9 Top Drawer 50mm Prime Lenses for Photographers Who Want the Best

These 50mm prime lenses are the cream of the crop.

When it comes to prime lenses, none are celebrated more than the old trusty nifty fifty. 50mm prime lenses are loved by photographers thanks to their exceptional ability to comfortably shoot most genres of photography. We have picked nine fantastic 50mm prime lenses that seriously impressed us during our time with them. There is simply no doubt in our minds that every photographer should have a 50mm prime in their collection, and if you’re the type who needs to have the best of the best, you should take a closer look at the 50mm prime lenses listed after the break.

50mm prime lenses rokinon
Captured with the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 FE

50mm prime lenses are versatile enough to be used for street photography, landscapes, portrait photography, event photography, wedding photography, and documentary work. The field of view 50mm prime lenses offer is close to what most (but not all) people see with their own eyes, and it’s why so many find images made with them so pleasing.

All the 50mm prime lenses listed below are great performers in low light thanks to their fast apertures, they are rock solid when it comes to their build quality, and they focus as fast as lightning. Yes, there are cheaper 50mm lenses on the market, and we will get to those in another roundup, but if you have the money to spend, these top-drawer 50mm primes lenses will impress you.

Nikon 50mm F1.8 Z S

50mm prime lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Robust weather sealing
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons

  • Pricier than existing Nikon F Mount 50mm lenses

Buy now: $596.95

Fujifilm 35mm F1.4 (52.5mm Equivalent)

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Exceptional image quality
  • Jaw-dropping sharpness
  • Focusing speed has improved with further updates
  • The excellent metal build quality
  • The finish will make it look like an old lens over time

Cons

  • It’s still a bit to slow to focus in some situations, but when you have this kind of image quality, you can’t really complain all-day

Buy now: $599

Rokinon 50mm F1.4 AF FE

sony e mount

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Contrasty images
  • Sharp photos
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Metal feeling build on the exterior
  • Autofocus that works pretty darned well

Cons

  • Autofocus isn’t as fast as Sony’s
  • Really wish it had weather sealing, but the price point isn’t for that
  • Pretty big

Buy now: $399

50mm prime lenses canon portrait
Captured with the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L USM

Pro Tip: Regardless of how much you spend on your lenses, you absolutely must take care of them if you want them to last a long time. Regular cleaning can help extend the life of your lenses, and honestly, it really doesn’t take very long. Give your lenses a quick wipe down with a soft microfiber cloth before each use, and go over them in more detail once per week. If you want to shoot clean, sharp images like the one above, your gear needs to be taken care of regularly. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get an excellent basic kit either. This is all you need.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art

sigma lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Incredibly sharp lens
  • Great build quality and feel
  • Fast-focusing
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Nice saturation of colors

Cons

  • Everyone and their mother is going to sit here and compare it to the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus. It’s not really a comparable lens since this isn’t fair due to the price point and the fact that if someone wants Zeiss glass, they’re going to go for it no matter what
  • Pretty large for a 50mm f1.4; but all the new 50mm lenses that have been coming out are also quite big

Buy now Canon EF: $710.58

Buy now Nikon F: $719.89

Buy now Sony E: $735

Panasonic 50mm F1.4 Lumix S Pro

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Very sharp
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Nice colors
  • Sharp images
  • With Panasonic’s latest firmware updates, it focuses surprisingly quick.
  • Well built
  • Super well weather sealed

Cons

  • Deserves better autofocus camera bodies
  • That price, oof!
  • It’s very big

Buy now: $2,297.99

Olympus 25mm F1.2 PRO (50mm Equivalent)

50mm prime lenses olympus

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Almost never need to stop the lens down.
  • Incredibly fast focusing abilities
  • Weather sealing
  • Manual focus operation is very smooth
  • Pretty compact, though something a tad smaller would be nice.

Cons

  • Kind of pricey, but we understand why

Buy now: $1,299

Universal lens caps

Pro Tip: Keeping up with lens caps can be a royal pain. If you’re like me, you take them off and put them in a ‘safe’ place only for them to vanish. Now, we have choices when it comes to lens caps. Did you know that you can get universal lens caps that not only protect the front element of your lens but can also offer some serious weather protection too? These universal lens caps can fit just about any lens, can be color-coded so you know what lens inside the protective cover, and they will protect your glass from the elements with ease.

Zeiss 50mm F1.4 Milvus

50mm prime lenses zeiss

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • One of the best 50mm lenses we’ve ever used
  • Great sharpness
  • Beautiful bokeh and skin tones
  • Weather sealing

Cons

  • Expensive

Buy now Canon EF: $1,019

Buy now Nikon F: $1,019

Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM

50mm prime lenses canon

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Gorgeous bokeh
  • Weather sealing
  • Pretty fast autofocus, much faster than the DSLR versions
  • Build quality is solid
  • The textured, matte feel is nice
  • The control ring around the lens feels like an organic aperture ring
  • People simply look good with this lens attached

Cons

  • Expensive, but when you consider what this lens is, then it makes sense
  • Though it sort of isn’t needed, image stabilization would have been nice due to the size

Buy now: $2,199

The Leica SL 50mm F1.4 Summilux

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Build Quality
  • Bokeh
  • Sharpness
  • Smaller than the Panasonic version

Cons

  • Cost
  • Minimum focusing distance
  • Size

Buy now: $5,649