Nikon 50mm f1.8 – The affordable nifty fifty

So, you just purchased a shiny new DSLR, despite my advice that you probably really needed a high end point and shoot compact camera… It came with a couple of lenses in the box, didn’t it? They look pretty awesome. Maybe you could even offer to shoot your cousin’s upcoming wedding with these new image weapons? Hmmmm.

Well, I am not going to argue with all the ads on TV and that guy at Ted’s that taking great photos is easy – just get that DSLR out of the box and start shooting pro photos!

Those nice looking lenses you got in the box with the new DSLR are technically most likely to be rated as “crap”. You can still compose great images with them, but they are not going to help you the way other lenses can.

Please do a deal when you buy your DSLR and get Nikon 50mm F1.8 to go with it.

You can pick one up for about $150 local retail here  or for $125 or so on Ebay here

This lens has one of the most reliable zoom functions of all time. Your feet. Yep, if you want to zoom in, take a couple of steps towards your subject. Want some wide angle action? Guess what you have to do…

This lens has a fixed focal length. Lenses with a fixed focal length are generally always better quality than a zoom lens at the same price.

The beauty of this lens, and why you will learn to love it, all has to do with that funny F number 1.8. The aperture opens up to 1.8 which enables two things :

1. The maximum amount of light hits your sensor, allowing for better results in lower light conditions. Your DSLR probably does not have a high end sensor in it, so that f1.8 becomes a great way of producing non-grainy images in low light.

2. The very low aperture (2.8 and below is awesomeness) enables you to get that blurry background (or foreground) that so many people love. Open that lens right up to 1.8 and let ‘er rip. You will be on your way to impressing friends and family on facebook very quickly!

Yes, this lens is a bit plasticky like your kit lenses, but remember – for the same money, a fixed focal length will win hands down every time!

Using a fixed focal length lens can really help you focus on your composition. Instead of twiddling with the zoom on your plastic kit lens, you have to look through your viewfinder and learn to spot the shot.

7 Responses to “Nikon 50mm f1.8 – The affordable nifty fifty”

  1. Good! Last Sunday I bought a fuji xt1 and the 35mm 1.4 Finally decided sick of zooms Want simple but good NO brilliant quality. Then on Thursday I tripped at a busstop fell off the curb onto the road (in Abbotsford Some nice SP locations there by the way) and the lens was literally torn from the body Glass seems ok thanks to the metal hood which is tough butnow wrecked Body has some marks and they are now on the way to fuji I think i will be very happy with the one lens. So much more simple and learning to see in that one focal length feels like a real liberation The photo gods are just keeping me waiting is all haha

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  2. Hey Paul, sorry to hear it. I dropped my Mamiya 7 about a year ago. Broke the plastic casing… Yes, the Mamiya 7 is choc a block plastic… Was lucky to find Mamiya still keep parts and Shutterbox in Camberwell did a great job fixing it up!

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  3. Sorry was saying id never have thought that. I’m hoping the damage is not too bad. But have tiwait and see In the meantime it’s a forced break for me

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  1. Starting in Film Photography on a $350 budget. | Melbourne Street Photography - September 6, 2014

    […] You can find out more about this lens here. This is an incredibly affordable lens that produces super images. […]

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