50mm lenses have become hugely popular with portrait photographers over the years. With an impressive combination of speed and a wide aperture, it means you can produce pleasing shallow depth of field effects and a charming bokeh. A great deal of top-quality 50mm lenses are also small and light for easy portability.
These lenses are ideal for photographers learning their field. They allow you to get close enough to your subject matters but they also force you to move about to achieve the best possible photo. In other words, you have no choice other than to get creative with all of your compositions.
To help you discover a 50mm lens that will suit your photography style, we have researched hundreds available on the market. The result? We have compiled a top 5 list of the very best 50mm lenses so you can enjoy the best photos you have ever taken in your life.
So, let’s not wait any longer. Read on and find out which lens is your favorite today.
Best 50mm Lens – Comparison Table
Best 50mm Lens – Reviews
Best 50mm Lens – Buyers Guide
Before you pick your favorite 50mm lens, there are some key criteria you need to consider. All lenses have unique features that can make them better than others or worse.
Continue reading so you can decide which 50mm lens is right for you and so you can buy with complete confidence.
Wide Angle, Standard, or Telephoto?
You need to decide what kind of lens you need and what suits your style of photography best.
Wide-angle lenses are ideal for landscapes. If the focal length is less than 50mm, these wide-angle lenses have a wide field of view.
Standard lenses are best and most commonly used for portraiture, street photography, and photojournalism. This is because they give a similar perspective to the human eye.
Lenses with focal lengths of more than 50mm are known as telephoto. These are used for everyday use from wildlife photography to action movements in sports photography but this can depend on the focal length range.
Which lens suits you best depends on what you want to photograph. If you’re a beginner, you may need to experiment with a few until you find the right one for you.
Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
Optical Image Stabilization or OIS prevents blurry images from camera movements. This can be caused by the natural shake of hands or different weather conditions.
When it comes to longer focal lengths, this built-in feature becomes seven more important as it can be harder to keep the entire lens completely stable.
Another highly important factor in choosing your lens is the camera that you own. Digital SLRs and mirrorless system cameras have either APS-C or full-frame sensors.
APS-C sensors tend to be with more affordable options and have a cropping factor. The higher the crop factor, the less image you will get into the frame when you use the same lens focal length.
If you’re an experienced photographer and looking for professional-level cameras, then these are usually equipped with full-frame sensors.
The sizes of these are equal to traditional 35mm film frames meaning there is no reduction or cropping in the field of view.
When you invest in a new lens, you must be aware that lenses designed for full-frame cameras will still work perfectly well on APS-C cameras. However, those designed for APS-C models will not work sufficiently on full-frame models.
The Lens Mount
All camera manufacturers have their own lens mounts. This means you can not pick and mix unless you purchase a mount from a third-party manufacturer that offers a wide variety of sizes.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. Olympus and Panasonic use the Four-Thirds mount for DSLRs while they also supply the Micro Four Thirds mount for their mirrorless models.
The choice of lens you make will have an equal bearing on the image quality you want to achieve. Remember, lenses tend to last a lot longer than actual cameras so, in this case, it is worth investing in the best you can afford on your budget.
Unfortunately, top-quality lenses are becoming more and more expensive. Many are now reaching four figures but not everyone wants to spend that much. This is why you need to consider your budget and stick to it.
50mm lenses, especially those with f/1.8 or f/2 apertures, can be as expensive as a dinner for two in the most expensive restaurants in Beverly Hills. But, on the used market, they can be found for half the price.
While it may be second-hand, with a thorough inspection to ensure it is still working correctly, you could be saving yourself hundreds of dollars and still getting a superlative lens.
The key to achieving better quality and a less blurry low-light shot is in a large aperture. A wide-aperture 50mm lens is a perfect choice for low lighting conditions, especially for handheld photography.
A 50mm lens sees, more or less, how we view the world. These lenses are perfect for capturing busy moments in everyday life, scenic vistas, or the portrait of a beautiful and unique-looking face.
Yes, a kit lens’ main advantage is its versatility but the prime lens, the 50mm, is not a one-trick pony.
These lenses are versatile and are capable of mastering almost anything photographic. If versatility is currently missing in your photography game, then a 50mm lens is a great option.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are 50mm lenses best used for?
50m lenses are favored by many portrait photographers. Due to their combination of speed and a wide aperture, 50mm lenses allow photographers to create a favorable shallow depth of field effect as well as attractive bokeh.
This is why lens manufacturers have a range of 50mm lenses on offer within their range. For instance, Canon offers f/1.2 and f/1.8 in its RF range of models. Nikon offers the same lenses in their Nikkor Z series.
50mm lenses are also small and lightweight making them ideal for photographers constantly on the go. Another popular optic is the 24-70mm zoom lens as this, like the 50mm lenses available, is hugely versatile, however, these tend to be twice the size of the compact 50mm models.
50mm lenses are perfect for getting close enough to your subject. However, they still allow you to move freely to get the best possible angle for your shot. 50mm lenses are simply perfect for those looking to start and learn photography.
It forces people to become more artistic and creative with their photography shots and, in time, photographers can find their own unique style.
Lastly, 50mm lenses can generally be pretty affordable compared to other types. Just by perusing the internet or camera stores, you should find a fast 50mm lens for a price tag within your budget.
Can you use a 50mm lens for landscape photography?
In general, landscape photography requires exceptional sharpness. Thankfully, 50mm prime lenses excel in this area. With no extra moving parts needed for zooms, this tends to make for a crisper, sharper end result.
Those with a narrower aperture can still yield superb results. As we mentioned above, 50mm lenses are versatile pieces of kit that can suit all types of photography and photographers.
Is a 50mm lens good for night photography?
It can be challenging to capture photos at night or in low-light conditions. However, a 50mm lens with a constant aperture will help you achieve better photos in such situations.
Many 50mm lenses come with this feature but make sure that it is advertised with a constant aperture. Otherwise, you may struggle to capture any good-quality images after dark.
Last Updated on 2021-03-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates