Photo Editor: 50mm F/1.8

    Any photographer will tell you that investing in a lens is far more important than investing in some flashy body — but good glass is expensive. The average student budget doesn’t make room for even the most basic camera equipment, which can cost upward of $500 — but there is hope. The Nikon or Canon 50mm f/1.8, an insanely fast lens for any DSLR/SLR camera, goes for only $80-$110, and is still capable of shooting in the worst lighting conditions imaginable without raising the ISO to unmanageable levels. No photographer should ever be caught without one. This glass will make any amateur on your list look like a pro.

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