How many of you use a 50mm f/1.8 lens? Its popularity across the board has given this lens the nickname of the ‘nifty-fifty’. So-called because of its small size and correspondingly small price tag, but great value. It’s often the first prime lens that photographers buy and is still a firm favourite for many.
But are you getting the most out of your lens? Joshua Peg asks this question as although he believes that the 50 mm f/1.8 lens is pretty great, it still has some limitations, and many people may not be reaching their full potential when using it. In this video, he walks you through how to make the most out of the popular nifty-fifty.
Joshua makes a great point when he says that you probably don’t want to be shooting at f/1.8. There will be considerable chromatic aberration at the lens’ widest aperture, and even when the focus is perfect, at the widest apertures it will still be slightly soft.
This is true of most lenses if you’re shooting at the extreme ends of their capabilities. Instead, Joshua recommends shooting at f/2.8. This is only a couple of stops of light less and still gives beautiful soft bokeh but you’ll have noticeably fewer issues with chromatic aberration.
He also stresses that in the lens’ mid-range of apertures you will find the sweet spot for focus. This is between f/8 and f/11. Now for landscape images I rarely use a 50mm focal length. However, these ideas are applicable to any lens you might have. You will always have more optical issues using the lens at its very widest.