Mia's robe Camera:  Pentax K20 50mm prime lens  ISO 800 Aperture f/1.7 Exposure 1/30 Lighting:  Light from 60 bulb on camera right with some added backlighting from window

If you listen to the podcast, This Week In Photography (TWIP), you know they recommend everyone get a fast 50mm lens.  I got mine this past summer.  If you read my original POTD post you know that I chose it to be the only lens I use for my POTD photos.  I thought the fact that it is a prime lens and I can only zoom by moving my feet would make me work a little harder to compose a good photo and hopefully help me improve by adding that restriction.  We shall see at the end of the year.

Continue reading after the break for more details.

I also knew that having an aperture of 1.4 on this lens would be a huge help and offer a lot of flexibility.  This photo of Mia is a great example of that.  This photo was taken indoors, the only light is what you see coming in the window behind Mia and a 60 bulb to the camera right.  Yes, I cranked up the ISO to 800, but that is not out of a typical range and because of the shake reduction built into my Pentax K20D, I am able to hand hold the camera at 1/30 of a second shutter speed.  But being able to have the aperture wide open, letting in bucket fulls of light really adds a ton of possibilities.  And I did not even have the aperture at 1.4, I dropped it down to 1.7.  Probably not a huge difference, but I think it helps with sharpness a tad.

Because I am a visual learner, I added some images to help demonstrate the difference in aperture.  The first lens sports an aperture of 3.5, still somewhat big.  But compare that to my 50mm wide open at 1.4.  I think the difference is apparent.  Just imagine how much more light can pass through the 50mm.

Aperture 1.4Aperture 3.5

Of course with such a wide open aperture comes other added complexities, such as a smaller depth of field for focusing, but we will get into that on another day.

See the rest of my Photo Of The Day posts here or just look at the photos on Flickr

Thanks for reading my ramblings, and here is another photo of Mia, just because she is so darn cute!

Mia's robe2