The Nifty 50 (Four Photographs)

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A lot of photography articles talk about the “nifty 50”. A good 50mm prime lens is a joy to have. It has a host of uses, most importantly it mimics the optics of the eye. On a cropped sensor DSLR it’s angle of view may be cropped but it is still a 50mm lens. There is little or no magnification, or wide-angle distortion. Reversed it makes for a great macro lens (albeit a manual lens). More importantly they are inexpensive and a good way to learn to use prime lenses. My first photography kit was all prime lenses 28, 50, 135mm. The quality of most zoom lenses will not match a good prime lens, for technical reasons. More importantly, prime lenses force you to zoom with your feet, think more about composition and get closer to your subject. The discipline and constraints of a 50mm is one of the cornerstones, in my view, of learning photography. These photos were taken on a day when I had errands and was just walking down the street. I carry this lens when I go out for a city walk, as it’s compact lightweight and versatile.




12 responses

  1. I like the thought that the 50mm mimics the optics of the eye. I will use mine more


    September 22, 2016 at 4:47 am

  2. I’ve become very lazy, keeping a zoom on much of the time. It has reduced my creativity and I must change my habits

    Liked by 2 people

    September 22, 2016 at 6:42 am

  3. I “grew up” 35mm film so primes are old hat. Recently, on my crop sensor DSLRs I find the combination of the Canon 24mm “pancake” and the nifty fifty make the DSLR a lot more compact, and far more fun to use. The much heavier zooms stay in the bag for when they are REALLY needed.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 22, 2016 at 6:56 am

  4. Nice photos Victor and I especially like the grass seeds with their red or maroon color. You make a good case for the small primes. One of Nikon’s cheapest ($199.95), sharpest, and fastest lenses in the prime AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm F1.8 G. On the DX bodies it gives a field of view equivalent to a 53mm lens. It focuses as close as 11.76 inches. With a 24MP sensor and this close of a focusing distance you can do some fairly extreme cropping to produce nice “close ups”. I’ve just recently purchased a step ring that will allow me to use the 62mm close up filters I have for my 105mm macro on the 52mm threads size of the 35mm. Are all those mm confusing? 🙂 I anxious to see how this works out.


    September 22, 2016 at 11:54 am

    • Thanks. I have the 35mm. Nice lens. You maso me good points. I tried close-up filters, settled on the Raynox M-250. Great quality low price. But on 35mm the distance to subject is too close. I use extension tubes on my 105 mm, again cheap, you lose some light but you get more distance from the bee😀

      Liked by 1 person

      September 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm

  5. I have (finally) discovered the benefits of the nifty fifty. Great and lightweight to carry around too.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 22, 2016 at 5:49 pm

  6. Great shots! The Canon 40mm pancake is also a lot of cheap fun as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm

  7. TPJ

    The little 24mm, Canon, is another good walk around prime. Since we are all about wildlife we rely on crop bodies and zooms. I force myself to use the primes. They work well and make me think. 😀


    October 1, 2016 at 7:53 am

    • I agree fully. Which is why I have only primes for my new Fuji. Great to explore with.

      Liked by 2 people

      October 1, 2016 at 7:56 am

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