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Prime lens, for quality on a budget #photography

I started off some years ago with a Fujifilm S5600 doing landscapes and it was only in 2013 did I upgrade to a Nikon D3200 and that isn’t a top of the range camera but I have managed to get some decent photos with it. Some of the many photos have been used by Express and Star and I now have a page on their website. I’ve been doing events and last week Libby Rose posed for me and although the photo-shoot didn’t go quite as I planned I got some good pictures with a prime lens.


You don’t take a picture – you create a picture

I imagined this picture before I took it and knew I would need a wide aperture. The widest my zoom lenses go to is F4.5 and so I needed to use my 35mm prime lens. I shot this wide open at F1.8. People have questioned why I would buy a lens that doesn’t zoom and this is the reason; I can shoot at a much wider aperture. I could buy a zoom lens with a wider aperture but it would cost a lot more. One that goes to F2.8 costs over £700, so for that reason, many photographers go for prime lenses. My 35mm prime only cost £117 which was my cheapest lens and it gives the best results. I can also use it for landscapes even though it doesn’t zoom.

Prime landscapes

When you use a prime for landscapes there can be a lot of walking backwards and forwards because you can’t zoom in and out. The zoom lens is so convenient in that way! There is another option and that is to simply crop the picture when you edit it to zoom in. My D3200 goes to 6000 pixels by 4000 pixels and for most applications, I only need an image that is 1500 pixels wide. I can crop a picture to a 1/16 of its original size and still have an image big enough for use online or even in a newspaper. I don’t shoot for Vogue, not yet anyway!

Natural light

A prime lens is great at wide open because it will capture the image, even in low light. For this picture, I used the natural light coming in through the window.  It lights up one side of Libby’s face and backlights her hair. I think next time I want a little less light through the window and a reflector or a flash on the other side. I didn’t expect great pictures, it was a cloudy day and although the sun broke through earlier I had to use a higher ISO for all the pictures. At least we got a few good pictures. I’m having this one printed later today.

There are other uses for a 35mm prime including food photography and photographing products as well as doing portraits. The price of all the lenses has gone up since the referendum vote on Brexit, but the 35mm prime is still more affordable than the zoom lenses and gives much better quality.

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