The 50mm prime lens is often a photographer's favourite, perfect for portraits, product photography and low light conditions. They offer sharpness that zoom lenses cannot touch. Today, we have a collection of 50 great photos from around the internet that were made with the renowned 50mm lens.
The 50mm Prime Lens
I used to not understand the 50mm prime. In my mind, it was pointless having a "fixed" lens when there were so many good quality zoom lenses around. However after borrowing a friend's 50mm for a weekend I decided to purchase my own. I can tell you now it almost never comes off my camera. It has completely changed my attitude toward photography in the short time I have owned it.
With a prime lens, you have to work for your shots. No zooming in. You have to take a step closer or a step back. You suddenly think about framing your shots a lot more. You then take these techniques and apply them to any camera/lens combination.
The 50mm prime on average allows an aperture around f/1.4 on a mid ranged price lens, f/1.8 on the cheaper ones and f/1.2 on the pro series. This allows for some seriously creative shots with a very shallow depth-of-field.
The sharpness of these lenses are amazing. I would suggest opening a couple of these photos up and looking at the large sized view as they are stunning.
When Is a 50 Not a 50? On a Crop-Sensor Camera
If you have a crop-sensor camera, often called APS-C (or H), the smaller sensor means that the equivalent lens for you is a 35mm lens. A 50mm lens on an APS-C camera is equivalent to a 75mm lens, which is more in the telephoto range. If you already have a 50, don't worry: the 50mm lens on APS is great for portraits! And everything here about 50mm lenses on full-frame cameras is true of 35mm lenses on crop-frame ones.
How to Buy a 50mm Lens
If you have never used a 50mm, I suggest picking one up. The cheaper ranges start at around $130, which is pretty respectable in the current market. 50mm is the most popular photographic prime lens focal length, meaning there are tons of used lenses available. Whatever one you get, it will be fast and sharp. The cheap nifty fifties are the best bang for your buck lens going.
Using a 50mm Lens
their wide apertures and moderately-wide angle of view, 50mm lenses are very versatile, and they closely match how humans see the world.
They're the first lens a lot of new photographers buy, often so they can
start taking portraits with a shallow depth of field. To dismiss a 50mm
lens as a portrait lens, however, does them a disservice.
On With the Inspiration Already!
In this article I've gathered together 50 interesting photos shot using 50mm lenses. There's images taken with everything from nifty fifties to old school film lenses in their. I've very deliberately chosen a range of images that doesn't focus on portraits. The point isn't to show off the depth of field of f/1.8—everybody knows it's shallow—but to show off the versatility of a 50mm lens. Enjoy!