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3 Reasons Why A 50mm F/1.8 Will Make You A Better Photographer

Yes, just that, a better photographer ! A month ago, I bought a lens 50 mm f / 1.8 and after 1 month to experience it, I can tell you that this stone (understand objective ) has made me a better photographer, and that if I had to keep only one lens, it would be that one. Let’s find out why!

So already, if for you ”  50 mm f / 1.8 ” has as much meaning as טשתסנצ (this probably does not mean anything in Hebrew, I do not speak it more than you: P), start by reading the article on the choosing a goal that should enlighten you on these features. Especially since it’s a bright goal (this was a word game: if you laugh, you have the same rotten humor as me, otherwise you can still read the blog, promised after I stop 🙂

To sum up, it is therefore a fixed focal length , which has a very largemaximum aperture (f / 1.8 whereas a 18-55 mm of the kit generally opens at f / 3.5), and which has in addition the kindness of have excellent optical quality for a low price. This pebble exists at Canon and Nikon, but also in other brands (point your mouse on the objectives to see the brand).

Let’s see what drives me to do a complete article on this lens so I find it great:

Indispensable in low light

This is the most obvious technical advantage: a large aperture assumes that more light can enter, and therefore it is possible to shoot under low lightconditions .

The first example that comes to my mind is the concert photo : there is almost no light, and apart from the moments when the spots are in the background, it will be very difficult for you to obtain an image correctly. exposed with the lens of the kit , which at 55 mm only opens at f / 5.6 : the difference is simply é-nor-me ! In addition, musicians usually move a lot, you need to use a shutter speed large enough to freeze the movement, hence the interest of having a large apertureto compensate. So this is an excellent optics for the concert, the only concern is that it is a little more difficult to frame since you can not zoom.

The concert photo is one thing, but after all you probably do not like it all, or do not do it regularly.

But concerts are not the only situation where the light is low. Let’s take a day of autumn / winter classic, like the day before yesterday, when the sun goes down around 17h , and where it rains ropes. Ok I’m in the North, but still 😛 Basically, it is very dark all day, and it is almost dark night from 17:30. This is a situation where you already reach the technical limits of the lens kit, which is clearly a problem to you out a picture where we see something other than a cluster of black pixels . Well a 50mm f / 1.8 just love it. And just the day before yesterday, I was happy to quietly take pictures without constantly struggling with the limits of my vision. I already had enough to do trying to hold the umbrella at the same time 😀 For example I had no problem getting the picture below, when it was 18:05 ! It is a little dark, but it was my will, and I could have no problem to expose a little more in post-treatment without too much diminish its quality.

An unprecedented depth of field

From the first shot I took with this lens, I knew that before that I did not really know what depth of field was . Indeed, as you know if you read the article about the opening , more openness is high (f = small), plus the depth of field is low . And at f / 1.8, it really shows . We see a difference between f / 3.5 and f / 8, but we really discover what it is at f / 1.8. It’s a little complicated to explain, it’s really a photographic feeling that I find exceptional .

To try to show you anyway, let’s ask a hand to our friend Jack , who had already been kind enough to play the game for an article on different modes of measurement of brightness.

The difference already appears clearly , but use a 50mm f / 1.8 is probably the best way to find out.

You will tell me that it is very nice, but does it really change your life? Well, it is obvious that you have more photographic possibilities , more amplitude to create the image you want, especially to isolate the subject from the background. The best argument is still an image.


I simply love this portrait (modestly) because it shows how this great opening allows the use of soft focus to create a strong image. I do not know you, but I love to see this face that gets lost slowly in a nice soft focus. This is really an excellent optics for portraiture .

You have to move

It will not have escaped you: this lens is a fixed focal length , which means that you can not zoom (La Palisse is my friend). As long as you have lived only with zooms, it may seem a handicap . What I think is that zooms are a handicap . A huge handicap . When you use a zoom, you are suddenly pinned to the ground , zooming in or out, instead of MOVING your buttocks. And when I say nailed to the ground, I speak almost literally. Just yesterday, I had to change lenses because I needed a focal length greater than 50mm. So I mounted my 55-250mm. Well I found myself suddenly motionless , busy zooming in and out. I really had to make a conscious effort to move.

You will tell me that you do not find any problem to stay cushy to zoom in / out. Strip of loafers ! 😛 In reality, the fact of working with a fixed focal length forces you to be creative : you are forced to work your composition finely to remove distracting elements, to adopt a viewpoint original to fit subtly your image. You are constantly moving : I caught myself doing steps aside kind dancer to better fit! It must be pretty funny to see I grant you, nevertheless my pictures are better.

Yes, just that, I do not hesitate to say it. Why are my pictures better ? Because this lens allows me:

  • To be able to express my creativity in a larger number of situations .
  • To have a field of possibilities greater in terms of depth of field (in my opinion the fundamental element of a successful photo is a controlled depth of field).
  • To reinforce my creativity by forcing me to move with my feet.
  • To work my compositions more finely.

It’s simple, about a hundred shots taken during this famous day of autumn the day before yesterday, I kept eight . Knowing that I took some in 20 copies by testing different angles of view. It may not sound like much, but it’s a much bigger ratio than before.

Another clue: this lens has been mounted almost permanently on my case since I have it.

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