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Old Aug 28, 2006, 12:12 PM   #1
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Hi

I am a newbi in DSRL field but I want to learn. As I have read everyone suggest to use a prime lens in the beggining in order to get used with the camera. My question is can a a zoom lens be used as a prime lens?

Sorry for the stupid question.

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Old Aug 28, 2006, 12:54 PM   #2
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A zoom lens is a lens that covers a range of focal lengths. For example an 18mm-70mm zoom lens covers all the focal ranges between 18mm and 70mm. Typically you select the focal rangeby rotating the barrel of the lens, though some are push/pull. A prime lens only covers one focal length, ie 50mm. Zoom lenses are more convenient as they are very flexible, however this comes at the expense of maximum aperature and image quality. Primes are known for great image quality and large maximum aperatures, typically f2.8 or even f1.8 or f 1.4. This makes them very useful in low light situations. On the downside, you are limited in flexibility as the only way to zoom in or out is by physically moving closer or farther away.

Primes are nice to have, but I think your better off with a zoom. They are the most flexible, and will limit the number of lens changes you'll need to make.
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 1:08 PM   #3
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You probably thought "prime" meant "main" or "primary".

So yes a zoom lens can be used as a main or primary lens.

But as rjseeny says, "zoom" and "prime" are different and mutually exclusive things, prime lenses cannot zoom (i.e. change focal length).

Can an apple be used as an orange? :?
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 2:27 PM   #4
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thnx guys. well I should have made my question clear but being a newbie in this field I can't express as I should.

Is it possible to fix a zoom lense at 50 mm so I can use it as a prime and in other situation as a zoom camera?

I don't have much money to invest in this hobby and that is why I am doing this stupid question...

thnx
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 10:10 PM   #5
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When you want your zoom lens to be a 50mm lens you zoom it to 50mm. Some lenses have a zoom lock, but this is so they don't telescope out when not in use so they don't get damaged. What you're asking sounds utterly pointless. Just take all your photos at 50mm if that's the focal length you want.
Some people recommend a prime to learn with because the lack of zoom makes you think a bit more about what you are getting in the frame. If you want to replicate that with a zoom then just don't zoom the lens. You could tape the zoom ring if you really wanted, but that's just silly.
Primes are generally a lot faster than zooms which gives you some possibilities that the zoom won't have. Nothing you ca ndo about that.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:04 AM   #6
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discovery wrote:
Quote:
thnx guys. well I should have made my question clear but being a newbie in this field I can't express as I should.

Is it possible to fix a zoom lense at 50 mm so I can use it as a prime and in other situation as a zoom camera?

I don't have much money to invest in this hobby and that is why I am doing this stupid question...

thnx
A zoom lens is still a zoom lens regardless of what focal length you set it for. You can use at 50mm or at any length of it's range. So if you set it at 50mm it is the same focal length as a 50mm prime, but in most cases though not all, the 50mm prime is a better lens to use at that range becuase it is usually a better lens since it is designed for one specific focal length. Like some of the others have stated, the disadvantage to the prime means you have to work harder to compose the shot since all you can do is move closer or farther away from the subject. In essence, with a prime, your body becomes the zoom.

On my first cameras that I owned I always used prime lenses because they were so much better. That was a long time ago and nowadays a good selection of choice zooms is available, but primes are generally better. Zooms are just more convenient.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 2:26 AM   #7
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thnx guys. I learned a lot.I appreasciated it.
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