If there is one lens every photographer needs, it is a Canon 50mm lens. There have been two different ones in my gear bag, and now it is time for a new one.My research is complete (I hope) and conclusive. You can't bounce a Canon 50mm lens off the conrete and expect it to perform well afterward.I hope I don't get emotional as I relate the story here.The first 50mm Canon lens was an f/1.8 model. That lens may be the best value on the planet telescope focuser for sale considering such a wide aperture at only a hundred smackers. It has a great reputation for quality, in spite of its plastic construction. I planned to take good care of it, so plastic was not a concern for me.What happened could have happened to anyone. In fact, I had read of a similar incident only a few days BEFORE my own accident. I simply picked up my camera case and threw it over my shoulder.
Except I had forgotten to zip it shut. My treasured lens went flying, landing on the concrete walk. What a sad day.I had to do something to bring my world back into perspective, so, naturally I bought another lens. But this time, I upgraded to a Canon 50mm f/1.4. I paid more than $350 for that sweet lens. And it was worth every penny. Part of the reason for buying the better model was for the better lens construction. The plastic lens had shattered, so I figured the metal casing of the f/1.4 model would provide better results in case of another accident.Everything went fine for quite a while. But then, it happened. Another fatal accident.This time, the accident was not quite the same as the first one, but the results were just as devastating. I picked up my camera (with 50mm lens attached), and the camera strap caught on something, pulling the camera out of my hand. It hit the concrete of the garage floor. It was deja vu, as I replayed the first accident in my head. But then I noticed that there were no parts broken, and there were no dents anywhere. I breathed a sigh of relief. That is until I tried to use the camera to take a picture. That's when I discovered the lens no longer worked. Something happened to the focus mechanism in the lens, and it would not work. It wouldn't even focus manually. I am still in mourning.In spite of my grief, I feel compelled to comment on the goodness of 50mm Canon lenses.My experience with the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens has made a believer out of me. It is an amazing photographic tool. Since I have not used the F/1.2 model, I can't comment on that one, but this one is a fine lens that will satisfy either an enthusiastic amateur or a professional photographer.
One of the virtues of the f/1.4 is an extremely wide aperture. It can be used in very challenging light situations to provide excellent photos. I have used it at concerts where flash photography is prohibited with great results.Yet another benefit of this lens is in portrait photography. The Bokeh is awesome. Even though it is not the lens of choice for professional portrait shooters, it does a really nice job.Then a few weeks ago, I was at a high school basketball game, and a friend was taking action shots using the f/1.4 lens. She said it was much better than the 70-200mm telephoto lens for two reasons. First, the extremely wide aperture was perfect in the gym with its challenging lighting setup. Second, she was shooting on the gym floor, and the Canon 70-200mm lens was too long to catch all the action. I had not considered the f/1.4 lens a sports lens, but in that situation, it was the perfect match.So, replacement must happen. But my wife has not yet bought the premise that "every photographer must have a 50mm lens." So I have to play my cards right as I try to win her over to the idea of yet another lens purchase.