Is 35mm Wider Than 50mm?

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If you’re into photography, you’ve probably chosen, or been forced to choose, between two popular focal lengths in the 35mm or the 50mm range. Does it matter which lens you choose? Well, maybe not in the short term. What about in the long-term? Is 35mm wider than 50mm?

Is 35mm Wider Than 50mm?

A 35mm lens  is wider than a 50mm lens. When comparing a 50mm prime lens to a 35mm prime lens, you’ll note that the 35mm lens provides 54.4 degrees of coverage, while the 50mm provides 50 degrees. Based on their actual size relative to the sensor size, these similar lenses provide different fields of vision.

Black camera on a white surface

Since focal length is a function of the physical size and shape of your camera’s sensor or film frame, knowing this is essential to compare different lenses and cameras.

35mm Lens

The 35mm lens is a trendy focal length of the lens. It’s often the first prime lens used by budding photographers, and it’s also a common addition to the arsenal of seasoned professionals.

The 35mm lenses are beneficial for shooting indoors, as they offer a wider angle than more “zoomed-in” lenses like 70-200mm ones. Consequently, 35mm lenses are often used as walkaround lenses, especially by photojournalists.

The wide-angle lets you cleanse big scenes in their entirety. When shooting a building or tall tree, use a 35mm lens to give your photo some perspective and show the world around your subject.

Features of a 35mm Prime Lens

A 35mm prime lens is a great addition to any photographer’s kit. The focal length of 35mm is perfect for taking high-quality pictures. The following are features that make the 35mm prime lens great.

A Large Maximum Aperture (f/1.4)

Your lens’s maximum aperture regulates how much light can enter through it, making it possible to take photos in low light conditions or at high shutter speed settings.

It also impacts your depth of field, which is how blurry your background will be about your subject; a lower f/number will produce a shallower depth of field, creating a blurred background effect.

A Wide Focal Length (35mm)

The 35mm has a wide, versatile focal length that’s great for all kinds of subjects. A 35mm lens is especially good for street photography. It lets you get nice and close to your subject, and gives you more room to frame them and their surroundings.

The wide-angle also makes it easier to capture group photos in tight spaces. It’s also perfect for portraits as it gives you space to include the surrounding environment.

You’ll easily photograph those candid moments that other photographers might miss because they don’t have the same vantage point.

Black camera lens on a white and black surface
Shallow Depth of Field Control

Shallow depth of field control means that you have control over how much of your image is in focus or blurry. This can be used to isolate your subject from the background by making it clearer and sharper than the background.

The wider the aperture, the more control you have over what parts are blurry and sharp in your image. In addition to this, wider apertures give you even better performance in low light and also decrease your sharpness by a small amount due to diffraction.


The sharpness of a lens will depend on its aperture, focal length, and distance from your subject. You can always increase the sharpness by increasing the size of the aperture opening with your aperture ring.

You can also increase it by increasing the distance between yourself and your subject.

A good 35mm prime lens should be sharp enough to produce high-quality images. You should be able to see the details in your photos. The best way to test this is by taking some pictures with the lens and looking at them on your computer screen.


A prime lens doesn’t have to be particularly heavy or bulky, thus rendering it an excellent choice for traveling or other situations where you don’t want to carry heavy equipment.

A 35mm prime lens weighs about 6 ounces, therefore you can keep it on your camera all day without getting tired or uncomfortable. You can take this type of lens anywhere without worrying about carrying extra baggage or weight.

Advantages of a 35mm Lens

  • The focal length necessary for a given field of view is shorter than with a more significant film (for example, a 24mm lens is used for an equivalent wide-angle view on 35mm versus a 15mm lens with medium format).
  • Since the lens’s projected image circle is smaller, the depth of field is more significant for a given f-stop and subject magnification. Lenses are also typically sharper due to reduced aberrations.
  • Lenses usually cost less than the same focal length in larger formats due to lower glass requirements and smaller sizes.
  • Cameras and lenses tend to be smaller and lighter due to the smaller size of the film. This makes them easier to carry, especially over long distances or over extended periods.

Disadvantages of a 35mm Lens

  • Due to the smaller aperture, it’s not as grand in low light conditions. If you shoot with a fast lens (f/2 or faster), then this won’t be an issue for you, however, if you shoot with a slower lens (f/2.8 and above), then this may hinder what types of shots you’re able to take with a 35mm lens.
  • For some types of photography such as portraits and architecture, the depth of field is too shallow.
Black camera lens on a white surface

50mm Lens

The 50mm lens, also known as the standard lens, is a must-have lens for every photographer’s camera bag. These lenses are lightweight and affordable, making them great for amateurs and professionals alike.

The distance between the center of the lens and its focal point is called the focal length. The focal length is measured in millimeters (mm) in photography. Typically, lenses with a short focal length are called “wide-angle” lenses, while longer focal lengths are called “telephoto” lenses.

