6 tips for shooting with a 50mm lens

The 50mm lens is a single focal length lens.  Use a 50mm lens, which gives you a very wide aperture compared to a zoom lens.  No zoom lens can match the aperture of a prime lens, which is great for low-light images or shots with bokeaus and shallow depth-of-field.  However, many beginners may not know how to use a 50mm lens for photography, so in this guide, I will give you 6 tips for shooting with a 50mm lens, in the hope of improving your photography skills with a 50mm lens.  

6 tips for shooting with a 50mm lens  

1. Use the correct metering mode  

Different photographic scenes require different metering modes.  Point metering is great if you want to use small areas or subjects as the basis for exposure.  Point metering ensures that my main subject is properly exposed and captured in maximum detail.  Matrix metering is great for broad scenes because it considers the whole picture and averages the exposure.  It produces evenly lit images and maximizes detail throughout the frame.  

It is important to note that matrix metering does not perform well for scenes with uneven light or high contrast.  

When exposing an image, the central metering mode gives priority to the center of the scene.  This metering works very well if you place the subject in the center of the picture.  It can be useful when you want to consider both the subject and the background but focus on the subject when exposing the image.  

natural scenery

2. Make sure you have enough space  

The 50mm prime lens should be wide enough to take group shots outside, but if you’re shooting inside, then you have to consider whether you have enough room to back up and get everyone into the frame.  

3. Use autofocus  

Single-zone autofocus has two advantages.  First, if your subject moves, your image will stay in focus.  Second, it allows you to recompose without refocusing.  Your camera will follow the point you choose and stay in focus.  

Continuous autofocus is usually used if the subject is moving vertically rather than horizontally.  Continuous autofocus tracks your subject and ensures that your chosen subject is always clearly in focus.  This is very useful for capturing wildlife or sports photography, as they are difficult to predict the movement of the subject.  

For night shots or dim indoor shots, use manual focus.  Autofocus systems usually do not work well in low light conditions.  If you’re not sure which one to use, I suggest you try autofocus first and see if it works.  If not, manual focus is the right choice.  

It’s also important to make sure that the 50mm lens can autofocus.  So before you buy, make sure the lens has autofocus on it.  

4. Shoot at 1/100th of a second (or faster)  

In general, if you’re shooting hand-held…  Make sure your shutter speed is at least the inverse of the focal length.  This means that for a 50mm lens, you need to keep the shutter speed at 1/100th of a second or faster.  

By making sure you use a shutter speed of 1/100 of a second.  Or faster, you’ll be sure to eliminate any camera shake from a handheld camera.  In fact, if conditions permit, it is best to use 1/160 or 1/200 to ensure that any motion blur of the hand or slight movement of the subject is avoided.  

5. Make sure your aperture is not too wide  

One of the biggest mistakes many beginners make when taking a group portrait with a 50 mm lens is using too wide an aperture.  Keep in mind that a smaller F-stop (e.g. F /1.8) means a larger aperture, and a larger F-stop (e.g. F /22) means a smaller aperture.  Wider aperture results in less scene focus (shallow depth of field).  If you are shooting large groups (5 or more people), it is best to set the lens’s aperture to f/5.6 TP F /8 or so.  

Village scenery

6. Shoot without a viewfinder  

Once you get used to the 50mm, you’ll learn to take advantage of the field of view it covers.  The frame covered by the camera is what you see when you look straight ahead.  So it’s easy to use your judgment to sneak photos when you don’t want to be too obvious.  Measuring the frame covered by a 50mm lens is pretty easy if you’re shooting on the street and want to capture a candid moment without paying attention to your subject.  You don’t even have to put your eyes on the viewfinder!  Just make sure your camera is not tilted and shooting.  

Finally, dedicated macro lenses are expensive, and you can get creative with a 50mm lens for macro shots.  You will need to purchase or make an inversion ring so that you can mount the lens backward.  You may not be able to use autofocus, but it’s a good and affordable option if you want to photograph flowers, insects, or other small objects.  

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