First Prime - advice needed

Started Jul 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
jdurant Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: First Prime - advice needed

I am not a professional photographer and I probably have less experience than many who have already replied, but with all that said I would recommend buying the 50mm 1.8 as your first prime. Why?

1) The 50 1.8 is only $100-$120. This is as close to an impulse buy as lenses get. If you decide prime lenses are too restrictive than you are out very little money.

2) The 50mm is significantly faster than the 40mm and the 60mm (1.8 vs. 2.8). As a result, the 50mm will have stronger bokeh at it's fastest aperture than the 2.8 lenses. The 2.8 lenses may have smoother or creamier bokeh qualitatively but their backgrounds will be less blurry (i.e., the subject won't "pop" as much against the background) than the 50mm at 1.8.

3) Since you currently have just the two kit lenses, you don't have any lenses faster than 3.5. The 50mm 1.8 will give you greater room to experiment with depth of field than the 2.8 lenses. In my experience shooting wide open at 1.8 is a great way to improve your focusing skills and technique. At 1.8 the depth of field of the lens is less forgiving than at 3.5 (or 2.8) (i.e., if you focus on a persons nose then the eyes may be out of focus, if you focus on the eyes then the nose may be out of focus, and if you focus on the ear then maybe both the nose and eyes will be out of focus.) As a result you will need to pay much greater attention when using manual focus and to where you place your auto-focus points. I saw an overall improvement in the focus for all of my shots after practicing wide open at 1.8 with my 50mm. It may be that you would see the same improvement

Just my two cents

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