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This is the One Lens Every Photographer Needs

Shiny object syndrome strikes again

This is the One Lens Every Photographer Needs
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published on Medium.com

As photographers, we become obsessed with having the latest gear. Big brands such as Nikon and Canon always seem to conveniently market their gear in a way that makes us feel like we have to have it.

As a result, we may feel left out if we do not go and spend thousands on that lens or that fancy new camera body.

Well I’m here to tell you that you do not need to do that and in fact, there is one cheap but cheerful lens you may be overlooking:

That is the 50mm F/1.8 Prime Lens.

There are a few compelling reasons why I believe this is a lens that every photographer needs to have, regardless of your skill level.

And, better yet, you can pick up the nifty fifty for brand new for around $100 or less, which is a far cry from the expensive lenses costing thousands of dollars.

The 50mm Lens forces you to be more creative

The first important thing to be aware of is that a 50mm lens is a prime lens, meaning that the focal length is fixed.

As a photographer, this means that you cannot just stand in one position and zoom your camera lens in and out to get the composition right.

This then forces you to walk around your subject and step forward or backward from them to better compose your photo.

This will help you to become a better photographer in a few ways:

It will kick the habit of being lazy and just standing one place. You will have to move around and actively look for different compositions before you hit the shutter button

Being exposed to different compositions will open you up to a wider range of possibilities for shooting a certain type of photo and this will allow you to grow quicker, both as a photographer and in your creative life

So if you are looking to push yourself and develop your thinking skills and creativity skills, a 50mm lens might be a good investment for you.

The Nifty Fifty, despite it’s fixed focal length, is a very versatile lens

Despite the fixed focal length, this camera is amazing for just about any type of photography you wish to shoot. This is because:

The wide F/1.8 aperture lets in a massive amount of light, making it well-suited to night photography in particular

The 50mm lens is not too wide, nor too narrow, meaning there is very little distortion in your shots and it is roughly equivalent to what the human eye sees

The nifty fifty is sharp at just about any aperture, though if you increase the aperture number a little to around F/8 to F/11, you can expect to get some insanely sharp shots

These amazing attributes make the 50mm lens a great option all-round.

It is particularly great for product photography, portrait photography and night photography, though.

This is because the high level of bokeh makes these images look far more professional compared to other lenses and the wide F/1.8 aperture lends itself well to shooting in low-light scenarios.

So go out there and get yourself this amazing lens

Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Sometimes as a photographer it is handy to go back to basics as many of the greatest photos have been taken with minimal gear.

You don’t always need to buy expensive camera bodies or fancy 70–200mm lenses, sometimes all you need is a simple lens and a little bit of imagination.

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Joel Oughton
Joel Oughton
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Joel Oughton

16 | UK | Founder of Photoaspire.com | Writes about photography, tech, science and entrepreneurship | Medium Profile: imjoeloughton.medium.com

See all posts by Joel Oughton