I love my 50mm 1.4. Or ‘Fiddy’ as I call it.
It’s a brilliant lens. It’s a prime (meaning it has a fixed focal lenght) and its big 1.4 aperture means it can shoot even in really low light; seriously, practically in the dark. However, being a 1.4 means focusing is very important – I could take a picture of your face and while your eye would be in focus, your ear or you hairline may not, that’s how soft it is (if this is all gibberish, but if you would like to learn more about aperture, check out Natalie Norton‘s great piece on the topic).
So yes – focusing is REALLY important. Canon’s auto focus feature is great – you can either let it decide on where to focus, or select a focus point. Most photographers stick to autofocus, unless the shot you’re after is a bit fiddly (for instance, on the below Ha’Penny Bridge shot, manual focus was needed to prevent the camera from focusing on the closer objects – the twinkly lights – and blurring out the bridge).
So this all leads me to the very sad news that Fiddy’s focus is broken. I press the shutter half way, and it makes this sad little sound, like it’s really TRYING to focus, but can’t. I have to stick it on manual focus, which means I have to constantly check the monitor to make sure the right bits are sharp and often end up with sharp noses and blurry eyes 😦
It’s incredibly frustrating as none of my other lenses come close – I had to bring my kit lens (18-55mm, aperture of 3.5-5.6, boo!) to Castle Palooza, making taking night time gig shots a good bit tougher than usual. While I learned a lot and realised by kit lens wasn’t really as bad as I had thought, it also made me realise how much I appreciate Fiddy, and how much I want another prime – maybe an 85mm?!
Anyway, Fiddy has been brought to the hospital for sick lenses (i.e. the Canon offices in Sandyford) to get fixed. But, in honour of its awesomeness, here are a few shots that show the versatility of this great little lens – you really can take it anywhere and shoot anything: