Why Everyone Should Have a 50mm Lens

It doesn’t matter if you use Canon, Nikon, or any other camera brand – fact is, every photographer should own a 50mm lens!  Here are my 5 top reasons why everyone should have a 50mm lens in the camera bag! FYI, I use Canon system.

  1. High Quality for Affordable Price

Camera gear in general is expensive. The fact that you can get a brand new 50mm lens between $100-$200 is pretty awesome.  Don’t let the small price fool you, it’s an awesome lens.  For its price, the quality 50mm lens gives matches a professional lens. Since it is a prime lens, you will experience the ‘actual’ or capture sharpness. A 50mm lens makes tack sharp images, especially for its price. The colour rendition a 50mm lens gives you is way better than that of a kit lens.

KL Tower taken with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
  1. Compact Lightweight

Since there are only fewer elements inside a 50mm lens, they are lighter than other primes. I hate having to lug around bulky heavy lenses like my 70-200 f/2.8 zoom and I love when I can put the big zoom away and shoot with my small 50mm prime lens.  Not only does it give your wrists and arms a rest but its not as obtrusive and noticeable which is great when trying to pack light and just “blend in” without drawing much attention to yourself. If you love traveling, you have no reason to leave this lens at home.

Pedestrian at KL city taken with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Turkish Ice Cream maker
  1. It Makes You Think

I am a firm believer that using prime lenses rather than zoom lenses force photographers to be more creative with compositions, more agile and overall “keep you on your toes” since you don’t have the luxury of zooming in or out for your shot.  In addition to being forced to zoom with your feet you are also able to shoot at wider apertures like 1.8, 1.4 and 1.2 (Canon) that allow for more creativity with use of depth of field that just simply isn’t an option with equivalent range zoom lenses.

Street Musician downtown Kuala Lumpur,
  1. Versatile

Especially true when used on full frame camera bodies like the 5D Mark II, the 50mm focal length is a very versatile range.  It yields a “normal” perspective and field of view similar to what we see from our very own eyes which make it a great lens for photojournalists. Its a great “walk-around” lens but also can be great for portraits too.  On the wedding day, it is also great for getting ready shots.

  1. Bokeh

Lovely aspect of this lens. The bokeh is incredible. Apart from letting more light into the camera, wide apertures create a shallow depth of field. Especially at wide arperture 1.2 or 1.4 , you don’t have to rely on photoshop, or any other photo editing software, to create it. I mean, who doesn’t love the out of focus circles and blur background in their photographs, right?

Bokeh
Bokeh

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