We Tested 3 Best 50mm Lenses Under $500. Here They Are!

The 50mm lens is the standard for many photographers, and everyone grows from it.

When photographers start out, they usually go for a 50mm lens if they don’t reach for a zoom. It’s indeed the best way to grow as a photographer. A 50mm lens is incredibly versatile. In fact, some of the best lenses made are 50mm lenses. So, we dove into our Reviews Index to choose some of the best. Specifically, we looked for options under the $500 mark. Trust us, you’re going to love these. Here are the best 50mm Lenses under $500.

The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house by the staff. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear thoroughly reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge.

Pro Tips for Making the Most of a 50mm Lens

Here are a few tips on making the most of your 50mm lens.

  • Shooting a portrait of your furry friend? Get low. Shooting from their perspective helps create a different view.
  • If you’re a street photographer, stop the lens down to f8 and manually focus away to around six feet. Then just walk around and shoot. This is called Zone Focusing.
  • In photography, the aperture is also known as the F-stop. The lower the number, the more light a lens lets in. It also helps create a beautiful, blurry background.
  • A 50mm lens is a fantastic place to start for any photographer. After spending a year with it, you’ll figure out if you like it, or if you want something wider or longer.
  • Always turn your camera off when you’re changing your lenses. This is a big mistake new photographers make.
  • These lenses are nice and sharp, but you can get even more sharpness when you use a flash. Flash works better over LEDs because of a physical process that happens in the camera.

Canon RF 50mm f1.8 STM: The Classic, Evolved

In our review, we state:

“The RF 50mm f1.8 doesn’t slow down the autofocus on the Canon R6. At a walking pace, the camera-lens combo rarely missed a beat. It was only slightly off when it did — focusing on the hair instead of the eyes, for example. That’s even more impressive, considering those images were shot at f1.8 using 12 fps.”

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Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE: A Fascinating Choice

rokinon lenses

In our review, we state:

“Wow, that’s really what I need to say first and foremost about the new Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF FE. It’s sharp, contrasty, has gorgeous bokeh, no major aberrations, and is really gorgeous. The lens has a bit of character to it, but I sort of wish there was more of it such as more lens flares, etc. Most photographers who aren’t looking for that and instead want something technically pleasing they can pixel peep will enjoy this lens.”

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7Artisans 50mm f1.1: One of the Best 50mm Lenses, period.

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.”

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.