Zooms make life a lot easier when it comes to getting that elusive shot, but sometimes you can’t beat the pure and simple fun that you get from shooting with a set of primes. If you’re a APS-C Canon DSLR user then these are five primes that you might fall in love with.
1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Yes! The nifty fifty being on this list is no surprise. Just considering Canon lenses, it’s really a question of making a choice between the f/1.8, f/1.4 and the f1.2. While the L lens f/1.2 is without a doubt the best in construction and image quality, I would pick the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM as my lens of choice out of the lot.
The only reason I would really require the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM would be if I needed the weather sealing that is available with this lens and then only if I am using a Canon EOS 7D which would make the best use of it. The f/1.2 is really wasted on the 550D and maybe even the 60D. Perfect for portraits on a cropped sensor body, the 50mm f/1.4 delivers excellent quality and bokeh.
2. Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
Unlike the 50mm where I shied away from the more expensive L lens, in the case of the 85mm, the difference f/1.8 and the f/1.2 is just too prominent. So much so, in fact, that my craving for the sharpness of the f/1.2 L lens far overweighs its heavy, heavy price tag. With this 85mm, I use it mostly for portrait shots as well and in cases where the perspective distortion needs to be kept in check.
For shoots where I need to shoot downwards from a ladder at my subject, the 85mm helps me keep everything nicely proportioned and razor sharp.
3. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
When it comes to macro shooting, there is nothing quite comparable to that of using a prime. Maybe a zoom is more useful if you are shooting insects and worry about scaring them away but I stick to primes whenever I can.
With a dedicated macro, you’ve got that ability to get much closer, giving you some amazing detail of those creepy crawlies. Of the choices available, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is pretty much the best choice with excellent balance and sharpness where it matters most. The non-L version is nice but the L lens is just so much more in your hands.
4. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
Unless you have prime lens delivering the 50mm equivalent (the 35mm actually equals to 56mm!), you will definitely feel that there is something missing from your selection of primes. Leaving everything behind and just taking your camera with the Canon EF 35 mm f/1.4L USM mounted is an experience that everyone should cultivate on a regular basis.
The lens will turn you into a better photographer all the while delivering high image quality. A lens which makes you think more creatively, how can it not be worth the price?
5. Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
For the very last lens, I have selected the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM. I have to admit that for my style of shooting, I would probably do without this lens as I don’t shoot much at the wider angles. Another reason would be because of the high cost of this lens, which is attributatble to the ultra-wide angle that it would deliver on a full frame body.
At an equivalent of 22.4mm, its price tag can easily give the casual shooter ulcers. However, if you love shooting landscapes or creative wide angles shots, then this lens may be the bread and butter of your photographic sustenance.