Digital Photography

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What's a "Fast Lens"?

Both zoom and prime lenses can be "slow" or "fast".

Prime lenses tend to be faster than zooms except for the expensive ones.

A "fast" lens is one with a large maximum aperture ( f/2.8 instead of f/4.5 or f/5.6

A "fast" lens lets you shoot with a faster shutter speed at a given light level than lenses with a smaller maximum aperture.

Fast lenses cost more to produceand, are usually larger, heavier and higher priced than slower lenses of the same focal length or zoom range, but are more versatile in depth of field control and are better for handheld shooting.

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