Nifty fifty- not for me

A lot of seasoned photographers advise starting from getting 50 mm, fast prime lens and learn shooting with it. Why? A lot of arguments can be made. It constrains a bit what images you can take, it teaches zooming with your feet, lets you play with really shallow depth of field, and probably has many other educational I cannot even think of. Just look at the article Darlene Hildebrand wrote about “Nifty fifty” recently for Digital Photography School.

While it sounds like a good advice, I really do not agree with it anymore. I do understand and agree with many arguments, but I think that for photographers with preference to some genre or shooting style, any prime lens would do the trick. A landscape photographer might be better off with 35 mm lens. A macro/nature shooter, will probably be better off with 105 mm macro lens.

And I learned it from my own experience. Last fall, I decided that my next camera (my D300 is due for an update) will be full frame. So I started exchanging lens from Dx to Fx format. Better said than done, selling the lenses went quicker than buying new ones, and I was left for few months with just 50 mm f/1.4, before finally getting 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens.

Iowa Firefighters Memorial, Coralville, Iowa

Since then, I have love-hate relationship with this lens. I am not going to get rid of it. I see its purpose- after all, this is my fastest lens and works awesome for low-light shooting, like family functions or museum interiors. However, this is not the lens I would take for a photowalk. While I can zoom with my feet all right, this lens just does not focus close enough for my shooting style.

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