I have chosen a photo for this post that I shot at 50mm with my Nikon 18-105mm kit lens. Taking a look into my Lightroom library, it’s clear I didn’t take a lot of photos at 50mm. This is no surprise due to the fact that I did spend most of my time in a village this year where it was quite easy to find beautiful birds, that’s why I purchased a 70-300mm lens at the beginning of this year. I’ve not been completely happy with the image quality of my tele lens, but still it amazed me to have a longer lens in my bag and I barely used my 18-105mm lens anymore. Now that I am back in the city, there is definitely a shift and I use my first lens more often again.
For me, the formula is very simple. If I am hiking through the nature, I definitely need a long lens and I do even complain about 300mm, which means there will be demand for an even longer lens at some point. In the city I like the wide end of my other lens, and I used the whole focal length of the lens, just not so much the 50mm. It’s funny, but for some reason I have a 50mm prime lens on my radar right now. How can this be? I spotted the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens when I browsed through the web. As I am curious to learn more about different lenses, I have read reviews about the lens and I watched YouTube videos to understand the purpose of the lens. To be honest, I was blown away by the bokeh of this lens, at least for the price tag of this lens.
I can already take pictures at 50mm with the kit lens that I got together with my first DSLR back then. I asked myself why I would need a 50mm lens if I barely use the 50mm of my kit lens, and why I would need a 50mm prime at all if I can just use the 50mm of my kit lens? As said, the bokeh of this 50mm prime lens looks pretty cool for the price tag, and the maximum aperture of f/1.8 would give me a bit more flexibility in too dark environments. When I said that I didn’t take a lot of pictures at 50mm, I meant that I just didn’t take that many pictures compared to other focal lengths. Also my impression changed when I looked at all photos between 45mm and 55mm, since I am working with zoom lenses.
One thing is sure, most of my 50mm photos are either landmarks, portraits of humans and pets like cats and dogs, and in some cases even a few landscape photos. You as a reader of this blog, you might have seen my pet portraits, but never portraits of humans as this is quite difficult in Germany unless the people would allow me to take and use the photo on my website. But I am very interested in gaining more experience with portrait photography, and I believe a 50mm lens (effectively a 75mm lens on my APS-C sensors) would be a good start, especially with this nice looking bokeh of the lens I mean. Apart from that, the lens on my radar produces some really tag sharp photos if you want to, according to most reviews.
The price tag of this lens doesn’t smell like a huge investment, that is not really the problem, but it’s normal that you want to be sure if you really would use the lens a lot. I think this lens would be used heavily for my private photo library, which means I would use the lens quite a lot for family photos or if friends want me to shoot some portraits. My blog wouldn’t profit too much from the lens, but I would probably take low lights photos or night photos for my blog with this lens. As said, according to my photo library, I assume that I would use this focal lens also for some architecture and landscape photos or pet portraits. I don’t know this yet, I just know that the price tag wouldn’t kill my savings, the sharpness and bokeh could be fun, as same as gaining my first experience with a f/1.8 lens. It also might be fun to move my body instead of the focal length ring.
I just missed a really good deal on Ebay yesterday, and I wish I would have been at the computer when the listing run out. I am currently looking for the newer 50mm f/1.8G, not the cheaper 50mm f/1.8D, although I spotted some really good deals for the older version too and I am still not sure how big the difference between both lenses really is. Of course, there are some things that speak against the purchase of a 50mm lens. I started to save money either for a macro lens or a longer tele lens, and changing the plan out of the sudden is something that I barely do as a patient saver. Then, I am still not sure how often I would use the lens, as you can’t know this before you get deeper and deeper into photography. Finally, I am not sure if I will ever have fun again with a smaller aperture again after using a f/1.8 lens for some time.
I am not sure if I will purchase the lens, but if I find a decent deal it might happen. At the end I can still sell the lens if I barely use it. Only one thing is sure, photography is a mess, and once you get into it, you will end up like a drug addict who wants more and more. I will read posts like this one again in a few years to see what kind of path I have chosen over the time.