21 Tips on How to Apply Your 50mm Lens
Do you lot own a 50mm lens but unsure how to brand the most of it?
Are you’re looking to buy a lens are wondering if a 50mm lens fits your needs?
If your reply is yes to either of these questions, you lot’ve come to the correct identify.
Hither, we’ll delve into what makes 50mm ane of the most popular lenses on the market likewise as
how to all-time apply them.
Let’s dive in!
1. Don’t Get As well Close
All lenses have a minimum focusing distance. This is the shortest distance in which your lens can focus.
Getting closer to your field of study than the minimum focusing distance volition return it out-of-focus and blurry.
The minimum altitude is calculated from the camera’south focal plane mark, typically found near the shooting manner dial.
Most DSLR cameras will marker this betoken with a line through a circle (pictured beneath).
Nikon 50mm f/ane.8g
lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.45m/1.5ft from the focal airplane marker.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
lens, the closest focusing altitude is 0.35m/1.15ft.
If yous’re using a different lens brand, yous should be able to observe the minimum focusing altitude labeled on your lens.
The location differs depending on the lens, but some common places you tin can expect at are nearly the focus distance brandish, on the face of the front end ring, or around the mount.
If yous don’t find it on your lens, effort doing a simple Google search to observe out.
2. Check Your Photographic camera’southward Focusing Motor
A focusing motor is a feature in lenses and cameras that gives you the ability to facilitate automatic focusing.
Some lenses take built-in focusing motors, but others don’t. This is a central cistron to double-check before you shoot.
Nikon 50mm f/1.8
Catechism EF f/one.8 STM
lenses feature congenital-in focusing motors.
If your lens doesn’t have a focusing motor, it’due south imperative that y’all use a camera that does.
If you lot take a camera with a congenital-in focusing motor you won’t need a lens with a focusing motor.
By and large speaking, beginner cameras omit an internal focusing motor and you’ll demand to use a lens with a focusing motor.
It is not e’er clear whether a lens has a motor or not. To be sure, await up the specs when you are purchasing or do a quick google search to ostend.
3. Shoot In Wide Open up Spaces
When you’re using a 50mm lens, shooting in wide, spacious areas is often ideal.
Even with a full-frame photographic camera, a 50mm lens only allows y’all to work with a viewing angle of 46-47 degrees, which ofttimes makes shooting in confined areas difficult.
This gets fifty-fifty more problematic if you’re using your 50mm with a cropped sensor camera.
In this case, your viewing angle will shrink to 31 degrees, which is about equal to that of a 75mm lens used with a full-frame photographic camera.
And so, when planning to shoot with your 50mm take the space of your location into consideration and make an extra effort to detect open up areas to photo in.
4. Know Your Maximum and Minimum Aperture
Being knowledgeable of your lens’ maximum and minimum aperture is e’er helpful.
Your lens’ maximum aperture will determine how shallow you can make your depth-of-field, equally well every bit how well the lens volition perform in low lite weather.
While your lens’ minimum aperture will determine how deep y’all tin can make your depth-of-field and as well as how your lens will perform in bright weather.
For the Nikon lens and the Canon lens, the maximum aperture is identical: f/1.8.
But, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens has a minimum aperture of f/xvi; the Canon EF 50mm f/1.viii STM lens has a minimum aperture of f/22.
5. Principal Bokeh
Bokeh originates from the Japanese word “boke.” It is the blurry effect that’south produced in the areas of an paradigm that aren’t in focus.
You’ll often encounter this type of visual result used in portrait photography.
Portraits typically feature an in-focus subject with a subdued, soft groundwork.
Bokeh results from using a narrow depth-of-field or a low f-stop, generally around f/two.viii or lower.
Low f-cease values create wider apertures, enabling y’all to keep a bailiwick in the foreground in focus with a blurred, frail background.
As you increase your discontinuity, the corporeality and quality of bokeh will reduce.
You can create bokeh with larger apertures such equally f/3.five or f/v, but your distance from your subject will need to be farther.
At f/3.5 and f/five your depth-of-field will be wider, thus to create bokeh your scene will have to expand across those limits.
A zoom kit lens like an eighteen to 55m lens more often than not has a maximum aperture of approximately f/three.v. And then, to achieve the bokeh outcome, this blazon of lens isn’t platonic.
A 50mm prime lens, on the other hand, has a maximum aperture of f/1.8, making them ideal for creating bokeh.
Mastering bokeh requires precision in focus as you piece of work with a very shallow depth-of-field.
If you’re seeking to create bokeh with a 50mm lens, have actress intendance with these limerick elements:
ane. Distance: The Photographic camera and The Bailiwick
The distance between your camera and your subject will contribute to the blurred look of your groundwork.
Ideally, there should be every bit small a altitude as possible between these two compositional elements.
