Affinity Photo - professional photo editing with 50% off!

What Does 'Fast Lens' Mean?

Want to know what the word 'fast' means when used before the word lens? Have a read of this.

|  General Photography
 Add Comment

Lens

When you hear the term 'fast lens' it means that the lens in question has a large maximum aperture (the bigger the aperture, the faster the lens will be). The aperture is often displayed as an f followed by a number but do remember that a large maximum aperture will actually be a small number such as f/1.8. A fast prime lens would be considered fast when it has a maximum aperture under f/2.8. However, if the lens is 300mm or longer, an aperture of f/2.8 would be considered to be fast and the same goes for zoom lenses.

A bigger aperture (small f number) will allow more light to reach the camera's sensor which means faster shutter speeds can be used even in low light situations. They're useful in various shooting situations including places where flash can't be used, at concerts where there's not much ambient light, indoors when you're trying to capture movement such as dancers on stage and for subjects such as sports photography where fast shutter speeds are essential.

 

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 Lens - Different AperturesNikon 50mm f/1.4D lens, Different apertures: f/1.4, f/4, f/16. More on exposure and camera settings here.



Another advantage to fast lenses is that you won't always be forced to use a tripod as the faster shutter speeds allow for hand-held shooting in more situations. This is something that's particularly useful in places where tripods aren't allowed such as in cathedrals or in busy locations where light can be an issue such as in a museum.

A downside to fast lenses is that they can be expensive and they tend to be heavier and bigger than other lenses. Care needs to be paid to focus when using autofocus as you may find it tries to focus on the wrong part of the shot, leaving focus on an area of the image that wasn't your intended subject. It's also worth investing in a good quality lens so images don't appear soft when viewed on-screen.

 

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition

Support this site by shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, Save 10% with Eversure Insurance.
*It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Other articles you might find interesting...

6 Photography Tutorials You Can Try Without Leaving Your Home
How To Ensure Your Zoom Compact Shots Are Sharp
5 Ways To Photograph Overdone Scenes Differently
7 Creative Indoor Photographic Projects For You To Try
27 Awesome Autumn Photography Projects You Must Try
10 Essential Photo Tutorials To Get You Ready For The Autumn Season
33 Top Ways To Use Light In Your Shots
5 Easy Ways To Prevent Camera Shake

Comments


deant 8 2.0k United Kingdom
8 Aug 2017 2:39PM
146271_1502199589.jpg

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

deant 8 2.0k United Kingdom
8 Aug 2017 2:41PM
146271_1502199691.jpg

deant 8 2.0k United Kingdom
8 Aug 2017 2:47PM
146271_1502200030.jpg

deant 8 2.0k United Kingdom
8 Aug 2017 2:50PM
146271_1502200201.jpg

deant 8 2.0k United Kingdom
8 Aug 2017 2:55PM
146271_1502200494.jpg

deant 8 2.0k United Kingdom
8 Aug 2017 2:59PM
146271_1502200685.jpg


146271_1502200764.jpg


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.