Top Reasons Why a 50mm Should Be Your Next Lens

Do you have a DSLR?  And are you always on the lookout for your next amazing lens? Those people who have taken even our signature beginner Digital I photography course will know that the right lens can make all the difference to your photographs.

That’s why I love the 50mm (or 35mm on crop sensors) focal length – it’s cost effective, visually perfect and has loads of capability.  Here are the top 10 reasons why a 50mm should be at the top of your list.


It’s VERY Capable

That’s right – I’ve written very in all capitals because the 50mm is V-E-R-Y capable.  It’s a nice focal length and even the cheap versions give you f/1.8.  Those who have done our photography courses will know that a f/1.8 will give you great depths of field as well as the ability to capture low light photographs inside.


It’s the Ultimate Generalist

Portrait – got it, architecture – can do, travel – yup, group photographs – no problems.  This is a great lens for all of those things, and much more.  If you’re about to go on a day travel the 50mm is more times than not the perfect lens because it can do 90% of things no problems. Check out some of the images we’ve captured with our 50mm – and seriously, there are over 4800 of them in our Lightroom gallery right now…


It’s FUN

Yes there are those big capitals again.  The 50mm is my most fun lens in the arsenal.  It’s lightweight, has fast focusing capability and has a uncanny ability to make everything look great.  It’s really the first lens that I fell in love with, and now while I have $3500+ pls lenses, there’s still a special place in my heart (and camera shelf) for the 50mm 1.8.  It still remains quite possibly the best lens that I own.

Oh and for the record, I did have a 50mm 1.4, so what should be a superior lens.  Short story – 50mm 1.8 I like way better.  Plus, you can buy two fo them for every 1.4.


It’s Great for Composition

Want better pictures quickly?  Buy this lens then force yourself to put it on and use it for a week.  You’ll start seeing things in 50mm (as weird as that sounds) and using your mind to internally compose things.  This is great for improving your composition. One of the big problems with a lens like the 24-120 is that you can have literally an infinite number of photographs around you.

The 50mm gives you one option – direction.  And with practice that makes you realize what a good photo really is.


It’s Light

The Canon lens weights 130g.  There usually more ham on your ham sandwich.


It’s Cheap

The Canon (I’m using Canon because it’s the least expensive lens here) is only $150. That’s a steal for a lens that professionals, wedding photographers and street photographers still use today on a regular basis.  Amazing.

It’s also the world’s best selling lens.


It’s Like a Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

This is the most understated lens design that I’ve ever seen.  Check out how the Canon and Nikon look on a camera – simple and elegant right?

There’s nothing to even guess at how amazing this lens is.  It’s perfect for not drawing attention to yourself while doing street photography or travel photography.

Want to know the people who will know the lens that you’ve put on?  Other real photographers.  There’s nothing that says “I know photography” like having a 50mm or a 35mm on the front of your camera.


It’s WAY better than the 24-70 f/2.8

This is a point that’s probably more arguable.  However, the 24-70 2.8 is HEAVY (it’s 4 times the weight), and 16 times the cost (yes 16 times).

Plus he 50mm has an extra few stops of light coming in.  Is your shot too wide?  Step in with the 50mm, is your shot too close?  Step back!


If you are seriously thinking of purchasing this lens – just do it!  You can probably even find some used ones on Facebook or Kijiji.  But seriously, this is just about the perfect second lens and you might find yourself enjoying it so much that you just leave it on the entire time.

What do YOU think?  Do you have a 50mm that you just love?  Or do you just hate my points (hate is a strong word)?

Let us know in the comments below!




It’s a great time to be a beginner photographer! Our Digital I – Beginner Photography Course & our Starter Bundle are STILL ON SALE! Yay!



Want to sign up to receive our 5 Minute Photo Fix? Subscribe to our mailing list:

* indicates required