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7 reasons every photographer should own the 50mm 1.8 lens
6400 ISO low light
I get asked by many different people what lens is the best one to get. That is a very hard question to answer. There are many factors that go into the lens buying decision. Knowing that I will always be asked that question I decided to give it some extra thought. My goal is not to mislead someone and the most expensive lens out there does not always fit the needs of the person asking. After thinking about this for a very long time, I can comfortably say, I have an answer to that famous, often asked question:
What is the best lens to start off with?
The answer is short and simple.
If you are buying your first lens, or tired of the “kit” lens that come with many cameras. Or have a big heart and are trying to buy a budding photographer a lens to help start them out, Here is your answer.
The 50mm 1.8 lens is the best lens to start most photographers out with.
What you need to know before you buy this lens. F Stops
The first version of the 50mm comes with an F stop of 1.8. the cost is anywhere from $80-$130.
There is another version, the 50mm 1.4. this lens runs about $300 and it is not the one you need to buy. Stick with the 50mm 1.8
Body types There is a “ made in america” version, and a “ made in Japan” version. I have used them both and you really cannot tell the difference so don’t let that option throw you. In the past I have paid as little as $70 for a made in Japan version.
7 reasons why the 50mm 1.8 ?
About 14 years ago when I was starting out, I had a kit lens and thought that with technology today, all the lens on the market must be the same quality! Why would they make something that is not so good? I then learned that yes, not all lens are created equal, and with a little reading you can figure that out. I bought my first 50mm 1.8 and realized why my shots were not sharp. For the first month I really felt like I was cheating the system. The 50mm takes some sharp photos with half the work of using a kit lens. Here are my top reasons for getting the 50mm 1.8 lens.
- The 50mm 1.8 is fantastic for low light situations. if you need more light, any DSLR on the market has and ISO range that will help comfortably improve the low light range of the 50mm.
- The 50mm is a great lens for shooting people. Head shots, Portraits, Children….even Ebay. If you need a lens to start off with, the 50mm preform in many situations like at the park, in the church, at a basketball game, even at the beach.
- The range of light the lens allows in and the amount of space around the subject that the lens captures makes it a perfect “ all around” lens.
- Depth of Field (DOF)... A sharp subject and a blurred background is a classic shot that can easily be captured with this lens
- Once you get a feel for it you can make a purchase in the direction that you feel the lens is lacking. if you are shooting more in dark interiors, or need a wider angle or a longer zoom. Whichever lens you get will compliment the 50mm. You will never get rid of the 50mm. To this day, I still pull that lens out in many situations.
- The 50mm work with Landscapes and architecture both indoor and out. It may not be what the “Pros” use in every situation, but Remember for the “ one lens…? question, the 50mm can hold its own for these situations.
- The 50mm lens is a teaching tool. This lens forces you to frame your shots. You can’t just zoom in and out at will, so the position of the photographer and the angle of the scene all come into play. Once you lock onto your subject the ability to get sharp images is greatly increased with the 50mm, so more brain power can be used to work on the other skills, like timing, lighting, interaction with subjects and creativity.
Bonus reason ** As photographers move more into the video realm, as the market demands more from us, the 50mm 1.8 makes for an outstanding video lens on your DSLR videos. Imagine one less item to buy as we expand our photography skills and offerings.
This is the first and sometimes only lens that classes use when teaching photography classes. there is a reason for that above.
Just to recap. What is the “ best” lens to start off with? it may not be the best but every photographer out there should have or at one time shot with a 50mm lens. believe me, Once you get it on your camera it is not taken off that easily. I have heard it called the “Thrifty 50” and also the “Nifty 50”. I agree with the names. I think it is a very good deal money wise and a great lens.
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