Most of the time when I’m shooting weddings or any other type of event, there is always a photo enthusiast who will ask me some technical questions. The most common question is “What lens is that?” I have a full arsenal of lenses at my disposal, but I always rely on my trusty 50mm 1.4 Canon EF lens.
This standard focal length lens can be your best ally in any and all situations. It’s lightweight, tack sharp and with a fast aperture of 1.4 you really can’t go wrong. When there is minimal light in a dark situation, you can use this type of fast prime without having to use flash. Also, if you like to shoot in a photo journalistic fashion, this lens is compact and very unobtrusive. Sure there are popular zooms out there like the Canon 24-70 2.8 L, but it is very HEAVY and comes with a steep price tag.
I have both lenses at my disposal when needed. However, the 50mm can outperform the 24-70 L with is nice bokeh and fast aperture. I readily have 6 professional lenses that I bring with me to any given job. Of those six, my 50mm lens has accounted for 50% of the hundreds of thousands of images I have in my library. It’s easy to get lazy and I feel that zoom lenses make you a lazy photographer. A prime lens will make you think much more before clicking the shutter and framing your subject in a manner that takes more confidence. You can photograph pretty much any type of situation with a 50mm prime lens. From sports, details, landscapes, to portraits, it can handle it all. Here are some great examples of what I’ve been able to accomplish with my 50mm prime lens.
If you need to zoom, MOVE YOUR FEET! Planning your composition and anticipating the decisive moment is a must. After all, if your wielding around a DSLR or Film SLR, you better have the the fortitude to harness it’s power.