Behold, another blog post on the 50mm camera lens. Read any photography blog and somewhere in the archives you will find a post glorifying the 50mm prime lens. In fact, I was brainwashed in getting one as the replacement for my kit glass. Every website that disseminates camera propaganda ensured me that this was the obvious upgrade as a beginner.
I found some dude selling the ever present Canon 50mm f/1.4 back when I was schlepping around Rebel gear and exchanged my hard won dollars for his 50mm camera lens. It took great photos. Still does I suppose but I parted ways with the DSLR and purchased a Panasonic G7 mirrorless micro four third miracle machine.
50mm Camera Lens Brainwashing
Naturally the brainwashing was complete. The first thing I purchased was a 25mm lens for the Lumix. In the 4/3 world everything is doubled, hence a 25mm is the same as a 50mm.
I recognize that some folks find value in shooting old school and sneakering around to get the shot. The bokeh in each of these lenses was appropriately smeared. Of course every pro and wanna-be are quick to report how CHEAP the 50mm camera lens is for the quality. I can’t disagree. You get what you pay for.
What do you not get? Zoom. Obviously zoom. Pixel peepers love to talk about how much better the quality of the images are with a prime lens. Eh. Whatever. I don’t shoot for magazines. You aren’t going to be able to tell the difference in my 12-35mm zoom versus the 25mm equivalent in any social setting or self published photo book.
Zoom Lens is Preferable
Once I got a Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm and 35-100mm I pretty much covered 95% of the possibilities I want to shoot in. The cool thing? If I want to shoot in 50mm then I can just set my zoom at that focal length.
Are they more expensive that the 50mm camera lens? Of course. Save a few hundred more dollars and get a more useful zoom lens.
Maybe in the world of DSLR it is more convenient to snap on a 50mm camera lens instead of the zoom boat anchors. With the micro 4/3 system it’s not a problem as my Lumix 12-35mm and 35-100mm 2.8 lenses together probably weight what the Canon 50mm does.
If a beginner asks me what lens they should get first I would never hesitate to tell them to get the 35mm equivalent of 24-70mm.
I’ve never understood why the 50mm camera lens is the first thing that is suggested to upgrade the kit lens. Why not a 35mm? I mean if you really want to go old school isn’t the 35 mm the photographic standard?
Ever since I purchased a proper zoom lens the 50mm camera lens has stayed on my shelf. Maybe one day when I want to challenge my artistic ability I can snap on the 50mm. I will asuredly get plenty of exercise trying to get the shot without zoom.
I can tell you this, I never think twice about snapping on my zoom lenses and taking photographs.
If you care to succumb to the 50mm beginner propaganda then Fstoppers and Adorama have you covered.