10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

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If there is a lens that a photographer tells you when you first enlarge it, this is no doubt 50mm. This known lens is popular for very good reasons. It is cheap, bright and has an excellent optical quality. It also teaches us more than a lesson on photography.

In this article, we’ll explore all the possibilities that a 50mm lens offers, which tips will help us get more potential, and we’ll see some examples that inspire us.

The Wonderful World of Fixed Focal Points

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens
photo by Richard Yuan (CC license)

Of the benefits that a fixed focus has already discussed with you in this article. When you buy your first camera, you’re looking for comfort to have it all in, so you do not need anything else. For this reason, your first lens is probably the lens included in the kit (the famous 18-55mm). or that you have purchased an SUV to rescue all sorts of situations.

However, a fixed focus can provide you with many benefits in terms of this type of lens, taking into account the purpose for which we use it. Let’s focus on one of the lenses that belong to this group, many of which are defined as the star of the fixed focal length: 50 mm.

Why a 50 mm?

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

The 50mm lens is already a classic and one of the most popular fixed lenses, in part because the lens comes closest to the field of view of the human eye (so you’ve ever heard it’s a normal lens). as far as the focal length is concerned).

This lens is one of those you will find better value for money, but not only because it has been so successful among photographers and has become a significant addition to your team. Let’s see the reasons for its popularity in detail.

1. It’s Cheap

Being a simpler lens than a zoom lens, fewer elements are required inside, and this inevitably affects the lower cost of manufacture. Probably, every camera model you look for is one of the cheapest lenses you’ll find, 50mm.

I mean of course the cheapest model, which is usually 1.8 mm. If you want to go one step further, you can increase the scale at which the quality of the material used to make the lens, the wider the aperture, and the faster the autofocus, will increase prices.

2. It is Small, Lightweight and Discreet

Another point in favor of 50 mm is that it is quite small and compact, which makes it a lightweight lens that we do not mind if you always carry it in your backpack. Even if you already have a zoom lens that covers the same distance, take it with you because the results will be very different.

If you want to pursue a good goal, but the camera is more discreet because the situation you are presenting requires, as in street photography, 50mm is the ideal lens.

3. It’s Very Luminous

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens
photo by Tobi Firestone (CC license)

This is one of the most powerful arguments for which you want to achieve this goal. If you have checked the maximum opening of your kit lens or SUV, most will open no more than af / 5.6 when they reach 50mm in the focus area while we are working with this tight seal, at least we are already able to af / 1.8 enjoy.

What are the implications? Well, the main thing is that the lack of light will not be so scary now, and you can take well-exposed shots without having to raise the ISO too much (and the resulting noise) or freeze the shutter to freeze on your subjects , This is enormously useful, for example, for indoor photography.

4. It has a Great Optical Quality

The 50 mm from an optical design point of view is much simpler than any focal zoom, and that is not to the detriment of quality but quite the opposite, the optical performance of 50 mm is far above most of the focal variables

A 50 mm has fewer elements in the lens and allows to achieve greater clarity  thanks to the diaphragm apertures with which it allows to work.

5. Help you get closer to your photographic motives

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens
photo by Raffaele Franco (CC license)

With the advent of digital photography and the advancements that technology has made possible, we have increasingly opted for variable or zoom lenses that allow us to work more comfortably.

Of course, photography is already a must for certain types of photography, such as sports photography, but there is a life beyond comfort.

We should not go into laziness, and this type of lens reminds us of how important it is to approach the subject to take pictures and get more intimate pictures.

The result between a zoomed shot or a physical approach to the subject is very different. Therefore, it is important to leave the comfort zone and find the perfect composition. And Robert Capa said it …

If your photographs are not good enough, it’s because you’re not close enough.

With 50 mm the zoom will be your feet , and what seems at first sight an inconvenience, will teach you one of the most important photographic lessons there is: to get closer to your subjects to get better shots.

6. It Will Allow You to Make Photos with a Very Attractive Bokeh

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens
photo by abhijit chendvankar (CC license)

Do you think the concept of bokeh, right? This tells us about the quality of the blur of a lens. Well, with the fixed-focus lenses like this 50mm lens, the bokeh is much more attractive than the variable focus lenses.

Find a background with bright lights, open the aperture of your camera and blur this background. You will see how good it is!

7. Probably With Him You Will Make Your Best Portraits

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

This lens is also ideal for portrait photography. Thanks to its great luminosity and shallow depth of field through large apertures, we can highlight the background motif and attract attention. With this aim, we also achieve a quiet atmosphere thanks to the artistic blurring.

In addition, we have to approach the subject for many shots to achieve the desired frame, and this will undoubtedly help us to create a more intimate and powerful portrait.

