Surely those who are new to photography all have questions like what is a fixed lens, what is a kit lens, etc. This article will answer that question for you ????

Different types of lenses will help meet your diverse usage needs. And when you intend to add a new lens to your collection, lens fix is ​​an option that you cannot ignore.

Watching: What is Lens Fix?

In this article, I will focus on analyzing fixed lenses, of course, I will briefly talk about some other “types” of lenses for you to easily imagine.

A fixed lens (also known as a prime lens) is a lens with a fixed focal length. When using a fixed lens, you cannot zoom in or out of the image you want to capture. In other words, fixed lenses are lenses that do not have the ability to zoom.

The “standard” and most common focal length of the fixed lens is 50mm because it gives the image the closest angle of view to the human eye.

Contrary to fixed lenses, zoom lenses are lenses that have the ability to change the focal length within a certain range. To put it simply, a zoom lens is a lens capable of zooming.

Today, most lenses available on the market have zoom capabilities. You can zoom in and out of the photo you want to capture by rotating the zoom ring on the lens.

At that time, the focal length of the lens will change to help you see more distant objects, or help you have a larger viewing angle.

Lens kit is the name of the lens that is sold by the manufacturer with the body. If you buy a camera body with a lens, that lens is called a kit lens.

Usually the kit lens will be a zoom lens because the purpose of the kit lens is to meet the needs of new camera buyers.


If you buy a Sony A6000 camera without a lens, you only get the A6000 body. You can’t start taking pictures right away!

If you buy a Sony A6000 + kit camera, it means you have bought the camera body and a kit lens.

As mentioned above, zoom lenses are capable of zooming, and fixed lenses are not. But how to tell them apart without fitting in the machine?

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The first and simplest way to identify a fixed lens is by its name.

Of course, the manufacturer has never inserted the word fix into the product name :v

But, you can tell which is a fixed lens by the focal length of the lens.

The name of a lens always has two basic parts, + .

Example 1: Lens Sony FE 85mm F1.8

You can see the name of the lens consists of 2 main parts:

85mm – focal length and f18 – maximum aperture.

This means that this is a lens with a single focal length of 85mm => this is a fixed lens.

Example 2: Lens Sony E PZ 18 – 105mm F4 G OSS

Notice the two main parts:

18 – 105mm – focal length and f4 – maximum aperture

This means that this is a lens with a focal length of 18 to 105mm => this is a zoom lens.

Bonus: abbreviated characters like PZ, E, SEL, G, OSS you may not need to care about at the moment :3 I will write in another article.

Distinguish fixed lens and zoom lens through the numbers on the lens

In addition to identifying fixed lenses and zoom lenses by their names, you can distinguish them by the numbers written on the lenses.

This is a picture of the 2 lenses I just mentioned above. Sony FE 85mm f1.8 and 18-105 F4 WOOD

_TNEVE_BCT__” srcset=” 900w, sel85f18f-150×150.jpg 150w,×300.jpg 300w, com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/lens-sony-sel85f18f-768×768.jpg 768w, -100×100.jpg 100w,×220.jpg 220w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px ) 100vw, 900px” />

Lens Sony FE 85mm f18

_TNEVE_BCT__” srcset=” 560w, selp18105g-2-300×264.jpg 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 560px) 100vw, 560px” />

Lens Sony 18-105mm F4 G OSS

If you pay attention, you can see on the lens body that there are always numbers and symbols to help us identify: lens diameter, minimum focusing distance, … and of course the focal length and maximum aperture.

Aperture and focal length on a lens often go hand in hand :/

As in the lens in the photo on the left, you will see the line: 1.8/85 => this is a fixed lens because it has a fixed focal length of 85mm.

On the right lens: you will see 4/18-105 => this is a zoom lens because it has a variable focal length between 18-105mm

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What are the advantages of a fixed lens

? Surely many of you will wonder, why not choose a zoom-capable lens? Why choose a fixed lens?

Especially when you have to spend more than 6 million to buy a 50mm fixed lens, while just spending 500k more you can own a zoom lens with a focal length range from 18-55mm.

Of course, fixed lenses have some very attractive advantages that you can hardly deny. I will mention it below.

About aperture

The first and perhaps most important advantage of a fixed lens is its large maximum aperture.

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A large aperture means that the lens is better able to perform in low light, allowing you to shoot with high shutter speeds. In addition, opening the aperture also helps to provide excellent bokeh and background removal. (If you are unfamiliar with these definitions, see the article What is aperture)

Large maximum aperture, helps to remove fonts, create beautiful bokeh

Fixed lenses always have a larger maximum aperture than zoom lenses in the same price range!

About image quality

Since they are not designed to zoom, the internal lens structure of a fixed lens is simpler and more efficient than a zoom lens.

As a result, the manufacturer will focus on improving the optical quality and reducing the image defects of the lens.

About size and design

As mentioned above, thanks to the simple structure and the removal of moving lens parts, the prime lens has a smaller weight and size than the zoom lens.

In terms of price

Most fixed lenses have a less sophisticated structure, requiring fewer lenses than zoom lenses, resulting in a much cheaper price than zoom lenses with the same focal length and aperture.

But…this is also the downside of a fixed lens. I will say more below.

What are the disadvantages of a fixed lens

?Despite its many advantages, choosing a fixed lens still has a few disadvantages that you should consider.

Can’t Zoom!

And of course, the most obvious disadvantage is that the fixed lens cannot zoom!

With a fixed focal length, you cannot stand still and shoot whatever you want. You have to move, move a lot to get the right angle.

Therefore, lens fix is ​​not for lazy people.

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Foot-zoom doesn’t always replace the optical zoom of a lens.

Imagine you are taking pictures of your child in the play area, you cannot always stand a fixed distance from him.

Or you have to change the lens constantly if you want to change the focus.


Although I have confirmed above that the price of a fixed lens is always cheaper than a zoom lens, but to own a desired focal length range, you need to invest about 2-3 fixed lenses!

Therefore, you need to carefully consider your needs before deciding to invest in a certain lens.

Some popular fixed lenses

After careful consideration, if you decide to invest in yourself a fixed focal length lens…congratulations!

All the photographers I follow have at least one or two of their own favorite prime lenses.

Lens fix 35mm f1.8

And for myself, I always encourage everyone to choose the second lens as a fixed lens (the first lens is a kit lens). The reason, if I have the opportunity, I will talk about it in another article.

Here are some basic prime lenses that you should have:

Canon 50mm f1.8 STM

Sony Sel FE 50mm f1.8 (full frame) or Sony Sel E 35 f1.8 (crop)

If you have any questions, please comment below and I will answer as soon as possible.

If you want to learn more basic photography techniques, check out my self-study photography page.

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