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What should I be shooting with my 50mm lens?

1 Feb 2013 2:23PM
Hey Guy's firstly I just wanted to say what an awesome site this is everyone helping each other with your knowledge and advice.

This is my first post so I hope I am following the protocol!!

I managed to get my first DSLR around 4 months ago now and based on my budget I purchased a Nikon D7000 and a 50mm f1.8G prime lens. I am just starting out in photography other than years with a basic point and shoot but I am not sure if I have restricted what I can shoot getting this first lens. I did do a fair bit of research prior to purchase and based on my budget and advice got the 50mm prime as a good starting point to learn the basics. Could you give me some advice as to the kind of things I should and shouldn't be shooting with it. I know you have highlighted it is not a portrait lens but as it is all I have and all I can afford for now, your advice would be appreciated.

Kind regards Gary (Cambridge, England) Smile
GarethRobinson 15 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 2:34PM
It will work fine for portraits. Try landscapes and take a series of shots and stitch on the pc. Also if you like macro try a reversing ring adaptor cost lees than 20 and gives excellent results.
That will keep you busy for a few weeks.
1 Feb 2013 2:38PM
Hi Gareth

When you refer to stiching images on a PC are you meaning HDR Photography where you are overlaying the same images each with their own tweaks and settings? Or simply bracketing them to gain some varying exposures?


blastedkane 16 66 2
1 Feb 2013 2:40PM
If this is your first "wide aperture lens" then just get out and play with depth of field, flowers, grass, nature, anything where you can experiment with Bokeh I got the canon 50 1.8 after only ever using 3.5 - 5.6 max aperture and i was blown away by the results. so much so I found I didn't want to go back to anything less than f2
GarethRobinson 15 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 2:42PM
Gary have a look here

and here
1 Feb 2013 2:46PM
Ok will check them out.

Thanks Gareth

PS where abouts in England are you based?
GarethRobinson 15 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 2:49PM
Gary im stuck in Northern Ireland lol..
JJGEE 16 7.9k 18 England
1 Feb 2013 2:54PM
Back in the days of film cameras my 50mm f1.8 Zuiko lens was the most used of my lenses.

Great for all types of photography except perhaps sports / distance wildlife shots.

Be really suitable for wandering around doing " street " photography in towns / seaside , inside a Cathedral / Church perhaps or setting up a still life indoors of ornaments, flowers, food etc.
Nigeyboy 13 1.0k United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 3:23PM
I did some cool candle light photography of my daughter with a 50mm 1.8. Turned out pretty good to be honest.

Oh - and welcome to EPZ! You wont' find a better site for help and assistance in getting you going with your DSLR!!
User_Removed 17 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 3:23PM
It's about the same magnification as the human eye (regardless of camera body). If you look through your viewfinder with one eye and at reality with the other you'll see that objects appear the same size to both eyes. They don't at other focal lengths.

I used to use mine (a Canon 50mm 1.4) for portraits but find a 24-105 zoom much more versatile and will sell that lens this year. If you've got no other lens it's ideal for that kind of subject.

I second the advice on panoramas, some of these I shot like that then stitched
digicammad 18 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 4:09PM
A 50mm prime is one of the best lenses you will ever have, certainly as far as image quality is concerned. As Chris said, it is about the same focal length as the human eye, so you can judge from that the range of uses.

Things it won't handle very well are detailed close-ups of sheep on the other side of the valley, extreme wide angle landscapes (without stitching) and 1:1 views of a fly's eyeball.

It may not be as versatile as a zoom but you can at least partially offset that with another tool in the photographers locker - feet.

Use it, enjoy it and in using it you will gradually get an idea of which end of the focal length range you want to expand.

digicammad 18 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 4:10PM
Chris what is the tool you are using for those pano's?
User_Removed 17 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 4:33PM
The excellent Canon PhotoStitch to stitch and Zoomify to make them zoomable and panable (
digicammad 18 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 4:37PM
I shall have to take a look at Zoomify. I use Panorama Factory for the stitching.

Sooty_1 11 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 5:27PM
The simple answer is that you can shoot almost anything with it. You just find yourself looking for suitable ways to shoot what you want. Even wildlife, close ups and Motorsport are possible, you just need to be creative, which is where the photographer comes into the equation.

It is relatively fast compared to most zooms, so you are spoilt for lower lighting conditions with the wide aperture, one aspect you could make the most of for now, as well as differential focus/shallow depth of field, but pretty much anything you can think of is worth trying. Happy hunting!


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