I’ve been a professional photographer for 6 years and like most photographers I have invested in a number of high quality lenses (check my kit over at InMyBag), but have recently concluded that this has been a waste of money.
It’s not that these are not great lenses, but I truly prefer to use a single lens.
At first, I used other lenses and always changed lenses during the shoot. Once I started using my 50 mm prime lens, I slowly started using the others less and less, until now I shoot everything with that ones.
I’ve hesitated from selling my other lenses because they can occasionally be useful for some jobs, but what 50 mm gives to me, it’s totally great. I feel comfortable with it, and now I know it so well, that I really do use it constantly.
So, here’s why I think that you only need one lens to make world class images:
1) Consistency and cohesion:
A single lens gives your work a consistent and cohesive viewpoint and feel. I can say in some ways that my style is also the 50 mm, used for large shots, landscapes and portraits as well. This represents the perspective in my photos.
Your story telling and the ability to construct a narrative is a far better use of your time than on which lens to use.
What I do, before each shooting, is to research inspirational images, decide about location, make-up, models etc. Most of all, I decide about the style of the final images, the emotions I want to give, and, at the first place, the ATMOSPHERE and the STORY behind all the series, if it’s a fine art project or a fashion editorial, I do exactly the same.
It’s not important thinking about which light I will use, which lens, which kind of technical skills. For me, it goes beyond skills and techniques, it’s all about story and atmosphere. Obviously I treat light in different ways for each shooting, to reach the result I want.
One thing is for sure, is that I am going to shoot it with my 50 mm lens.
3) Do one thing well:
When you only use a single lens you truly push to find its limits far more than when you can just pop another lens on. You build a relationship which has far more depth.
That’s the point; this lens represent my perspective, my way to see everything through the camera. it’s like my vision as a photographer, not the vision of “life and world” you can catch from my finished photos, but the real vision I have when I look through it, with my camera in my hands. My camera just wouldn’t be the same without this lens attached.
4) Saves time:
It saves you time worrying about lens choice and longer term, saves you time that would have been spent cleaning your sensor from all those lens changes.
A 50mm lens mimics the perspective of the human eye, this consistent and familiar perspective helps the viewer feel comfortable and gives them the sense that they are actually there.
I live in photos, every time I walk down the street, that I’m in a shop, or when I watch a movie – I see photos everywhere. For a particular place, light, composition, atmosphere and with my 50 mm , if I want, I can exactly take that precise scene. Even when I work on more constructed shots, I build the set, I look around, just to search the perfect point of view for me, and I’m sure that my 50 mm will catch exactly what I see with my eyes.
Invest in one amazing lens and save the rest of your money.
About The Author
Marta Bevacqua is a professional photographer based in Paris, France. Her photography is based around storytelling with a certain style, whether it’s fashion or fine art. You can follow her portfolio on Behance and see more of her work on her site. This article was originally posted here.