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Nifty Fifty

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

This year I joined the DSLR camera club by buying Canon T1i with the standard 18mm-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. This setup works great and can produce some fanominal pictures, in the right conditions. Outside on a sunny day, fantastic, inside with a flailing baby, not so much. The problem is the aperture of the kit lense and the fact that the max aperture goes down as you zoom in.

Just in case your not familiar, aperture is basically the size of the opening through the lens when the picture is taken. The larger the opening, the more light going through it. The more light the faster the shutter speed you can use. The faster the shutter speed the more you can compensate for things like motion blur and camera shake, leading to sharper pictures. As a result of the

The next lens I purchased is known as the nifty fifty: a 50mm f/1.8 prime. This isn't a zoom lens but it's supposedly sharp as a razor blade and at aroun $80 you can't lose. The f/1.8 aperture of this lense should've made it possible to shoot in very low light without a flash. Unfortunately this lens didn't really live up to my expectations. At low light this lens has some trouble focusing and most of my shots are way out of focus. Actually even in bright light it tends to front-focus a little bit, and at very wide apertures the depth of field is so shallow the whole picture ends up being out of focus. I don't know if this is just my particular lens or a fault of all of them, but it's really annoying. At wider apertures, like f/4.0 the front-focus doesn't really matter since it's well within the depth of field.

I expected to use this lens way more than I actually do.

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