Say hello to your new best friend: the 50mm lens. If you’re a photographer with a simple DSLR, this lens is for you - it will blow you away with its quality and versatility in concert settings. On top of that, it’s perfect for, well…everything. Let’s start with a pro/con list rundown:
- Depth of Field
- Ability in Low Light Situations
- No zoom
Equivalent to a small apple, the size of this lens is great for toting around in concert crowds. No lugging around large, heavy lenses or other equipment, or knocking it into people and protruding objects. The 50mm can be bought at a reasonable price of approximately $125 (although I found mine Goodwill hunting on a broken camera body for $35).
The three best things about this lens are: its depth of field, ability to shoot in low-light situations, and versatility. This lens is known for its aperture length of f/1.8 which allows for a large amount of light in low-light situations, such as dimly-lit concert venues, or outside settings at night. When sufficient light is hard to come by, large apertures are your best bet. Because they allow more light, you can lower your ISO and increase the shutter speed to avoid blur. Quick break down: A larger aperture will allow you to use a faster shutter speed, which will give you better pictures in low light situations.
Second, shooting with this lens at f/1.8 gives you an extremely shallow depth of field. This will give your photos a classic “artistic” look with an intentional focus on one thing, leaving the surrounding content blurred. With stage lights in the background, you can experiment with a bokeh effect in your concert photography.
Finally, this lens is versatile. Day or night, concert photos or portraiture, this lens will live on your camera body.
The only downside is lack of zoom. It will require moving around to frame your shot. If you’re open to moving around and experimenting with a set frame, it simply requires some getting used to. That said, if you’re in the back of an arena, this lens will be useless. It’s best used for settings when you’re able to be close to your subject.
If you're looking for a new and relatively inexpensive lens, the 50mm will be your best investment.