Primes Or Zooms


I would like to ask you a question. What do you prefer shooting with a prime lens or a zoom lens?. This seems to be a hot topic in the photography community.I myself use more zoom lens’s then primes. For my Canon 7D I use a 28-75mm 2.8 and a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 for most of my shoots. As far as my fugu XE2 I use a 18-55 2.8-5.6 zoom when I’m shooting with mirrorless. The reason for me using zooms more, is the subjects that I shoot. Like shooting sports this is a no brainer, any thing that is happening on the field, we must use a zoom of some kind. Now as far as shooting on the sidelines or the fans I guess I could use a Prime lens.


When I am shooting Fltatrack racing I have always used my 70-200mm 2.8. For the last five years it has always been, either the 70-200mm or my 28-75mm, and that have worked great for what I was looking for. I figured this way I could stand back some from the track and grab the same shot as I could get if I was up close to the action. During a lacrosse game most of the action is far enough away from me so the zoom works great. Now during a football game a zoom could be to much sometimes. For instance down next to the goal line the play can get really close to you, and you lose the player with your zoom. A lot of shooters have a second body on them with either a small zoom attached or a wide prime. With the wide prime they can just pull up the second body and grab the shot without missing it like they might do with a zoom.


When I am shooting Dragracing I use a zoom as well to catch the action on the track, but I have started using a prime in the pits to get the behind the scenes shots. When shooting with a prime it seemed like I was always to far away, but,now I just move my feet to get closer, and get a nice shot. When shooting people this seems a little weird at first, but after awhile you get used to it. The last two Flatrack motorcycle races I have been using my “Nifty Fifty”, a Canon 1.8 50mm prime lens. This $100 plastic lens is a great piece of glass. It seems like I have shot at every place on the track and at every angle with my zooms. I wanted to get something different for the riders to look at and hopefully purchase.


Are you stuck in a rut shooting from the same spot, at the same angle, getting the same shots? I know I was so thats why I put the zooms away, and put on the “Nifty Fifty”. I love it so far. I open up the aperture, (because I can He He), and get as low as I can right next to the track. This is kind of scary sometimes, but I love the results that I am getting so far.

SDR 2014-4571

SDR 2014-4614

If I can grab the eye of the riders at this angle I think these shots look great. I am sure I will use my zooms again, but for now I really enjoy using the prime.

The prime are normally faster glass then the zooms.This is great for shooting in low light,and gives you great Bokeh, ( the blurring of the back ground). I know I have listened to a lot of professionals and most of them shoot primes. They will have a 70-200mm in their bag, but for the most part they use primes.Know these primes are expensive, and to have one for every focal length will cost a fortune. So that is why most of us that do not shoot for a living choose the less expensive zooms.This way we can cover most of the focal lengths that we need, and not spend a ton of money in the process.


So I guess we should use the tools that fit our budget,and will get use the shots that we need for the job that we are doing. Im sure we would all love to have a bag full of primes, but lets face do we really need all of them? Im guilty of G.A.S.( gear acquisition syndrome) as much as the next person, but a couple zooms and a prime seem to get the job done for me.

Leave a comment and let me know what you are using for your shoots, and what lens would you buy if you had the cash to buy one. Thank you for visiting Buzword again Subscribe and get my latest article as soon as it is posted.

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