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Best 50mm Lens: Ultimate Buying Guide

Best 50mm Lens: Ultimate Buying Guide

If you rummage through the camera kit of any photographer who has been around for a while, chances are you will find at least one 50mm lens. It might even be attached to the camera body the photographer uses the most.

Though many of us are enamored of our zoom lenses, prime lenses lead to sharper images without lens distortion because they don’t have the extra glass needed in zoom lenses.

Regardless of whether you prefer zoom or prime, every photographer should own a 50mm lens, and we’re going to help you decide on the best 50mm lens to purchase for your camera.


What Is a 50mm Lens?

The reason this particular focal length is so appealing is that it provides an image that is similar to the perspective seen with the human eye. When you use a lens of this size, it produces images that are close to what a person would see when looking at the same scene.

This gives the shot a familiar feel and a realistic view of the world. As a bonus, a 50mm lens often comes with a wide maximum aperture. This gives the photographer the opportunity to capture a shallow depth of field, blurring the background and placing the subject in sharp focus. This wide aperture also allows for shooting in lower light situations than most zoom lenses are capable of.

So, what are the features you should look for in the best 50mm lens for your camera?


What To Look For In A 50mm Lens

Your 50mm lens will likely become one of your favorites. These lenses are more versatile than they may seem at first glance. Their ability to handle low-light situations and their fast performance make them ideal for numerous conditions. They also have the ability to create amazing bokeh. To get the most from this lens, you want to choose one that offers the features that allow you to capture professional level images.

One of the first things to understand before you purchase a lens is that the benefits of the 50mm lens are maximised with full-frame cameras. If you are shooting with an APS-C camera, or one with an alternative sensor size, you will need to do some conversions to find the lens size that gives you the equivalent of a 50mm perspective.

As you shop for your 50mm lens, here are some things to look for:

  • Aperture capabilities: If you want the option to manually adjust the aperture on the lens, look for one with an aperture ring.
  • Aperture range: The best 50mm lenses have a maximum aperture of f1.4 and a minimum of f16, giving you the most flexibility in depth of field.
  • Focusing capabilities: Manual focus gives you great creative control, but if you want the option to use autofocus, make sure the lens you choose provides it.
  • Focusing distance: The minimum focusing distance is what you need to know. Make sure the lens you choose is up to the type of shooting you tend to do. If you like to get close to your subjects, select one with a lower minimum focusing distance.
  • Optical quality: Selecting a lens with high-quality optical performance is key to getting the most from your 50mm. These lenses give you the sharpest resolution and the ability to create natural bokeh.

So What Are the Best 50mm Lenses?

There are numerous 50mm lenses on the market. With all the choices out there, it can be difficult to determine which is the best.

For overall performance and quality, the Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens ticks off all the boxes for what makes the best 50mm lens. This lens is available for Sigma, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Panasonic and Sony camera bodies.


Best 50mm Lens for Nikon Cameras

If you own a Nikon and you’re looking for high quality, high resolution image production, the Tokina Opera 50mm f1.4 FF Lens is your best bet. This lens is durable and can withstand the elements when shooting outdoors.

It offers an autofocus option. Its minimum focusing distance is 40 cm, and the Nikon-specific electronic diaphragm gives you more precision in aperture control.


Best 50mm Lens for Canon Cameras

The Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 ZE Lens is the leader of the pack for Canon cameras. This lens is for the pro who seeks a top performer. It offers an aperture range of f1.4-f16.The precise manual focus gives you a great level of control and is especially useful for videographers and film makers.

You don’t have to be afraid to move in on your subject with a minimum focusing distance of 45 cm. The high-quality optics produce crystal clear, high resolution images in a wide range of lighting conditions.


Best 50mm Lens for Leica/Panasonic/Sigma Cameras

The Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens is now available with the L-mount, making the lens compatible with Leica, Panasonic and Sigma Mirrorless cameras. The minimum focusing distance is 40cm.

The lens comes with an aperture ring with a range of f1.4-f16, allowing for more flexibility in depth of field. The optics are superb, giving you high resolution along with fantastic bokeh. When paired with Leica technology, this lens really delivers.

Best 50mm Lens for Pentax Cameras

Pentax owners who are looking for the best 50mm lens for their camera should look to the Pentax D FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW Lens for its overall performance.

Special coatings on the lens elements reduce the flare and ghosting that can occur in harsh light conditions. The lens provides a fast and quiet autofocus option. You’ll get superior images and smooth bokeh with this lens.


If you are ready to purchase a high-quality 50mm camera lens that is both affordable and functional, look no further than C.R. Kennedy.

C.R. Kennedy is one of Australia’s leading distributors of cameras and photographic equipment. We offer a wide range of Lenses along with Mirrorless, Full Frame, and Action Cameras.

If you need more information on lenses and cameras in general, check out more articles on the C.R. Kennedy blog.