2015 Challenge, Week 10: NUMBERS – 50mm

In many ways photography boils down to numbers. The F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, and focal length all determine the technical aspects of a shot. This week your challenge is to use a single focal length: 50mm. The subject is wide open. Shoot anything you want, but shoot it at a 50mm focal length. If you have prime 50mm lens, use that. If you only have a zoom lens, set the zoom as close to 50 as you can get it.

(Edit) If you have no control over your zoom, here’s an alternate challenge: Shoot any number that’s a multiple of 50.

“Pastel (

Helios 77M-4 50mm f1.8 m42)” by Sorin Mutu With the proliferation of zoom lenses and camera kits, it’s easy to experiment with framing by simply changing your zoom. Using a single focal length forces you to move to try different compositions. When you move, you see things differently and may come up with a better shot. Spending a week with a single focal length will change your perspective on framing.

“Canon EF 50mm F1.4 Testshot” by 55Laney69

Before zoom lenses became the norm, 50mm was a standard lens. Every photographer had a 50mm lens, for good reason. 50mm allows you to shoot a wide range of subjects. It may be the most versatile focal length there is.

“50mm Chicago” by Brian Koprowski

You can everything shoot from landscapes to portraits with a 50mm. They also perform well in all lighting conditions.

“Dibs the Cat” by Derrick Story

If you don’t own 50mm prime lens, I highly recommend getting one. Prime lenses are generally sharper than zoom lenses. I have a 50mm prime lens that is my first choice. It’s tack sharp and goes down to F1.4. But if you don’t have one, use what you have. All DSLR kits come with a zoom that will allow you to shoot at (or near) 50mm.

“Bubble Nose” by Bill Bumgarner

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.