Buy At Least One Prime Lens

When you bought your DSLR, it probably came with a zoom lens that easily lets you get a wide range of coverage with just a quick twist of the wrist. So, why on earth would you go back in time and pick up a prime lens that only offers a single focal length?

It’s all about aperture.

Most prime lenses offer apertures that open as far f/1.2 to f/2. These wide openings let in a lot more light, which is truly useful when shooting in existing light or low-light environments.

The AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens from Nikon is an affordable prime lens

Prime lenses are universally faster than zoom lenses and typically are much cheaper as well. This is due to the way the lenses are manufactured. Prime lenses have fewer moving parts and elements than zoom lenses.

Having a prime lens or two in your kit will really come in handy in the following situations:

  • When you need to shoot in very low-light conditions.
  • When you want to shoot with a shallow depth of field to blur your background or give the video a more filmic look.

About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.

Posted on February 14, 2012, in Gear. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Yes it is! but with my humble D300 its impossible to get sharp results at F1.8. Only at F2.2 and so on the results are acceptable. That’s my case!

  2. I use a 50mm 1:4 on a D3S and I absolutely use this lens in all my shooting. Prime lenes, do not leave the house without them!

  3. I use what ever the job calls for. Though I have several very quality primes my money makers are my 28/70 f1:2.8 and 70/200 f1:2.8. They just flat work on anything I put them on. D50, D1x, D700 or D7000.

  4. Probably you should start form a Prime Lens from the very begining of your photography career.

  5. nothing sharper,overall than a good prime lens

  6. Hi Richard! It’s Florante from GearBundles. Nice post – can we feature it on
    our Nikon Lenses page? Drop me an email at Thanks!