Digital Photography School (DPS) suggests Three Lenses Every Photographer Should Own. Great article. Except…
Where is the fast lens? The fast 50? Nifty 50?
I know the article mentions a 50mm F2.8 as a macro lens, but what I am referring too is a F1.8 or better. I own the Canon EF 50mm F1.4, and it is my pride an joy. It makes nearly any setting look great.
- Dark venue; bring out the fast F1.4
- Cluttered backgroud; got to love the bokeh* of F1.4
- Travelling light; yep, the F1.4
- Stuck in a rut; the F1.4 again!
While it has it’s detractors, the Canon 50mm F1.4 is my go too lens for most of my concert and portrait photography. Here are some of my favorites:
The fast 50 can be an unforgiving beast though, it is possible to focus on the tip of a mans nose and have his eyes blurred. I remain to this day unsatisfied by this next shot of the artist Duke Special, lit only by the match, yet just the slightest touch out of focus:
A fast 50mm used to be sold as standard with all SLR’s in the past, as it was representative of the natural breath of vision. Nowadays photography this maxim from Robert Capa is rarely considered:
If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.
Cheap, slow consumer zoom lenses fill this slot, depriving new SLR owners of a truly challenging and rewarding photography experience.
Do yourself a favor… buy Canons cheapest lens, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8, and open up a world of possibilities.
* Bokeh, from Wikipedia:
…is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.” Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting— “good” or “bad” bokeh, respectively. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions… The term comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji (ボケ味), the “blur quality”. The Japanese term boke is also used in the sense of a mental haze or senility.