Traveling with the Canon 50mm 1.8|| (no zoom)

I would like to share something.... More then one year ago I traveled with some friends across Tanzania, Africa. I knew that this trip could get me a lot of nice images. However, I was affraid to take all my expensive camera equipment with me. This because people in Tanzania are not that rich compared to the country I live in, and I didn't want to give the people the motive to rob me or something like that. So I decided to only take my Canon EOS 400D body and the 50mm 1.8|| lens with me. Most Canon photographers know that the build quality of the 50mm 1.8 is crap, but the quality of the photos are quite good. The biggest disadvantage however was the fact that zooming with the 50mm 1.8 is not possible. So I knew I would get in to trouble when taking landscape photos. But I took this disadvantage for granted....

As soon we were in Tanzania my friend was shooting all kind of images using the zoom-function of his camera intensively. Me was looking and looking for oppurtunities to make a nice photo and most of the time I had such a big need for a proper zoom lens. So I felt stupid that I had left my expensive zoom lenses at home. Also the idea that I missed soo much photo-moments bothered me a bit. However one day I decided to take the situation as it was and said to myself... GET OVER IT! At that time I tried to use my 50mm lens more often.

In the beginning it was quite difficult. Especially since I was forced to place myself in the right position to take the photographs. But when time passes during the holiday I was more and more thinking through the 50mm lens before and when taking photos. When the holiday was over and I looked at my pictures on the computer at home, I was quite surprised. I didn't had so much bad photos after all. Offcourse I missed a lot of oppurtunities to make high quality landscape images but I was content with the results.

Below (and the sunset above) I shared some of my photos which I took during my trip in Tanzania. All the photos were shot with the 50mm 1,8|| lens (no zoom).

Photo credits: Fairoesh N..

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December 14, 2012


spending days with a fixed (no zoom) lens is indeed a very good exercice to work on composition! Try it for sure!!!

December 05, 2012


"Limitation makes you get creative " Totally true!! Well said! Thanks for the comments..

December 04, 2012


Limitation makes you get creative - you've proven that :) Anyway, I think you did the right thing. If I would go on that trip and had to take only one lens with me, I would take my 2.8/90 macro.

December 04, 2012


Well, your images are amazing, great job.

December 04, 2012


prime lenses remind of the time when all I had was a Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII. I never had a problem with that camera so I guess getting used too much with zoom lenses may cause some discomfort when forced to use only a single focal length. But it never really does become a big problem.

December 02, 2012


Long before there were zoom lenses, photographers got along fine with just the "normal" lens and maybe one other. The biggest problem of only having the 50mm lense would be getting those close-ups of poisonous snakes, large spiders, etc. I'm guessing the colobus monkey was cooperative.....

December 02, 2012


Working with the 50mm lens only, requires a lot more careful positioning, and as you say you probably missed opportunities. But I was surprised how close you could get to the animals just with the 50mm. Next time when you go, take a super-zoom point and shoot camera as well. Small and relatively cheap. You'll be surprised at the results especially those in good light.
I wish I could go...

December 01, 2012


Which places will you visit in Tanzania?

December 01, 2012


Nice photos!

When I bought my expensive Nikon D700 body I had no more money left for a good zoom. Therefore I used my Nikkor 50mm 1.4 D from my analog time for quite a long span of time. It kept me busy to walk around to find the best place to shoot.

December 01, 2012


Congrats to some really nice shots!
I´m actually going there in just a couple of weeks from now.
Will definitly bring some more than the fifty :-)

December 01, 2012


Great images!Congrats!

November 30, 2012


Very nice images. Zoom with your feet : )

November 30, 2012


Astrophotograpy with the 50mm? I never tried it before...When the night is bright I certainly will try it out. Thanks for the comment...

November 30, 2012


A lot of famous photographer used fixed lens but now zooms have(almost) same quality as fixed and overall you can avoid problems with lions...

November 30, 2012


A very nice photo journal of your trip. The Canon 50mm 1.8 is certainly one of, if not the cheapest, lenses Canon makes, but it is a great lens, especially for Astrophotography.

November 30, 2012


Great images and nice experiment :) Congrats!

November 30, 2012


It can be a useful exercise. My first camera when I was 12 had only a 75-150mm zoom lens, and I think it was responsible for teaching me to choose and capture a subject, rather than just shooting the scene with a wide angle...

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