Which type of camera lens would you rather have: one that allows you to change how the photo is cropped or a camera lens that has a constant focal length? That’s just one of the differences you will find between prime vs zoom camera lens.
If you are trying to decide between the two, this comparison will give you clarity on prime vs zoom lens.
What is a Prime Lens?
If you are not familiar with what a prime lens does, it has a fixed focal length. Photographers who use the prime lens are sports photographers and paparazzi. If you are looking for a fixed focal length, this is the camera lens for you.
Another thing: if you are starting off as a photographer, then a prime lens is for you. You are going to have to put more work into using a prime vs zoom lens, and it will be the most rewarding of all to learn. You will not be finding yourself with lazy photographer syndrome using the prime lens.
Prime Lens Quality
Quality is what the prime lens is known for and their optics are advanced. It will actually depend on the manufacturer’s price to show how great the camera lens is. In fact, it is arguably superior to the zoom lens.
Prime Lens Aperture
The prime lens opens at more apertures than the zoom lens can. If you have the right prime lens, you might even allow yourself over three times the amount of light than the zoom lens, making it far more remarkable in its own right. You will be able to take photographs in low light with a prime vs zoom lens as it allows more light into the lens. These lens will create beautiful bokeh over a zoom lens.
The downside to the Prime Lens
You are going to be somewhat limited flexibility wise. You will not have the same exact possibilities that you would get with the zoom, so you should probably take that into account.
Prime Lens Price
You will find the prime lens prices around $100-$200 and up. Remember, you are going to have a substantially higher quality than that of your kit lens at that price.
What is a Zoom Lens?
A zoom camera lens can allow your camera to take photographs anywhere from long shots to close-ups. And a zoom lens will not handicap you when you need to change the focal length as the prime lens will.
Your main advantage of the zoom lens is you will not have to change lenses. You will have the lens you need at your fingertips.
Zoom Lens Quality
While some manufacturers sell zoom lenses that are catching up in quality, it still does not match up to that of the prime lens. You might miss out on a sharper zoom than that of a prime lens.
Zoom Lens Aperture
Depending on the kind of zoom lens you are using (aka if its a cheaper lens or not), you may have an aperture of f/2.8 and throughout the zoom range. That being said, you will probably always know what you are working with using the zoom lens.
The downside to the Zoom Lens
You may find your zoom lens having a lower image quality due to the noise if it is a cheaper lens. You might also experience some pincushioning aka distortion where the edges are stretched. One last thing: using the maximum zoom will cause the shutter response to slow, resulting in a more blurry photograph. Make sure you are aware of these points when using your zoom lens.
Zoom Lens Price
Since you can do more with your zoom lens, you are going to pay a much higher price, in most instances, in comparison to the prime lens. It is going to depend on the capabilities of the zoom lens you decide to purchase.
Prime vs Zoom which lens wins?
Neither. As a photographer, I always have both handy. If you simply want a lens that can do it all and call it a day, then go for the zoom. But if you are an avid photographer, options are better to have at your disposal. Happy shopping!