me I was able to round up some money and purchased a macro lens for myself. It was more expensive than the other two I had, but I knew how much I loved taking closeups of things so I bought it.
It instantly became my favorite lens. It was super sharp and I was able to capture images I couldn't with my other lenses.
The 105mm 2.8 Nikon Macro lens is still one of my favorite lenses.
Whenever I go out to take fun photos just for me it is easily my go to lens.
I slowly started to get used to using my prime lenses more. I would think about the shooting environment way in advance and be able to anticipate the focal length I would need. I even gave myself little homework where I would head out with just one prime lens and take photos with it.
This was great. I found that I missed being able to zoom, but at the same time I found myself finding different subjects and angles to shoot.
It was challenging and fun at the same time. My prime lenses also had larger apertures which meant I could get away with taking photos in much lower light than with my zooms.
I slowly started to see their advantages more clearly and feeling more comfortable with the way they presented the world to me.
Slowly I started to sell my zoom lenses and use my prime lenses more.
I'm not sure either is better or "the way to go", but for me I started to truly appreciate my lenses the more I used my primes.
In the end it just took practice and a lot of getting to know my lenses to realize that my prime lenses were not irritating because they couldn't zoom, but instead lightweight, super sharp and consistent.
I always know what to expect when I put one on my camera. As they don't zoom, the view never changes. Because of this I can frame my photo and take photos with very little preparation.
During weddings and other events being able to observe, see the shot and take it is very important.
I now use two cameras and enjoy putting a wider lens on one and a longer prime lens on the other.
I still prefer the longer lens for most of my photos as they do a better job of isolating the subject, but having a variety is always good.
What do you like to shoot with?
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