7 Reasons to get a Nifty Fifty

Giant Chess | Salerno Winery | Ramona, CA | Captured with Nifty Fifty

A ‘Nifty Fifty” (a 50mm prime lens) is a great addition to just about any photographer’s kit. Read on for seven great reasons to add one to your camera bag.

Simple Pleasures | Menghini Winery | Julian, CA | Captured with Nifty Fifty

Simple Pleasures | Menghini Winery | Julian, CA

1 – The image quality is worlds better than the lens that came with your camera.

In general, prime lenses (i.e. a single focal length with no zoom) provide superior image quality compared to their zoom counterparts. They have fewer moving parts, are cheaper to manufacture, and as a result, sometimes contain better optics.

2 – It is the least expensive lens you will ever buy

Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 (what I used to capture the photos in this post) is just $125! Yongnuo, a new player in the lens world, just came out with a Canon-mount 50mm f/1.8 that is getting great reviews (some say its better than the Canon) and its less expensive! (Rumors abound that a Nikon-mount option is on its way.)

3 – Its the least expensive way to upgrade your entry-level DSLR

Most entry-level DSLRs come with a very basic 18-55 zoom lens. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to up your game, such as better low-light performance, or a more shallow depth of field, pick up a nifty fifty. They can be acquired for as little as $125.

4 – It performs brilliantly in low light

Most prime lenses perform superbly in low light because of their super-wide maximum apertures. Canon’s least expensive model is an f/1.8, which lets in a tremendous amount of light.
Giant Chess | Salerno Winery | Ramona, CA | Captured with Nifty Fifty

5 – It enables you to capture very shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh

The super-wide maximum aperture that lets in a lot of light, also controls your depth of field. At f/1.8 you get a lovely blurred background that is great for portraits, flowers, and anything where you want your subject to really stand out.

6 – It is lightweight, easy to carry and does not attract as much attention as a long zoom

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 weighs in at 4.6 oz. and measures 2.7” x 1.6” making it easy to carry and a great candidate for street photography when you would prefer to go unnoticed.

7 – It forces you to get creative

Since you are lacking the zoom feature, a prime lens forces you to get creative, move around, and zoom with your feet to get the perfect shot.

When it comes to 50mm prime lenses, there are a few options out there. As the price goes up, so does the image and build quality of the lens. I own the least expensive option (Canon 50mm f/1.8) and its a great little lens that provides big value with a small price tag.

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