A 50mm lens has a medium focal length that you can use for a wide range of photographic genres. The depth of field (DOF) of a 50mm lens is great for portraits and landscapes; the angle of view (AOV) is ideal for street photography, food photography, and more.

Features of a 50mm Lens

A 50mm lens is an excellent all-purpose lens. Acquire it to create images with beautiful bokeh and shallow depth of field.

Fixed Focal Length

If you love taking photos, one of the most exciting things you can do is switch to a prime lens. This lens has a fixed focal length and does not have the option to zoom in or out.

The 50mm prime is one of the most popular lenses in photography today for its many benefits, primarily in portrait photography.

A 50mm prime lens has a fixed focal length of 50mm, meaning that you cannot zoom in or out when photographing objects. This is one of the advantages of a prime lens, as it allows you to make the most out of its aperture.

Aperture Range

Aperture range shows how much light your camera can let in through the lens. An extensive aperture range allows for greater control over the depth of field and the amount of light entering your camera.

Aperture settings work like this: f/1.8 is faster than f/2.8, which is faster than f/4.0, which is faster than f/5.6, and so on. Note that these numbers will vary depending on the type of camera you have.

The 50mm prime lens has an aperture range that varies from f/1.4 to f/22 depending on the brand and model of your particular lens. This is excellent for shooting in tight spaces where individual subjects need to be clearly defined from their backgrounds.

Higher Image Quality

Because minimal moving components and glass elements are more prominent, prime lenses offer higher image quality. If you’re looking to take professional-quality images, the 50mm is the way to go. Higher image quality means better sharpness and often better contrast, as well as minor fringing (chromatic aberration).

The lens is constructed with one aspherical element, which minimizes spherical aberration and helps to produce consistent edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. It also has a high resolving power to capture fine details in an image.

The optical design helps reduce the appearance of flare and ghosting, which can be caused by bright light sources striking the surface of the lens. This improves contrast and color neutrality when working in strong lighting conditions.

Auto Focus

The most important feature of a 50mm lens is its autofocus function. The images are sharp while adjusting the aperture to create bokeh effects. This feature is handy when shooting action shots where your subject moves around quickly.

An image of 35mm lens

However, the autofocus feature will not be very accurate when shooting in low-light conditions. If you plan to shoot under low lighting, you will want to consider purchasing a model with a higher ISO speed.

Depth of Field

If you want to isolate your subject from the background, you can use a shallow depth of field. This means that only your subject will be in focus, and the environment and foreground will be out of focus.

For example, if you want to take a portrait of someone and make the background blurry, use f/1.8 or f/2.8. The background will be soft, and you will focus on your subject because the person is the only sharp part.

Advantages of a 50mm Lens

  • Very sharp: 50mm lenses are often the sharpest lens you can buy. This is especially true for lenses in the f/1.4 range.
  • Minimal distortion: 50mm lenses tend to have a meager amount of distortion, which means that straight lines in your photographs will remain straight.
  • It’s lightweight and compact, thereby easy to carry around and use for long periods.

Disadvantages of a 50mm Lens

  • Not great for indoor sports or fast-moving subjects because of its slow autofocus (only internal focus and no built-in image stabilization).
  • The lens has a considerable focusing distance. This means that you can’t get super close to your subject.

Which Lens Is Superior, and Why?

In this case, we can not assume which lens is superior as we compare two different things: the focal length of two lenses and the size of two sensors, which are two unrelated numbers.

Focal length is a property of a lens; it never changes. If you put a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera, it’s still a 50mm lens. You could take that same lens and put it on an APS-C camera, and it would still be a 50mm lens.

A close-up image of 50mm lens

Sensor size, however, does change from camera to camera. A full-frame sensor is more significant than an APS-C sensor, so it captures more light. The actual image projected onto the sensor will be smaller with an APS-C sensor than with a full-frame sensor because the sensor is physically smaller.

Related Questions

Why Is a 50mm Lens So Popular?

The 50mm lens is popular because it allows the photographer to be closer to the subject, and is also more compact than a zoom lens. Some 50mm lenses have a wider aperture, allowing more light to come through, making them suitable for low-light situations as well as blurring the background.

Is 35mm Good for Street Photography?

Yes, 35mm is a popular focal length for street photography. It is a good compromise between ultra-wide lenses like 20mm and the telephoto lenses like 50mm. Wide-angle lenses can be too wide for street photography because they distort the subject close to the lens.

Is a 35mm Lens Good for Weddings?

Yes, 35mm is a great focal length for weddings. It’s wide enough to capture large group shots, landscapes, and details, while also allowing you to get close to your subjects. A 35mm lens has enough zoom to separate your subject from the background if you’re shooting portraits.


Is 35mm wider than 50mm? If you’re shooting with a 35mm lens on a full-frame SLR or a 50mm lens on an APS-C DSLR, the answer will depend on which camera you are using. You won’t get the exact angle of coverage, and your photos can be very different in terms of subject matter.