Looking for a new lens on a budget?
If you're looking for a new lens well suited for music photography and you're on a budget - then the 50mm 1.8 could be the answer. Nikon, Canon and Sony versions are all available for under £200, or sub £150 for a decent used version on a good day, the Canon EF 50 1.8, brand new is just £99 (!) - you can't go far wrong for the money with a 50mm.
If you don't already have one, why not?
For starters, the price point is a fantastic way into prime lenses. Using a prime lens will make you approach a shot differently as there is no option to change your focal length, instead you must move your position. In music photography, this isn't always an option - but you can get creative in post production, cropping an image can make you feel closer to your subject.
Future Islands / 50mm 1/320 - f3.2 - ISO 500 / © Will Fahy
The focal length also proves versatile in venues of varying size, it works up close while also being able to fill your frame nicely when away from the stage.
It's small and light so it doesn't take up a lot of room in your bag - there's no reason not to have it with you, plus it can be used as a portrait lens if an opportunity pops up.
Future Islands / 50mm 1/400 - f3.2 - ISO 500 / © Will Fahy
It's fast 1.8 aperture means it's excellent in low light, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds when conditions get challenging. This is ideal for music photography - especially if you're looking to freeze motion on stages with lower levels of light.
The 50mm 1.8 is also a good festival lens, you could comfortably carry this around all weekend with all three weighing in at under 190 grams. With fast and consistent autofocus performance you won't miss those split second moments and you'll be happy with the spontaneous portraits you'll no doubt be asked for.
For the money, the 50mm 1.8 should be in almost every music photographers bag, unless you have the 1.4 version, of course.
By Will Fahy
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