Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tools: Fast Prime Lenses

Today I received my new Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. I became intrigued after reading about it on the Canon Digital Camera Forum (

This inexpensive prime lens has a very wide aperture. I want to be able to use it in two situations: low light and places where I want to create a very narrow depth of focus.

You can see in the first shot that the depth of focus is very narrow. I'm shooting at ISO1600 just so the shutter is fast and camera shake doesn't enter into the equation.

Here's a series of two images taken with varying f-stop. The first was shot at f/1.8, the lower one at f/8. You can see the degree of control you have over depth of focus.
The last shot is of my trusty mutt Emma. Nice sharp focus on the eye. You can even see the overhead florescent tube reflected there. And the areas to the front and rear of the eye are rendered out of focus.

This is going to be a nice, inexpensive addition to the camera bag. I paid under $100 for this lens and I know it's going to give me some additional capabilities for tight depth of focus, and low light shooting, in places like churches, reception halls and auditoriums.

I'll try to get some test shots of people in the next couple of days using this lens and post a follow-up. It does feel weird zooming with my feet...I keep grabbing for the zoom ring on this prime lens and feeling stupid when it's not there!

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