Spring break was some well deserved time off from school, and despite our teacher's oddly specific instructions to *not* do photography, I did squeeze my stripped down 5dMKII and a single lens into my ski bag. That lens was the lightest, smallest and cheapest Canon lens in production, affectionately called 'The Nifty Fifty'. This all plastic, bare bones 50mm lens weighs next to nothing, has a low profile, and costs under $100, or under ¥10,000 in my case. See the incredible pictures this thing is capable of after the jump.

I've never been a big landscape photographer, and most of my natural outdoor work is quick snapshots while walking around. I'd like to say these were planned and prepared for, but I was either in a moving car shooting through glass, riding a chairlift to the top of a mountain, or hopping from one frozen bare foot to the other on the patio in the early morning.

The 50mm f/1.8 is not world renowned for its quality, but it's a total sleeper hit. Most of these were taken between wide open and f/8, and the full sizes have amazing detail. This one in particular was shot, through window glass, while moving, wide open, and still has fairly good detail in the distance. It wouldn't be my first choice in a lens to use for the rest of my life, but it sure wouldn't be my last.

So if you're a canon shooter and don't have this in your bag, give up your latte for the day (that's one big latte) and grab this lens. It's nearly cheap enough to be disposable, fun to play and experiment with, and gives remarkably stunning results.

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