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The best lens any photographer should have

Those new in photography would often ask me what is best lens when starting out. One that won’t empty their bank account but still give them great images. I can only think of one which I still use often even if I have a couple of Canon EF L lenses.

Nifty fifty

Shooting cameras

I have been a Canon user since I bought my first DSLR camera which I have until now. Though it came with an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens I was not contented with the output. I was still searching or wanting. Then I came across an article about the nifty fifty or the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. I was intrigued by what the writer was saying about the lens and the photos that he got from using it. Then there was the price just around 5000 Philippine pesos or roughly US$100. So when I saved enough money I bought one and started shooting and was I happy with my first shots. I am still using it until now and I have no regrets in buying it.


Great for portraiture

If you are a fan of those portraits shots that have the background out of focus or more known as bokeh, then the nifty fifty won’t disappoint. Having a wide aperture of f/1.8 and 7 aperture blades it delivers superbly for its price. Having also that wide aperture makes it a fast lens so shooting at night won’t be a problem. Note that it an EF lens so on a full frame camera it is 50mm but on an APS-C it is around 80mm.  Since most beginners would start with an APS-C DSLR camera I recommend the nifty-fifty as your second or even first lens to purchase.  Not only would you get those bokeh shots, it also helps to learn how to compose photos and zoom with your feet.


Red lips

Great for products and events

Things on table

Whenever I get to cover events I always have my nifty fifty in my camera bag as one of my lenses. I would use it whenever I want to isolate or separate a subject from the busy background. I would take photos of items like party giveaways or children’s playthings during events to use as covers for photo books. Another factor is that it is compact and light that I can have it in my pocket when I am covering an event so I don’t need a lens pouch. It is also tough that I don’t worry when I accidentally hit it against something when it is in my pocket. If by any chance it gets broken, it is not that expensive to replace.

So I suggest you go and get one if you still don’t have it.

All photos here were taken using the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. The new one has a better built and has STM which makes it also great for video. I got mine from Infomax in Glorietta Makati.