These Ladies are Prime

As those of you who spend entirely too much time reading this blog know, I bought my Nikon D50 in June of 2006. Like virtually all entry level DSLR’s, it came with an 18-55mm lens. As that iconoclast Ken Rockwell says, its a lens that will do most of the time.

But no one buys a DSLR with the expectations she will have only a single lens. Not me, that’s for sure. Because I wanted to be a manly man, I went big with my second lens, a 55-200mm. As most of you know,on a D50, and most other inexpensive DSLR’s, this lens is actually a 82-300mm.

But I yearned for more. I bought Quantaray’s cheap 70-300mm. Oh, I got a cheap doubler, too. Wow,  So now I could shoot with an effective lens length of 900mm!! So what if the pictures were, ahem, a bit  on the “soft” side and the widest aperture available was about f/22. That 300 plus doubler, with all of its size, made people think I was a serious damn photographer.

At first I didn’t understand why anyone would want a prime lens. My zooms covered from 18mm all the way to 300mm; why would I want a lens that was stuck at a single focal length?

But I like cheap, so I bought Nikon’s 50mm f/1.8 lens for somewhere around $120. I fell in love with that sweet, plastic coated baby. For the first time I understood what a fast lens could do. I grasped the creative aspects of shallow depth of field. And it was so incredibly sharp!

I use my 50mm prime for most of my portrait work. Light isn’t a problem. I actually have to lessen the sharpness in photoshop when I shoot women or they will obsess over the tiny facial wrinkles clearly visible in their photograph. With the shallow depth of field I don’t worry about a too busy background; I shoot at f/1.8 up to f/2.8 and the background is just a nice example of bokeh. Its a great lens, too, if you need to shoot indoors without a flash.

To honor my little lens (mounted, it looks like someone cut my “regular” lens in half), I’ve prepared another the Magic of Women gallery; every photo was taken with a 50mm lens:

Prime Ladies

Links to all of the Magic of Women Flickr galleries.

You need to have safe search off to see these shots too hot for the gallery: 11mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 200mm, 300mm, and 500mm.

No real sex here, but this group shows the utility of the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

And here’s a prime lady taken by me:

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