Question:

I am beginner. I bought a Canon T2i (550D) with the kit lens. I want to buy the Canon 50MM f1.8 II but it has no image stabilization. Will this be a problem?

Answer:

As a beginner, the questioner made a good choice on camera body and lenses. Canon T2i (550D) is a very good entry level digital SLR camera in the market. It is common to purchase a digital SLR camera with kit lens. The most popular kit lens for Canon T2i (550D) is Canon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS. As the keyword ‘IS’ indicated, this lens is featured with image stabilization. Image stabilization is a kind of techniques used to reduce blurring due to the motion of a camera during exposure.

The problem with the kit lens is aperture. Aperture range f3.5-5.6 is not big enough to shoot in low light environment such as indoor spaces. I guess it could be the reason why the questioner considered to add on a standard lens with big aperture, Canon 50MM f1.8 II.

As I mentioned about lens choice in another post, it is a perfect sense for a beginner to get a standard lens with big aperture in addition to the kit lens. And 50mm f1.8 lenses are probably the most affordable and cost effective in this category. The Canon 50MM f1.8 II is a good example of the choice. It can produce high quality images but costs less then $100 in the market.

Now we arrive at the key point of the question, image stabilization. “The Canon 50MM f1.8 II has no image stabilization. Will this be a problem?”

There is a common knowledge of photography, the Safe Speed. Safe Speed is a concept about the relationship between lowest shutter speed and focal length when you shoot handheld. Generally a safe speed is a reciprocal of the focal length. For instance, the focal length of Canon 50MM f1.8 II is 50mm, then the safe speed can be 1/50 sec. Please be aware that Canon 50MM f1.8 II is designed for full frame cameras. When it is used on a digital SLR camera with APS sensor, the safe speed will be different. Canon T2i (550D) is a APS camera, 50mm will be equivalent to 80mm (50mm x 1.6) when the lens is used on it. Therefore the safe speed for Canon 50MM f1.8 II on Canon T2i (550D) can be 1/80 sec.

The Canon 50MM f1.8 II has no image stabilization. Will this be a problem?

The answer is no, as long as you shoot handheld with safe speed.