Such a cute little name. Today I'm going to introduce you to a little, but mighty little lens. If you've been following Tuesday Tips at this point you might be wondering about your lens. You might be wondering why you can't seem to get those wider apertures (remember, smaller number) with your camera lens. The nifty fifty will solve that problem for you!
The lens that is often bundled with most entry level DSLR camera's is what we refer to as a "kit lens." Kit lenses are usually zoom lenses with a variable aperture. A zoom lens has a varying focal length, as well. Most kit lenses range from 18-55mm and have a variable aperture of f/3.6 - 5.6. The aperture will change relative to whatever focal length that you choose. So the widest aperture available on a kit lens is f/3.6. This lens is included in your "kit" because it's pretty versatile. It allows you to capture landscapes and scenes at pretty wide focal lengths. It also allows for basic portraiture at ranges of around 35-55mm. However, it will limit your photography greatly. Which is why I recommend the "nifty fifty" as a great second lens.
The "nifty fifty" is called "nifty" for a reason. It is a 50mm prime lens, meaning it has a fixed focal length of 50mm. So if you want to zoom, you'll have to use your feet, which is not a bad thing. It has aperture capabilities of f/1.8 - f/22. Despite the fixed focal length at 50mm, this lens is also quite versatile.
It is in the range of f/1.8 - f/2.8 that you will help you achieve blurry backgrounds in your images. As she always says, "easy peasy lemon squeezy..."
50mm ISO 400 f/2 1/100sec.
A wider aperture will also help you to isolate your subject...
50mm ISO 400 f/1.8 1/3200sec.
It's a great storytelling lens, wide enough to allow you to include more in the scene...
50mm ISO 250 f/5 1/250sec.
It will bring in more light at wider apertures as well, which will help you when you need to keep your SS fast to freeze motion...
50mm ISO 160 f/2.8 1/500sec
Wider apertures will help you capture the moment in low light situations...
50mm ISO 800 f/2.8 1/250 sec.
The "nifty fifty" is also incredibly affordable. It runs about $125 for Canon and about $130 for Nikon. Considering that most lenses range from $400 - $2500 and up, the nifty fifty is a great second lens purchase without breaking the bank. Please be sure to check your camera manual for compatibility.
The "nifty fifty" was the first lens that I bought for my camera and I can't say enough good things about it. In fact, once I started using this lens, I gave my "kit" lens away. I just no longer wanted to use it once I realized the vast difference in my images with the "nifty fifty." Phew...I said "nifty fifty" a lot. Well, it just is!
Next we talk WB. That's White Balance! It's the control on your camera that will keep your people from looking like oompa loompas! It's my personal pet peeve and it's super easy to fix.
As always, please feel free to email me with your questions! Happy Clicking!