“I’m doing some research into lenses for my DSLR and have come across lenses being referred to as Prime lenses. What is a Prime Lens and why would I consider them instead of a Zoom lens?”
Thanks for the question, you’re not alone in asking it. As DSLRs come down in price I’m finding more and more readers are doing the upgrade and are asking questions about what type of lenses are best. Let me start by pointing you to introduction to DSLR Lenses post which will give you some definitions of different types of lenses. To recap from that post:
What is a Prime Lens?
A prime lens is a lens that has one focal length only. They come in all focal lengths ranging from wide angle ones through to the longer telephoto ones.
What is a Zoom Lens?
A zoom lens is a lens that has a range of focal lengths available to the photographer in the one lens. These have become increasingly popular over the past few years as they are obviously a very convenient lens to have on your camera as they mean you can shoot at both wide and longer focal lengths without having to switch lenses mid shoot.
As you surf around different camera forums you’ll find people who argue strongly for both prime and zoom lenses. Each have their own fans and each will pull different arguments out about them. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons Zoom and Prime lenses: