Sunday, March 21, 2010

Still Life with a 50 mm Prime

My dad owns an f/1.4 50mm EF lens, and recently told me that prime lenses get clearer and sharper photos than zooms. I wanted to shoot some still life photos, so I decided this would be a good time to try a prime—I already had lots of control over lighting, subject, etc. so I figured I wouldn't be needing to zoom to make adjustments in framing and stuff.

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr
Aperture: f/5
Shutter Speed: 1/10
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 50 mm

Well, he was right. Though I'm very happy with my kit 18-55, and I think it gets really good results, the 50mm is sharper. Noticeably so.

After lots of experimentation with different apertures and compositions, I decided I like this one best. The DoF isn't paper thin, but the entire lock is not in focus. Also, the centered composition made this photo a good candidate for my Motionless series, and after applying the effect in Photoshop, I liked how it fit. The only thing was that since I had white background, I had to dial down the vignette opacity quite a bit to avoid it looking too harsh.


  1. I have the 1.4 50mm lens and the optics are far superior than the 18-55. It's a fun lens to shoot with, and the results usually are tack sharp. Nice job with your still life!

  2. I only have a 1.8 50mm, but I have a lot of fun with it. It's also a very reasonable price for a lens.

    Great photo. I like the lighting.


Like what you see? Have a question? Leave me a comment!