Without having among the best 50mm lenses in your camera bag, you can’t really say your kit is complete. With a focal length pretty much equivalent to what the human eye can see, they capture a naturalistic medium perspective that’s great for all sorts of photography.
While you can happily spend four figures on a 50mm prime lens, some can be picked up for as little as a couple of hundred pounds or dollars. There are differences of course, with the pricier optics often featuring faster maximum apertures of between f/1.2 to f/1.4, as well as razor-sharp image quality and beautiful bokeh. Don’t discount a more affordable alternative though, as some of the best 50mm lenses fall into the cheaper price bracket. This is because they offer a great blend of value, portability, and versatility.
With such a choice available, we’ve put this guide together to help you choose the perfect 50mm lens for you. We’ve included a range of specific lenses for each lens mount, and have also included a selection of third-party lenses that are available for multiple systems. Use the navigation bar at the side of the page to navigate to the appropriate section for your camera.
One thing that’s worth being conscious of is a 50mm lens will not always produce the field of view of a 50mm lens, according to the sensor sizing of the camera you’re using. On an APS-C body, like a Fujifilm X digital camera, the same zoom lens will have a highly effective focal amount of 75mm (80mm for Canon), rendering it an improved fit for portraiture.
Shrink down to the Micro Four Thirds digital camera, and a 50mm lens could have a good 100mm effective focal length, more desirable for really limited portraits and brief telephoto shooting.
Knowing that the MFT zoom lens we’ve included is a bit significantly less than 50mm: its 42.5mm focal length compatible with 85mm inside full-frame terms. Many respect that as spot-on for portraiture.
Whichever camp you’re in, a ‘nifty fifty’ may function as the only prime zoom lens you ever purchase, so it pays to obtain a good one. However, nobody likes spending on the odds. Therefore let’s check out the very best 50mm lenses available at this time.