Think Creatively, Put Down the Zoom and Try a Prime Lens

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My walkabout lens is usually a zoom, either the Canon 24-70mm L (for stills) or the Canon 15-55mm IS EF-S (for video).  Zooms make composing easy.  Stand still and just zoom in or out.  But, zooms can also make you complacent.   If you want to get out of a creative rut, try something different.

There is a whole photographic movement dedicated to using a 50mm lens, sometimes referred to as “street photography“.  Capture life in the moment from in the middle of it, or something like that.  So, armed with my Canon 35mm L (55mm with the Canon 7D’s crop), I went for a walk around Manhattan.  Eventually, I ended up in Times Square and the NYPD proved to be a great subject to study.

Using a prime lens may seem outdated.  But, you may find the lens to be sharper with better clarity and color.  With a lens like the 35mm L, you also get a f/1.4 which can open other areas of creativity.  And, that’s the point … you have to think about using the lens instead of just zooming!

If you are thinking about experimenting with a prime lens, be sure to check Adorama for a bargain on a used lens.  I purchased my Canon 35mm L used from Adorama and saved $400 over the cost of a new lens!  Did I mention that a great bargain can also stimulate creativity??  Well, at least you can also think about how to spend the money you just saved 😉



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