Almost 80 percent of the photographers, be it amateur or professional, owns a Nifty fifty lens. Nifty fifty lens is nothing but the alternate name for the most popular 50mm f/1.8 lens for DSLR cameras. It comes with a maximum aperture value of f/1.8. There are other 50mm prime lenses that come with f/1.4 and f/1.2 apertures in both Canon and Nikon. But these lenses are very costly when compared to the f/1.8 version.
Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II lens was the older version. It got replaced by the new STM version, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM lens. The STM version fixed the issue of the distracting sound of the focusing motor during video recording.
If you are in the initial learning phase of photography, who has just bought a DSLR camera, then I recommend buying a Nifty Fifty lens.
10 Reasons to Buy Nifty Fifty Lens
1. Cost Factor
You can buy a 50mm f/1.8 lens from Canon or Nikon for around $150. You will not get any other good-quality lenses for this price.
The other low-cost lens which you can get is the 18-55mm kit lens which comes with variable focal length.
In your learning phase of photography, you may not be having enough budget to invest in a good prime lens. So, you can consider investing in a 50mm f/1.8 lens along with your 18-55mm kit lens.
2. Depth Of Field (DoF)
The nifty fifty lens comes with a maximum aperture value of f/1.8. This low value of f/1.8 is very good in getting a shallow depth of field. Even the kit lens can go only up to f/3.5 at 18mm focal length.
You can isolate the subject from the rest of the things in the background easily with this lens. It produces a beautiful “Bokeh” along with the beautiful background blur, which many portrait photographers are addicted to.
The shallow depth of field makes the nifty fifty lens one of the best budget lenses for portrait photography.
3. Image Quality
When it comes to image quality, always prime lens wins in the battle of prime vs zoom lens.
So, a nifty fifty lens can really help you to get better quality pictures than your zoom lenses like the basic 18-55mm kit lens. You will get nice sharp images with this lens.
4. Better Low Light performance
The lower f-number of f/1.8 allows you to photograph in low light conditions without much noise in the picture. You can make use of the lower aperture values to shoot in low light conditions so that you don’t have to increase the ISO for the same shutter speed.
The lesser the ISO, the lower the image noise. The higher shutter speed will even allow you to capture the image handheld.
5. Good Prime Lens to Own
If your budget is low and you desperately want a prime lens, then the nifty fifty lens is the right one for you.
Don’t think that it is a lousy quality lens since it is coming at a low price. It is one of the best glasses you can own as a photographer. It is equally suited for hobbyists too.
6. Helps to Improve Photography Skills
The maximum aperture of f/1.8 offered by the nifty fifty lens is perfect for portraits. But, if you don’t have the correct photography technique, then you won’t be able to get the required things in focus.
Always make sure that you hold the lens face and camera system parallel to the subject you want to focus on.
If you position it at an angle, then the focal plane shifts to that angle, especially at a lower f-number. So, you will definitely make some mistakes initially when you start using this lens.
These photography mistakes are actually good for you, provided you learn from them. It helps to improve your photography skills.
7. Capture Macro Shots
You can even convert the nifty fifty lens to a macro lens by using the lens reversal technique.
You can get a cheap lens reversal ring for $10 and connect the 50mm lens to your DSLR camera in the opposite way, to convert it into a macro lens.
Here, you will not be able to use the autofocus option, you will have to depend on manual focus for focusing on the subject.
But, you are getting a macro lens feature for just $10. Just make sure that the thread size of the reversal ring matches the nifty fifty lens thread size.
8. Ease of Use
It is lightweight and not bulky since it is made of plastic. So, you can easily carry it in your camera bag.
If you are into travel photography, then you would be very comfortable using the nifty fifty.
9. Good to Record Videos
Nowadays, people are more into vlogging than blogging. So, a good quality lens is a must with your camera for vlogging.
A nifty fifty lens is the ideal lens on a low budget because of its focal length. You can use it with both DSLR cameras as well as mirrorless cameras. For mirrorless, you need to get the converting adapters also.
The STM version of the Canon nifty fifty lens is an excellent choice among vloggers because of its picture quality.
It is due to its versatile nature it is called the “Nifty Fifty.”. You can do almost all types of photography with this lens.
You can shoot portraits, street photography, landscape photography, wedding photography, and even wildlife photography. Many journalists make use of this lens for their daily shoots.
The Sanctuary Nature Foundation award-winning image (2014) of “Tiger chasing the Deer” was captured using the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, the nifty fifty lens, by Daanish Shastri. He has used it with Canon 550D. Thus, he photographed the award-winning moment at an effective focal length of 80m using this 50mm lens.
If you use it with a full-frame DSLR camera, then the focal length remains at 50mm. For an APS-C camera body, the focal length becomes 80mm for a Canon body (1.6x Crop Factor) and 70mm for a Nikon body (1.4x Crop Factor).
The only disadvantage of a nifty fifty lens is that it doesn’t come with an Image Stabilization (IS)/ Optical Stabilization (OS) feature.
Asking for an IS/OS would be too much I guess for the price they are offering the lens. Also, makes sure that you don’t drop it. It can easily break since it is made of plastic. But, even if it breaks it won’t leave a hole in your pocket.
So, if you are looking to buy a good prime lens, just after buying your first DSLR camera with the kit lens, then no need to look for any other option, go ahead with the nifty fifty lens. You will not get disappointed for sure.