Shooting skills of large-aperture prime lens

Large aperture prime lenses are suitable for beginners due to cost performance, size and weight.  In particular, the price is not a high prime lens, we can buy a large-aperture prime lens, enjoy the fun of a large aperture!  

1. What is a large-aperture prime lens?

Wide-aperture prime lenses are those with F/2.8, F/1.8, F/1.4, or even F/1.2 maximum apertures. A prime lens is a lens with no zoom and only one focal length. The common focal lengths of large-aperture prime lenses are 22mm, 35mm, 50mm, etc. It is recommended to purchase 35mm for the APS-C camera and 50mm for the Full Frame camera. The angle of view taken is closest to that seen by human eyes.

2. Advantages of a wide aperture lens

First, the effect is good, especially in portrait photography, a large aperture lens highlights the main figure, blurred background, can be a lot of colors for the photo. Therefore, a good portrait lens aperture is 2.8, aperture of 1.4 is better.

Natural scenery captured with a  large-aperture prime lens

The second is the large aperture lens, because of the relatively large light, so in low light photography, there are particularly prominent advantages, such as shooting stars, the Milky Way, star orbit. Low ISO can be used to take ideal pictures in low-light indoor environments.

Third, the large aperture lens can be adjusted to a variety of small apertures. For example, when shooting scenery with a 14-24/2.8 lens, you can use an F/16 small aperture, but the small aperture lens, such as a 50/1.8 lens, cannot be opened into a large aperture 1.4 shooting.

If I use a wide-aperture F/1.4 lens, I can see that the aperture inside the lens is very large, so the lens is very good at collecting light. As a result, I was able to set my exposure time to shorter and the ISO to lower, resulting in higher quality photos in low-light environments. Aperture size directly affects the depth of the field of the picture. The larger the aperture, the shallower the depth of the field, the more blurred the scene outside the focus; The smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field, the clearer the scene out of focus.


Therefore, the scenery is generally shot with a small aperture, especially the scenery of the large scene, so that the whole scene can be clear. And the large aperture photography portrait more can be blurred outside the portrait of the scenery, highlighting the character in the scenery effect.

However, this is not to say that you can’t use a wide aperture to photograph a landscape. There are two situations in which you can use a wide aperture to photograph a landscape. One is to highlight branches and leaves to make the background cleaner when photographing scenery like a branch and a leaf. One is to make the picture hazy and concise when creating an effect like ink painting to blur the scenery. To say the advantage of large aperture in landscape photography, it should be said that these two shooting methods play a role.

3. Are prime lenses good or bad?

When many students see the word “fixed focus”, the first thing they think of is that the fixed focus lens cannot zoom, which is very inconvenient. Of course, not being able to zoom is an inconvenience, but if circumstances permit, moving your body will not only help you zoom but also help you develop the habit of thinking more and finding more angles, improving your photography skills. Another benefit is volume and weight.

In general, prime lenses are easier to build than zoom lenses, so most of them are light, small in size (such as the standard 50mm prime lens), and have sharp images. The prime lens rarely produces distortion, which saves the trouble of late repair.


4. Shooting skills of large-light focal lens

(1) Focus carefully

At full aperture, the depth of the field is very shallow and requires careful focus. Slight movement will blur the subject.

(2) Choose the right subject matter

Large aperture has the characteristics of shallow depth of field, shooting may wish to choose the use of shallow depth of field, such as portrait, close-up, etc. When shooting landscape photography, you can use objects (focus) to set off the landscape (bokeh) and increase the subject matter.

(3) Don’t abuse the shallow depth of the field

While the shallow effect of a wide aperture is attractive, don’t abuse it. If the depth of the field is too shallow, the background will blur and the reader won’t know where you are, making it meaningless.


(4) More movement to find the angle

Since focusing is not as convenient as zooming, it’s great to improve your photography skills by moving around and using your camera eye to find interesting angles and objects.

5. Application examples of using large aperture focusing lens:

(1) Shoot an attractive shallow depth of field

How can you use a wide aperture lens without taking a shallow depth of field photo? In addition to being used for portrait photography, shallow depth of field effects can also be used. Increase the aperture to F/1.8, F/1.4, and you will notice that the background of the subject will become blurred, making the subject more prominent!

green grass

(2) Low-light handheld shooting

In some light environments, such as museums, when shooting at night, and may not be able to use a tripod to hold, at this time if the aperture is not big enough, often need to increase the ISO to maintain a safe shutter, but high ISO means high signal-to-noise and imaging quality to drop, so using large aperture F/1.2, F/1.4 can absorb more light, helps to maintain low ISO.

However, it should be noted that a large aperture will make the depth of field shallow, easy to lose focus, keep the distance between the camera and the main body unchanged, do not move back and forth.

6. Conclusion

Large aperture prime lenses are suitable for beginners due to cost performance, size and weight. Especially those prices are not high fixed-focus lenses, suggested that students can consider starting, enjoy the fun brought by large aperture!

snow mountain


How do you shoot with a prime lens?

The rule when using a prime lens is to ‘zoom in with your feet. Be prepared to move towards or away from your subject until it is framed as you want it. This alone is enough to make you pay more attention to the composition of your shot, leading to better, more interesting shots.

What types of shooting work best with aperture?

Aperture priority is best when you are shooting in natural light or when shooting using continuous lights. In this scenario, the camera will be able to choose the right shutter speed for you based on the available light.

Are prime lenses sharper?

Generally speaking, prime lenses are sharper than zoom lenses. From a lens design perspective, when there are fewer focal lengths to have to accommodate, it’s easier to create a lens that produces sharp images.

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