In Defense of Slow Prime Lenses for Landscapes - Trust Me Shops

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In Defense of Slow Prime Lenses for Landscapes

In Defense of Slow Prime Lenses for Landscapes

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There’s no denying the appeal of fast lenses and super versatile zooms, but sometimes a small and compact prime lens is all you really need—especially if you’re a landscape photographer. Whether it’s for the smaller footprint, lighter weight, or just because you like the look of a certain lens, there are many cases for trading in the huge, heavy, and complex lenses for the humble, compact, and slower prime.

Smaller and Lighter

The most obvious reason to go the way of the slow prime is because of the noticeable savings in weight and size. If you’re a photographer who will be hiking, or even just strolling, you’ll appreciate the reduced weight after a full day of carrying your camera. On the other hand, rather than reducing overall weight, you might be able to carry two or three smaller, lighter lenses in the place of one faster zoom while retaining the same total packed weight.

Taken with a 50mm f/2.8 lens—no need for a fast lens since a long depth of field and sharpness are what’s important here.

Do You Really Need the Speed?

In the context of landscape photography, you’ll be hard-pressed to justify the need for having a f/1.4 lens over something a bit more like an f/2, f/2.8, or even slower. There are certainly some circumstances where a fast lens comes in handy, such as astrophotography, maybe environmental portraiture, and if you are specifically focusing on isolating details in a landscape, but for ~90% of situations you’d likely be stopping your lens down, anyway, to prioritize sharpness and depth of field.

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