For as popular as the 50mm lens is, not a lot of these lenses worthy of note came out in 2023. But the ones that did were pretty incredible. They had character in some ways; but in other ways, they just provided affordability. And overall, they all blew us away in different respects. So here are the best 50mm lenses of 2023 — and trust us, you’re not getting any better than these.
Table of Contents
How We Test and Choose the 50mm Lenses of 2023
- The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. 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 we’ve fully reviewed in these roundups.
- 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. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. You can read more about our ethics on this on our Disclaimer page.
- When we test products we’ve got various things in mind. First off, we consider who might want to buy the product and what they might do with it. With that in mind, we try to tackle at least three genres of photography with that product in a variety of situations. For example, if a lens has weather resistance, then we’ll test it accordingly with a weather-resistant camera. We also test the autofocus of the lens in continuous mode, single mode, with exposure preview effects, without those effects, and then with all the major image quality parameters. These days, no one really makes a bad lens — but some are far better than others. And that’s what we’re trying to find in our reviews.
- In all of our roundups, we’re basing our findings on the reviews that we’ve done. We’re choosing a favorite, but we’re also giving photographers a bunch of others that they might like, depending on how they shoot.
Our Choice Amongst the Best 50mm Lenses of 2023: Sony 50mm f1.4 G Master
Kind of an obvious choice, right? Well, the Sony 50mm f1.4 G Master is a lens that we didn’t even believe existed until we saw it in person. Wide open, this lens boasts character. It’s sharp, weather resistant, focuses very quickly, and exhibits truly beautiful bokeh. Honestly, it’s one of our favorite Sony lenses, and surely worth being called one of the best 50mm lenses of 2023.
These specs from directly from Sony.
- 50mm f1.4
- Weather resistance
- Aperture ring
- De-click switch
- 67mm filter thread
- 1.13 lbs
- 3.1 x 3.7 inches
- 14 elements in 11 groups
- Internal focusing
- 2 XA elements
- 1 ED element
- 11 aperture blades
- Nana AR II coating
- 2 XD elements
- 15 inches minimum focusing
What We Think
In our review, we state:
The Sony 50mm f1.4 G Master is a pretty special lens. So who should get it? Well, if you own the 55mm f1.8 and want something sharper wide open, I’d consider this. But if you like the 55mm’s sharpness and character, I’d stick with what you have. If you own the 50mm f1.2 and want lens character, sell your lens for this. If you have the other 50mm lenses, then this is a strong consideration.
For Some Photographers, these Might Be The Best 50mm Lenses of 2023
Some photographers want a more clinical clarity to their 50mm lenses. Others want something fun. Well, we’ve got something for everyone in this list. Here are two other lenses that we think photographers will love.
Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG DN Art
In our review, we state:
The Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG DN Art has a lot going for it — it’s an affordable but bright prime lens that’s still fully weather sealed. The autofocus is snappy. The bright aperture delivers beautifully blurred backgrounds while most subjects remain sharp. The lens is also significantly cheaper than similar options from Sony and Panasonic.
Astrhori 50mm f1.4 Tilt
In our review we state:
Using this lens is overall mostly a joy. Think of it as using an old mechanical lens without an electronic adapter on it. That’s to say further that you more or less have to be very dedicated to wanting to use it. Otherwise, most modern photographers can’t live without autofocus at all.
Using This Guide to the Best 50mm Lenses of 2023
If you’re considering purchasing anything from this list of the best 50mm lenses of 2023, consider the following:
- All the product images and sample photos in these roundups are shot by our staff. In fact, we don’t talk about products at length in roundups like this unless we’ve done full reviews of them. But you can surely know that we’ve done all the research ourselves.
- The 50mm lens is best for general shoots. Photographers have used it to mimic the look of the human eye for years. Because of this, it’s favored by photojournalistic photographers. It’s fantastic for street photography, weddings, events, travel, and documentary photography.
- Canon, Nikon, and Sony all make great 50mm lenses. But in 2023, only Sony came out with something worth discussing.
- Sony has a ton of 50mm lenses. In fact, we have a whole guide on them.
- Our tests of the best 50mm lenses of 2023 were all done in-house with our staff.
- The best 50mm lenses in this list are well-built. But only the Sony and Sigma lenses are weather-resistant.
- A tilt-shift lens? Well, the Astrohori is actually just a tilt lens, and the focus doesn’t shift at all. The photo industry needs more of these kinds of lenses.
- We’d never recommend a product to you that we haven’t tested or that we really didn’t like. You can reference our linked reviews, for more information on this.
Picking the Right One For You
If you’re still a bit confused as to the right lens for you, here are some questions to ask yourself
- What’s your budget?
- How will you use the product?
- What lighting situations are you in, and how will that affect what you’re doing? Our reviews hyperlinked in this article can help with that.
- Are you traveling a lot with it?
- Will you be using it in a situation that’s a bit rougher?
- Who else uses this product? How are they using it?
- What’s so appealing about this product that I can’t get from what I have already or something else?
- When will I really have time to use this product?
- Where will I bring this product?
- How will this product help bring me joy and joy in my photography?
These are just a few of the questions that we ask ourselves, but we think that you should ask yourself these for sure.