50mm lenses

The choic­est prime cuts of 50mm op­tics

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS - Matthew Richards

Prime 50mm lenses mean dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple. If you’re shoot­ing with a full-frame cam­era, it’ll be a stan­dard prime that gives an en­tirely nat­u­ral per­spec­tive for gen­eral shoot­ing. On an APS-C for­mat body, the same lens will have an ef­fec­tive fo­cal length of 75mm (80mm for Canon), mak­ing it a bet­ter fit for por­trai­ture.

Shrink down to a Mi­cro Four Thirds cam­era, and a 50mm lens will have an 100mm ef­fec­tive fo­cal length, more suit­able for re­ally tight por­traits and short tele­photo shoot­ing. In fact, the MFT lens in this test group is a bit less than 50mm: its 42.5mm fo­cal length equates to 85mm in full-frame terms. Many re­gard that as spot-on for por­trai­ture.

Whichever camp you’re in, a ‘nifty fifty’ might well be the only prime lens you ever buy, so it pays to get a good one. Even so, no­body likes spend­ing over the odds. We’ve sought out lenses that give great per­for­mance at a va­ri­ety of price points.

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