Prime Time for Lenses

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

A prime lens is a photographic lens whose focal length is fixed, as opposed to a zoom lens. I’ve always liked the idea of a fixed focal length lens but I’m just lazy and love being able to stay in one place and have the lens do all the work. I love zoom lenses so much that when a customer recently asked me what I thought of a certain prime lens I didn’t have a good answer.

Photographers have always considered primes to be sharper than zoom lenses and they frequently have wider apertures making them better in low light. I like lenses to be light and small to match my Panasonic Lumix GX85 so I like to use the Panasonic Leica 15mm f/1.7 lens. This lens is the equivalent to a 30mm in a full frame camera but is not as wide as I like.

To make it more interesting I set the camera to the square format (1:1 ratio) and shot in black and white. I thought I’d do it for a couple of days and now two weeks later I’m having trouble switching back. I love the look of the square black and white and the 15mm lens is making me see things in a new way.

There are less expensive prime lenses like the Lumix 14mm f/2.5 and 20mm f/1.7 pancake lenses and the Olympus 17mm f/1.8, that Joe uses, if you want to give something different a try.