Monday, April 25, 2011
A nifty fifty
No. We are not talking my age. Not for a while yet anyhow. Someone has graciously loaned me for an extended period a Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II lens. Also known as a "nifty fifty." They are inexpensive- at least as wide open prime lenses go. Lots of plastic and quite small in size.
They are light weight. Actually feather light compared to my usual 24-105L that I shoot everything with (4.6 ounces vs 1.5 lbs!). Light to the point that I could forget I am actually carrying my camera with the shoulder strap. With the 24-105, the strap firmly sits on the shoulder. With this one, I found myself holding the strap like a rifle sling thinking it might slip off. A big plus is that it's lack of weight makes it really easy to shoot. And I imagine that an extended period of shooting would be a lot easier on my left arm and shoulder too.
One interesting point - which I read about but hadn't experienced, was the moving around. With a zoom, you can just rotate the lens barrel and re-frame the subject. With this it is: crouch down, think, lean back a bit, stand up, step back, crouch down, frame again. And repeat. Makes it sort of fun to shoot as it is a completely different process. Well, perhaps not too fun when the only good spot is squishy, wet and muddy and on top of a grave. :)
A side effect of that moving about was that after an hour, I only had 40-50 images. I don't machine gun photograph in a 'spray and pray' style of hoping something will turn out and edit down from 500 photos, but with this lens you shift and move around more instead of just happily clicking away. I picked about a dozen I liked - some of which were in this tiny rural cemetery which probably measured 15x20m or so and dated to the middle part of the 1800s.
I am really looking forward to trying some natural light f1.8 nudes with this lens.
Posted by Mike Wood at 09:21