Life at 50


Life at 50… 50 mm that is.

I am continually pulled by the latest and greatest piece of gear. Recently I was taken with the absolute need for one of the fancy point and shoot cameras to make sure that I always have a camera with me.

I generally do have my DSLR with me but the 24-105 lens that is often attached makes it bulky and less than discrete. I was looking for something a little more subtle. What I ended up doing was putting on my 50 mm and shooting with that for a week. I hadn’t used the 50 mm in a long time and was pleased with the results.

My 50 mm is f1.4, not the fastest 50 but fast, and certainly faster than most of my other lenses that top out at f4. Playing with the lens wide open had been fun. The background blur in portraits has, for want of a better term, a creamy smoothness to it. Much different to what I’m used to with the 24-105. It also has a very shallow depth of field which gives rise to interesting effects such as in the image above.

What pieces of gear do you have that’s languishing at the bottom of your bag? Dig it out and have some fun. You never know where it might lead.

6 Replies to “Life at 50”

  1. Andy, first of all, I dig the title of this post. Made me laugh a little. Second, I totally agree with your thoughts about the 50 mm. A couple years ago I bought a similar lens and went head over heels shooting with it. The shallow DOF gives such a great look. In fact, this lens, and the look it gives was largely responsible for the show I had a couple years ago. (You might remember the B&W portraits of people at the skatepark? I think I told you about it…maybe…can’t remember). I totally relate to your 50mm experience. Good stuff.

    Hope you are well. Have a good 4th!


    1. Hey Andy – Glad you liked the title. Growing up in the UK with all the tabloid newspapers twists you a little.

      I love those B&W skatepark portraits. Totally awesome. I didn’t give too much thought to the lens/f stop but the shallow depth of field really does make a difference.

      Happy 4 th!


  2. By the way, I received a newsletter from B&H (maybe old news), a month or two ago, about a new release from Canon: 40mm (I think f/1,4). The body is almost flat and and only extends few millimeters out of the camera body.

    1. Oh yes, ‘Canon’s first pancake lens’, I’d not given that any thought at all. Time to revisit that. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. OK you guys. You got me off my lazy butt. I went into my camera bag and pulled out my 50mm 1.4. It now is attached to my D300s and I am going to shoot with it for the next month. Nothing like a nudge. Thank you Andy and the gang.

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