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5 Best 50mm Lenses Every Photographer Should Own

Best 50mm Lens

Over the years, portrait photographers have favored the 50mm lenses. With a fast speed and a wide aperture, this type of lens become a crowd favorite. It’s no surprise that it’s called “nifty fifty.”

The focal range, which is both versatile and standard, has to be my favorite feature of this type of lens.

It is the only focal range that matches the human eye meaning that pictures will look almost the same as we see them. For additional information, feel free to read my blog on why you look bad in photos.

Anyway, in today’s article, I have rounded up what I think are the best 50mm lenses.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best From Fujifilm
Fujinon XF50mmF2 R WR
Fujinon XF50mmF2 R WR
10
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Best From Panasonic
Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm F1.4
Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm F1.4
8.6
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Best From Sony
Sony FE 50mm F1.8
Sony FE 50mm F1.8
8.5
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Best From Canon
Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM
Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM
8.8
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Best Nikon
Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S
Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S
8.6
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Top 5 Best 50mm Lenses

5. Fujinon XF50mmF2 R WR – Best From Fujifilm

Fujinon XF50mmF2 R WR

The first lens on the list is a 50mm lens that will please Fujifilm users. Yes, it is staring right at you Fujifilm X-T4 users.

I’ll be the first to confess that this lens does not look good and interesting on paper. A 50mm f2 lens?

However, that is only on paper; in practice, it is a splendid performer.

The WR lenses are made to be compact, fast, and long-lasting. This type of portable lens must also be simple to use and carry.

This lens not only works well ergonomically, but it also produces excellent pictures. At f2, details are razor-sharp, and they improve slightly until around f5.6.

This lens will serve you well in low-light shooting without a flash because Fuji emphasizes wide-open image quality in this lens.

It has no buttons on the lens barrel, so it isn’t complicated to use. Overall, if you’re a Fujifilm user, this is a fantastic lens to consider.

Key Specifications

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Lens Mount: FUJIFILM X
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Elements: 9
  • Groups: 7
  • Angle of view: 31.7°
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.28′ / 39 cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 0.15x
  • Maximum aperture: f/2
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Filter size: 46mm
  • Dimensions: 2.36 x 2.34 inches / 60 x 59.4 mm
  • Weight: 7.05 oz / 200 g

4. Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm F1.4 – Best From Panasonic

Panasonic LUMIX S PRO 50mm F1.4

Be it a Lumix Camera or even a Leica, this lens from Panasonic is here to furnish.

However, right off the bat, I will warn you of the big obstacle it has, that’s none other than its painful price.

Yes, the 50 mm is weighty, but that’s Panasonic’s way of letting us know it means business. Also, the photos it produces are vibrant and sharp. Even in low light, it focuses quickly. When shooting portraits with the SL 2 face detection, the eyes are in focus and clear.

Although the price and weight may discourage you, the optics are perfect. Sharp as a razor, no CA at all, and no breathing for video. At this price point, it’s just a terrific lens with no equivalent.

If you can bypass the price, there is no need for second thoughts.

Key Specifications

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Lens Mount: Leica L
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Elements: 13
  • Groups: 11
  • Angle of view: 47°
  • Diaphragm Blades: 11
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.44′ / 44 cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 0.15x
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Filter size: 77mm
  • Dimensions: 3.54 x 5.12 inches / 90 x 130 mm
  • Weight: Weight 2.1 lb / 955 g

3. Sony FE 50mm F1.8 – Best From Sony

Sony FE 50mm F1.8 1

If you are a proud owner of a Sony camera, let’s say for example the great Sony A7 III, then this lens is for you.

The price-to-performance ratio of this lens is just outstanding, which is surprising coming from Sony, a manufacturer that is known for its high prices.

There are no buttons or controls on the lens itself. It is made of plastic, however, this is not considered a drawback because plastic has a low weight and is very easy to transport.

A full-frame mirrorless camera with such a lens is essential.

When compared to some of his more expensive competitors, such as the Panasonic lens shown above, this one offers excellent value.

What I like about this lens is its autofocus and manual focus capabilities and also the great low-light performance.

But yeah, no doubt that I love its the price the most.

Key Specifications

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Lens Mount: Sony E
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Elements: 6
  • Groups: 5
  • Angle of view: 47°
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.48′ / 45 cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 0.14x
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Filter size: 49 mm
  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 2.34″ / 68.6 x 59.5 mm
  • Weight: 6.56 oz / 186 g
  • Auto & Manual Focus

2. Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM – Best From Canon

Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM

Second, on the list, is a prominent lens from Canon elbows through the crowd. It would be a joy to use this one on your Canon EOS R.

It checks pretty much every box you can think of, and it’s compact, light, and close-focusing.

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a sophisticated normal-length prime lens with a traditional, versatile field of view and a compact form factor that pays in portability.

This canon lens is great for every day, walkaround photography.

This 50mm f/1.8 lens is recognized for its brilliant design for photography in low light and a good depth of field.

The bokeh is lovely, and the overall image quality is sharp. The autofocus is a little noisy, but if you won’t be shooting anything that has to do with animals or things that are prone to noise, it won’t be an issue.

I’m not sure what else to say besides that at the price it comes with, it delivers. If you own a canon camera, then this is probably the best 50mm lens for it.

Key Specifications

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Lens Mount: Canon RF
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Elements:  6
  • Groups: 5
  • Angle of view: 46°
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Minimum focus distance:  11.8″ / 30 cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 0.25x
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Filter size: 43 mm
  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.6″ / 69 x 40 mm
  • Weight: 5.6 oz / 160 g

1. Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S – Best Nikon

Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8 S 1

If you own a Nikon Z6 and like fast lenses, your search is over; you’ve just found your “friend.”

