Become A Photographer

Useful tips to help you on your journey to becoming a photographer

Do I need prime lenses to be a professional photographer?

Do I need prime lenses to be a professional photographer?Do I need prime lenses to be a professional photographer?

As with all photography questions, this is a little open ended and it really does depend on which area of photography you want to be working in.

However, I’d say if you’re just getting started as a professional photographer the answer is quite simply ‘NO’

There are a lot of photographers who would disagree with this statement and say that a fixed focal length is an absolute must for a professional.

Honestly though, in all of my years of digital photography (since 2003), I have never worked with a prime lens. I find that a really good quality zoom lens has been absolutely perfect for all of my needs.

Would I like some prime lenses? Yes, of course. They are the photographers Nirvana.

If you are shooting social photography such as weddings, events and lifestyle portraits, I’d argue that a standard zoom lens will be of more use to you than a prime ever will.

If you intend to shoot still life and landscapes, you may want to invest in those all important prime lenses though.

I would reiterate though, you don’t need them and I know professionals in both of these fields who use standard zooms over primes… Having prime lenses certainly won’t MAKE you a professional 😉Do I need prime lenses to become a professional photographer

If you’re on a limited budget, invest in a really good standard zoom to get started and then buy the prime lenses as you progress.

Once you do  make the leap and decide to invest in some ‘serious’ glass, you’ll be best to start with a standard 50mm (or nifty fifty as they’re known). On a full frame sensor they are considered to be quite close to human field of vision.

From there a really good wide angle and then maybe a fast Telephoto.

Unless you’re just keen to have a go and get used to the discipline of photographing with prime lenses, it is worth saving your money and investing in the very best lens you can afford, with the fastest aperture.

I personally have always shied away from third party lenses (although I have owned a few) and now I will only buy lenses made by the manufacturer of the camera. They are always in my humble opinion of far superior build quality than the third party sellers.

I will say though, the new range of ‘Art’lenses do look quite nice and reasonably well made. I can’t give them my full recommendation though, as I have never used them for extended periods of time.

So, here are some ‘Nifty Fifty’ lenses that will get you going. Needless to say I make money if you make a purchase through these links, which helps keep the site going.

Nikon 2137 AF Nikkor 50 mm F/1.8 D FX Full Frame Prime Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Sony SEL50F18F E Mount Full Frame 50 mm F1.8 Prime Lens

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