Updated: Sep 8
Some of the best photography advice i received when first starting was that ditching your stock lens and investing in a 50mm lens can be a game-changer for photography beginners. Here are some compelling reasons why a 50mm lens is a great choice:
Affordability: 50mm prime lenses are often more affordable than other lenses with zoom capabilities. This makes them an excellent option for beginners who are just starting out and may have a limited budget.
Image Quality: Prime lenses, like the 50mm, generally produce sharper and higher-quality images compared to zoom lenses. They have fewer glass elements, reducing optical distortions and chromatic aberrations.
Wide Aperture (Low f-stop): Many 50mm lenses have a wide maximum aperture, usually around f/1.8 or even wider. This allows you to shoot in low-light conditions and create beautiful background blur (bokeh) to isolate your subjects.
Versatility: A 50mm lens is incredibly versatile for various photography styles. It can handle portrait photography, street photography, landscapes, and even some close-up shots. This flexibility makes it an ideal choice for beginners who want to explore different genres.
Lightweight and Portable: 50mm lenses are usually compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry around for everyday photography. They won't add much bulk or weight to your camera bag.
Improved Learning: Working with a prime lens encourages photographers to move and be more creative with composition. Instead of relying on zoom, you'll learn to use your feet to find the best angles and framing, which improves your overall photography skills.
Builds Discipline: Since 50mm lenses lack zoom capabilities, using them encourages photographers to be more intentional about their shots. This discipline leads to more thoughtful and carefully composed images.
Natural Perspective: A 50mm lens provides a field of view that closely resembles what the human eye sees. This natural perspective can result in more authentic and relatable photographs.
Less Distortion: 50mm lenses have minimal distortion compared to wider-angle lenses, which can make subjects appear more natural and lifelike.
Future Investment: A 50mm lens is a valuable addition to your gear collection, even as you progress in your photography journey. It will remain useful for a long time, regardless of the camera body you use in the future.
When I first started I found the stock 18-55mm lens that most APS cameras came with at the time limited my me and slowed my learning curve, it wasn't until i stumbled upon an article like this that I bought myself a nifty 50 and started challenging myself.
While a 50mm lens may not cover every possible scenario, it is an excellent starting point for beginners. It encourages you to develop essential photography skills, experiment with different subjects, and understand the fundamentals of exposure and composition. As you gain experience, you can later expand your lens collection to include other focal lengths to complement your photography style.