At some point in our photographic careers, we all owned a “nifty 50” or now for the crop sensor camera a “really jive – 35” should be one of you primary prime lenses. The reason for owning the 50mm (normal view in full frame format) or the 35mm (normal view in cropped sensor format) is the field of view approximates your normal vision with one eye closed; and the aperture of the lens has a very small f-number for great depth of field control. The low f-number is important since it controls the amount of light entering the camera. Controlling the depth of field of the focus of the lens and by extension the amount of focus, or not, of the background. Simply the smaller the f-number the less area of focus, the more the subject is not distracted by the background since the background may be completely out of focus. Larger f-numbers will give you greater depth of field and so you have more area that appears in focus so the subject may be as sharp as the background and so not stand out as much as compared to what is around it.
The “Normal” prime lens is the one you want to keep in you bag for low light situations and extreme focus control.
Prime lenses are not as versatile as zooms. But zoom lenses cannot match the prime lens for depth of field control and low light capability.
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