Nifty Fifty

1 month 1 week ago #664302 by Kyle O
Random act of curiosity is tugging at my mind this morning.  "Nifty Fifty", particularly, "Nifty", when did this term start getting used to describe the 50mm lens?  Are these names like "Sporty Forty" just created because they rhyme?  Or is there more of story behind these lenses getting such names?  

LOL now that I read my question, it seems elementary, but I'm sitting home on my couch with a nasty head cold and I'm leaving the question.   Thanks for helping my curiosity out on this one.  


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1 month 1 week ago #664303 by garyrhook
Simple and inexpensive to produce, allegedly mimics the human eye, and very popular. A strong choice among many photographers.

A quick web search shows that the term was long used to denote a group of large cap stocks. So it was likely co-opted and had nothing to do with photography, initially.


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1 month 1 week ago #664310 by Finn

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1 month 1 week ago #664316 by fmw
Since the 50 requires less correction compared to lenses that modify a natural angle of view, it outperforms lenses of most other focal lengths.  They easier to design and manufacture and cost less party because of that.  If you were to go out shooting with nothing but a 50 you would likely come back with plenty of useable images.  I use the Fuji X system and my normal lens is the Zeiss 32mm f1.8.  The images are stunning and a bit better than with any other lens I use on it.  I recommend the normal lens without question.


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1 month 1 week ago #664329 by garyrhook

fmw wrote: Since the 50 requires less correction compared to lenses that modify a natural angle of view, it outperforms lenses of most other focal lengths.  They easier to design and manufacture and cost less party because of that.  If you were to go out shooting with nothing but a 50 you would likely come back with plenty of useable images.  I use the Fuji X system and my normal lens is the Zeiss 32mm f1.8.  The images are stunning and a bit better than with any other lens I use on it.  I recommend the normal lens without question.


Two points:

You're suggesting that there's a logical correlation between equipment and successful image creation? Um, no, there's not. That is an unsupportable assertion.

And: 32mm is not 50mm. The size of the sensor doesn't change the focal length of the lens, period. 50mm is 50mm, and it's not 32mm. I'm glad you find that lens successful in your craft, but it has nothing to do with this thread.

N.B. the only thing that the sensor size affects is the view angle. Nothing else. It's a math thing.


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1 month 1 week ago #664334 by Peter P
These always crack me up.  Don't forget the 'dirty thirty' on that list.  


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1 month 1 week ago #664339 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day all

I'm with Gary here - "You're suggesting that there's a logical correlation between equipment and successful image creation? Um, no, there's not. That is an unsupportable assertion." ...... creativity of the user is held back by locking ones-self into a specific item of equipment

After too many years with only the 50mm lens, I found it extremely limiting insofar as my personal creativity was concerned ~ I was all too happy to extend my lenses to match my imagination and optical vision

Today - I reckon that the so called Nifty-Fifty is simply an advertising term too try to get people to spend good money on a not-so-useful chunk of glass

Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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1 month 1 week ago #664341 by Pettigrew

Peter P wrote: These always crack me up.  Don't forget the 'dirty thirty' on that list.  


LMAO!!! Never heard that one before.

Canon EOS 7D SLR | XT W/18-55 Kit Lens | Canon 50mm 1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | Canon 28-105mm | Canon 75-300mm | Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro | Canon 100-400
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1 month 1 week ago #664375 by Colorado Mike
I had no idea there was any meaning towards this out side of the photography world.  Interesting.  I learned something today.   


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1 month 1 week ago #664377 by fmw

You're suggesting that there's a logical correlation between equipment and successful image creation? Um, no, there's not. That is an unsupportable assertion.


Correct but I didn't say that.  I said that, if the 50mm is the only lens you have, you can make great images.

And: 32mm is not 50mm. The size of the sensor doesn't change the focal length of the lens, period. 50mm is 50mm, and it's not 32mm. I'm glad you find that lens successful in your craft, but it has nothing to do with this thread.

N.B. the only thing that the sensor size affects is the view angle. Nothing else. It's a math thing.


You missed what I said about lens design.  I said that a lens with a "normal" angle of view is easier and cheaper to design and manufacture because it requires less correction than other lenses and therefore often render technically better images.  32mm is a normal angle of view for my APS-C cameras just as an 80mm lens has a normal angle of view on a 6X6 camera and a 135mm lens provides a normal angle of view for a 4X5 camera.  Focal length behaves the same on any image format.  No doubt about that but what I said about lens design and manufacture does not.  It is a math thing.


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1 month 1 week ago #664404 by KENT MELTON
Seems more like a marketing term.  Seriously have you ever heard someone refer to their 50mm lens as "nifty fifty"?


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1 month 1 week ago #664423 by effron
I've heard it often. With modern zooms its lost it appeal, but there was a time it was part of an slr kit and used as a "walk around" more than anything else. 

Why so serious?
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1 month 1 week ago #664450 by Rick Larin
Can't say I have referred to my 50mm as "Nifty Fifty" before.   I have heard others though, but come to think of it just twice and it was in the context of getting out and using good old 'nifty fifty'.  Actually, I've only heard someone state this once.  


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