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We explain what a main lens is and what its advantages are

If you are new to the world of photography and do not know what a main lens is, in simple terms, we can say that it is one that maintains a fixed focal length. Probably the idea of ??a lens without zoom may seem strange. Even practically all cell phones have zoom, or at least they achieve it thanks to multiple lenses and digital tricks.

However, the best lenses for digital and mirrorless rflex cameras have no zoom at all. Although sometimes the main lenses are economical, they can sometimes cost thousands of dollars. What makes a seemingly basic lens so valuable?

We detail what is a main lens

Know what a main lens is and why they are necessary Know what a main lens is and why they are necessary Hillary Grigonis / Digital Trends

As we mentioned previously, a main lens is one that does not zoom. It simply gives you a viewing angle. Fixed at a single focal length, this lens may seem a disadvantage, and while it may be true for certain occasions, it also provides numerous opportunities.

Since they do not need moving parts or the additional glass that is required to zoom in and out, these lenses focus on other features. First, they often have a wider or faster maximum aperture. The aperture controls the amount of light entering the camera, and more light means better performance in worse lighting conditions, faster shutter speeds and more.

Professional zoom lenses usually have relatively fast f / 2.8 apertures, and their prices are in the four-figure range. However, it is possible to find some 50mm main lenses for less than $ 200 dollars and that can reach f / 1.8, more than double the capacity of light capture.

The opening also controls the depth of field. A broader opening naturally creates that background blur that makes portraits stand out, and that cell phone makers are hard at emulating digitally.

Without the intricacies of a zoom, the main lenses are also usually stronger. They will not necessarily outweigh an expensive zoom, but for $ 200 dollars they will surely outperform the $ 200 dollars kit lens that comes with many digital or mirrorless SLR cameras. In the same way, professionals value those that cost thousands of dollars for their sharpness compared to high-end zooms: the Hasselblad XCD 80mm f / 1.9 of $ 4,895 dollars is a good example.

In addition to image quality, if you use a main lens, it means carrying something lighter and more compact. The pancake type is the extreme example, since the lens is shorter than wide. In that sense, the main lenses are an excellent choice for lightweight mirrorless cameras. Of course, they will not always be light: the Sigma 105 mm f / 1.4, for example, weighs 3.6 pounds.

Buying a 24-70 mm zoom, in general, always be simpler than having several main lenses to complete the same focal length range. But if you are looking for a compact solution, the latter are the best option.

We have seen an interest in top-notch lenses in recent years, as camera companies compete to attract professional clients, but you can still find leading lenses at affordable prices. For DSLR camera users, Canon's basic 50mm f / 1.8 EF costs just $ 125 dollars, while Nikon's AF-S 50mm f / 1.8 is worth approximately $ 216 dollars. Keep in mind that newer mirrorless systems are generally not as economical.


We explain what a main lens is

The main lenses have many positive characteristics, but that does not mean that they are suitable for everyone or for each situation. First, zoom lenses often become a necessity, especially if you are photographing an activity in which you should not waste time changing lenses. For example, they have a great advantage for sports, while the main lenses are more suitable when you have time to zoom by scrolling or changing, such as portraits and landscapes.

While the main lenses can be lighter and cheaper, you should invest in a larger number to cover the same range as a zoom. And although you can buy two to reach the most important focal lengths of the latter, if you need to cover them all, simply add more weight to your photographic equipment's bag and spend more money.

The best main lenses

These are the best main lenses

If you use a DSLR or mirrorless camera with the built-in kit, a main lens offers great image quality without a large inversion. Anyway, we offer you some of the best main lenses that exist in the market at the most frequent focal lengths.

The main lenses are classified by their focal lengths equivalent to the full frame. That is, a 17 mm in a Micro Four Thirds camera, which has a 2X cropping factor, is equivalent to a full frame of 35 mm (34 mm, technically) and, therefore, appears in the category of ?35 mm "