When your camera is too close to your subject, it may be difficult to achieve a clear focus.
Just, if you’re besides far abroad from your subject, it may exist incommunicable to make the background appear blurred.
2. Altitude: The Field of study
When it comes to the distance between your bailiwick and your background, yous desire it to be equally large equally it feasible.
Your background will exist more blurred if it’due south further abroad from your discipline.
3. The Size of Your Bailiwick
The size of your field of study matters too when you’re seeking to accomplish bokeh in your image.
The amount of mistiness in your epitome will typically be different when you photograph a big subject compared to a small i.
In particular, larger subjects will typically require a narrower aperture than smaller subjects.
As such, the amount of blur in an paradigm volition be less on larger subjects than smaller subjects.
half dozen. Don’t Limit Yourself to f/1.8
Don’t drib your aperture down to f/i.8 only because it’s available to y’all.
I know that it’due south tempting to do so, but it won’t always do good your composition.
An discontinuity of f/i.8 creates a very narrow depth-of-field.
This means, achieving sharpness on the elements that y’all desire in focus will require great precision on your part.
This can be fourth dimension-consuming and problematic.
When shooting portraits, for instance, you’ll likely end up with a set of pictures where parts of the confront volition be in sharp focus, but the eye that you wanted in focus may exist blurred.
If yous intend to create bokeh, I recommend starting at f/2.viii. This still allows not bad bokeh but is non as challenging to piece of work with as f/i.eight.
seven. Cull the Right Aperture
Your choice of aperture is never right or wrong. But, depending on your subject and desired issue, sure apertures will be more successful than others.
For example, in portrait photography, you may desire to focus on strictly the eyes using a wide aperture.
Using an f/stop of 2.8 will keep the eyes precipitous while leaving the remaining parts of the paradigm somewhat blurry.
Landscapes and architecture, on the other paw, generally do good from wider apertures.
Although vast landscapes isn’t a strength of 50mm lenses, you tin can effectively use them to capture beautiful scenes.
Only remember to utilize a narrow aperture to capture the mural in sharp particular.
8. Picket Where You Place Your Focus
When you’re working with a shallow depth of field, you’ll need to pay shut attending to where y’all focus.
The subtlest change in focus placement will accept a huge impact on the resultant image.
For example, when you’re photographing human subjects you’ll likely want to place your focus in their optics.
However, if they are positioned in a way that their optics are not on the same plane, the centre that’s a lesser distance from the photographic camera will be articulate and precipitous, while the eye farther from the camera volition be somewhat hazy.
This is true fifty-fifty if the difference in their distance is a single centimeter.
If you lot want both eyes to exist every bit in focus, you tin can opt to utilise a higher discontinuity setting or position your subject field so that both optics are on the same plane.
If you’re shooting multiple people, using a higher f-stop number is a good selection.
This keeps i man subject from being blurry while the other is in precise focus.
9. Experiment Shooting Under Depression-Lite Conditions
perform well in low-light conditions.
These lenses accept wide apertures and tin can let more than light to enter the photographic camera compared to other lenses.
This leaves y’allwith more room to accomplish proper focus in depression light conditions.
If you are unable to achieve proper exposure by adjusting your discontinuity, I recommend experimenting with your shutter speed.
To avert camera milk shake when using ho-hum shutter speeds, use a tripod.
I recommend the
Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod.
This tripod is sturdy still lightweight and easy to use.
Yous can too achieve proper exposure by adjusting your ISO.
However, this is often non the nearly platonic.
While raising your ISO tin can help increase the brightness in your image, information technology as well increases the appearance of noise.
When shooting in low-low-cal, experiment with your aperture and shutter speed start earlier increasing your ISO.
ten. Find the Perfect Groundwork
Your background is just as crucial to the composition as your subject.
Even a bokeh tin’t salvage an paradigm from a distracting background.
If you lot’re shooting outdoors, place visual elements to eliminate from your groundwork, such as bright objects, people, trash bins, etc.
In the case of people and cars, wait for them to move out of your frame.
Fifty-fifty when blurred, having people on your background tin can distract your audience’s attention away from your main subject.
If you can move an object out of your frame, do then.
You may take to accept some fourth dimension to explore multiple angles to exclude unwanted objects from the groundwork, simply this is frequently much easier than removing them in post-processing.
xi. Chase the Light
Schedule your shooting times thoughtfully so that you’ll be in ideal lighting weather.
The middle of the mean solar day isn’t typically a good time to shoot because the natural calorie-free is harsh, making for intense shadows and uninteresting shots.
If you’re photographing portraits, aim to shoot a few hours post-obit sunrise, then a few hours earlier sunset.
The golden hr can lead to beautiful pictures, but the light changes also quickly, which is ofttimes problematic when doing photographing portraits.
