Nifty fifty

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What does Nifty Fifty mean when talking about cameras and photography?

The term ‘nifty fifty’ is a photography colloquialism for a cheap 50mm prime lens, usually with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 or faster.

Lenses in this range are fast, lightweight and extremely versatile for street and portrait photography. The ‘nifty’ feature is the price; These f/1.8 and f/1.4 50mm lenses often have a relatively simple optical formula with fewer elements than their more complex counterparts.

I took this award-winning shot of a professional skier in Japan using the Canon Nifty Fifty. They might be cheap, but these lenses are incredibly powerful.
A Nifty Fifty lens will get you that nice soft background bokeh that’s very hard to achieve with a kit zoom lens. This is one of the reasons so many people purchase a 50mm lens as their firs prime.

This makes a ‘nifty fifty’ one best value pieces of glass you can add to your kit as a beginner who is looking to learn how to shoot with a prime lens. With a fast aperture, it will also give you that dreamy background bokeh that so many photographers desire.

Versatility and quality at a wallet-friendly price. Take the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM for example, this lens costs just $125!