A weekly trio of top photo tips
There was a time when new cameras didn’t come supplied with a kit lens, well not the basic zoom we have come to expect nowadays anyway. No, instead they used to come complete with a 50mm standard lens. An all-round versatile lens, that was great for the beginner and got you started with your first SLR. Now, because it’s all zooms these days, these fantastic 50mm lenses are often overlooked, even though you can still buy them, so here’s my three reasons why you should consider the ‘nifty fifty’ as your next essential lens purchase.
Want a great cheap lens? Then here’s one for you. The 50mm lens is often one of the cheapest examples that camera manufacturers make. The Canon 50mm f1,8 cost just £106 new, whilst Nikon’s is a bit more at £189, still cheap for lens however. Buy second-hand and you’re probably looking at £50 for a good one. Their simple design keeps the cost down, but even with this, they still have a metal lens mount and fantastic optical quality, plus that nice fast maximum aperture. Great value for money when you think about it.
So why have a 50mm fixed lens when you probably have this focal length within your standard zoom? Well, I’ve spoken about the virtues of prime lenses in an earlier post, but beyond the fast aperture, excellent image quality, as well as size and weight advantage, this really is a great all-round lens for shooting a wide range of subjects. Great for landscapes, great for portraits, they also have a really useful close-focusing range, which makes them ideal for shooting simple macro subjects. Their field of view matches that of our own eyes, making it a very natural lens to use too. Want to shoot with just one lens all day? Then this lens is the one for the job and you’ll have a blast using it!
Improve your photography
Now without wanting to repeat myself from the earlier primes blog post, but I will stick my neck out and say purchasing a 50mm standard lens WILL make you a better photographer. It will make you think more about your subject, consider the options available to you and test your skills to the maximum. Instead of throwing your money into joining a photography workshop, instead invest in one of these lenses and you will learn so much yourself (well, apart from one of my workshops of course!). Restriction in photography is a key learning factor and as much as this lens will restrict you, it will also be the perfect lens for the perfect situation.
You can read more about the nifty fifty in my eGuides. These are available as part of an e6 subscription or to purchase separately. www.e6subscription.co.uk