Camera Corner: Prime Lenses or Zoom Lenses?
Here at TECH TV we use a wide range of camera gear to create the perfect corporate video production for you. We fly thousands of pounds worth kit around the globe every month, providing stress-free production.
Therefore, we thought it was time to explain what some of the equipment you may see us using at your site is. In the first of a new series of blogs, we are going to explore the differences between Prime Lenses and Zoom Lenses.
What is a Prime Lens?
A Prime Lens can be defined as a lens with a fixed focal length. The lens has a set focal distance which cannot be altered, meaning the only way to adjust the angle of view is to move the camera forwards or backwards.
“A Prime Lens can be defined as a
lens with a fixed focal length.“
What is a Zoom Lens?
In contrast, a Zoom Lens can be defined as a lens with a variable focal length. The focal distance of the lens can be changed by moving the lens’ zoom ring. This moves the optics in the lens to adjust the angle of view, rather than having to physically move the camera.
Benefits of Prime Lenses
Prime Lenses are generally smaller in both size and weight, as they do not cover such a wide range of focal length. Size and portability are often key considerations for many camera operators, and if it’s this that you are after, then Prime Lenses are far more suitable than a bulky 70-200mm Zoom Lens, for example.
Visually, a Prime Lens is often likely to give you a better quality of image. As a general rule, the maximum aperture of a Zoom Lens tends to be f/2.8. However, a Prime Lens can have an aperture as wide as f/1.2. This means that the lens will perform better in low light, and also shoot stills or videos with a shallower depth of field.
The cost of Prime Lenses can also be a massive advantage. Zoom Lenses tend to be far more expensive due to their versatility, and the fact that you can carry one lens that has the same focal range as an entire set of primes. However, you can often find sets of primes that will cost less for the entire set than one single Zoom Lens will cost, and produce better quality images.
Benefits of Zoom Lenses
We have already touched on the impressive versatility of Zoom Lenses. Being able to quickly and easily move from 16-50mm, or from 70-200mm is a massive advantage in certain situations.
Portability is also an important factor when thinking about Zoom Lenses. While they are often big and bulky, they will be the only lens you need in your kit bag, and allow you to reduce the total size and weight of the kit you take, as you don’t need a range of primes to cover various focal distances. As a minor side note, using Zoom Lenses will tend keep your sensor more clean, as lenses will be changed less often.
In conclusion, it really depends on the project, and what the lens is being used for to decide whether Prime Lenses or Zoom Lenses are most suitable. With so many factors to consider, why not leave it to the experts?
Get in touch today for a no obligation chat about your corporate video production, on 020 7112 8665, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.