The ambience light during the golden hours also tends to be saturated, which can be distracting for portrait photography.
By shooting a picayune chip by sunrise and after sunset, you’ll notwithstanding bask a soft, warm ambient light without the bug mentioned higher up.
This makes for a simpler, stress-free and more successful shooting process.
12. Explore Fast Shutter Speeds
Another groovy benefit of existence able to shoot at depression apertures is the power to experiment with fast shutter speeds.
This is peculiarly helpful when you’re taking handheld images.
The rule of thumb for handheld photography is that your shutter speed should be one divided by your focal length.
With a focal length of 50mm, you use a shutter speed of ane/50 of a second or faster.
However, in many lighting conditions, setting your shutter speed at ane/50 or faster will render your image underexposed.
In such cases, being able to set your aperture to a low f-stop value, such as f/1.eight can be benign.
That is wide apertures can provide you with a way to recoup for the diminished exposure from using fast shutter speeds.
Another case where using wide apertures tin be hugely beneficial is when photographing moving subjects.
To capture moving subjects with abrupt details, you’ll need to apply faster shutter speeds.
Similar to low-calorie-free conditions, using a wide aperture in this scenario can help brand upwardly for the weakened exposure acquired by a fast shutter speed setting.
Keep in listen, in most cases, raising your ISO to accomplish your target shutter speed will be a better bet than using f/ane.viii.
Although a high ISO volition pb to more than noise in your paradigm, a photograph that’southward in focus with some noise is improve than an prototype that is out of focus.
Often, you’ll exist able to conform and minimize dissonance with post-processing software; the same is not true for out-of-focus photos.
13. Focus on Details
Focusing on modest details provides you lot with more unique and interesting compositions.
While the 50mm lens isn’t a macro lens, but you lot can generally work with minimal distance betwixt the camera and your subject field to hone in on specific details.
Details can become the star of your shot when yous employ certain methods. These include focusing on specific colors, textures, and patterns, amid others.
14. Shoot Candid
50mm lenses are great for candid photography. These small, fast lenses enable you to reach a loftier-quality image in high activeness scenes.
Generally, your subject volition announced more natural and at ease when you lot’re not pointing an enormous lens directly at them.
Considering of their compact bodies, you tin cutting downwards on the distance between yous and an unknowing subject without making them feel uncomfortable.
Because they are also much faster than zoom lenses, allowing yous to shoot candid moments with fast shutter speeds without having to increase your ISO.
Candid photos are some of the well-nigh fulfilling compositions to see equally a viewer. And using a 50mm lens is a great way to keep y’all from missing them.
15. Zoom in With Your Feet
A 50mm lens has a fixed focal length, so any zooming volition have to exist accomplished past physically walking closer or farther from your subject field.
Use this to your advantage.
Vary your position continually and try to come up up with more creative solutions to get your desired compositions.
This may take more fourth dimension and effort than when working with zoom lenses, merely it presents yous with a peachy opportunity to better your understanding of composition and perspective.
Practicing photography with prime lenses volition force you to remember outside the box and teach you to find new and creative ways to work around compositional limitations.
When shooting handheld, secure your camera by using a camera strap or wrist strap.
I recommend the
Peak Pattern Slide.
Dissimilar most camera straps, it does non go far the way while shooting. It is also easy to attach and remove.
If you lot don’t want to use a camera strap some other pick is to use a
wrist strap. Peak Design makes a great
that is secure and easy to use.
16. Use the Right Metering Mode
Dissimilar photography scenarios crave different metering modes.
Spot metering is splendid if you desire to utilise pocket-sized areas or bailiwick every bit your footing for exposure.
This is my choice of metering for portrait photography.
Spot-metering ensures that my primary subject is correctly exposed and captured with maximum detail.
Matrix metering mode is excellent for vast scenes because it will consider the entire frame and average out the exposure.
It produces images that are evenly lit and maximize details across the whole frame.
I opt for matrix metering when I am shooting landscape photography. Information technology is important to note that matrix metering does non perform well for scenes with uneven lighting or loftier contrast.
The middle metering manner will give priority to the center of your scene when exposing the image.
This metering is great if you place your subject at the center of the frame.
It can be useful when you lot want to consider both your discipline and background merely place primary accent on your subject when exposing your image.
17. Use filters
ND filters are a great style to reduce the exposure of your shot without changing your exposure settings.
This will let y’all to use longer shutter speeds and wider apertures without overexposing your image.
ND filters are nigh useful when shooting during daylight.
A mutual problem when shooting portraits, for example, trying to maintain a shallow depth of field without overexposing your prototype.
For example, let’s say yous take settled on your aperture and shutter speed settings f/iii.5, and 1/50, but even at ISO 100, your image is withal three stops over-exposed.
