What Are 50mm Lenses Good For?

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A 50mm lens is an interesting piece of photography gear. This lens is known for being powerful, beautiful, and super easy to use. Additionally, 50mm lenses are the most commonly-used lenses on the market, so it is important to know: what are 50mm lenses good for.

What Are 50mm Lenses Good For?

The 50mm lenses are the closest thing we have to a one-size-fits-all lens for different types of photography. While most kit lenses are suitable for anything from vast landscapes to a portrait shot or two, 50mm primes are great for all of those things.

There are many reasons why photographers like using 50mm lenses. The two most common reasons are the focal length and depth of field characteristics.

A 50mm lens is a fantastic addition to any photographer’s kit. It’s a versatile tool that you can use in many different situations, making it ideal for beginners. The question is, what can you do with it?

Portrait Photography

A 50mm lens is a timeless piece of glass that every photographer should own. It’s an excellent choice for shooting portraits with its fast aperture. When shooting portraits, it’s easy to create clean, crisp images with this lens.

You can use it for simple headshots and portraits to include more of the environment in the shot. The 50mm is also great for shooting in tight spaces because it’s relatively compact and won’t show much distortion.

Street Photography

You can use a 50mm lens for street photography to capture candid moments. The 50mm lens is also fast, meaning you can take advantage of natural light without using flash or other artificial lighting setups.

Many street photographers rely on this focal length to capture moments that are hard to predict.

You can use the 50mm lens for various styles of street photography, from wide shots that show the environment where people are interacting with each other to close-up images that show the faces and expressions of individuals.

Indoor Photography

The 50mm lens is perfect for indoor photography, as it captures very sharp images. Combined with a large aperture, you can use a 50mm lens to capture images of people at parties and events, even in relatively dim lighting.

Even though there’s no zoom capability, it’s still versatile enough to capture everything from group photos to close-ups of individuals. The best part about this is that you can take stunning portraits indoors without setting up elaborate lighting setups.

Sports Photography

Sports photography is the one area where 50mm isn’t considered ideal. However, if you know how to use it well, you can capture some fantastic shots with your trusty 50mm lens.

Sports photography requires speed and quick response. It’s essential to move around because a good shot could happen at any moment — even in the most unexpected places. Having a 50mm lens gives you excellent leverage.

Travel Photography

The 50mm lens is perfect for travel photography with its lightweight and small size. It’s much easier to carry around than a zoom lens, and its wide maximum aperture makes it appropriate in low-light situations.

Using a 50mm lens for travel photography forces you to take your time. The lack of zoom means you have to walk up close or back away to get the composition you want, which encourages you to think about your photos instead of just firing away.

Why You Need a 50mm Lens

The global 50mm lens market is expected to reach USD 6.19 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the increased use of digital cameras with 50mm lenses in them.

An image of Canon 50mm lens

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider adding a 50mm lens to your camera bag.

  • Shallow Depth of Field. If you’re looking for a lens that will give you great bokeh in your images, then a 50mm is a great choice. The wide maximum aperture of many 50mm lenses will provide you with beautiful background blur even at f/1.8.
  • Fits into Your Camera Bag. 50mm lenses are light and compact, which makes them an ideal travel companion. You can easily fit one in your bag or purse without sacrificing much space or weight.
  • Versatility. 50mm lenses are incredibly versatile. They’ve often been referred to as the “nifty fifty.”
  • Their moderate focal length means you can use them for portraits, landscapes, street photography, food photography, and more. Your options are endless with a 50mm lens.

Related Questions

How Versatile Is a 50mm Lens?

The 50mm lens is the closest thing in photography to a magic wand. It’s small, light, and cheap. Its simplicity belies its ability to do just about anything—if you use it right.

Is a 50mm Lens Good for Street Photography?

When shooting street photography, the 50mm lens is perfect. The 50mm lens is a fast and highly versatile focal length. This makes it one of the best focal lengths for street photography.

Is a 50mm Lens Good for Weddings?

If you’re just getting started in wedding photography, your lens choice is very important. The 50mm is one of your go-to lenses. It’s lightweight and versatile, making it excellent for portraits, candid moments, and details.


50mm lenses are easy to use on a range of cameras, simple to focus, and tend to be sharp without the need for excessive ‘sharpening’ in post-production. What more could you want?