What is a Prime Lens?

In both video and photography, a prime lens is a photographic lens whose focal length is fixed as opposed to a zoom lens, which can shoot at multiple focal lengths. Focal length is the distance from the lens and the image sensor (usually stated in millimeters), this length determines the angle of view.

A traditional film lens “kit” may come with a 24mm (or 28mm), 50mm, and 85mm lens. While zoom lenses will always be more versatile, prime lenses are generally sharper because they have less moving parts.


 

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