If you are just joining, check out my first post in this series from last week. I talked about why DSLR photography is important. This week we are going to talk about the first lens you should buy once you have gotten your DSLR camera. For starters, I’m a Canon shooter so my reviews and opinions will be based on my Canon equipment. I have heard that Nikon does offer a similar lens to the one we will be talking about today, I will be sure to add a link to purchase both at the bottom of this post.
Most entry level DSLR cameras are sold with at least one “kit” lens. This lens is usually fine for basic street photography, snap shots of your family at Disney World or taking candids of your children being adorable around the house. But say you want to get a little more artistic, or find that your still getting some blur when trying to capture your fast moving two year old!
After getting my DSLR camera I was eager to jump in with both feet. I started snapping away with the kit lens but found myself frustrated. The images were not what I pictured they would be. Soon, I invested in the Canon 50mm. There are three different apertures available for the 50mm, we will cover those below.
When I purchased my 50mm, I went with the economic option, the Canon 50mm 1.8. I chose this lens because it was the least costly investment, and I felt if I was disappointed or did not use it then it would not be much of a loss. I have to say, four years later, this lens was by far worth every penny…and more!
The Canon 50mm went above all expectations I had, and was such an easy lens to learn with. I suggest this lens for beginners getting into DSLR photography. This is a prime lens. What that means is it does not zoom, most kit lens zoom. With a kit lens you can stand in one place and zoom in to crop your subject; however, the 50mm has a fixed focal length. The fixed focal length requires the photographer to ‘zoom’ in and out with their feet. This is a great learning opportunity for a beginner photographer to see through their lens exactly how they truly see the subject, without having the frame cropped. Forcing a photographer to move their body, helps that photographer create their style for photography. It forces you to find different angles which can change your lighting, and the scope of your picture.
It was after getting my 50mm that I found my love for beautiful bokeh and blurred backgrounds in my photography. The depth of field the 50mm offers creates these types of backgrounds. The aperture is what to look for when thinking about the depth of field- more about aperture coming! As I mentioned above, the 50mm comes with three different aperture options.
The most economic version is the 1.8, at around $125.00. As you can see it is very affordable, and provides you everything I mentioned in this post. I have no complaints regarding my 1.8 aperture, in fact I still have this lens and use it often!
The next option would be the 1.4 for around $330.00. This lens would be a great lens for those photographers looking to get into professional photography. This lens is made slightly better and offers another stop down for the aperture.
The 1.2 is another f stop down; however, as you can see the price drastically increases to about $1,350.00 which is most likely out of the budget for DSLR beginners although a wonderful lens option.
Like I mentioned, I’m not a Nikon shooter and I cannot offer any guidance other than there is a Nikon option for the 50mm. The Nikon 50mm 1.8 appears to be comparable to the Canon version in cost at approximately $130.00.
You do not have to have the best DSLR and most expensive lens to take beautiful pictures. Gorgeous pictures come from understanding your camera, the lens, and how the two work together. Looking for tips on putting those two together, check back next week when I cover DSLR Basics - I’m going to give a brief introduction to DSLR photography and how to use the 50mm to capture gorgeous photos!
This picture was taken with my Canon Rebel and my Canon 50mm 1.8, and it remains one of my most cherished pictures of my baby girl, I simply love it!