8. Help You Play with Depth of Field

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens
photo by MG Kafkas (CC license)

The great luminosity that you can achieve with the 50 mm, among other things, means that we can work with larger apertures and play with a shallower depth of field.

For shots in which we want to emphasize and direct the gaze of those watching photography at a certain point in the picture, this is ideal. If you try to do this with your kit lens, you will find that the results are not the same at all. But do not be discouraged!

That you already know that the depth of field also depends on several variables.

9. It also serves for Macro Photography

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens
photo by Jorge Figueroa A (CC license)

Although it is not your main task, 50 mm can also be used for macro photography . How? Investing the lens in your camera, and adapting it to the body with an inverter ring .

If you want to take the test and you do not yet have an inverter ring, you can put the lens inside out in front of your camera and check the results yourself.

10. Versatility

In addition to portraits and macro photography, if there is another thing that stands out from this lens is its great versatility . With it we can obtain high quality images and sharpness themes as diverse as landscape photography , street photographynight photography , photography concert or street photography.

Choose the 50 mm that your camera needs

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens
foto by marcos fernandez (CC license)

Of course, so far I’m talking in general terms about the 50 mm lens, but I’m sure you’re wondering which one you need for your camera. For that reason, below I indicate the 50 mm you will need depending on the make and model of camera you use. And in some options you will also see that you can choose between less and more luminous lenses.

Is the “50 mm” Real 50 mm in My Camera?

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

It is very important to keep in mind the size of our camera’s sensor . Many times you have heard the question ” if a 50 mm is really a 50 mm in my camera “, or if the clipping factor of our will affect the real focal distance .

Well, when we talk about 50 mm, those 50 mm are real if we work with full sensor cameras. If your camera is an APS-C, the sensor is smaller as you well know, and therefore to know what real distance that 50 mm is in our camera, we will have to multiply the millimeters of the lens by the clipping factor of our camera. That’s good:

  • A 50mm on a Nikon is a 75mm (we multiply 50 mm by 1.5 which is the trimming factor of the Nikon DX).
  • A 50 mm on a Canon is 80 mm (we multiply 50 mm by 1.6 which is the trimming factor of Canon’s APS-C).
  • A 50 mm in the evil or CSC cameras is a 100 mm  (we multiply 50 mm by 2 which is the clipping factor for this type of cameras).

That makes a 50mm in this type of camera even more ideal for portraits because its focal length is longer, but … and if you want it to be a real 50mm? what should we do?

Then it is interesting that you look at fixed focal lengths that are between 28 mm and 35 mm, because if we do the equivalence calculations taking into account the clipping factor, these will approximate the actual 50 mm of our camera.

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

In this example (above) we have made the same frame with a 50 mm and a 35 mm mounted on a Nikon DX. The 35 mm would be what in a full frame would be understood as 50 mm (normal lens), while the 50 mm would become a 75 mm for practical purposes.

Tips for the Good Use of 50 mm

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

Now that we know the reasons why this type of lens is so well known and good in photography, let’s see some tips to make good use of it and take advantage of it.

  • If you use very large diaphragm apertures (f / 1.4 of / 1.8), be careful with the focus,since the depth of field is so low that only a small movement of the camera or the subject to be photographed, could make the approach is not adequate. For portraits it is advisable that you use openings like f / 4 to make sure that the whole face of the person comes out focused (if that is what you want, of course).
  • I have told you about the precious bokeh that we can obtain with this lens , but do not limit the forms that that bokeh can have. With cardboard and a little bit of zeal we can make these shapes what we want.
  • The thing about which with this lens the zoom is your feet is not entirely accurate. Yes, if you want to approach a photographic motif, you can only do it if you physically move, but keep in mind that in this way we will be changing the perspective of the shot.
  • Take care of the lens. These lenses, and I refer mainly to those of the most economic range, do not have materials of the best quality in their construction, so it is important that you keep it always clean and well kept. A good care allow the lens will last much longer.

10 Wonderful Photos Made with 50 mm to Inspire You

I could give you more than 100 arguments for you to do with a 50 mm, but if you like photography it is because you are one of those who think that an image is worth more than 1000 words, and that is why in this section, what I am going to do is show you some wonderful examples made with a 50mm so you can see what you could do with it.

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens 10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

Watch the World through a 50 mm!

10 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm Lens

The world through a 50 mm looks different. Undoubtedly, this is a very good lens, light, high optical quality and very bright, but remember that in the end who makes the photos will be you. This is just one of the tools that will help you capture what you want to portray in an image.

And you? Do you have a 50mm or are you proposing to share one? Tell us about your experience!




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