I frequently receive email questions from photographers that have upgraded to a digital SLR camera. One of the most often asked questions is about additional lenses they should add to their kit. The lens I recommend more than any other is the 50mm f/1.8. This lens can be had for under $100 (Canon) and is a great addition to any photographer’s gear bag. The inexpensive little lens offers numerous advantages including:

– One to two f/stops faster than a standard ‘kit’ lens
– Very narrow depth-of-field for a great blurred background
– Extremely compact and lightweight

The Canon version of the lens feels very cheap light due to its plastic build. Don’t let this deter you. The optics are very good, especially considering the low price.

Today’s image of Kenneth during a video presentation at one of his classes was taken with this lens. The combination of the fast lens speed and a high ISO made the shot possible.

Here are links to the lens for Canon & Nikon:

Canon 50mm f/1.8
Nikon 50mm f/1.8

Of course, if price is no object you can do what my scientist friend did (you know who you are) and cough up some real cash for a Canon 50mm f/1.2 :)

Canon 5D, Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens – 1/20 second, f/1.8, ISO 800