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Guess which lens these were all shot with?

When I got my first DSLR camera, I remember opening the box and realizing that I had accidentally purchased a camera body only and now needed a lens to get started but “Which lens should I buy first?”. Dunno.

Browsing through Amazon for a DSLR lens can be a bit depressing, the cost associated with pro lenses will make you shed a tear. Then comes the main question, which one should i buy? This question will become a easier as you progress through your photographer journey. By then it will boil down to a simple self talk. What look are you trying to achieve? Then taking into consideration the primary environment that you will be shooting in. However, for now, the question still remains which one should I buy first when starting out?

Which lens should I buy first?

After shelling out a few hundred to a 1000 plus dollars on the purchase of a decent DSLR, purchasing anything else related to photography becomes a weighted decision of Cost vs budget vs Needs & Wants.

The first thing you will notice after purchasing DSLR is that accessories and extra gear can get expensive really fast!

Which is exactly why my thought process before browsing Amazon to purchase a lens was: “Remember you just spent close to $1000 or more on a camera. so NOTHING BEYOND $500“.  First criteria noted, I needed something within that range which can also provide excellent image quality, with enough versatility.

I stumbled on the 50mm 1.4  and 50mm 1.8. Some how Amazon and the camera world push those two lens in your face, and for good reason. They were both affordable and within my price range. And from extensive research both proved to be excellent lens choices — with amazing image quality. After much internal debate, I opt for the  50mm 1.4.  It’s low light performance, due to the f/1.4 wider aperture (more light coming through lens opening) prove a huge benefit for my street photography at night. My iPhone can prove to be useless in those cases. The low light caveat to the side here are:

Three reasons to get a 50mm as your first lens:

    1. SPEED SHARPNESS:  a 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 both as prime / fixed focus lenses they inherently have an advantage over autofocus lenses when it comes to taking shaper images, primarily due to the fact that the automatic mechanism of an auto-focus zoom lens covering multiple focal ranges must always adjust the lens to achieve maximum sharpness, whereas a fixed-focus lens does not have much work to do as it consists of fewer mechanisms to operate to lock & deliver sharp images. You also have the ability for fast shutter speeds, great for canceling out camera shake. Furthermore, with a wider aperture and lower ISO, this lens will help minimize noise, especially in low light situations.

 

    1. GREAT FOR TRAVELING, PORTRATURE & MUCH MORE:  I keep a 50mm on my camera 90% of the time, primarily for its versatility and portability, it’s very lightweight, doesn’t look too intimidating and bulky on the camera — it weighs practically nothing. I do not care much for subjects or things that are outside of my intimate-field-of-view, hence a zoom lens is never in my camera bag, this personal philosophy has aided me in becoming a better photographer by being more creative in capturing the shot that I need, so in essence a 50mm might keep you on your toes and make you a better photographer.

 

The versatility of 50MM Lens

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3. BOKEH  BOKEH BOKEH–  it’s all about creamy bokeh. When I first got my 50mm I shot everything in the lower aperture to achieve this look — I felt like a pro.  Bokeh example

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Its basically the smooth buttery cancelation look of the background while the subject of your photograph remains in focus yet nicely separated from the background. Well, guess what? Its achievable With the 50mm prime lenses.

 

 

Here’s a curated list of affordable 50mm lenses: