Inexpensive but high-quality 50mm lenses for portraits.
If you are looking for a universal lens with a medium perspective for regular shooting, we recommend you choose a 50mm lens. It will be wide enough and long enough, giving you an opportunity to take realistic pictures of nearly everything.
The focal length of the 50mm camera lens is fixed, which makes it quick, sharp, and not too heavy. This type of lens is very popular among photographers, so you will find a lot of options in different price categories on the market. We have prepared a brief review of the best 50mm lens offers to show you the advantages and disadvantages of existing models and help you make a choice.
Mount: Nikon F | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.45 m | Max magnification: 0.15x | Filter thread: 58 mm | Dimensions (WxL): 72.1x52.4 mm | Weight: 185 g
⊕ Portraits with bokeh effect
⊕ Great definition
⊕ Universal lens
⊖ Lack of aperture ring and VR
The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is a good 50mm prime lens, which is compatible with FX and DX cameras. You may use it on a wide range of full-frame FX cameras, for example, Nikon D600, D3s, D800, D750, or Nikon D3300, D90, D5200, and many other models. It has a compact design, so you can take it with you everywhere. This 50mm 1.8 lens has quick and quiet autofocus, which is provided by the SWM motor.
The lens will be ideal for the photographers, looking for a device for everyday use, and those, who want to make awesome portraits with bokeh effect. Besides, the price is quite low.
Mount: Canon EF | Diaphragm blades: 8 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.45 m | Max magnification: 0.15x | Filter thread: 58 mm | Dimensions (WxL): 73.8x50.5 mm | Weight: 290 g
⊕ Quality shots in low light
⊕ Compact design
⊕ Super Spectra coating
⊕ Quick and silent autofocus
⊖ AF is sluggish
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 is a universal 50mm camera lens with a bright f/1.4 aperture, which ensures great shots in low light. The ghosting and glare is minimal thanks to the Super Spectra coating, which guarantees perfect contrast and color even in harsh light.
This 50mm 1.4 lens is unique, as it is equipped with the EF system and the Micro Ultra Sonic Motor (USM), though offering a possibility of fully manual focusing.
Mount: Sony E | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.45 m | Max magnification: 0.14x | Filter thread: 49 mm | Dimensions (WxL): 68.6x59.5 mm | Weight: 186 g
⊕ Good photo quality
⊕ Compact size
⊕ Quick Aperture
⊖ No weather protection
⊖ Autofocus is not fast in poor light
The Sony 50mm f/1.8 is a compact 50mm prime lens. It has a big lens hood and a large focusing ring. The lens is fully compatible with Sony’s E-mount APS-C cameras, for example, the Alpha 6300. On this camera, the lens delivers a 75mm viewing angle, which is the most popular for shooting portraits. This 50mm 1.8 lens by Sony has a nice color output, great sharpness, minimized chromatic aberration, and a bokeh effect. The price on this lens is quite moderate, so we consider it a good value for the money.
Mount: Canon RF | Diaphragm blades: 10 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.4 m | Max magnification: 0.19x | Filter thread: 77 mm | Dimensions (WxL): 89.8x108 mm | Weight: 950 g
⊕ High-quality photos
⊕ Amazing portraits
⊕ Great build quality
⊖ Lacks optical stabilization
⊖ High price
The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is not a cheap 50mm lens. This professional prime lens requires a serious investment. It is rather bulky and heavy, so you probably won’t take it with you everywhere. It wasn’t created for everyday use; this lens is a tool for professional photographers.
The Canon RF 50mm is securely protected from drops, so you can use it even in harsh shooting conditions. Many photographers admire that there is an AF/MF switch to control the focus on the barrel.
If you are a professional and your budget is not strictly limited, this lens looks like a great choice.
Mount: Nikon F | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.45 m | Max magnification: x | Filter thread: 58 mm | Dimensions (WxL): 73.5x54.2 mm | Weight: 280 g
⊕ High quality of optics
⊕ Amazing pictures
⊕ Small weight
⊕ Great build quality
⊖ Slow AF
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G is a universal 50mm prime lens, which will serve you in a great variety of situations. You will be surprised with the highest resolution in the central part of the picture and perfect sharpness at the edges even at f/1.4. The build quality of this sophisticated product by Nikon will satisfy even the most demanding user.
The lens has a silent wave focusing motor. Though the speed of focusing is not as fast as with the older screw-driven version. The greatest advantage of this 50mm lens is an extremely precise focus, even at the wide f/1.4 aperture.
Mount: Micro Four Thirds | Diaphragm blades: 10 | Autofocus: No | Min focus distance: 0.85 m | Max magnification: 1.33x | Filter thread: 67 mm | Dimensions (WxL): mm | Weight: 560 g
⊕ Reliable quality, exceptional optics
⊕ 10 aperture blades
⊕ Aluminum body
⊖ Manual focus
The Sirui 50mm f1.8 1.33x Anamorphic lens attracts a lot of photographers, because of its rather cost-effective nature. For only $700, which is less than the price of other good anamorphic lenses, you can get a wonderful 50mm lens to record movies, using interchangeable lens camera systems.
The unique feature of the anamorphic lens is a highlighted oval bokeh effect, which is possible thanks to 10 aperture blades.
This lens is compatible with Sony E cameras, Fujifilm X, and Micro Four Thirds models, as it is perfect for APS-C and Super 35mm sensor sizes.
Mount: Nikon F | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.4 m | Max magnification: 0.18x | Filter thread: 77 mm | Dimensions (WxL): 85.34x99.82 mm | Weight: 815 g
⊕ Quick and silent focus
⊕ Portable and lightweight
⊕ Durable construction
⊕ Super Multi-Layer Coating
⊖ Poor performance at edges
Sigma 50mm f1.4 is considered to be the best 50mm lens by many photographers, who regularly take landscape and portrait photos, still lives, and studio shots. To feel its hidden potential, mount in on full-frame cameras.
The Super Multi-Layer Coating is a special feature of this lens. The coating reduces glare and other undesirable effects. The lens focuses quickly and silently thanks to the HSM motor (Hyper Sonic Motor, similar to Nikon SWM).
The portable design, small weight, and durable body make the lens very attractive for many professional photographers. The performance is perfect too: on the closed aperture, you get an amazingly sharp picture, and on the open aperture, you can make nice portrait photos.
Mount: Canon EF | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Yes | Min focus distance: 0.35 m | Max magnification: 0.21x | Filter thread: 49 mm | Dimensions (WxL): 69.2x39.2 mm | Weight: 160 g
⊕ Great performance in low light
⊕ Accurate focusing
⊕ Wonderful portraits
⊕ Metal mount
⊖ Focus is not fast enough
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 is a 50mm prime lens designed for daily use. Shoot in tough lighting conditions with its bright f/1.8 aperture, and have full control over the depth of field. You will be fully satisfied with the sharpness, though the autofocus motor may seem a bit slow.
As for a cheap 50mm lens, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 delivers very good build quality, looking solid and durable enough. The lens is a good choice for portrait and street photography, even in bad light conditions.
Nikon 50mm f/1.8GOur choice
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4Universal
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Sony 50mm F1.8E-mount
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When shopping for the best 50mm lens, keep in mind the following features.
First, you should realize how and where you’ll use the lens. Are you a street photographer or you are going to shoot portraits? The type of lens depends on what you are going to use it for. For instance, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is for professional use, so you won’t be able to carry it around because of its weight.
Don’t forget, that different cameras have different mounts.
Even if your budget is limited, there is a wide choice of great models from $100 to $2000. This is not the only important factor, but it may be crucial.