What Is 50mm Lens Best For?

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When it comes to owning a high-quality lens for wildlife and sports photography, the 50mm prime lens can deliver clear and sharp images. 

Numerous zoom lenses can cover this focal length, but a prime lens with a fixed focal length of 50mm gives a more accurate focus on your subject. 

What Is 50mm Lens Best For?

The 50mm lenses are used for portrait, sports, and wildlife photography. It is the desired focal length for such genres because it emphasizes the subject while giving the background a beautiful and artistic blur. 

The 50mm lenses are also known to have a wide aperture, so they are ideal for taking pictures and filming videos in low light conditions. 

Handing holding a 50mm camera lens

Best 50mm Lenses 

Most 50mm lenses are small and light. Despite having a fixed focal length, it still gives you options on what you can take pictures of.  

The best 50mm lenses allow you to get close enough to the subject while forcing you to move and practice your best angles. If you wish to reach the perfect angle, you can always use an articulating arm for your shoots.

  • Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 has a Super Spectra Coating technology to prevent ghosting, flare, and chromatic aberration. This lens has better image quality than its predecessor, the EF 50mm f/1.8. 

The lens has an STM focusing motor that remains quiet throughout the photoshoot, and its wide aperture enables a lot of control over the depth of field for creamy bokeh. 

  • Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 includes 2 Extra-Low Dispersion elements and 2 Aspherical elements to remove ghosting, flares, unwanted blurs, and chromatic aberration. It also has Nano Crystal Coating for easy cleaning. 

The wide aperture helps its autofocus system, and it captures sharp images quickly, perfect for your Canon T3I. Since it is weather-sealed, it is ideal for outdoor use. 

  • Sony FE 50mm F1.8

The Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 is portable and light, which is excellent for travelling. Its 7-blade circular aperture allows for a beautiful bokeh that lets the subject stand out. 

Inside the lens, a Defocus Control or DC motor drive helps the lens focus accurately and quickly. Combined with the fast and wide aperture of f/1.8, it performs really well in low light, you might not even need a camera flash.

  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is a well-built prime lens that is made of composite material. Regardless of the temperature that it is exposed to, the dimensions of the lens do not diminish. 

The lens consists of 13 special glass elements, including three Low Dispersion elements, to ensure clear and crisp images no matter what the lighting condition or the angle is. You might not even need to use a camera flash with this type of lens.

  • Yongnuo YN50 f/1.8

Yongnuo YN 50mm f/1.8 is a fast lens that produces a beautiful background blur and keeps the subject clear and sharp in the images. 

The lens has a fast autofocus motor so that you can capture every fleeting moment, and its wide aperture is great in low light conditions. 

A camera with a Canon 50mm lens

Prime Lens vs. Zoom Lens

Prime lenses have numerous benefits compared to their zoom counterparts. The most notable benefit of a prime lens is a wide aperture. It can maximize the amount of light in the surroundings. 

The aperture of prime lenses, like the 50mm, ranges between f/1.0 to f/1.8, while the aperture of zoom lenses are between f/2.0 to f/6. Since the aperture of zoom lenses are too narrow, they can only be used in well-lit areas. 

Types of Prime Lenses

Prime lenses are divided into two types; they are mid-length and wide primes. Each type has its own functionality that suits a specific need. 

Mid-Length Lens

The 50mm lens is considered a mid-length prime lens that can interpret a scene in the same way that your eye perceives it. 

The lens is ideal for environmental photography, street photography, and editorial work since it shows minimal distortion, especially at the edges of the frame. 

Wide Prime Lens

Wide prime lenses are great for tight spaces or large crowds. Although distortion is visible, especially towards the outer corners, it can still keep the center of the image sharp and clear. 

Related Questions

Can You Use Filters on Your 50mm Lens?

You can attach filters to your 50mm prime lens. However, using a filter, you will need to check if it will fit your camera lens

Filters come in different sizes, and even though the 50mm lens is compatible, you still need to make sure that it fits. The size of the filter that is compatible with your 50mm lens is written on the hood. 

What is the Ideal Distance When Using a 50mm Lens?

You will need to be at least 1.5 feet away from the subject when capturing images using your 50mm lens to ensure that everything fits in the frame. 

Also, observing the correct distance minimizes the chances of distortion and unwanted blurs on your photos.


When choosing a 50mm, it is important to consider the genre of photography that you want to focus on. 

Keep in mind that it only has one focal length, and although it does not let you zoom in and out, a prime lens like 50mm allows you to think outside of the box to shoot the best images possible. 

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.