5 Pretty Awesome 50mm Lenses(ish) Under $600 That Won’t Break Your Budget

Say no more if all you want are 50mm lenses that aren’t going to make your wallet hurt

The world of 50mm lenses can be a very pricey one, and on the other end it can be a very affordable one. Navigating and picking out which ones are the best amongst the sea of lenses and manufacturers out there isn’t so simple though. But we’ve reviewed pretty much all the 50mm lenses out (or at least the majority of them), so we went through our archives to figure out which ones aren’t going to break the bank and are still going to astound you.

Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC USD

Why it’s pretty awesome: The Tamron 45mm f1.8 Di VC USD is a fairly solid lens. When we tested it, we played with an earlier version. Now that Tamron has better QC though, we’ve seen some really fantastic results from it. This lens has weather sealing, autofocus, and isn’t that pricey at all amongst the world of 50mm lenses.

In our review, we state:

“One of my favorite features of this lens has to do with the bokeh. It’s just creamy all around. The image in this section of the woman with the red dress is shot at f1.8 and has beautiful, creamy bokeh.”

Buy Now $599: Amazon (at the time of publishing, there is a massive special on this lens)

Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR

Why it’s pretty awesome: The Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR is small with great image quality. But on top of that, it’s fast to focus and has weather sealing built in. What’s not to like here?

In our review, we state:

“As we saw in the comparison against Fujifilm’s f1.4 version of the lens, the image quality of each lens is very much on par with the other. So if you’re at this section of the review wondering that very same question, then head over to the link previously made in this paragraph.

For the rest of us, the Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR is a solid lens as far as image quality goes. It has nine aperture blades, renders very sharp photos even on the X Pro 1, and overall gives you images that aren’t worth complaining about at all and within reason.”

Pro Tip: Most modern lenses can handle backlighting with ease. Do it, it gives portrait subjects a beautiful glow.

Buy Now $399: Amazon

Canon 50mm f1.8 STM

Why it’s pretty awesome: The Canon 50mm f1.8 STM has Canon’s STM focus system built in; and therefore focuses pretty quickly and quietly. But beyond this, it’s also got some pretty decent image quality that you can’t complain about for the price tag.

In our review, we state:

“Canon’s 50mm f1.8 STM is a great lens for the beginner, hobbyist, enthusiast or even the professional who likes to rough and tumble their equipment. But overall, it’s scoring mediocre to good results when you attach. The image quality is much better than before and Canon has proven once again that they can keep ahead of the curve.”

Buy Now (Around $139): Amazon

Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE

Why it’s pretty awesome: The Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE has very solid optics, beautiful bokeh, a nice (if not big) build quality, and believe it or not pretty darned good autofocus with the newest Sony cameras.

In our review, we state:

“The Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE is overall built very solid. Rokinon claims that the exterior is metal, and when you feel it gets cold just like metal. I’m not sure what type it is though. When you grip the lens, you’ll be mostly holding onto that big focusing ring, so the ergonomics are pretty nice in general. What you may miss though is the lack of weather sealing in this lens. If you don’t care about that, then it won’t be much of a problem. At $599 I can’t really complain about the build quality at all. Tamron does weather sealing at $699, and this is more affordable and an f1.4 lens.”

ISO 6400 1/15s f1.4

Buy Now $599: Amazon

7Artisans 50mm f1.1

Why it’s pretty awesome: The 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 is capable of delivering a really soft look one second and then being super, duper sharp the next. It’s manual focus, very affordable, and did I mention that bokeh?

In our review, we state:

“Oh man, am I in love with this lens. Want that soft look? You can get it. Want that super sharp look? It’s got that. Want lens flare? Oh man, does this lens control it just right! The 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 surely has character to it. In the same way that I’ve always felt that Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses have a specific character to them, so too does this one. I don’t think that it’s meant to be 100% perfect but it’s surely gorgeous in every single way.”

Buy Now $369: Amazon