Sunday, 22 May 2011

Out and about... with a prime lens!

So, I went shopping. I 'needed' a decent tripod (look at my night photos to see why). A tripod should also make it easier to photograph model aeroplanes at high speed.

I *wanted* a prime lens. I like the idea of something light, that frames my picture for me (no zooming). The superior image quality is a potential bonus - though of course it is limited by the skill of the photographer!

I'd seen some excellent reviews of the Canon 50mm f/1.8. The 50mm, of course, is essentially 80mm on my small-format SLR. So it's somewhere between a normal and telephoto lens. And the large aperture should make it easier to get good low-light photos. My old lenses will be clamouring for attention now!

Kenneth at Photo Warehouse helped me through my purchases. I was honest about not having much money to spend, and he was genuinely interested in making sure I spent my money wisely. I'm really glad I took the time to go in store instead of just buying stuff off the internet. It also means that you can bring the things straight home, and no paying for shipping and handling!

The tripod I bought cost significantly less than I thought I would need to spend. Plus, Kenneth let me try the lens on my camera before buying it. Really good service.

After I'd been shopping, we went out for lunch at a local café. It was a great opportunity to try out the lens. Incidentally, it seems really weird to NOT be able to zoom!

This is possibly the nicest photo I have ever taken in my whole life. The portrait is crisp (seriously, click on it for a 100% zoom, it's amazing). The bokeh is gorgeous, if slightly pentagonal. **love**

It does birdy portraits too!

And sweet macro shots.

Mmm, coffee.

In conclusion: this lens weighs about as much as a cellphone. The fact that it's "plastic fantastic" is irrelevant. It does gorgeous portraits and macro, and I look forward to trying it out in low light. I recommend buying new photo gear in store - you get to try it out, and you might be surprised by the reasonable prices.


  1. Colour me INSANELY JEALOUS. I really want a fixed lens after playing with Matt's for a bit when he got his Nikon D90 before he and Em went on their honeymoon. I think that may be my "I'm leaving Canberra" present to myself!

    And that's a GREAT picture of Chris - nicely done :)

  2. Well, this one only cost about NZ$200. Perhaps Nikon has something similar?

    I need to try it out first, but I'm thinking this lens will come out at night while we're travelling - then my whole camera is reasonably light and 'compact' too.

    And thanks - I like that photo too!

  3. Oh. Oh my. I haz da luvz.

    That's a gorgeous photo of Chris. I was talking with Jamie the other day about my need for another lens - I'm not really satisfied with the zoomy ones, although they're great for a lot of applications - and now I think I want yours! But honestly, I have no idea what I'm after. You have however inspired me to do my research properly...

    ~* Ness

  4. Thanks Ness! I'm glad I took these on the first day I had the lens - proof you don't need any special skill or practice :-)

    I was *trying* to get a good photo of Chris - that was about the fourth one. On the others, he had noticed I was taking them... so he'd flip up his eyelids, stick his finger in his nose, tongue out, etc. Worse than the average Pixie Photo!!

  5. Nikon do indeed have a similar one for a similar price. That's what I was thinking of getting, but I'm going to hold out until leaving Canberra. I don't really NEED to, but that way I have an excuse to justify the purchase. MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

  6. Awesome! Can't wait to see some pictures after you buy it ;-)

  7. Ooh, and I highly recommend Ken Rockwell's site for both equipment reviews and photography hints. He is amazing...


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