Tag Archives: 50mm

Broaden your lens and focal length knowledge

Mixed lens types

Mixed lens types – What do they all do?

There is a range of lens types…

If you know about the lens types you have, that’s good. But talking and thinking about buying others takes a wider knowledge. Here are two videos to give some insights on lens types. There are some interesting facts too.

Think about your lens types

Before you buy lenses, think about what you want. If you are just learning photography this is important. It keeps you in touch with what’s possible with each of the lens types. Also, it helps you to know what you can do with the skills you have. With each video, try to relate your experience with the lens types they are talking about. Then you will be able to extend your skills with kit you own now.

Another point worth thinking about is what you want to photograph. Long lens types, for example, get you closer to objects in the distance. They make things large in the frame, even when it’s far away. But some subjects are more environmental. So you might benefit more from showing a distant subject in its wider environment. Landscapes are a classic example, but there are others. So, think about what other creative views you can achieve with each of the lens types too.

Introduction to Camera Lenses PT1


Mike Browne  External link - opens new tab/page

Introduction to Camera Lenses Part 2


Mike Browne  External link - opens new tab/page

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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How to use camera angle to change body shape

How camera angle affects body shape.

How camera angle affects body shape.

The camera height to subject angle is important.

How you approach your subject can significantly affect their shape. The camera height affects the relative size of parts of the body. The part of the body nearest to the camera appears largest. So the angle you take to the body can affect emphasis and shape. Your lens can also affect body shape too. These two factors in your shots can really change the view of your subject.

Basic shooting positions
  • Getting down low gives your subject height and presence.
  • At waist level the angle is even across the body placing no strong emphasis on any one part of the body.
  • At eye level the head appears more significant and you can really draw out the features of the face, focus on the eyes for best effect.
  • From above the head and shoulders are emphasised and the legs are foreshortened.

From these basic positions you can also use different camera lenses. A 50mm lens is the lens that most closely matches the visual abilities of the human eye. Using one of these will help you to see the body as the eye will see it. On the other hand a wide angle lens (around 24mm) will help to bring out the emphasis of the body length. If you use a wide angle lens in portrait view from below you will tend to make your subject look statuesque – tall and grand. If you view the subject from above you will shorten the body and legs and make them look squat. These forms of emphasis have powerful impacts in pictures where you are trying to portray a persons presence. Statuesque tends to convey power and presence. Bodies that appear more compact tend to emphasis a more physical presence.

How camera angle affects the body shape – a video

The video brings out in detail the above points. The shoot is on the Bonneville Salt Flats, which is a wonderful location – even if it is flooded! The white of the salt brings out some great high contrast shots.

TheSlantedLens External link - opens new tab/page (Published: 02.Apr.2013)

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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Are your pictures distorted? Considered a 50mm?

Patterns - Winchester Cathedral taken with a 50mm lens

Patterns – Winchester Cathedral taken with a 50mm lens. The lens sees a very close approximation to the way the human eye sees the world.
Best viewed large. Click image to view large.
“Patterns” By Netkonnexion on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

There is a very good reason why the 50mm is so popular.

The 50mm may seem a plain and simple lens. Believe me it is actually a great addition to any camera bag. When you need to see with clarity – it’s the best.

As lenses go the very best of them are found in your eye. The human eye is an incredible organic machine. It does more than any mechanical device can do in terms of seeing. But then, the eye has been in development for the last 350 million years (give or take). Humans have been making quality lenses for about 350 years. So there is a little way to catch up. However, jokes aside, the 50mm comes close to the best that we can do with lenses. Not because of the quality, but because the 50mm represents most closely what the human eye sees.

All lenses have their own unique signature in terms of what they actually display. A wide angle lens distorts the image sideways. A long-telephoto takes you into a scene and flattens the depth of the shot. A fish-eye exaggerates the importance of the centre ground and elongates the scene around it. All these things and more affect the way any particular lens sees a scene.

The 50mm lens is special. Its signature view of the world is about as close to that of the human eye as any standard lens. The distortion that the lens creates approximates the same view as our eye. This makes it a very special vessel for conveying human perspective.

Of course, you argue. You have a lens with 50mm in its range. True I answer. But the telephoto plane will foreshorten the shot. It is not a true foreshortening. It is a metaphysical one. You have to get the shot – but you don’t get it like the eye does. Instead of walking to take the 50mm position, you will take the shot where you stand on one of an infinite range of shot positions. Lets say, between 24 and 200mm. In addition, a lens is made to cope with a range of conditions across all its focal lengths. Inevitably some of the purity of the fixed, or prime, 50mm lens is lost in that accommodation. Your telephoto makes you see differently and it actually sees differently too.

Experienced photographers will tell you that the 50mm prime (fixed focal length) lens is unique in its vision. If you want to make sure you get the shot the way the eye would see it then there is no substitute for using one. You do a lot more walking to get the shot. But you also get much more realism. Prime lenses like the 50mm often have a very wide aperture. They are therefore very fast lenses. The wide aperture also gives wonderful control of ‘depth of field’ too. 50mm lenses are much prized by wedding photographers because they often have a very wide aperture compared to many other lenses. The shot above was taken using a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens. It was hand-held in the early evening with no flash – brilliant. Wedding photographers love the wide aperture because the lens is perfect in churches and the party afterwards – both are low-light situations.

You can buy 50mm lenses quite cheaply without compromising quality. They are so popular that the manufacturers can keep the prices low. The majority of photographers will want to go for this flexible and reasonably priced 50mm lens. Lenses in this range are certainly among the most popular available.

The Canon EF 50mm – f/1.4 USM Lens

The fast Canon 50mm F1.4 lens is photographically versatile and technically excellent. It is at a very reasonable price too. It is a top quality lens. Great for portrait work, great with landscapes and excellent for urban candid shots it is a wonderful all-round lens. As an EF lens, it’s compatible with a full-frame camera and it’s on special offer at present [Oct 2012]. It is a very fast lens with excellent control of depth of field. This is definitely the most flexible and reasonably priced 50mm on the market for Canon cameras. It has top reviews all over the internet.

The very fast 50mm that comes for the Nikon range is equally versatile. A stunning lens in an affordable price range…

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens

The Nikon F1.4 50mm is an excellent performer. It provides the fast, wide aperture, and exhibits has superb control of focus. The sharpness of this lens is outstanding and, as expected, the low-light performance nothing short of excellent. As another great all-rounder this lens is well reviewed and the price is reasonable. A great buy for Nikon owners. Not to be missed!

It is possible to get a very fast professional level Canon EF50mm. And what a wonderful piece of equipment it is….

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens

As one reviewer on Amazon says, this lens is “A very special piece of optics”. I agree. The control, depth of field and colour reproduction is excellent and the sharpness is brilliant. It is a professional lens and is premium priced, but you cannot beat its quality. There is nothing on the market to beat it in low light situations.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.