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Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Prime Lens

Caleb Ward
By Caleb Ward
By Caleb Ward

There are a ton of benefits to shooting with a prime lens. Here are the top 5.

To anyone in the photography or filmmaking world, prime lenses give you the biggest bang for your buck. There are many benefits to shooting with primes over shooting with kit lenses. In the following round up created by CameraRec Toby you’ll learn the top 5 reasons why you should own a prime lens. In short, the top 5 reasons are:

1. Bokeh


Pronounced “Boh-Kuh” not “Bow-Kay”.

Prime lenses tend to have wider apertures than their kit lens counterparts. This creates a shallower depth of field and more background blur. When objects in the background blur out to form large orbs it’s called bokeh. For photographers and filmmakers, bokeh is a quick way to make your images look more interesting to the viewer. If you want a more detailed explanation of how apertures relate to background blur check out our posts on apertures, f-stops, and t-stops.

2. Light Gathering


Better light gathering allows you to shoot in lower light.

Another great benefit of having a larger aperture is prime lenses have greater light gathering power than their kit lens counterparts. For a photographer this is huge because it allows you to shoot at a much faster shutter speed to minimize camera shake. This isn’t to be confused with image stabilization, but it is a cheap alternative. In the video, Toby explains that compared to the average kit lens a cheap prime can have 3.33x more light gathering power.

3. Quality

Because kit lenses have many moving parts, but still need to be affordable, they are often very cheap and break easily. Prime lenses on the other hand tend to be more durable than kit lenses.

4. Value


The Canon 50mm 1.8 is around $100 brand new.

As artists, we need to save money wherever we can and prime lenses are a great place to do just that. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on an expensive zoom lens, try buying a nice prime set instead. You will get all the benefits of the expensive zoom lens at a much lower cost.

5. Size

Prime lenses tend to be much smaller than zoom lenses making them easier to carry and shoot with. Now this is admittedly not a huge problem but when you have limited space in your camera bag every inch counts.

This video was first shared on CameraRec Toby‘s Youtube Channel. Thanks for sharing Toby!

If you are interested in learning how to turn a $20 prime lens into a cine lens check out our post on creating custom cine lenses.

Any other benefits to shooting with prime lenses? Share in the comments below.