Yes the video is just 5 reasons but in this post you get a bonus 6th reason you should own a prime lens. Watch, read and let me know your thoughts on prime lenses in the comments below.

What is a prime lens?

A prime lens has a fixed focal length; it doesn’t zoom. Why would you want a lens that doesn’t zoom? 5 Reasons below!

What are the advantages of prime lenses?

  1. Prime lenses often offer very wide maximum apertures, ideal for isolating your subjects from the background and capturing beautiful bokeh(background out of focus).
Screenshot 2014-07-06 12.18.09
Shallow depth of field allows for better subject isolation (on right) and better bokeh.
  1. Those wide apertures also allow you to maximizing the light entering your camera. Keep your aperture wide and you can then keep your shutter speed higher or your ISO lower. This makes prime lenses a good choice for low light photography.
Screenshot 2014-06-30 14.56.12
Comparing the light gathering abilities of a typical kit lens vs a typical prime lens.
  1. Because of their smaller and simpler construction, prime lenses have fewer moving parts which means less distortion and better quality images than your typical zoom lenses.
  1. Reasons 1 through 3 means you get a better value for your money as primes are often hundreds of dollars cheaper than zoom lenses.
  1. They are often smaller and lighter compared to typical zoom lenses – making primes a great choice when you want to travel light.

Screenshot 2014-07-06 12.28.47


  1. Forcing yourself to use a prime encourages you to move to achieve the frame you want, as opposed to the lazy zoom in out and approach and moving and thinking critically about your framing is a good habit to build as a photographer.

Let me know in the comments your favorite prime lens and your favorite reason(s) for attaching a prime lens to your camera.

I have recommended prime lenses for Canon and Nikon and 5 tips for sharper images

Follow me on Instagram | Watch my latest Youtube Video | Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

 Evening in Bol on the island of Brač, off the coast of Split. One of our last nights in Croatia - looking forward to a return to this beautiful country. Panasonic #GH5 12-60 lens 3 second exposure.
 Way back in March we spent a few nights at the awesome #aurorabear yurt run by @frankstelges If you want to hang out at the coolest yurt while watching #auroraborealis reach out to him!! While waiting for the aurora to show up I ran the 80D in time-lapse mode and then stacked it all in #starstax which answers the question - what's it look like when you shoot the stars AND the full moon and StarStax it all. Captured with the #Canon #80D and 24mm f/2.8 lens. (Note - the 80D ran for 3 hours in near zero temps on one battery!)
 Left to Right - Mahtotopa Mountain(8,671 ft), Little Chief Mountain (9,514 ft), Citadel Mountain (9,035 ft) - as seen from Going-To-The-Sun Point #GlacierNP is awesome even if #loganpass is closed! I could tell you when it will open but we were sworn to secrecy :) #mckaylive

Want to be a better photographer? Become a Member! $5/Month gets you access to my Lightroom video library the support group and more!

Support this site - Shop for anything through the links below and I earn a small percentage - it costs you nothing extra.


  1. I have two primes for each camera. My Nikon are 24mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/!.8 and both used. On my Olympus I have a 25mm f/ 1.8 and a 45mm f/1.8 for portraits. And it’s one sweet lens too. I like primes because they are fast and light to carry. My cameras are Nikon D750 and Olympus E-M1.

    • I like the Canon 100 f/2.8L Macro. Not only do I get nice macro shots, but awesome portrait shots with good Bokeh.

  2. Toby, after your recommendation late last year i purchased the “nifty 40”–my first prime. i’ve loved what i’ve done with it so far. it was great on my Christchurch walkabout in Feb–very light to carry on such a hot day–and the images i captured were much better than the same ones i took on my 24-105 (as i experimented). thank you!

Leave a Reply

eight − five =