Prime cut

I am not referring to beef, but to a picture I took today with a prime lens – and where I have cut through the subject’s face. Yes, you can do this and yes, it can result in good pictures.

For today’s image, I used a Nikon D3100 with the new 50mm f/1.8 lens – the new one, the one that does autofocus with the low-end Nikon bodies. If you are a Nikon low-end camera user (D40, D60, D3100, D5100, etc), then go get one today – run to your retailer, do not walk.


Because you can get selective depth of field and you can use available light.

Of course you can get selective depth of field with any lens, if you are close enough. Even at f/5.6, say, you can get quite a lot of blurring when you get close. No… closer. Like this:

Portrait (Photo: Michael Willems)

Nice eh? Yes, she is beautiful, and the composition works – unorthodox, but it works, right? The use of available light also helps.

But f/2.8 is better. Less recognizable person in the background, and importantly in this picture, a faster shutter speed. F/2.8 looks like this:

Portrait (Photo: Michael Willems)

You could even go to f/2.0 with a fast lens like the 50mm f/1.8. You would do that when you want even more selective depth of field – a blurrier background – or when you want a faster shutter speed or lower ISO. f/2.0 looks like this:

Portrait (Photo: Michael Willems)

Or in Black and White, like this:

 Portrait (Photo: Michael Willems)

So you see, an affordable but good fast lens on an affordable camera can result in good photos.




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