50mm - a magic lens!

Young woman with a lens

A girl child smiles at an orphanage

They say Kit lens is the beginner's lens. True it is. But I started my DSLR photography with a 50mm prime and since then I am madly in love with my magic lens! In fact I still do not own any kit lens! :D

You can do thousands of experiments with this much lighter weapon!

The focal length is almost close to the perception of human eye. It covers the whole zone as your eye can see at once. Makes the picture more real. I never forget this tiny wonder when I go for street photography. Just apt for people and portrait. When I was a beginner my seniors advised me to start with 50mm. Since there is no way to zoom in/out it develops a good sense of framing and composition.

Frying paratha in refined oil

With the aperture range starting from f/1.4 it works super in low light condition. You get rid of those irritating noise due to high ISO and don't have to compromise with your shutter speed. As a result the photo looks lively.


Inner peace/ Green Life

Also with such wide aperture you can easily isolate your subject from the background. Wider aperture implies to creamier background.

Pearl fashion accessories

Macro eye of an insect

On top of that it gives you the amazing result of lens reversal technique!Just buy a lens reversal mount, go close to those tiniest creatures and capture their super details!A much cheaper way to capture unseen details. No need to buy costly macro lenses :)

DSLR camera with Bokeh Background

And the most superb thing that I love about 50mm is its bokehlicious performance!Tiny LED lights/ jewelries and gems/ sun rays through leaves everything creates such an incredible background with a shallow depth of field. Even foreground bokeh also create unique pictures. While shooting portrait or candid wedding shots you hold a flower bunch in front of your lens and use a smaller f stop. Focus on the bride's face or her finger rings through the tiny gaps of flowers/petals. Voila! The foreground bokeh will create a beautiful vignette around your subject.

Finally, being a prime lens it offers more sharpness than your kit lens or zoom lens. There are many more ways to do this and that with the 50mm prime. I am yet to explore more of its charismatic usage. Show me some samples of your experiments too :)

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June 19, 2016

Great article, thanks! I experimented today with two lenses, took the same shot with kit lens and 50mm prime. The prime shots were sharp as a tack, what a difference!


January 08, 2014

You got a f/1.8 photo accepted in DT? Whoa! The photo is good


January 07, 2014

I use the Nikkor 50 mm F/1.8, love it=)
   Salmon and Pasta   


January 07, 2014

Thank you!


January 06, 2014

Excellent write up.Beautiful shots.


November 15, 2013

Thnx mayur.
And long prime has some extra ordinary magic :)


November 15, 2013

Excellent write up!

I do love my 50mm lens for sure


November 14, 2013

Even bird snappers would love a long prime.


October 25, 2013

Alvera... that is implied u knw :)
btw bird shooters are also bird lovers.. :D Hope I didn't do a 'blunder' by calling them bird lovers ;)


October 24, 2013

Very true... Thanks for sharing.


October 24, 2013

yes..true :)
But bird lovers will beat us if we say against zoom :P

Bird lovers or bird shooters? :)


October 24, 2013

Primes are great...had a 50mm Canon prime lens. After about a year or two of use it started giving me very soft images. Let it go and got myself a 24-70 f2.8...Love it....sharp enough to make you bleed and versatile.


October 24, 2013

yes..true :)
But bird lovers will beat us if we say against zoom :P


October 23, 2013

Can't beat the primes for sharpness. Zooms look mushy after using them and they make people lazy. Just have to zoom in and out with your feet.


October 23, 2013

A prime lens is on my wish list since i bought my DSLR. Maybe Ill buy it first than macro lens.

The 40 mm prime from Nikkor has also macro. On a crop sensor will be a 60 mm, excellent for portrait and also for macro. It's correct, 40 mm, a cheap and very good lens tested by me about 1-2 year ago.
Some tests are here:


October 22, 2013

A prime lens is on my wish list since i bought my DSLR. Maybe I'll buy it first than macro lens.


October 22, 2013

Alistaircotton, that last line was funny hehe
Harshvardhan, you can go for Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D. Good one for lens reversal. You can manually set the aperture with its aperture ring. But I think it will not auto focus with D5100.
For price check in ebay.


October 22, 2013

I use Canon's EF 50mm 1.8 lens. I have to say it is a fantastic lens considering the cost.
I would recommend anybody who is who is on a tight budget to get this lens.


October 22, 2013

Beautiful images! I wish you the light in your photos with the new lens :-)


October 21, 2013

Thanks Mangalika for useful info! I was considering to buy this lense for my nikon d-5100, could you tell me for how much you brought this lense and reverasl mount? Does it have auto focus motor or we need to focus manually?