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This post was most recently updated on November 13th, 2022

Are you looking for a new lens to take portraits and are wondering about a 50mm lens? Perhaps you have heard that this is the best lens for portraits and want to know why?

Or maybe you are curious and want to know more about lenses for portraits? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

We know how challenging it can be to find the right lens, especially when it comes to portraits.

With so many different ones out there, it can be hard to find the perfect one that will work time after time for you. And with so many expert opinions out there, it can be hard to know who to trust too.

Often, websites and experts will tell you what lens to use without actually explaining why. It leaves us unsure about the recommendations and whether we should trust them or not. 

Why A 50mm Lens Is the Perfect Portrait Lens

Sure we are told a 50mm lens is the best for portraits, but why? 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out why a 50mm lens is the perfect portrait lens and everything else you need to know about the lens. Get ready to become an expert in the 50mm lens today!

What Is A 50mm Lens?

Before we jump on in, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it. A 50mm lens, or a fixed focal length lens, is an affordable and versatile lens that many experts say everyone should have.

The number relates to the focal length to have a length of 50mm with this lens. This offers you a larger view and is often used for wider shots, like full-body portraits. 

A 50mm lens gives a similar field of vision to our own eyes, allowing you to shoot what you see. These lenses offer high-quality photos, similar to the quality that we see with expensive and professional-grade lenses.

You get a sharper and high-contrast image with a 50mm lens that is sure to elevate your photography! 

These lenses are also small, lightweight, and perfect for transporting! Taking a 50mm lens with you means you have a compact setup allowing you to travel with ease.

They are also wonderful lenses for street photography and can be popped into most bags without taking up too much space. 

Thanks to its low price point and versatility, a 50mm lens is one of the most popular lenses. Most lens packs will offer a 50mm lens, and it’s recommended to many beginners, thanks to how many uses it has.

Now that we have covered what a 50mm lens is, let’s see why it’s considered the perfect lens for portraits! 

Why A 50mm Lens Is The Perfect Portrait Lens

As we mentioned earlier, a 50mm lens allows you to shoot what’s in your field of vision. When it comes to portraits, this is perfect!

A 50mm lens will allow you to take a photograph of the full body in front of you as you see it. If you shoot full-body photographs, then this is a lens you will not want to be without! A 50mm lens is also fantastic for waist-level portraits too!

You won’t worry that the photograph will turn out differently from what you expected; instead, you can easily trust your eye and take the picture. 

So why are they so good? Well, a 50mm lens offers a wide field of view, meaning you don’t only get the subject of your portrait in the shot, but the background too! It’s ideal for those shooting on location and not just in a studio.

For example, if there is a glorious field behind your subject or a mountain, you can use the wider 50mm lens to capture the person and the scenery behind them with minimal effort!

Consider the perfect half-body portrait with a beach or sunset behind them; chances are this was done with a 50mm lens! 

Why A 50mm Lens Is the Perfect Portrait Lens

50mm lenses also come with a fast maximum aperture. Even the most basic lenses usually feature an F1.8, a wide aperture, making them perfect for low-light photography. So if you plan to do low light portraits or shoot portraits indoors, you will want a 50mm lens!

These lenses allow more light into the camera’s sensor and can help to increase the brightness of your images. 

50mm lenses can let up to five times more light into the camera’s sensor than other zoom lenses! So what does that mean for you?

It means you can enjoy faster shutter speeds and lower ISOs to take your picture quickly. You can freeze motion and eliminate camera shake for the perfect shot that looks wonderful time after time. 

Not only that, but the combination of high speed and wide aperture means you can enjoy a shallow depth of field. A shallow depth means you can blur out backgrounds if you wish, focusing all the attention on your subject.

Just as these wide apertures mean you can see the background behind your subject, you can also blur it and focus where you want it most. 

You can even create the out-of-focus highlights, known as bokeh, that are incredibly popular these days.

If you want to give your photographs a more contemporary look, then this is a technique worth exploring in more detail. If you aren’t too sure, there are plenty of tutorials online that can walk you through this technique and examples to help you on your way. 

Now, using bokeh might not be ideal for everyone’s photography style, but we recommend giving it a try and seeing what results occur; we bet you will be surprised with how they turn out!

It’s not to everyone’s tastes and might not be ideal for headshots or all portraits, but if you are looking for a more creative approach to your portraits, why not give it a go? 

Combining this technique with your shallow depth of field can often create professional-looking photographs without the need for expensive equipment or extensive editing once the photograph has been taken. 

Is There A Better Lens Than 50mm For Portraits?

While the consensus is that 50mm is the best lens for portraits, we have seen why some experts argue that an 85mm lens is better. So which do you choose?

Well, if you wish to keep your subject in the distance, then an 85mm lens will be the better choice.

It’s also worth opting for an 85mm lens if you want to have a shallower depth of field and increased background blur. 

When choosing the right lens, it’s worth considering your preferences and how you take your photographs. If the features mentioned above appeal to you, then you will want an 85mm lens.

However, most people are fine with the 50mm. If your budget allows, you could even purchase the two sizes and experiment to see what is best for you!

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it; a 50mm lens is ideal for portrait photography as it allows you to get your full field of vision in the lens and take wonderful full or half body shots.

The wide aperture ensures that your images are full of light and that you can adjust the background if you wish, focusing on what you want.

These versatile lenses are perfect for portraits and other shots, so why not start using one today?