Why should you buy the Nifty Fifty (50mm lens)?
Well, because it’s a little awesome powerhouse in terms of image quality, contrast and creating beautiful bokeh. 50mm is the one lens every photographer should have in their bag. Because of its low price and sharp optical quality, this lens has earned the nicknames ‘Nifty Fifty’ and ‘Plastic Fantastic’. The term “Nifty Fifty” broadly refers to any prime lens with a focal length of 50mm.
Read on for following reasons to add one to your camera bag.
A 50mm lens comes the closest to capturing what a human eye naturally sees, so many beginners find it as a good training lens. Due to it’s fixed focal length, you can’t zoom in or out and you would need to move around while shooting a scene. It’ll keep you on your toes and will force you to be more creative and agile. As a result, you get to know more about composition and framing.
Low Light Photography
With the wide aperture of f1.8, it gives you 3 stops and allows more light to fall on your sensor. It helps while shooting in adverse low light conditions. You don’t need to boost your ISO which makes your picture grainy. You can use a faster shutter speed and avoid camera shake. The fast shutter speed allows a photographer to freeze the motion and also reduces the effects of motion blur in images.
This is the biggest asset of these lenses; especially at the low f/1.8 end. It’s extremely wide open maximum aperture gives a beautiful shallow depth of field with an incredible bokeh. It’s particularly good for portraiture.
The 50mm prime almost always takes sharper shots than a zoom lens. This is due to the fact that, it contains less optical elements than a zoom lens meaning the light has to pass through less things before it hits the sensor, which provides a clearer view between the camera sensor and the image. With wider aperture, it allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds and lower ISO, resulting in crisp clean images. These lenses are also great for shooting Videos as they are sharp and fast (low f-stop).
It’s also called as a Portrait lens especially because focal length of 50 mm is a nice distance for portraiture photography. It gives a beautiful depth of field with great clarity and super contrast, which is ideal for shooting a portrait.
A wide-angle lens (less than 35mm) is perfect for landscape photography, but cannot be used for portraits. Similarly, telephoto lenses (200-300mm) are excellent for wildlife & sports photography, but not convenient for street photography. A 50mm lens is one of the most versatile prime lenses you can use. It is excellent for portraits, macros(by using reverse mounting technique), street and landscape photography.
With less glass elements than most other lenses, it is much more lighter in weight to carry. This makes it comfortable to use and carry all day, ideal for Street & Travel photography.
In terms of value for money this lens is pretty amazing as it’s a super-affordable lens. Price of a 50mm lens with maximum aperture of f1.8 starts at around $125. Price rises exponentially with the increased maximum aperture.