So You Want To Shoot With A Fast Lens….


Cabin fever is about ready to set in so I tried to do something constructive photographically to ease the pain. I wondered just how much leeway one might have when trying to focus with my Canon 50mm F/1.8 set wide open. Yes, I know quite boring right? Well I needed something to do as the snow came down yesterday. I know the depth of field is quite narrow at such wide open setting but I thought a photo might help….

So I present to you this totally unscientific tutorial using nothing but a clicker and my Canon 5D Mark II and my Nifty Fifty, Canon 50mm 1.8. Let me start with the exif data for this shot…

1. ISO 160


3. F/2.0

4. 1/60 sec.

I set the camera on my countertop approximately 18 inches away from the tv clicker (propped up with a salt shaker) I told you it was totally unscientific:) I’ve uploaded the shot at almost full resolution so if you click on it you’ll get a better idea of the cold hard truth.

_MG_9273I did my best to focus on the blue dvr button (you can see it if you enlarge the photo) and after measuring the distance from my focal point to a point of out of focusness (is that a word?) it was less than 1/2 an inch. Not a large margin of error even at f2.0.

So if you are thinking that a fast lens such as the 50mm 1.8 will solve all of your low-light problems, it will but it may also present you with a few focus issues (such as shallow depth of field). The learning curve is still there but once mastered, these lens produce some fantastic results. Hope this little tutorial helped.


6 thoughts on “So You Want To Shoot With A Fast Lens….

  1. Not only will it produce some fantastic results, at ~$100, it’s a killer little lens. I put mine away, forget about it, then pull it back out and fall in love with it again. I love dropping to that 1.8. Yes, it’s not perfect, but for the price, and for what you get, it’s worth it to have it in the bag.

  2. I love my 50 1.8! I fall in love with it again every time I pull it out of the bag to play with. Admittedly it doesn’t end up on my camera often but when it does I am always reminded how amazing that super shallow dof can be…

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