18-55mm kit lens VS 50mm prime lens

Started Dec 17, 2009 | Discussions thread
Bjorn_L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,770
Re: 18-55mm kit lens VS 50mm prime lens


I am a newbie but I keep seeing the 50mm f1.8 prime lens being recommend in several forum. But my question is won't the 18-55mm standard kit lens give me the same 50mm focal length. Is it the f1.8 that makes the prime lens a better choice?

Start with a kit lens not a prime.

The 50mm prime is not a good lens for a only lens. On a dx camera it is a short tele suitable to portraits. The scene will feel slightly zoomed in. It is a fine lens to add to a collection, but first get a "standard zoom" beginning at 18 (or lower) going to at least 50mm.

On a Nikon, the better first prime (not portrait lens) is the 35mm f1.8. Canon does not have quite the same lens. The closest would be the 35mm f/2 or the much more expensive (but quite good) Sigma 30mm f1.4

A prime like this is more like the old school "nifty fifty" than the actual 50mm is. It gives a POV similar to the human eye. The Canon sensor is slightly smaller than a Nikon, so the 30mm is closer than the 35mm.

A standard zoom is a lens like the "kit lens" 18-55, or the d90 kit of 18-105vr, the NIkon 16-85, Canon 15-85, or the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 VC (for either Nikon or Canon).

I suggest you google f-stop to learn about light gathering characteristics of the faster lenses (lens with a starting f-stop at or below f2.8)

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