Nikon 18-55 MM Lens vs 50 MM Prime Lens

When you start off as a photographer you hear people talking about how great a 50 mm lens is in comparison to the 18-55 mm kit lens that comes standard with most cameras.

Here is a comparison of the two:

• The kit Lens has image stabilizer, 50 mm prime lens has no image stabilizer.
• Kit lens has variable focal length 18-55 mm, 50 mm prime lens has a fixed focal length.
• 50 mm prime lens is more durable than kit lens as it has more metal casing on it’s back.
• Kit lens f/3.5 – 5.6 / 50 mm prime lens f/1.8.
• Kit lens 8.89 cm tall, 50 mm prime lens 6.35 cm tall.
• Kit lens 207 g / 50 mm prime lens 169 g.
• Diameter of the lens filter – kit lens 58 mm / 50 mm prime lens  49 mm.

In this test I will mount the lenses on the same body with the same settings and see how they will perform.

From the close up pictures we can see both lenses produce same amount of noise and take the same time to focus on the subject.

Bokeh comparison:
From the comparison we can see that the 50 mm prime lens at f/1.8 produces a much better Bokeh effect. Along with brighter images than the kit lens set at 50mm at f/5.6.

Low light comparison:
Kit lens has a wider point of view compared to a 50 mm prime lens, which has a 1 to 1 ratio.

50 mm prime lens gives a fixed and narrow field of view as compared to the 18-55 mm kit lens with a variable focal length.

In summary 18-55mm kit lens is great for wide angle and close up shots but gives poor results in low light. 50 mm prime lens is great for closeups/ portraits, low light shots and night photography. Due to the low f-stop on the 50 mm prime lens it allows for brighter images as compared to the kit lens.

I’d love to see some of your work. You can comment with a link to them or you can connect with me on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter @keithphotoblog


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