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Why is the 50mm 1.8 lens the best lens in the world and why should you buy it!


It’s been a while since you’ve had this D-SLR but your photos just don’t stand out. They seem to be missing something. That finesse. That x factor. That punch.

That ‘D-SLR look’ you’ve seen on Instagram.

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Mind you, If you’re not getting the kind of shots you want, it could make you fall out of love with photography. At the end of the day we do things to get results. And if you’re putting in the time and you don’t think it’s yielding anything substantial, it can turn you off big time.

Here’s what happens. You’re getting great natural light on your subject. You might even think that the picture has a kind of mood. You compose your shot, hold your breath and click the shutter release button. Nice.

Later, you see the image on your computer and you can’t believe it’s the same picture. It looks ordinary. You scratch your head and go, “I thought I’d get quality images with a D-SLR.”

But here’s the thing. Image quality and sharpness often depends on the kind of lens you’re using and its aperture (aperture is the opening of the lens, which is denoted by the f number. For example, f.4 or 5.6.) The lower that f number is, the wider the aperture will be.

 A wider aperture allows more light to enter the lens, and this allows your camera to render focus areas much better.

A wider aperture allows more light to enter the lens, and this allows your camera to render focus areas much better.

The 18-55 kit lens that comes “free” with your D-SLR may seem good enough to start with, but it has an aperture range between f/4 and f/5.6

If you’re looking for beautiful bokeh, sharper image quality, a 50mm prime lens with a 1.8 aperture is a great lens to buy.

 Background blur has mostly to do with your aperture

Background blur has mostly to do with your aperture

The 50mm 1.8 prime lens is also called a ‘nifty fifty’ because of how nifty or useful it is to photographers. It's light, cheap and almost every camera company makes it. It's also a fast lens, (lenses with wider apertures are called fast lenses) which means you can shoot at higher shutter speeds, and you don’t need to bump up the ISO too much. In terms of quality, the nifty fifty is best bang for your buck.

Here are a few reasons why we think it’s a great lens.

 The nifty 50 is the personification of “good things in small packages”

The nifty 50 is the personification of “good things in small packages”

It’s Light and Easy to Carry

Weighing between 150 to 200 grams, the 50mm 1.8 will have your shoulders thanking you for it. It fits right in to any camera bag, and you can take it anywhere without attracting much attention. If you had to pick one lens to travel with - this would be the one. 

It’s Versatile

The nifty 50 is the Johnny Depp of camera lenses. It can practically be used in every genre of photography. Portraits - check. Landscapes - check. If you’re into street photography, it’ll be hard to top the functionality of this lens.

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Everything Looks Right

A 50mm lens is also called a normal lens. At a focal length of 50mm, its field of view is similar to what the human eyes perceive. Everything looks as it should, there’s not much distortion like in the case of wide lenses or the feeling of distance when you take a photograph using a telephoto lens.

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It’s a Fast Lens

Like we mentioned earlier, fast lenses allow you to shoot using high shutter speeds - which means less camera shake resulting in sharper photographs. You can shoot in low light conditions easily. So feel free to step-out past 6 pm and photograph as much as you want, and the next time your friends come over for a party and whip out their samsung, tell them to put it aside because you have them covered.

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It’ll Give You That D-SLR Look.

Chin up. You’ll finally get that D-SLR look you’re after. By that we mean pictures that have a shallower depth of field, where the subject is separated from its background to a greater degree. We all love those blurred backgrounds, don’t we? Well, the depth of field depends on your aperture and it isn’t a trick some photographer came up with.

Increased Sharpness

The 50mm lens is incredibly sharp. If you’ve been shooting with zoom lenses, the sharpness you’ll get from a prime lens will surprise you.

 You'll have no trouble taking fashion or commercial shots with the 50mm 1.8 lens. 

You'll have no trouble taking fashion or commercial shots with the 50mm 1.8 lens. 

It’ll Make You a Better Photographer

Yes that's correct. If you’re used to taking photographs with a zoom lens, it’s quite possible that the constant zooming in and out might have pampered you a little bit. Because you can zoom in or out whenever you want you don’t work as hard, like you would with a prime lens that has a fixed focal length.

A  prime lens isn’t a wide lens and it isn’t a telephoto lens. It’s somewhere in between. Which means you’ll have to travel back and forth to frame your subject correctly. This will teach you how to compose, get creative and think out of the box.

 Photograph by Himanshu Singh Gurjar 

Photograph by Himanshu Singh Gurjar 

If you’re still not convinced - check out this video on the nifty 50. It’s quite likely that it’ll become your favorite lens in the world too.

Editor: Rishabh Udgata

Photographs: Omkar Kocharekar & Himanshu Singh Gurjar