Photographer Straps Camera To Himself To Show How Good This Budget 50mm Lens Really Is

The 50mm lens is one of the most versatile lenses a photographer can own. If you don't have one already, now might be a very good time to add one to your camera bag.

Budget and quality are not usually two words that are used in the same sentence. Introductory lenses from the likes of Canon, Nikon, and Sony do have some exceptions to this rule though. While the build quality of some of these "entry-level" lenses is not always as robust as their more expensive counterparts, the image quality can not be faulted in some of these prime lenses. One of my first ever lenses starting out was a "Plastic Fantastic" Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens that produced the most tack-sharp images imaginable. I do recall people looking down on my cheap lens at the time, but I was more than happy with the pictures I could produce with it.

This week, photographer Samuel Bassett of OpticalWander is exploring this very subject in his latest video. Bassett hits the streets of London to do some photography and straps a camera to his chest so we can follow along for the ride. This video not only puts forward a compelling argument why we all should own a budget 50mm lens, but it's a great insight into the life of a street photographer through the point of view camera he has recording at all times. Bassett talks about how light his setup is with his Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens and how that benefits him as a street photographer. He also shows how he's able to make incredibly sharp images in all manner of situations with this budget lens.

I really like the point-of-view format of this video as it almost feels like we are road testing the lens for ourselves. Bassett includes many of the final images on the screen as he captures them which helps us to see what is possible with such a lens. If you were considering a 50mm lens to add to your camera bag or just fancy an inspiring look at the day in the life of a street photographer, this video is well worth a watch.

Do you already own a 50mm lens? Think you might add one to your camera bag? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

If you're passionate about taking your photography to the next level but aren't sure where to dive in, check out the Well-Rounded Photographer tutorial where you can learn eight different genres of photography in one place. If you purchase it now, or any of our other tutorials, you can save a 15% by using "ARTICLE" at checkout. 

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1 Comment
winzehnt gates's picture

Even in the film days I hated my 50mm lens and I still can't get used to its FOV. The only reason I had one was because it was the cheapest lens for low light (and I usually had a film with 400 ISO).
I sit squarely in the 35mm camp. If I had to use a single focal length for the rest of my life it would be 35mm. It's how my eye is trained to see the world.
So, I understand that for people who started out with 50mm and trained their eye for that FOV this is the best focal length they can think of.
Personally I think 35mm is more versatile than 50mm and that for his reason 35mm is the classical reportage journalist's lens. But YMMV.

PS: For those who want to celebrate the versatility of the 50mm FOV I recommend the 8 year old article "Telling a story with 1 camera & 1 prime: the Fringe Festival with the Sony A7s & 55mm" (just google "sony 55mm festival fringe").