In photography and film, a prime lens is an optical fixed focal length camera lens, usually with a minimum aperture of f2.8 up to f1.2 with some models offering top settings up to f3.5.

The term prime can also mean the main lens in conjunction with another lens fixed to achieve focus across the whole range of a given range.



What Is a Prime Lens?

If you’re a photographer, it’s important to choose the right lens for your camera. One of the most popular lenses is called a prime lens. A prime lens has one focal length and an aperture that can’t be changed.

Prime lenses have been shown to produce sharper images with less distortion than zoom lenses do when taking photos at wide angles or at close distances.

They can be used for both still and video photography.

Prime lenses are often preferred by professional photographers because they’re less expensive than zoom lenses due to their simple construction, which results in better image quality.



This can also be used to refer to any lens that allows for continuous variable focus within the fixed focal length of a model.

So in essence it is the widest point of focus, which may vary slightly from model to model. As it is the widest, it is often referred to as prime.

What Is A Prime Lens?

There are different types of prime lenses.

Ultra-wide primes are larger than normal primes but tend to offer less precision.

These tend to be zoomed. Super primes are extremely large and offer high resolution and high optical performance, but are generally more expensive than regular primes.

Wide-angle prime lenses are available and work well for landscape imaging and portraits. Telephoto prime lenses are very short range and have high image quality but also tend to be rather expensive.

Wide-angle primes are used for macro photography and are available in many different sizes and types, though they tend to be more expensive than other types of prime lenses. Medium primes work better for portraits and landscapes.

The size and weight of a prime can vary quite significantly.

What is a Prime Lens

Smaller primes tend to be lighter than their larger counterparts while larger ones tend to be heavier and are much larger.

Distortion is one of the prime lenses’ main characteristics and affects the quality of images available.


Distortion is actually the product of the curved shape of the lens, which slightly changes the path of light as it passes across the surface of the lens. Some of the prime lenses include Nikon, Sigma, and Ti.

Large primes differ quite a bit in how they handle distortion – some tend to be more affected than others, especially when using image stabilization.

Optical performance is one of the prime factors included when discussing prime lenses. While priming differs greatly in the amount of optical performance, there are a few common characteristics included.

Prime Lenses – Important Factors

Overall, the optical performance of primes is good but not great as compared to other camera types. Distortion is another common feature with primes, however, and this also tends to affect the quality of images available.

Image stabilization is another factor to consider when searching for prime lenses. Most primes come with some type of optical stabilization.

However, there are a few that do not have this feature. In general, though, all primes come with some type of optical stabilization.

What is a Prime Lens

As the name suggests, this feature works to minimize the problems that may arise from shaky hands or other physical conditions.

Overall, primes differ from standard lenses in many ways. Prime primes differ from regular primes because they are larger and have different lenses. They differ in size by about three hundred millimeters.

In addition, most primes differ because they have different lens designs as well. These designs include single/double group focus, and some have image stabilization.

What is a Prime Lens

Why Are Prime Lenses Important?

When determining what is a prime lens, it is important to note that these lenses were specifically designed to give more magnification than a regular lens could.

This means that they have to work harder for the same effect.

Overall, primes differ from regular lenses because they are larger, heavier, and require more care.

Regardless of all of these factors though, primes are an excellent choice for those who need large amounts of magnification in their photos.

For those who are curious about what is a prime lens, there are a few different types that are commonly available.

The first type is called a flat prime lens, which is typically about seven times its own weight in diameter.

A half-wave parabolic prime is another type of prime lens, which has a shorter focal length than a flat prime.

Finally, penteprismatic primes are prime lenses that have their focus on one side. These can be more expensive than other primes but are usually worth the extra money because of their performance.

Why Fast Prime Lenses Matter

Fast prime lenses are an entirely different breed of lens. They’re designed to be the fastest, brightest and sharpest lenses in your bag.

The design is a feat of engineering that can’t be achieved with zoom lenses due to their inherent limitations as optical devices.

Fast primes have only one focal length, so they don’t need to change their optical formula for zooming as a standard zoom lens does; instead, they just use clever tricks like adding elements or changing the curvature of certain surfaces.

