Please comment briefly on when and if you use a fast (f/2 or faster) single focal length lens.

Please comment briefly on when and if you use a fast (f/2 or faster) single focal length lens.
Yes, it comes in very handy for low light shooting.
24% (34 votes)
No, my zoom handles every situation and lighting condition I encounter.
20% (28 votes)
I carry both.
56% (80 votes)
Total votes: 142

Jurgen Pokrandt's picture

Fast lenses allow clearer viewing of the subject in low light. This is especially useful for those of us who use manual focus cameras. Also, wide-open apertures of F2 or f1.4 lets you use a slower film for better image quality (yes, I know about how great today's high-speed films are, but slower films are better still!). It can also be argued that top-grade fast lenses are superior in image quality to cheaper, slower lenses, especially cheaper zooms. This could mean more contrast and less distortion, not just lines per m.m. Therefore, I also use my fast lenses for general photography, not just low light wide open. I use a zoom mainly when I can't easily change lenses, or move in close (e.g. on a boat, or behind a barrier).

Eljusto's picture

A zoom is great, but for low light or narrow depth of field, nothing beats a nice fast lens.

Ricky Carroll's picture

Being a part-time pro wedding photographer I find the use of my Canon 28-135 and 100-400 IS lenses to be most adaquate for all of my shooting situations.

Robert Dodd's picture

Nothing like a 50/1.4 for indoor lowlight, 100/2 for concerts - both on a 1.6x body (so 80/1.4 and 160/2 effectively). Zooms are great, but are not ideal for everything.

Bruce Baden's picture

As a slower speed slide film shooter, I still prefer fast lenses. It leaves me the freedom to shoot in all lighting conditions and can better control depth of field choices. I carry fast wide,normal and telephoto lenses when I travel. I own a few zooms, but still prefer the big glass.

Steve Slater's picture

My general travel lens is a 17/40 and I carry a 50 f1.4 for low light work and for a normal view, something that travel shots seem to lack at times

Shannon's picture

I have carried a Canon AT-1 with a 55/f1.2 all over the world with me for 22 years; my favorite is my Leicaflex SL with a 90/f2, a bit heavy but well worth a padded strap.

Cathy's picture

I use my zooms probably 95% of the time, but when I was given a gift certificate I chose to buy a 150mm fixed lens because of it's increased macro quality. When I go out to shoot macro closeups, it's the lens of choice.

E.  Piercy's picture

I use my 24mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.8 pretty much all the time, except for rare long lens telephoto shots (sports). Primes make it a lot easier to calculate Depth of Field in my head.

John King's picture

The closer you get, the more you interact, the better the photo.

Richard Baker's picture

Zoom most of the time - fast prime for very low light situations.

Michael Green's picture

I am currently able to manage any situations that I may find myself in with my arsenal of f/2.8 telephoto lenses.

Adrian's picture

I carry both. Zoom lenses (a Nikkor 28-80 and a Sigma 70-300) do most of the work, but I never leave the house without also taking my f1.4 50mm Nikkor. And sometimes that's all I take.

Shahriar Azimi's picture

Travelling light is key. I only carry one EF-S 17-85mm zoom (equal to 28-135mm) and that is enough for 95% of all situations. I increse the ISO in low level lighting.

Paul Riismandel's picture

Available light shooting is my favorite so a 50mm f1.8 Nikon lens is a most useful addition to my Nikon N55. It's inexpensive but proven.

Charles Walker's picture

I am using 50mm f1.8 Canon more and more as a "normal" lens on my Canon 10D.

Johnathan M.  Carter's picture

I use a Sigma 28 -70 2.8 APO and 135-400 5.6 APO lenses, handle every situation and they have great resolution.

Sam 's picture

I use a zoom lens normally but also carry a 28mm w/a for back up.

Roy's picture

I use a 35mm f1.8 for interiors, 85mm f1.8 for natural light portraits and stage pictures.

F.  Tompkins's picture

I carry a 50mm f1.8 for low light conditions and a 28mm f2.8 for when I need a wider view!

Andrew Pike's picture

The 50mm f/1.4 MF Nikkor is a great lens that I take with me when I travel for low light situations. I am oftensurprised by how frequently I use it. I also carry the 28-200 mm AF Nikkor that I use for everything else, but with a max. apature of f/3.5, it's understandably limited. An excellent lens otherwise, though.

Fred Juengling's picture

I regularly use a Canon 85mm f1.8 for portraiture.

Ron Broome's picture

I use the fixed focal length lenses more for the shallow depth than low light.

Chuck Gold's picture

My 28 mm F1.8 lens is indispensable when shooting in available light situations when flash would be disturbing.

Jerry J.  Marano's picture

I use my 1.8 canon 50mm lens plus a wide angle and a zoom on my Canon FT QL camera.

Alan N.  Shafer's picture

I always carry three single focal length lenses. I have zoom lenses but the fixed lenses, I feel, bring out the more creative photographic abilities in me. I tend to spend more time creating the right framing and mood that I am trying to achieve.

Daniel Vandeberg's picture

I use the Tamron 28-300 lens. As a precaution I carry a second Tamron 28-300 lens in my kit. I never needed another lens.

Michael DiBella's picture

Ideal for low light easier to use with non ttl flash instead of variable aperture zoom.

R.  O'Leary's picture

The Nikor 50mm f1.8 is great in low light situations.

Steve Ferris's picture

The 50 mm f1.4 Nikkor or similar lens from others is tack sharp and an excellent choice for many applications . Accurate focusing is a plus in low light. That's right, some people still haven't switched to auto-focus.