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What is a 50MM lens good for?

what is a 50mm lens good for

Housed in a compact, lightweight body and delivering an angle of view of approximately 47 degrees on a full-frame camera, the 50mm lens is good for everyday photography. And thanks to its large, bright F1.8 aperture, the fifty is great for low-light photography and blurring your subject’s background to oblivion.

Best of all, the 50mm lens tends to be one of the cheapest lenses you can buy. Therefore, if you have not bought a 50mm lens yet, here are 4 reasons why you should. Jump to Conclusion

1. A 50mm Lens is Good for Everyday Photography

My Nikon 50mm F1.8 is my most used lens of all time for three reasons. First, it’s so light that it goes wherever my camera goes whilst my over lenses get left at home. And if I run out of room in my bag, I can stuff my fifty into my jacket pocket.

Second, despite its size, it produces amazing looking images. In-focus areas look pin-sharp with plenty of contrast whilst out-of-focus areas can be blurred away pleasingly and with ease.

Finally, thanks to its 47-degree angle-of-view, my fifty produces an image that is neither too narrow nor too wide but just right for the average shot. As a result, a fifty is an ideal lens for recording everyday memories such as going for a walk with the kids or exploring new surroundings.

2. A 50mm lens is good for Portraiture

Believe it or not, I have taken my $200, 50mm lens on professional shoots, and my clients were delighted with the results. And they should be.

Not only do 50mm lenses render your in-focus subject sharp, but thanks to the large F1.8 aperture, you can blur away your subject’s background.

As a result, you can create photos with a nice 3D-like aesthetic that makes your subject standard out. And thanks to the blur, you can melt away distracting background clutter such as litter bins and signposts.

And finally, the 50mm’s 47-degree angle-of-view is very flattering of people’s features. In contrast, wide-angle lenses such as those on smartphones tend to enlarge noses, shrink eyes, and add weight. Read about Focal Length

3. Low-light photography

The 50mm’s large F1.8 aperture is ideal if you shoot in low ambient light or using fast, dim shutter speeds to capture fast action.

In fact, a fifty set to F1.8 captures 8 times more light than the average F3.5-5.6 kit lens set to 50mm. Read about Aperture

4. A 50mm lens is good for Travel

My Nikon 50mm weighs 185 grams and is small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. Therefore, if I must spend a whole day hauling a camera up a mountain or around a new city, I’ll take the 50.

Alternatively, the 50mm is a great companion for travel orientated superzooms. Whilst superzooms are incredibly versatile, they’re large, not as sharp, and cannot blur backgrounds as well. Read about the Best Travel Lenses for Nikon Cameras

Finding the best Fifty for your Camera

Almost every camera system has an equivalent of a 50mm lens. But because some cameras have smaller sensors, you may need to use a lens with a shorter focal length to get near that practical 47-degree angle of view.

For instance, put a fifty on a Nikon D3500, and your angle-of-view narrows to 31-degrees. As a result, your field-of-view becomes too narrow, or zoomed-in, for everyday photography.

Therefore, the best option for cameras such as a Nikon D3500 is a 35mm, such as the Nikon AF-S DX 35mm F1.8G. And if you shoot with an Olympus or Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera, you will want a 25mm lens.

If you want to find out which 50mm is good for your camera, check out the best affordable 50mm lenses.


Everyone should have the equivelent of a small, affordable 50mm lens. Not only is a 50mm lens good for everyday photography but they are excellent for portraiture. And thanks to their compact dimensions and light weight build, a 50mm lens makes a fine travel companion.

But despite being cheap, the affordable 50mm lens delivers amazing image quality. And due to its large F1.8 aperture, a 50mm is good for low light as well as melting those backgrounds.

If you have yet to pick up a 50mm equivalent for your camera, you may find this lens listing useful. For my part, I have owned a 50mm lens for every camera I have ever owned because, in terms of value and convenience, they are unbeatable.

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