How I managed to capture my first powder sugar image after failing? From powder rain to powder sugar capture! Why zoom lens hold me back in my photography journey and how cheap “nifty fifty” changed my food photography?
If you know anything about food photography, then I’m sure you know all about the “NIFTY FIFTY”. So, if you understood that term, then you can STOP reading right away (maybe you can find some value from my other photography posts here).
What LENS do I need for food photography? CHEAP option?
Since one of the most common questions I get is that what lens should I buy for food photography, then I thought that I should share my own experience with this lens and how it CHANGED my photography “game”.
FIXED vs ZOOMED
My big problem was that when I started, then I used a zoom lens instead of the fixed lens. I remember that when I didn’t have this FIXED Nikkor 50 mm/ 1.8 LENS, then I just thought that how big a difference can it be?! I already had a 16-85 mm F/3.5 zoom (KIT) lens back in 2015. I WAS COMPLETELY WRONG! I underestimated the power of good glass back in 2015.
POWDER SUGAR VS RAIN?
I remember clearly that in 2016 I tried to capture the POWDER SUGAR with my zoom lens (16-85 mm). I even used manual mode and Googled like crazy how to shoot this kind of image, and all I GOT was powder sugar RAIN.
I FAILED WITH ZOOMED LENS
I was so disappointed that for a second I thought that I’m never going to manage to shoot it. I failed and to cover it up by deleting all the evidence that I even tried to capture the powder sugar. That’s why I don’t have any images to show you here from my powder sugar rain. Still, I didn’t want to give up.
The time went on and I had that powder sugar image still in my mind. I realized that I should really focus on learning more about photography technical things.
I Googled like crazy, read books, watched Youtube videos and took some CHEAP 10 dollars Udemy courses. Finally, I got a little bit better with my setting and manual mode. I understood that I need high shutter speed and a better lens to capture that powder sugar. If you are interested, then I can also write exactly how I shoot these action shots …
In 2016 I still had my old Nikon D90 and KIT lens. Probably my skill wasn’t good as well (I’m not saying that I’m the best right now. Far from that. It’s a journey and I’m still learning).
The “Nifty fifty” & FIRST powder sugar image success!
However, in early 2017 I realized the difference between fixed and zoom lens and I FINALLY decided to buy the “nifty fifty” (50 mm/ 1.8 lens), that cost only something like 200 euros. Yes, compared to other prime lenses on the market it’s a cheap one since my other lenses are about 500- 1000 euros.
SHAPR & BLURRY?
I remember the day quite clearly when I got that lens. It was the first time I managed to get the SHARP image with the BLURRY background (at least that what I thought back then. Now I’m looking back at those images and I can see so many “mistakes”). Still, that experience was just so MINDBLOWING and my only thought was that “what I have been doing before?!”
Glad that it didn’t take me longer than that to understand the difference. I was in the darkness for TOO LONG. I’m actually not good at all the technical things and I prefer the creative side. However, that one was just too naive from me.
CHEAP LENS OPTION
I’m not saying that it’s the best lens on earth for food photography lens. I’m just saying that this CHEAP lens changed my photography and I wish I would have bought this lens sooner since it’s one of the best and “cheapest investments” in my food photography. I know that everything has its own time but still … It has really changed my journey for the last 1,5 years. Zoom lens just held me back for years. The end.
- Zoom (kit) lens killed my food photography;
- I manage to capture my first powder sugar images only thanks to the “nifty fifty” lens (50 mm/ 1.8 lens) & because I learned how to shoot on manual mode.