At my first photography class it was suggested that we purchase a 50mm prime lens.  Last Christmas I did just that and got myself one on sale on Boxing Day off Amazon.

I have to admit that the lens was purchased for the sole purpose of night photography.  This 1.4 lens was going to capture all the light I needed to get a sky full of stars or the milky way.  I have to admit, I haven’t tried that yet.

Its also supposed to be the best portrait lens around.  With the small aperture number, this means that the lens is open wider and lets in more light.  With a 1.8 I should get a great DOF (depth of field) and my subjet should remain crystal clear.

Saturday I thought I’d give it a go with our friend’s gorgeous little girl who loves the camera.

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I’ll tell you what I did wrong!  First off, its a warm, sunny day.  Why would I need to use the lens with the small apeture.  I’ve got enough light as is.  Second off, we were at the baseball diamond so my background was limited so I shot towards the sun which cast to many shadows.  The shadows make this little one’s face grainy, in my opinion.

Her big brother turned out a little different.

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He was slightly turned so we captured less light although you can still see the shadows on him.

So, just because you have the lens, doesn’t mean your going to take great photos.  This was a good lesson to me.  Auto mode is a safety zone for many of us but if you really want to get serious and take great photos, you need to learn to use your camera in all settings, in all conditions.  I can have all the “lens envy” in the world, I still wouldn’t be able to produce the kind of shots that most wildlife enthusiasts have, regardless of how well I knew Photoshop.

So while I want that $1,000 lens that will get me all that more reach to take photos of birds and wildlife, I’m not ready for it.  I would never be able to use it to its full potential as I’m just not there yet.

Practice makes perfect.

Regardless of my shortcomings with the “nifty fifty” lens, these two are beautiful children.

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