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Photography 101

Lesson 46 of 55

Prime vs. Zoom Lens

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

46. Prime vs. Zoom Lens


Class Trailer
1 Introduction 03:17 2 The Camera is Simply a Tool 06:24 3 How Does a Camera Work? 12:07 4 How to Adjust Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO 07:22 5 Exposure Triangle 13:53 6 What is a Stop of Light 07:06 7 Reading Exposure Via the Histogram 11:59 8 Blown Highlights or Clipped Details 04:18
9 White Balance & Color Temperature 23:24 10 No Such Thing as the Correct Exposure 06:13 11 How To Measure or Meter Light 06:41 12 8 Key Points to Understanding ISO and Image Quality 15:59 13 Understanding the 3 Primary Metering Methods 12:18 14 How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot 06:49 15 Equivalent Exposure but Different Images 03:49 16 Compensating for Light and Dark Scenes 06:14 17 Starting with Automated Modes 02:19 18 Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode 09:33 19 Portrait Mode on a Fashion Shoot 08:45 20 Landscape Mode on the Beach 08:18 21 Sports or Action Mode 12:09 22 Macro Mode with Food Photography 10:10 23 Creative Effects Mode - Floral Photography 08:52 24 In-Camera Processing 06:01 25 A Glimpse into RAW Processing 12:55 26 15 Tips When You’re Having Trouble Focusing 15:18 27 3 Primary Types of Autofocus 03:42 28 Single Shot with Portrait Session 04:05 29 Single Shot with Action Shots 02:06 30 AI Servo with Action Shots 06:14 31 Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection 05:41 32 Shutter Speed and the Reciprocal Rule 06:50 33 How to Hold a Camera and Panning Tutorial 11:07 34 What Makes a Great Photograph? 05:07 35 How to Capture Candid Moments 07:08 36 How to Find the Right Light Direction 11:40 37 5 Basic Compositional Theories 11:17 38 The Power of Cropping 10:22 39 Color Schemes 04:43 40 Diving into the Narrative 12:38 41 If It’s Not Working With, It’s Probably Working Against 01:56 42 More About Your Camera and Lenses 01:20 43 Understanding Megapixels 09:15 44 Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras 06:01 45 Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Demonstration 04:55 46 Prime vs. Zoom Lens 06:57 47 How the Lens Affects Composition 08:54 48 Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG 09:22 49 5 Tips on Memory Cards 07:06 50 10 Tips on Buying Gear 11:35 51 Conclusion 03:43 52 The Good Karma Jar 01:41 53 Posing and Action Shots with Female Model 12:39 54 Posing and Lighting with Female Model 01:31 55 Posing and Lighting Couples Portraits 06:00

Lesson Info

Prime vs. Zoom Lens

In this video I want to talk about prime versus zoom lenses essentially what are the differences between the two? What are the advantages and disadvantages now let's first talk about a zoom lens and I have like the basic kitt zoom lenses, so this is the eighteen to fifty five we also have the fifty five to fifty with I think the nikon and a fifty five three hundred one of the other, so we have these different zoom lenses that come with our standard kit set and they're great I love zoom lenses but really the main functionality or the main reason why we get zoom lenses for the convenience, the fact that they consume and that can change focal length means that it saves us a lot of trouble often times there are many scenes where we simply can't get wide enough we simply can't get close enough to our subject, so having a zoom lens is exactly what you need. This is a case if you're shooting stay sports when you need to get a zoom it because you can't really wander onto the field while they'r...

