Fixed Aperture vs Variable Aperture Lenses (Which One Is More Better?)

Are you worried about buying a lens for better photography results? We are here to help you find the best lens for professional photography. So just take a comfy seat, and start reading this easy guide blog post to make a better decision before buying a lens for your beauty-hunting gadget.

There are numerous types of camera lenses available in the market nowadays. We will discuss only two main types in this blog to make you decide undoubtedly.

  1. Fixed aperture lens
  2. Variable aperture lens

Comparing Fixed Aperture vs Variable Aperture Lenses, both bring you their plus and minus points depending on your purpose, setting, and level of proficiency. You can capture different types of professional photographs with each, yet deciding which is better for you depends on your needs.

You must have a clear picture of both in your mind. Let’s first know what fixed and variable aperture lenses are to understand the difference between fixed and variable aperture lenses easily.

What Is a Fixed Aperture Lens?

Usually, when photographs are taken, the lens’s focal length changes with the aperture. Regardless, talking about a fixed aperture, the focal length will not change the lens’s aperture. This increases the photographer’s control as he can use variable focal lengths without disturbing the aperture size.

At longer distances, usually, it’s not possible to use a wider aperture, reducing the amount of light entering the camera lens and ultimately making the photograph darker.

That’s the best thing about fixed-aperture lenses. You can use above 100mm focal length and aperture values as wide as f/2.8.


Having a fixed aperture is like having a half-open stuck window from which you can only see half of the scene. So, you can not change the light quantity affecting the lens’s diaphragm and the image’s brightness while having this type of lens. But a great opportunity exists to maintain the widest aperture while capturing an image from a far end.

What Is a Variable Aperture Lens?

Variable aperture means variable widths of the scene and different brightness and contrast levels of the image. If you want to shoot an object from different distances, you must adjust the aperture size as you adjust the lens’s focal length to zoom in or out. However, you cannot do this if you have a fixed-aperture lens.

Lenses with variable apertures are easier to make because fewer parts are used for production. So, these lenses are more economical and portable than fixed aperture lenses.

As in variable aperture lenses, you can not change the f-stop resulting in a lack of control over the brightness and focus in a photograph. The struggle to get the desired photograph increases, and you may have to take multiple shots to get one accurate photograph.

Comparison of Fixed Aperture vs Variable Aperture lenses


Fixed Aperture Lens

Variable Aperture Lens


The aperture value remains fixed on an f-stop as settled by the photographer. No matter how much the focal length changes during capturing the photograph, there will be no change in the apertures f-stop.

The photographer cannot adjust the aperture value himself; in fact, it remains variable and changes while capturing the photograph. With the change in focal length, there will be a change in the aperture’s value too.


These lenses are expensive because the parts with which the fixed aperture is designed are exact, increasing the making price of these lenses.

They are much cheaper and easily accessible in the market. Their designing process is easy and doesn’t require too much precision.


Photographer is at more ease because they can adjust the aperture value themselves during capturing the photographs.

There is a lesser opportunity for the photographer to control the aperture. With the change in other settings of the camera and the distance from the subject, the aperture value changes itself.


These lenses give the photograph a clear and sharper look because more light is added from a wide aperture during capturing the photograph.

The photograph has less detail because of the variability of the aperture. The image usually doesn’t have much brightness.

Focal Length

These lenses can also cover a greater focal length with a brighter and better able to capture a clear picture.

There is a larger focal length range of up to 300 mm giving an opportunity to take a photograph from a distance.

What Are the Lenses With Fixed and Variable Apertures?

Examples of variable aperture lenses:

  1. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 STM Lens
  2. Fujifilm XC50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II
  3. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
  4. Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM
  5. Fujifilm XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

 Examples of fixed aperture lenses:

  1. Fujinon XC35mm F2
  2. Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  3. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
  4.  Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
  5. Fujinon 50mm f/2.0 XF R WR Lens

Final Thoughts

Fixed and variable aperture lenses are helpful depending on the situation you need them. Most professional photographers prefer to use fixed aperture lenses in the studio because they are heavier and difficult to carry along a journey.

At the same time, the variable lenses are used at places where traveling is involved. Because they are lighter in weight and cheaper.

No matter which lens you use, being a photographer, you must have hands-on experience with both to use any one of them when required.