What is a Prime Lens

How To Choose Your Prime Lens

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what type of photography do you want to shoot? Do you want to focus on portraits, or landscapes, or maybe a mixture of both?

Once you have an idea of what type(s) of photography interests you the most then it’s time to decide which focal length will best suit your needs.

For those who are looking for something that can capture vast distances and provide a large field depth, the telephoto lens might be the answer.

Those who prefer capturing facial expressions and specific details would probably enjoy using a wide-angle lens more than anything else.

Prime Lenses And Subject Matter

Prime lenses are not what they used to be. They used to be the best way to shoot for professional photographers, but now they’re being passed up by zoom lenses.

The reason why is that prime lenses have a fixed focal length and cannot change it.

Zoom lenses on the other hand can change their focal length, allowing you to get closer or farther away from your subject matter without moving yourself so much as an inch.

The word “prime” is defined as a natural number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than itself and 1.

The term “Mid-length Prime” refers to any prime between the range of 11 and 109 inclusive. This blog will explore the history, significance, and intricacies of these numbers.

Wide Primes

Wide-angle shots are often dominated by the subject at the center of the frame, and other objects in the background appear as hazy silhouettes.

However, if you use a wide prime lens for your photography needs, such as Canon’s EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM or Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses, then you can capture more of what surrounds your subject while still maintaining a sharp focus on it.

The wider field of view allows for greater depth perception and creates an improved sense of space that is hard to achieve with standard telephoto focal lengths like 85mm or 135mm without using special equipment like tilt-shift lenses or converters.

Using Filters On Your Prime Lenses

Prime lenses are great for photojournalists and photographers who need to capture crisp images.

They also offer a more vintage feel to photos than those captured with other lens types.

However, some prime lenses can be too sharp if they don’t have the right filter on them.

Filters are an important part of photography. They can be used to enhance a photo, or make it look more dramatic.

Filters also protect the lens from scratches and other damage that may occur during use.

What is a Prime Lens

Prime Lens vs. Zoom Lens

A prime lens is one that doesn’t zoom and a zoom lens is one that does. Both are used in photography but each has its own unique qualities.

A prime lens will have an aperture of typically F/2, which means it will be able to take pictures with shallow depth-of-field.

This allows you to blur the background so the subject pops out more on-screen or print.

You can also get close-up shots with less distortion than they would usually have when using a zoom lens as well as limit your reach to certain angles for creative effect.

On the other hand, a zoom lens offers some flexibility because you can choose what part of the photo you want in focus and how much of it there should be while still.

Prime lenses are cheaper and lighter than zoom lenses, but they can’t be used for all types of shots.

Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, meaning that you need to change the distance between you and your subject in order to capture different perspectives or scenes.

On the other hand, zoom lenses allow photographers to adjust their focal length quickly without changing their position on the scene.

Zoom lens images usually appear sharper than prime lens images because it allows more light into the camera’s sensor which helps reduce image noise levels.

Zoom lenses also offer greater flexibility when photographing moving subjects such as children or pets as they can track them from afar with ease.

Zoom And Prime Lenses For Couples Portraits

Zoom and Prime lenses are both excellent photography tools for capturing romantic portraits of couples.

However, one is typically better than the other depending on your shooting scenario.

You can also use it to get close-up shots of small objects that would otherwise be too far away to take an image without zooming in.

Prime lenses, on the other hand, excel at producing sharp images with low levels of distortion and chromatic aberration.

They’re best suited for taking pictures indoors where there’s not much light or outdoors during overcast days because they have no zoom capabilities whatsoever and require you to physically move closer if you want more detail.

Buying Your First Prime Lens – 35mm Or 50mm

The 50mm prime lens is a fantastic option for photography because it can provide you with the best low-light performance.

It also has a narrower depth of field, which is great for portraits and other creative photography work.

The 35mm lens is perfect if you want to have more options when shooting in tight spaces or need to capture large groups of people without having to back away from your subject.

When shooting with the prime lens you need to consider what type of subject matter you’re capturing. Landscapes require wider angle lenses (about 24mm), while portraits require longer focal lengths (about 85mm).

We have Gear Buyer’s Guides on every type of Filmmaking Equipment!