e playing soccer football or anything like that you gotta stay from the sideline same thing if you're shooting say wide types of shots have the ability to zoom is an incredible feature when having basically to choose your overall composition, but there is a major trade off in that zoom functionality well there's actually, several major trade offs one is that in general, zoom lenses are going to provide the same quality as a prime lance prime lens is a lens that has a fixed focal ng, so, for example, this fifty millimeter lens it doesn't change an overall focal length. This makes it a prime in general, if you compare the same quality of zoom to the same quality of prime, well, you're going to get a little bit better image quality out of the prime lens. In addition, zoom lenses are going to cost more they're going to generally be heavier, and the reason for that is because they require a lot more glass, and if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense because for a zoom lens to be able to change in folk alike, do all the things that a zoom lens does well, you need additional glass. This makes them more expensive, it makes them heavier and more bulky as well. In addition, if we're talking about safe, fixed aperture zoom lenses, they get extremely expensive. For example, a twenty four, seventy f two eight with either an icon or canon or sony or anybody is going to cost roughly two thousand dollars it's expensive, and this is kind of the issue with a zoom lens. It's an expensive zoom linda's they're goingto lack the image quality. They won't have a wide aperture they have varying apertures, and overall, if we jump to say expensive zoom lenses with fixed actors with wide open afters, well, they still can't get his wide as a prime lands, and they also get very expensive and very bulky. Now my overall favorite kid to shoot with professionally is my twenty four seventy f two eight I have the cannon version, the mark to have the seven, two hundred to eight mark two for the cannon and also the fifty one point two, the eighty five one point two, and for ultra wide shots, I have my sixteen thirty five thes air the five lenses that I use the most for basically every type of scene in between them, I have lenders that basically can shoot with super wide, open apertures that are great for that boca aesthetic. They're great in low light, and I also have that zoom functionality. Now remember that any time any budget basically you can get these same lenses, we can get the fifty one point eight for a fraction of the cost of the fifty one point two, and you're still going to get an amazing look out of it, so what I would say is get your prime lenses prime lens is the easiest way to take your images to the next level, especially if you're just using the standard kit lenses and it's inexpensive as well. This is only a hundred bucks or so, and you've got a great lands that can do quite a bit. The eighty five one point is another linds I would highly recommend for a secondary prime lens to start out with and also the thirty five millimetre, really between the thirty five to fifty and eighty five the on ly difference there is going to be, well, the types of scenes and the types of overall composition that you typically take if you're typically shooting wider than you might be better off with a thirty five if you're tighter than maybe with a fifty or eighty five if you do primarily portrait than the eighty five one eight is an amazing starter prime lands to get started with. All right, so what we're gonna do in this scene is going to go ahead and show you the difference in kind of that overall aesthetic by shooting the same scene with our fifty one point eight and also my eighteen fifty five kit lens at fifty millimeters, basically. So let's, go ahead and go over our scene, and we'll talk about what we've done here. Now you'll notice that on me, I kind of have this spotty light and space because the sun is coming straight through this tree. So what we've done is we've placed whitney here against the sunlight, okay, so you can see that we have a very nice kind of flat look with the light here, and that means that we can do really anything with the light on the face. Is it weird for me to sit here talking about, like, the way he's, like, I just talk about me? Whatever, so well, I'm gonna probably d'oh is I'll have olivia step in, and we have a nice bit of direct sunlight from right here, and I'll have her use that just to fill into the face a little bit, it's going to kind of just fill the shadows, fill a little bit of lines on the face, it'll just be a little more flattering. Look, I could go bottom up, but the problem is that we have direct sunlight coming down that reflector we're gonna get direct, like, coming up and it's not gonna look good because gonna have that up let type of look, we don't want to do that. So one I'm going to do now is I'm gonna back up a little bit I have whitney kind of place she's kind of hanging on the tree right now which looks really great now libby let's bring out that light so we can kind of see what the difference is I think I'm gonna like it with that phil let's go right at head height I have a slightly different look teo I love that looks so let me go ahead and I'm going to switch out here by the way guys by the time we released this dvd this is our one bag this is one of the bags that we make and this should be available in the harlem store it's our quick change lens bag so it makes it really easy to flip lenses in and off which is something that we do frequently and that is kind of the other downside obviously that we didn't mention with prime lenses that is more movement involved you have to move and get into position quite a bit with a zoom you're just using that zoom functionality so all right give me that same lean into me a little bit there you go gorgeous. Okay, so you can see here that the aesthetic to the image is completely different here we're shooting an f five six we have a much wider depth of field and that blur that we would get in these branches isn't really as prominent. We don't have kind of that nice aesthetic with her popping off the background. This is why I chose this tree, because with this tree we have a lot of jutting kind of branches. They're coming forward towards the lens and away from the lens. So it makes for a great example showing you exactly what that shallow depth of field does in this scene like this that's over this video. What I want you guys to do is go ahead and for your assignment, you're going to compare your primes to your zooms, shoot them at the exact same focal ng so you can kind of see the differences on your own afterwards. Once you're done, go ahead and post those images to star lounge dot com and tell everybody about your experience. I'm going to go ahead and shoot a couple more shots with whitney, and this scene will show you the shots and you guys can head on to the next video now.

Class Description

Learn how to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.

To a photography beginner, the gleaming complexity of a new camera seems to demand an arsenal of expensive equipment and a long legacy of training. This is a common misconception – beautiful, professional-grade shots are within reach to any with a mastery of the basic mechanics of photography.

Join Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge for a thorough, practical exploration of the fundamentals. Photography 101 teaches you how to use standard, inexpensive equipment to:

  • Explore the inner mechanical workings of your camera
  • Learn how to recognize good light and modify it to your needs
  • Make the elements of manual mode - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - work for you
Take advantage of the flexibility and control offered by your camera’s manual mode by shadowing Pye on 5 days of shooting at 8 different locations. You’ll learn how to capture both crisp action shots of moving subjects and classic portraiture with posed models. You’ll also gain a sense of what makes a great photograph, and how to mix professional staging with candid, humanizing moments.

You will walk away from Photography 101 with SLR Lounge's Pye Jirsa as a better photographer, and you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images; all with no more gear than you started with. 



I watched this class "live" and was simply amazed at the amount of information Pye covered. Yes, he talks a little fast, and since I was streaming the class I couldn't stop it to review anything, but this guy really knows his stuff and explains it very well so I absorbed quite a bit. Bye is enthusiastic, clearly enjoys his craft, and delivers excellent information to students in a light heartedI and fun way. I think some reviewers are a bit harsh about his humor. Lighten up, people! His examples and the additional information his co-host provides are very worthwhile and you can tell the course was well thought out. I plan to buy the class to help me get back into DSLR photography.


I really enjoyed this class. I am not a beginner, but there were still things I learned here that I found helpful. I really enjoy learning from Pye. He is quick, gets to the point and doesn't spend a lot of time going over and over the same point. There is a wide variety of things that he covers, so really something for everyone. I would recommend purchasing this class if you want to understand your camera better, improve your technique and start taking better photos.

Joy Bobrink

I have tried to learn photography myself via the internet / YouTube but always felt like I was missing something in my foundation. Sure I can zero out my meter...but why? How do I know the settings I've selected are the correct ones? I've been circling this drain for a year until this course. WOW! Pye has SO MUCH information in every video. He doesn't just stand in a classroom and talk, he's out in the field actually putting his settings into his camera, talking about why and why not and then shooting. He's hands on the entire course. You don't just hear him, you see exactly what he's doing! I'm a visual / listening learner and this is my eureka moment! Thank you Pye! Watching the Exposure video and how you changed the settings yet maintained the exact same exposure was mind blowing. Awesome course! I would recommend this to anyone new to photography or anyone that feels like they don't have all the info.