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This post was most recently updated on January 8th, 2023

A 50mm prime lens (also known as a fixed focal length lens) is a vital piece of equipment for anyone just starting in photography. It’s affordable, versatile, and ideal for taking a wide variety of different types of photographs.

A fixed 50mm lens cannot be zoomed in or out and is very small. But that does not mean that it is a bad choice in the lens you use for your projects.

If you own a 50mm fixed lens, most likely you will not be unable to capture landscapes with the same angle as an 18mm lens, as you cannot zoom. However, this means that the results of your photograph will be unique. The biggest advantage of a 50mm lens is that, on average, they are of greater quality than typical zoom lenses at a similar price.

This is because zoom lenses are constructed more intricately, which means they include more components. According to light theory, the more objects or filters through which light passes, the worse the quality of the resulting image.

If you’re thinking about trying a 50mm lens but aren’t convinced, then check out the many advantages that this type of lens can give both you and your photography.

It Can Be Used For Portraits

Lenses with a focal length of 50mm are ideal for creating outstanding portraits. Each lens is unique and offers distinct benefits, but a 50mm lens excels at taking pictures of focused images inside the lens’s focal point.

This makes it the winner in two categories: low-light photography and photography that requires exact focus (such as portraiture!).

Because this lens focuses on a single point, photographs taken with 50mm lenses generally have blurred backgrounds. If you’re into this kind of photography, 50mm is the lens for you!

A 50mm lens typically has an aperture of f / 1.8. Due to the possibility of using a rapid shutter speed with a large aperture, the lens is classified as a fast lens.

Low Cost

For the vast majority of us, the primary factor to consider when buying photographic equipment is our budget. A lot of time, no matter what you are buying, you can expect to drop a hundred or more dollars on the item.

Fortunately, there are various cheap 50mm lenses on the market. A 50mm f/1.8 lens is an excellent starting point.

These are available for practically every camera manufacturer, including Nikon and Canon, and you can save more money by purchasing used items.

While we’re on the subject of used purchases, you may also discover reasonably priced higher-end 50mm lenses, such as a 50mm f/1.4 or a 50mm f/1.2. Though this may take more shopping around to find the best price, they are among the best 50mm lenses available because of their large apertures.

This allows you to get the most out of your investment and add a high-quality lens to your camera bag without blowing your budget.

Gives Sharp Imagery

Prime lenses, like the 50mm, contain fewer internal components than zoom lenses. This means that they can capture images that are more sharp and clear because there are fewer components inside the lens.

When comparing a 50mm lens image to one captured with a kit zoom lens, you’ll notice a substantial difference in clarity.

For example, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART lens is one of the sharpest lenses available at the moment.

You may think that to make the most out of this advantage that you would have to buy a high-end 50mm lens, but that is not the case. Even entry-level 50mm lenses like the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II provide exceptional clarity.

Additionally, 50mm lenses usually offer greater color reproduction and less chromatic aberration than kit lenses, resulting in images that are not only sharper but also more accurate in their colors.

They Are Small

They Are Small

While the kit lens that came with your camera is not particularly huge, many 50mm lenses are far smaller.

This compactness can be handy in circumstances where a large lens would be impossible. Street photography is a wonderful application for a 50mm lens since it allows for greater maneuverability in crowded situations.

Numerous 50mm lenses are incredibly lightweight, particularly those with an f/1.8 aperture.

Although the faster 50mm lenses, such as the f/1.2 and f/1.4, are heavier due to their construction, they remain relatively compact and allow for smooth camera movement.

Work On Both Crop Sensor And Full Frame Cameras

Many 50mm lenses are usable with both crop sensors and full-frame cameras.

For example, if you started with a Canon T3i and later upgraded to a Canon EOS 6D you won’t have to splash out on a brand new lens. This is very helpful if you are doing photography on a budget.

Additionally, many camera manufacturers continue to use the same lens mount when designing new cameras, which means that if you’re a Canon shooter and purchase a lens in 2017, there’s a good chance the lens will work with any future Canon cameras.

Nikon, Sony, and other camera manufacturers often follow the same trend.

Perfect For Low Light Photography

If you’re serious about developing your photographic abilities, a 50mm lens can help you to do this because of its excellent low-light performance.

50mm lenses with maximum apertures of f/2 or more have the potential to catch a great deal of light. With so much light entering the lens, you may photograph without using the flash in low light.

Because flash light is sometimes harsh and bright, the fact that a 50mm lens seldom requires a flash helps you to create more natural-looking photographs.


A 50mm prime lens is a straightforward, versatile lens that excels in a wide variety of shooting scenarios. Consider upgrading to a 200mm or 300mm lens, or perhaps a fixed wide-angle lens, once you’ve mastered the 50mm lens. Utilizing a fixed focal length lens has several advantages and may considerably assist you in developing your photographic talents. It is an essential piece of kit that any photographer should own.