So you’re having fun shooting with your DSLR, but you may be starting to look at some accessories for it?
Like a new lens?
The first lens I bought for my DSLR , besides the kit lens was a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens.
It’s a prime lens as in it has a set focal length, but tends to be known as a standard (or normal) lens because it has a similar field of view as the human eye does, so it has a ‘natural’ feel to its images.
Also known as a nifty fifty.
And I thoroughly recommend it…
Of its versatility, it’s great for anything from portraits to landscapes.
For the quality of its optics it’s incredibly cheap, and plastic. But I don’t mind that if the photos are great!
As I said above, 50mm is the focal length that is the closet to the human eye. Therefore the images it takes are very easy on the eye (with the crop factor it’s more like 85mm but still very easy on the eye).
Because it’s plastic the 50mm 1.8 is the lightest Canon lens. Which makes it very compact – you can always squeeze it in somewhere!
And that also makes it a great back up lens. Just stick it in your bag and you’ve got it if you need it?
With it having such a low f-stop (large aperture) it’s great for trying out Aperture Priority Mode and practising depth of field.
What’s depth of field?
Depth of Field (dof) is when the focus of the image is, well – in focus and the rest of the image is lovely and blurred. Putting the focus (haha…) on the main subject of the image, which can be a really nice effect (like the daffodils above).
You can produce this by using a large aperture (small f-number). And the Canon 50mm goes all the way down to f/1.8!
And that in turn produces some very nice bokeh.
Bokeh is the type of blur that you can achieve with out-of-focus parts of an image. Particularly the highlights like in the image to the right.
The word bokeh apparently comes from the Japanese word ‘boke’ meaning blur…
You’ll notice the highlights in the background of that image are pentagon shaped (some people don’t like that, but I quite like it). This is because the aperture in the 50mm is made out of 5 blades, hence the pentagon.
The more expensive the lens the more blades it has, so the highlights will become circular instead of pentagon shaped.
For the price of this lens I’ll forgive it for having 5 blades…
All the images in this post are taken on my Canon 50mm f/1.8 II Lens.
One of the main reasons I bought it was the price. It’s fantastically cheap for the quality of image that it produces.
And that makes it a great first lens to buy. I think everyone should have one of these because they’re great fun to use and very flexible.
I’ve taken some fantastic portraits with this lens that are really vibrant, and the obligatory cute pet photos really do them justice. If they stay still long enough….
I always get it out for close-ups as you can see from the flower shots, as I love the f/1.8! But it also doesn’t shy away from the odd landscape either…
An all rounder lens that gives you great image quality at a price that suits the pocket!