Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Will a 50mm lens be good enough for portraits? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Just wondering, as it's the only one I can afford. Thanks!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Yes, i have the 50mm f/1.8 and it's fairly decent, some might argue an 85mm is better (and alot more expensive) but on a cropped sensor DSLR (which i'm assuming you have) the 50mm technically becomes an 80mm lens anyway.
    (:
    you'll only get a true 50mm with a 35mm film camera or a full frame DSLR.
    if you want a ''true'' 50mm on a cropped sensor DSLR (which i'm assuming you have) get the 35mm f/1.8.
    but the 50mm is a blinder of a lens, it's far better for portraits than the 35mm and is so worth the price tag.

    what i mean by cropped sensor and full frame
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I believe a 50mm lens is the preferred lens for DSLR portraits anyway, as well as a lot of other things.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by carehow)
    Just wondering, as it's the only one I can afford. Thanks!
    What body are you shooting? If you're using a Canon EOS system, the 50mm f/1.8 has an excellent reputation for the price, and on a crop-body (which you're almost certainly using if you're shooting digital and are tight for money--the full frame bodies are incredibly expensive) it's pretty close to an 85, as the posters above have said.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I agree with jjarvis!

    If you are using Canon EOS sys, then 50 mm will do great!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    The previous comments also apply to the Nikon system, which has equally good 50mm lenses.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Try 80mm minimum, about 105mm is about right for most. Even 135mm. Anyway, lighting is probably more important than the lens
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sammydemon)
    The previous comments also apply to the Nikon system, which has equally good 50mm lenses.
    Except Nikon dicked around with their lens mount and the 50mm f/1.8 won't give you auto focus on AF-S mount bodies like the D40/60/3000/5000. The 38mm f/1.8 is AF-S mount but isn't really tight enough for good portraiture, and is more expensive too. The 50mm f/1.4 is AF-S too but again, much more expensive.

    Come on Nikon! The build quality of Nikon's 50mm f/1.8 is much, much better than that of Canon's and it looks much nicer too - but it simply won't work properly on the cheaper bodies. That said, I love my Canon 50mm f/1.8 and I use it more than any other lens I own.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Having to manually focus the lens isn't that much of an issue, a few years back i had to when I had a Nikon D60 and even now i've upgraded to a better DSLR i still find myself using the manual focus instead of the auto focus.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nuffles)
    Except Nikon dicked around with their lens mount and the 50mm f/1.8 won't give you auto focus on AF-S mount bodies like the D40/60/3000/5000. The 38mm f/1.8 is AF-S mount but isn't really tight enough for good portraiture, and is more expensive too. The 50mm f/1.4 is AF-S too but again, much more expensive.

    Come on Nikon! The build quality of Nikon's 50mm f/1.8 is much, much better than that of Canon's and it looks much nicer too - but it simply won't work properly on the cheaper bodies. That said, I love my Canon 50mm f/1.8 and I use it more than any other lens I own.
    Is manual focus that much of a problem? I have to do it all the time with my Olympus OM-4!
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sammydemon)
    Is manual focus that much of a problem? I have to do it all the time with my Olympus OM-4!
    No, not really - I have two manual focus film cameras and 8 or 9 manual focus lenses for my DSLR, it's simply the principle I find annoying. You're shelling out over a hundred quid for a lens that doesn't give full functionality on it's own manufacturer's body. I use manual focus lenses because they're cheap and great quality, but over a hundred quid is not cheap for a lens that doesn't auto focus. If a Canon lens is EF mount, then it will fit, auto focus and auto stop-down on any body - end of story.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by carehow)
    Just wondering, as it's the only one I can afford. Thanks!
    Its perfect. (as long as your using a crop sensor, not so good on full frame)
    I've seen a lot of pro's using a 50mm for portraiture.
    I am amazed by my nikon 50mm f/1.4, superb lens, superb price.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    50mm is probably the shortest worthwhile portraiture lens for a 1.5x/1.6x crop. The long the lens the further away you can stand from the subject.

    On full frame I'd want at least 85mm
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
    Useful resources

    Articles:

    The Student Room tech wikiTech forum guidelines

    Quick link:

    Unanswered technology and computers threads

    Sponsored features:

    Web Legend

    Win a Macbook Air!

    Blog about setting up a website for a chance to win in our Web Legend competition.

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.