Not all that long ago, quality camera equipment was expensive. Really expensive. DSLRs used to be out of reach for all but the pros or those with deep pockets (or pros with deep pockets). Fortunately, there are now a lot of options for affordable DSLRs, and this makes photography accessible to so many more people. (Yes, you can take photos with many cameras or even devices! There are certain benefits to using a DSLR that many prefer.)
As a southern RI children's photographer, I've had many clients who have DSLRs and enjoy photographing their family's and children's everyday lives. Often times, they have purchased a camera with a kit lens. Kit lenses are fantastic to learn with and are capable of beautiful photos, but they have some limitations. One question that I get asked often is, "I'd like to upgrade to a better lens. What lens should I get next?"
The answer to this question is always the same: the 50mm 1.8 lens. If you are looking to up your photography game, get more creative, and take even better photos of your kids and family (all while not putting a huge dent in your pocketbook), I can't recommend it enough. For three reasons why this lens should be the next one you add to your bag, read on.
1. It's great for low light situations.
Taking photos indoors, or outside after the sun drops, can be challenging with a kit lens. It can be hard to find the right combination of settings since the aperture on kit lenses doesn't open super wide to let in a lot of light. That's why the 50mm 1.8 lens is an upgrade: you can let more light in with its wider maximum aperture, which makes it easier to get photos of your children indoors or in the situations where the light isn't the best.
2. Background blur!
Blurred backgrounds are a very popular style. I love them and incorporate them in many of my photos. It's pretty and helps separate your subject from the background. Background blur isn't impossible with kit lenses, but it's not super easy, either. If you want to upgrade your blur game, it's not necessary to shell out lots of money on expensive pro lenses. The 50mm 1.8 is the easiest (and least expensive) path to follow in order to start blurring your backgrounds.
3. It's small, it's light...and it's an incredible deal.
First off, the 50mm 1.8 lens is a fantastic deal, no matter the brand you shoot. I'm a Canon shooter (and I actually have the older version of the 50mm 1.8), but the current version is just about $125, and you can find used 50 1.8's for under $100. You can find a 50 1.8 for most brands in the $100-$200 range. If you shoot Nikon and have a camera without a focus motor, make sure you purchase a 50mm 1.8G! Aside from being a steal, the 50mm 1.8 is small and light. I have a larger 50mm that I use for my business, but when I'm looking for something small, light, and sharp, the 50 1.8 is it. The photos it produces never disappoint.
If you have a DSLR but don't have your own 50mm 1.8 yet, I hope it's on your wishlist now. And if you're a local mom who wants to learn more about using your DSLR to take better photos, please sign up for my upcoming Basic Digital Photography For Moms workshop at Green Line Apothecary in Wakefield. Hope to see you there!