When it comes to photography, choosing the right lens is crucial. Two of the most popular lenses are the 50mm and 85mm. Both have their own unique characteristics and strengths, but which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these lenses and help you make an informed decision.
The 50mm Lens
What is a 50mm lens?
A 50mm lens is a standard prime lens that is often referred to as a “nifty fifty.” It has a fixed focal length of 50mm and is known for its versatility and affordability. It’s a great lens for beginners and professionals alike.
Advantages of a 50mm lens
One of the biggest advantages of a 50mm lens is its versatility. It’s great for portraits, landscapes, street photography, and more. It’s also lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around. Additionally, a 50mm lens has a wide aperture, which allows you to create a shallow depth of field and blur the background.
Disadvantages of a 50mm lens
One of the biggest disadvantages of a 50mm lens is that it can be limiting in certain situations. For example, if you’re trying to capture a subject that is far away, you may need to crop the image or switch to a different lens. Additionally, a 50mm lens can create distortion in certain situations, such as when photographing architecture.
The 85mm Lens
What is an 85mm lens?
An 85mm lens is a medium telephoto lens that is often used for portraits and other types of photography that require a narrow depth of field. It has a fixed focal length of 85mm and is known for its sharpness and bokeh.
Advantages of an 85mm lens
One of the biggest advantages of an 85mm lens is its ability to create a narrow depth of field and blur the background. This makes it a great lens for portraits and other types of photography where you want to isolate your subject. Additionally, an 85mm lens is known for its sharpness and detail, which makes it a great choice for high-quality prints.
Disadvantages of an 85mm lens
One of the biggest disadvantages of an 85mm lens is its limited versatility. It’s not ideal for landscapes or other types of photography where you need a wider field of view. Additionally, an 85mm lens can be heavy and bulky, which can make it difficult to carry around for long periods of time.
Which One Should You Choose?
So, which one should you choose? It really depends on your needs and the type of photography you’re interested in. If you’re just starting out or need a versatile lens that can handle a variety of situations, a 50mm lens is a great choice. However, if you’re primarily interested in portraits or other types of photography that require a narrow depth of field, an 85mm lens may be a better fit.
Tips for Using a 50mm Lens
If you decide to go with a 50mm lens, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of it:
- Experiment with different apertures to create different depths of field.
- Use the lens for street photography and other types of candid shots.
- Try to avoid shooting straight into the sun, as this can cause lens flare.
Tips for Using an 85mm Lens
If you decide to go with an 85mm lens, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of it:
- Use the lens for portraits and other types of photography that require a narrow depth of field.
- Experiment with different distances to your subject to get different levels of blur in the background.
- Consider using a tripod or other stabilizing device to help reduce camera shake.
Both the 50mm and 85mm lenses have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your needs and the type of photography you’re interested in. Whether you choose the versatility of a 50mm lens or the narrow depth of field of an 85mm lens, both can be great tools for creating stunning images.