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Prime vs. Zoom Lens

Lesson 46 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Prime vs. Zoom Lens

Lesson 46 from: Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

46. Prime vs. Zoom Lens


Class Trailer



The Camera is Simply a Tool


How Does a Camera Work?


How to Adjust Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO


Exposure Triangle


What is a Stop of Light


Reading Exposure Via the Histogram


Blown Highlights or Clipped Details


White Balance & Color Temperature


No Such Thing as the Correct Exposure


How To Measure or Meter Light


8 Key Points to Understanding ISO and Image Quality


Understanding the 3 Primary Metering Methods


How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot


Equivalent Exposure but Different Images


Compensating for Light and Dark Scenes


Starting with Automated Modes


Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode


Portrait Mode on a Fashion Shoot


Landscape Mode on the Beach


Sports or Action Mode


Macro Mode with Food Photography


Creative Effects Mode - Floral Photography


In-Camera Processing


A Glimpse into RAW Processing


15 Tips When You’re Having Trouble Focusing


3 Primary Types of Autofocus


Single Shot with Portrait Session


Single Shot with Action Shots


AI Servo with Action Shots


Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection


Shutter Speed and the Reciprocal Rule


How to Hold a Camera and Panning Tutorial


What Makes a Great Photograph?


How to Capture Candid Moments


How to Find the Right Light Direction


5 Basic Compositional Theories


The Power of Cropping


Color Schemes


Diving into the Narrative


If It’s Not Working With, It’s Probably Working Against


More About Your Camera and Lenses


Understanding Megapixels


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras


Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Demonstration


Prime vs. Zoom Lens


How the Lens Affects Composition


Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG


5 Tips on Memory Cards


10 Tips on Buying Gear




The Good Karma Jar


Posing and Action Shots with Female Model


Posing and Lighting with Female Model


Posing and Lighting Couples Portraits


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.

Ratings and Reviews


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.

Student Work