I ordered a new lens for my camera last week and got it in the mail Saturday. It's a Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens. I was so excited to get this because I knew it would improve my pictures! Without getting into any technical photography terms, I'll try to explain the difference this lens will make.
The "f" number in the description of a lens represents how wide the aperture of the camera can open. The smaller this number, the better you can focus on something and the blurrier you can make the background. This new lens can get down to f/1.8. In the picture on the left, I focused on Mollie's stack of thread, but in the picture on the right, I focused on the background.
The lens that I had before only went down to f/4.5. Here are the same shots as above, but taken with my old lens. You can tell that the background on the left and the stack of thread on the right are significantly less blurry than in the pictures above. The benefit of the blurry background is that you can really make your subject "pop", or direct the viewer to a certain area of the photo.
Along with giving you a blurrier background, the smaller the "f" number, the more light comes into the camera. This means a couple of things. First, you can use a faster shutter speed, which will give you a sharper picture with less blur, which makes a big difference when taking pictures of kids! Second, it makes it easier to take pictures indoors and in low light situations. That is important to me because once Winter is here, I'll be taking most of my pictures inside, and since it gets darker earlier and stays dark later, there won't be as much light coming inside.
Anyways, that's why I wanted this new lens, and I'm really excited to use it!