Not that Christmas should be about presents, but I got two very nice presents from my family this year. I could talk about the nice pajamas, but I’d rather describe briefly the other gift. The one from my wife. Which was? Oh, you know, a brand new lens for my Nikon D5200 camera. Specifically, it’s the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR FX Lens. This is a very nice FX-format prime lens with a fixed focal length. There is no zoom, as it is set permanently at 50mm. Why would you want something like that? With no zoom and a large aperture, it is pretty damn good for low lighting situations (as it lets in a lot of light), and produces really nice portrait shots.
Based on what I’ve been reading in my Art of Photography book, and corroborated during a very informative discussion I had with a knowledgeable Best Buy employee named Elvis that I met in central Florida back in May, a good prime lens is better choice for me now versus a telephoto lens. Think about the photos that you take regularly — how many wildlife photos do you take where you need a telephoto zoom lens? Probably not that often. How many portrait photos do you take? Quite a lot, no? Me too.
So far, it’s been interesting to use. The authors Art Wolfe & Rob Sheppard were right — it’s a bit more work with a prime lens. You need to find the right position for yourself to stand, and truly think about how to compose your shot. But the pictures? They’re getting better as I get used to it.