Are you stuck in a photography slump and keep churning out the same old type of images. Let me give you one of my favorite tips. Simply go out, buy a prime lens and let that be the only lens you take with you on trips or random photography outings.
As a Nikon guy the Nikon DX 35mm F/1.8 prime lens for Nikon’s DX crop sensor line is simply amazing. That was essentially my first and only non-kit lens for the 7 years I used my Nikon D3000. The DX model is about $200 brand new and is an absolute steal. It’s excellent in indoor settings, its super fast, and really lightweight.
What is a Prime Lens?
Prime lenses have fixed focal lengths and do not zoom so you are forced to get creative if the subject does not fit into the shot. Each brand has their own with prices generally pretty low.
A common aperture (basically how much light enters the camera) is f/1.8. Once you get above that and purchase an f/1.4, 1.2 or lower the prices start to climb. But for a beginner or amateur just getting setup with prime lens, an f/1.8 model will do you just fine.
Crop Sensor or Full Frame?
One heads-up before purchasing any lens is to make sure it’s compatible with what you’re shooting with. Most entry level cameras have a cropped sensor or APS-C sensor compared to a full-frame (or 35mm) sensor.
I will stick to assisting those with cropped sensor cameras as full-frame users are likely already very familiar with prime lens.
For a cropped sensor Nikon such as a D3400, d5600 or D7500 the lens (Nikon DX 35mm F/1.8) I mentioned at the beginning of the post is almost unbeatable.
For Canon’s cropped sensor cameras (aka APS-C) such as EOS Rebel Series, EOS 77D or EOS 80D a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 or Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens are great pieces of glass.
FujiFilm, Sony, Olympus & Panasonic all produce their own prime lens as well. If you use any of those cameras, I’d recommend taking what you learned here and doing a little more research via the good ole Google.
If you are looking for your first non-kit lens and/or wish too boost your creativity, whether you are limited by a budget or not, go a head and buy a prime lens.
Interested in Learning More About Crop vs Full Frame?
If using a cropped frame sensor camera like my Nikon D3000 or any of the Canon’s mentioned above, the focal lengths are not exactly what’s displayed on the lens. I would recommend checking out Ken Rockwell’s article for an in-depth explanation of cropped vs full sensors. He also does complete lens reviews if you want specs, comparisons and more detailed information.