Why are 50mm lenses the bees knees?

Today, again thanks to Curious Josh, I woke up and started reading about lenses. Josh posted something on the evil Facebooks about a 50mm lens and as a result I started reading this article by someone I should read more articles by on popphoto.com. It was all about how everyone needs one and how versatile they are and how wonderful they are.

I don’t have one.

My question is (and one I’m not sure I can readily find the answer to)… why? What can you do with a 50mm lens that you can’t do with a camera with a high ISO (apparently these lenses are wonderful in low light) or 28-300? (I have a 28 – 300.)

I have always kind of looked at fixed lenses as a waste – is that just *so* amateur of me? I mean, it’s fixed. Or is that the entire point (to move your feet?) My thought process is, what if something is kind of far away and I’d have to walk 10 minutes (or an hour) to get the shot I want whereas if I had my 28-300 I could just zoom in a little and shoot it?

Am I missing something?

Unrelated, here is a picture I shot last month hiking Verdugo Canyon with my dogs, not with a 50mm lens.

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2 Responses to Why are 50mm lenses the bees knees?

  1. JPanda says:

    With zoom lens qualities nowadays, the argument that primes always have better quality isn’t as strong. However, I have learnt that I improved a lot when I restricted myself from using any zoom and only sticking with 50mm for few months in regards to compositions.

    Furthermore, lenses like 50mm are tiny compared to those super zooms so if you are like me who always carry around a camera where ever you go, those weights do come into considerations ^^

    Personally I started with 18-200mm super zoom but now I mostly use 24mm 35mm 50mm for most of my photography 🙂

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