I’d even go so far as to state that this is Nikon’s quickest 50mm offering in this price bracket.

Furthermore, this is a fantastic standard-length lens that is not just fast in terms of exposure but also in terms of focusing, ensuring that no action is lost.

The bokeh is fantastic while the camera’s anti-vibration feature, when combined with a high ISO and a somewhat slow shutter speed, allows for hand-held shots even in low light that would otherwise be impossible to capture.

This sharp lens is really well built and on the heavy side, but nothing offensive. You won’t have to lift heavyweights. It’s quite well-made and weighty, but nothing offensive. There’s also weather-sealing for those unexpected downpours, and the autofocus is extremely quiet, making animal photography much easier.

If you own a Nikon and are seeking a 50mm focal range, look no further since this “fella” pretty much fulfills all of the requirements to deliver superb image quality. Definitely the best 50mm lens for nikon cameras.

Key Specifications

  • Lens Type: Standard
  • Lens Mount: Nikon Z
  • Focal length: 50
  • Elements: 12
  • Groups: 9
  • Angle of view: 47°
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.31′ / 40 cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 0.15x
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Filter size: 62mm
  • Dimensions: 2.99 x 3.41 inches / 76 x 86.5 mm
  • Weight: 14.64 oz / 415 g

 

2 Important Things You Need To Consider When Buying a Lens

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens is the distance between the lens and the image sensor when the subject is in focus, which is commonly described in millimeters; Take, for example, the 50mm lens, which is the lens type we’re using in this scenario.

A lens’ focal length is either fixed or has a variety of ranges to choose from.

If the lens has a single focal length, it’s a prime lens, which limits our freedom but provides a far better image quality than its counterparts.

The type of lens that has a couple of focal ranges is referred to as a zoom lens; the latter offers more versatility but it is not as sharp as the prime one.

Aperture

The amount of light that passes through the camera sensor is controlled by the aperture of the lens.

You may reduce the amount of light by decreasing the aperture, and conversely, you can increase the amount of light by widening the aperture of your lens.

It’s measured in f/stops and you can easily spot it in the lens name, as you can do with focal length.

What Makes the 50mm a.k.a the Nifty-Fifty a Great Lens

There are a few reasons why the 50mm is favored among many photographers.

  • Great Low-Light Performer: Most of the lenses listed above have an aperture of 1.8, which is common for a 50mm lens. As previously stated, the f stop of 1.8 provides sufficient light, allowing you to shoot at quicker shutter speeds in low light.
  • Great at Capturing Fast Moving Subjects: Once again, the fast aperture of 1.8 or sometimes even faster at 1.4, allows you to capture subjects that are on the move, quickly and without blur.
  • Great With Bokeh Effect: The pleasing blurriness of the background in a picture is referred to as bokeh. At 50mm, you can get beautiful and aesthetic hazy backgrounds for a great artistic impact.
  • Great With Portrait Photography: Portraits are one area where I enjoy using the 50mm lens, as I indicated above It’s the closest mm we can come to the “focal range” of the human eye. The 50mm lenses are ideal for full-length and waist-level portraits, be it in a random location or in the studio.
  • Great With Street Photography: It’s also a wonderful lens for street photography because of its versatility. In the streets, you usually take photographs of strangers and a glimpse into their everyday lives, a standardized focal range can capture a wide range of angles and lengths.
  • Great With Night Photography: This pretty much goes without saying, due to its aperture being a good low-light performer, this lens is ideal for Night Photography. In Night photography the most important thing is the aperture and not the focal length.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a 50mm lens that comes from a different brand to my camera?

Prior to buying a lens, I would advise you to look if the lens you plan to use is compatible with your camera. While there are methods of changing the mounting system by using a mounting adapter, I wouldn’t recommend doing it.

Which lens is better 35mm or 50mm?

Both lenses have their advantages and disadvantages. However, 50mm exceeds on some fields like having a better bokeh effect and a shallower depth of field.

Are the 50mm lenses expensive?

This mostly depends on the brand of the lenses. 50mm lenses from known manufacturers tend to cost more than those from third-party brands. But in general, they come at a cost-effective price.

Final Words

If you were thinking about buying a 50mm but weren’t sure, now is the time you get rid of those doubts.

The 50mm lens earned the moniker “nifty fifty” for a reason. It’s one of the most adaptable lenses a photographer can have.

In my opinion, every photographer needs to own a lens of this type. You simply can’t go wrong with it; sooner or later, it will come into use.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read thus far, I strongly encourage you to do some further reading.

It’s fun to do photography during the winter with a 50mm lens, that’s why i also recommend you check out our article on the best gloves for photography.

If you intend to build a collection of prime lenses with varying focal lengths, I have some good news for you. I also covered several other blogs, which feature the focal lengths you’ll need to hone and satisfy your photography skills.

Although the 50mm lens length is decent for portraits, the 85mm focal length outperforms it in this category. So, if you’re a portrait photographer, don’t hesitate to check out some amazing 85mm lenses.

So you shoot landscapes every now and then? Nice one, we all love the beauty of mother nature. For that, I’ve included some excellent 35mm lenses that you should not overlook.

If you’re planning on getting personal and close to wildlife, that’s not a good idea. The same goes with sports, before you know the security will be right behind you. If you plan on practicing wildlife photography during the winter, i recommend you get a pair of winter photography gloves.

Don’t worry though, I have a solution for that, and that’s none other than getting a telephoto lens.

For you sport and wildlife photographers, I have rounded up a list of great 150-600mm lenses.

Until next time, enjoy.