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7 Reasons Why a 50 mm Lens is All You Need for Great Photography

Of all the lenses you can have in your bag, a 50mm or “Nifty Fifty” is probably the most useful.

Why? Well, as Jordan Matter from Shutterbug Mag explains in the video below, there’s plenty of reasons to have a 50 mm lens.

Have a look at what Jordan has to say, and for a few more details on some of his favorite reasons for having a 50mm lens, check out the article below.

No matter if you’re looking for a 50 mm f/1.4, a 50 mm f/2, or a completely different focal length, buying used lenses will help you save some money and stretch your budget. For the best deals on used lenses of all sizes and types, check out Lensfinder.

With a 50 mm Lens, You Need Less Gear

One of the reasons why I love shooting with my smartphone is that I don’t have to carry around a ton of heavy gear.

Well, if you have a 50mm lens for your DSLR or mirrorless camera, you don’t need a ton of gear, either.

That’s because the Nifty Fifty is such a versatile lens that you can shoot all day long with it.

Take portraits. Photograph landscapes. Head into the city for some street photography. Heck, you can even reverse mount a 50 mm lens to create a macro lens. It’s that versatile!

A 50 mm Lens Can Achieve a Shallow Depth of Field

Because many 50 mm lenses have large maximum apertures, they can create gorgeously shallow depth of field. That’s advantageous for a lot of types of photography, but particularly for portraiture.

By opening up the aperture and minimizing the depth of field, you can get a nice, sharp subject in front of a beautifully blurry background.

Not only does that help you set the subject apart in the shot, but it can also help you minimize any distractions in the background of the image as well.

Another point that Jordan makes in the video above is that the Nifty Fifty allows you to vary the blurriness of the background.

So, in a close-up shot, the background can be maximally blurred for effect. But you can also take a few steps back from the portrait subject and compose an environmental portrait with a background that’s more visible, but still gives that blurry effect for separating the subject.

Again, you can see how the Nifty Fifty is so versatile!

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50 mm Lenses are Great for Stopping Action

As noted earlier, 50mm lenses typically have very large apertures, like f/1.2, f/1.4, and f/1.8.

That’s not only advantageous for minimizing the depth of field, but it’s also advantageous for maximizing the shutter speed.


Well, the more light that the lens can collect, the faster the shutter speed you can use.

So, with a 50mm lens, you’re getting tons of light, which allows you to bump up the shutter speed.

With that faster shutter speed, you can freeze movement in your shots whether that’s your kids running around in the backyard or waves crashing on the beach.

That opens up plenty of opportunities for getting creative shots in which your subject appears to be frozen in time without any blurred movement.

In other words, a 50 mm lens can challenge you to create new things unlike any other lens can.

And when it comes down to it, improving your craft, getting more creative, and making photos that have tons of visual impact is what this is all about, right?!

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