Photography can be an expensive love to pursue!
We all remember investing our pocket money in a shiny new digital SLR, which came with not one but TWO lenses, and it felt like Christmas came early! Fast forward to a time when you’ve found the confidence to fly that baby in manual mode, and you begin to discover the limitations of those kit lenses. Sure we know that our photography skill makes as much difference as fancy gear, but as we begin to learn more we discover all our options with gorgeous lenses, upgraded bodies, beautiful accessories, and no doubt we’d love it all.
But there was a purchase early on in my photography journey that did so much more than let me take ‘better photos’. The $100 I spent on Amazon buying the Canon 50mm 1.8 (or the Nikon Version)
was the first piece of equipment that really opened my eyes to the potential of my photography! In came the light and finally I was able to take images I loved, which excited me and fed my hunger to keep learning more!
And so here is why I love the 50mm f/1.8, otherwise known as the ‘Nifty Fifty’ with some of those images I took in the first months of owning this lens!
Zoom versus Prime
Lenses come in both zoom and fixed focal lengths, and with the obvious versatility of zoom lenses you’d be forgiven for wondering why anyone would choose to limit themselves with a fixed focal length lens (called “prime lenses”). Prime lenses are designed for that one specific focal length, are simpler in design, have less moving parts, and as a result generally offer better quality images than zoom lenses. That’s not to say all zoom lenses are poor quality – but when we’re looking at lenses in the budget category, primes will generally out perform a zoom.
Depth of Field
With a wide aperture of f1.8 you’re able to shoot with a beautifully shallow depth of field, which is not available on kit lenses, but is essential for making your subject stand out from their surroundings by creating a beautiful blur, and this is where I had the MOST fun!
Low Light Capabilities
The very wide aperture of f1.8 gives you the ability to capture more ambient light, and able to capture images with low levels of light, such as indoor! (and hellaluja you can ditch the flash!).
Versatile Focal Length
The beauty of the 50mm focal length is its versatility. It is just wide enough for landscape and travel photography, but long enough for portraits, and shooting the details of things you love around your home and outdoors.
Compact and Light
At around 130grams the 50mm 1.8 lens is super light, which makes it comfortable to use and carry all day, and enables us to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds. PLus its nice and compact on your camera.
Bang for Buck
The nifty fifty is one of the cheapest lenses on the market whilst still producing sharp, crisp images. Combine that with its wide aperture and versatile focal length, and it is the ideal choice for beginners wanting to step up from kit lenses and experiment without committing big dollars.
Ready to jump in and learn more about getting the most out of your gear? Check out our beautiful and easy to follow Online Photography Course for Women.