Is 35mm Wider Than 50mm?

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The 50mm and 35mm are prime lenses that are common for photographers to have in their gear bag. If you are trying to decide which to purchase or which is more practical to bring to a shoot, something to consider is how wide each lens is in terms of its field of view and what it can include within the frame. Is the 30mm wider than the 50mm, or is it the other way around?

Is 35mm Wider Than 50mm?

The field of view of a 35mm lens is wider than a 50mm lens by 14.8 degrees. A 35mm lens has a field of view if 54.4 degrees horizontally, whereas the 50mm lens is only 39.6 degrees.

Because of its wide view, the 35mm is more versatile and captures more of the scene compared to the 50mm lens. Here are some of the advantages that the 35mm lens has because of its wider field of view.

Three camera lenses on display

Get More in Focus

When comparing the 35mm and 50mm lenses side by side, you will find that 35mm lenses tend to have more benefits than the 50mm lenses because of their wider field of view.  The wider field of view offers a larger depth of field, meaning that you can get more in focus and produce a sharper image.

If you’re looking for an everyday lens, the 35mm is a better one to go with because of how wide it is and its bigger depth of field. Candid moments are typically easier to capture with this lens because those moments generally happen quickly, and the sharpness of the 35mm lens really helps.

Is More Versatile

Because of is wide field of view, the 35mm lens can be seen as more versatile than the 50mm lens. The 35mm is wide enough to capture landscape photos, shoot most of a wedding on, take real estate photos, and do most portrait sessions with. It’s also a great lens to use while traveling because you can capture more of your surroundings within the frame.

While the 50mm lens is arguably a better portrait lens due to there being less distortion, you don’t capture as wide of a view. While 50mm lens are good for night photography, this can make certain scenes feel tight and cramped.

Tells the Entire Story

If you want images that capture the subject and the surrounding environment and helps you tell the entire story, then you should capitalize on the wider view of the 35mm lens. Shooting using a 35mm lens will open doors that allow your images to tell the whole story.

The images will give all context from the who, when, where, what, and even the why. You will be able to control the story based on what you can include in the frame. This is unlike the 50mm lens that will mainly focus on the subject and not the environment around them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the 35mm and the 50mm Lenses Perfect For Portraits?

Both the 35mm and 50mm are great lenses for portraiture. With their differences, the 50mm lens will result in less distortion and more closely capture what you see with your eyes. The 35mm lens has a field of view that is wider and will capture more of the subject and the surrounding environment.

Top view of a camera lens

Why Is the 35mm Lens so Popular?

35mm lenses are quite popular in the photography field because this focal length is highly versatile and can be used to shoot various types of photography. With the 35mm lens, you will be giving viewers a vantage point that is similar to what they would see if they were on the scene.

Must You Have Both a 35mm and 50mm Lens?

Every lens has its benefits and this applies to the 35mm and 50mm lenses. However, photographers do not need both the 35mm and 50mm lenses in their camera gear bags, along with your camera flash, gimbal accessories and external flash. If you only have the budget for one of these lenses, it’s recommended to go with the 35mm because of its versatility.


If you are shopping for a new lens, then a 35mm focal length is what your camera bag needs. All the major camera manufacturers like Sony, Cannon, Fujifilm, and Nikon, have a 35mm focal length option. With the 35mm lens’ wide view, you are assured of more versatility, capture more scenery, and tell a complete story with your images.

Kaitlin Cooper is an active professional wedding and portrait photographer in San Diego, California at Kaitlin Cooper Photography. She is also a contributor to many large publications, including Bridal GuideBustlePixpaWith Joy, and Hello Giggles.