To solve this result, you can use a 3-stop ND filter to reach proper exposure.
I recommend a variable ND filter, such as the
Tiffen Variable ND Filter
This loftier-quality filter ND filter allows you to adjust the intensity of your filter by ii to 8 stops.
Another useful filter y’all can utilize is a CPL.
CPL’south are great for eliminating distracting glare and reflections.
If you are shooting portraits near a window or your subject has skin glare, CPLs are a great manner to remove them.
You can also utilize CPL’s to raise the contrast in your sky and brand your colors more vivid.
When choosing a polarizing filter, a round polarizer works best.
This will allow you lot to adjust it until you lot reach the desired consequence.
I recommend the
B+W XS Pro Digital
; it is a loftier-quality CPL filter that has an ultra-slim pattern and is easy to employ.
xviii. Utilize Auto-Focus
Autofocus is generally my top selection for photography. This is true whether I am shooting landscapes or portraits, indoors or outdoors.
Specifically, I select single area AF when my subject is only moving horizontally and not vertically in the frame.
Unmarried area AF offers two advantages. First, if your bailiwick moves, your image will remain in focus. 2d, information technology allows you to recompose your image without the demand to refocus. Your photographic camera will follow the bespeak yous select and maintain focus.
If my bailiwick is moving vertically and non on a horizontal plane, I typically apply continuous AF.
Continuous AF volition runway your subject and ensure that the subject you select is always in focus. This is great for capturing wildlife or sports photography, where it is hard to predict the movement of your subjects.
For night photography or dimly lit indoor photography, I use manual focus. Autofocus systems generally won’t piece of work well in low-lite conditions.
If yous’re not sure which to use, I suggest trying out autofocus first to see if it works. If non, manual focusing is the right pick.
It’s also important to make sure the 50mm lens is capable of autofocus. So before you buy to make sure there is an AF on the lenses
19. Apply Dorsum-Push button Focusing
Ane result with most cameras default settings is that the shutter button and focus button are dependent.
This means that the same button controls both functions.
For example, to focus, you lot must half-press the shutter button and then fully press and release the same button to capture an image.
This is not ideal or efficient when you are trying to focus and recompose without capturing an prototype.
The solution to this issue is back-push button focusing.
Dorsum-push button focusing separates the focus and shutter part past using a separate button for focus.
Typically, the new focus push button becomes the AF-On button located on the back of the camera.
But, not all cameras take a standalone AF-ON push; some models may require the programming of a button to operate equally an AF-ON button.
If you lot’ve pre-focused on your composition’southward subject field and are photographing objects in motion, you’ll do good from the back-push button focus.
I too recommend shooting in manual mode. Manual manner expedites the learning process as a photographer.
Test out unlike settings at their lowest and highest values, such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
You’ll learn and grown exponentially by experimenting with these settings.
20. Know Your Discontinuity Sweet Spot
All lenses have an discontinuity sweetness spot, 50mm lenses are no dissimilar.
The aperture sweet spot is the aperture setting that produces the sharpest image for the widest depth of field.
The rule of thumb is that the discontinuity sweet spot is typically 2-iii stops aways from the maximum aperture.
For most 50mm lenses with a max aperture of f/one.four that is between f/two.eight and f/four.
Yet, the best way to figure out your discontinuity sweetness spot is to examination your lens.
Accept a photo of the same subject area using different apertures. And so examine the images using postal service-processing software to cheque for sharpness.
Practise cultivates instincts, making you more efficient at what you practice.
By regularly taking photos with your 50mm lens, shooting with it will eventually become 2d nature.
You’ll develop “muscle memory,” enabling you to look at a scene and visualize your compositions without needing to look through the viewfinder.
The more than familiar yous are with your lens, the less time you lot’ll need to spend adjusting your limerick and figuring out how to get the shot you desire.
In this mode, you lot’ll be able to maximize your opportunities to capture the best images in every situation.
Recommended 50mm Lens
|Brand||Maximum Aperture||Minimum Focus Altitude||AF Motor||Cost|
|Sony||f/one.8||.45m / one.15ft||No||Check Toll|
|Sony||f/ane.4||.39m / ane.3ft||Yes||Check Price|
|Nikon||f/1.4||.45m / ane.5ft||No||Check Price|
|Nikon||f/ane.8||.45m / i.5ft||Yes||Check Toll|
|Canon||f/one.four||.35m / one.15ft||Yep||Check Price|
|Canon||f/1.8||.45m / 1.5ft||No||Check Price|
A 50mm lens is an exceptional tool for capturing loftier-quality images. It’southward also affordable and easy to utilise.
No doubt this lens has earned its place as a favorite among photographers near and far. As a beginner or an expert, the 50mm lens should take a permanent home in your camera bag.