When I carry my camera, I usually also take along my four lenses. I bought two when I got the camera, another one for my birthday and the fourth… do I really need to make up an excuse?
As it turns out, the fourth is the cheapest, simplest, most basic of my lenses. Made of plastic, it feels like a toy when held.
It’s called a prime lens – no zooming here. It has a fixed focal length of 50mm. What makes it different from my other lenses is its speed. It is a 50mm f/1.8.
I didn’t always know what that meant either.
It’s not the fastest, but this is still considered a fast lens. They’re called fast because low “f stop” lenses pass more light, allowing you to shoot with a faster shutter speed.
The added bonus is, low f stops produce a very shallow depth of field. In other words, the area in focus is quite small. That ‘feature’ makes this little lens perfect for portraiture.
I had the 50mm in tow Sunday when I went to a friends house to take some shots of his nearly one year old daughter. I’m not as good with people as I am with inanimate objects like trees and rocks. Still I managed to get off a few nice shots.
I used my all purpose 18-125mm zoom lens too, but the 50mm was absolutely the best. The softness of the background makes the shots.
Every time I pick up the camera, I learn something new. Getting at ease with this lens is part of that process. Even after 30,000 shots (really) on this Canon Digital Rebel, I’m far from proficient.
After seeing a few samples, my friend Steve sent an email tonight:
will make you more of a “people” photographer.
Lenses are like children. You should never have a favorite. It’s just, I’m beginning to appreciate this lens more than I had.