What are Nifty Fifty Lenses? Reasons to Have These in 2022

Nifty fifty are perfect beginner-level prime lenses, due to their ability to capture a variety of scenes without swapping them out repeatedly for zoom lenses.

As the name suggests, nifty fifty lenses offer zoom-free photo amelioration together with budget-friendliness and versatility. The build and size are fine-tuned to fit all the cameras and without adding weight to your travel bag.

Nifty Fifty Lenses

50mm lenses are affordable for beginners and great snap-in gadgets for professional street photographers as well. The perspective is similar to what is experienced by the human eye.

It makes capturing comfortable and hassle-free than bulky zoom lenses that are five times pricey and many times heavier than a nifty fifty.

A shallow depth of field, together with autofocus makes a perfect recipe to test your portrait and street photography skills with a 50mm fixed length lens. Let’s dig in deeper to get you started with a nifty fifty:

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What is a Nifty Fifty Lens?

A nifty fifty prime lens is a high-performance, low-budget lens made for a wide range of photography needs, ranging from bokeh effects photos to candid street snapshots and low-light capturing. The aperture range for most of the nifty fifties is between f/1.8 – f/1.2, making them a reasonable prospect for nocturnal portraits.

The 50mm fixed focal length alongside a shallow depth of field makes way for balanced shots. In daylight, nifty fifty offers rich background blurs and tack sharp foreground with its in-built autofocus. The aperture does the job meticulously at night by absorbing enough light to rev up pixel strength and sharpness into the subject.

Importance of Nifty Fifty Lenses in 2022

Nifty fifty is well into the game as of 2021. The market-beating functions and price tag make 50mm f/1.8 lenses the best ones around. They are smaller in size, better in rendering photos with precise AF, hold a shallow depth of field with smooth blurs, affordable, and dynamic in all the other aspects.

Here’s why nifty fifty is an important lens in 2022:

Made for Everyone

Nifty fifty lenses provide a great learning curve for novices to polish up their photography skills before buying an expensive special-purpose lens. Also, the tiny dynamics and lightweight structure make 50mm the best second lens for professionals as well.

Nifty fifty is neither high-end nor too basic as in kit lenses. The mid-range lens construction and wide aperture make it an acceptable deal for everyone.


50mm lenses are among the tiniest of man-made optical creatures for digital cameras. Tuck your nifty fifty in a trouser pocket or stuff in a travel bag’s battery compartment without adding weight and volume to the gear.

There’s no zoom motor or layers of stacked lens elements to add extraneous weight to the nifty fifty. The lens offers portability and comfort to move around in streets and to climb the mountains with no burden to add to the camera kit.

Portrait-Perfect Lens

The deep blurs and smooth background refinements create spectacular bokeh effects when capturing portraits with a 50mm lens. Moreover, a wide aperture assists significantly in creating a shallow depth of field alongside smooth and blurry backgrounds.

In low light and cloudy conditions, the aperture widens up for maximum exposure. f/1.8 aperture settings eliminate the need to increase ISO for improving visibility at night.


50mm lenses are affordable for everyone, thanks to their non-zoomable design that eliminates the need for complicated circuitry and hefty glass construction. Nifty fifty lenses compete for neck and neck with contemporary prime lenses for their large aperture, tiny build, and productivity.

The advantages of a nifty fifty far outperform its asking price. With such a price, a nifty fifty is the best lens to get your hands on.

What are the Best Nifty Fifty Lenses?

Nowadays, all the lens manufacturing brands design and produce their dedicated range of nifty fifty lenses, all thanks to its excessive demand and enormous benefits it delivers to end-users. Below is a compiled list of best-selling flagship nifty fifties by top-notch lens producers worldwide.

For Canon Cameras:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens:

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 STM Lens
Canon EF 50mm F1.8 STM Lens

Canon EF 50mm STM lens specializes in capturing portraits, night-time photographs, street and action-mode shots with diligence and precision. The 49mm filter together with the f/1.8 wide aperture range creates buttery background blurs with a powerful flamboyance inside and outside the focal range.

The viewing perspective is similar to a human eye when used with a full-frame camera. The lens features a balanced elemental scope that never elongates or narrows down the facial features as in 35mm and 85mm lenses.

Canon EF 50mm encompasses STM motor for AF alongside full-time manual adjustments. The lightweight metal build is easy to carry inside a travel bag without requiring dedicated space. The lens’s compacted dimensions perfectly fit inside a back pocket.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens:

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 Medium Telephoto Lens
Canon EF 50mm F1.4 Lens

Canon EF 50mm is nimble in performance and capacity for all-encompassing capture modes, from portraits to night shoots, and close-up photography. EF 50mm features the widest aperture range of f/1.4 for deep bokeh effects and low-light photos with agility and precision. The micro USM AF follows subjects throughout the action modes in video and still photography and is 5x responsive to ordinary prime lenses.

EF 50mm weighs 1.45lbs and is a great second lens option for Canon EOS full-frame and APC-S type cameras. The lightweight dynamics deliver ultimate speed and performance without incurring any lags. For starters, EF nifty fifty is the most viable product to get going with photography skills.

For Nikon Cameras:

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens:

Nikon AF S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Lens
Nikon AF S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Lens

Nikkor lenses are the most affordable and compact in both size and range. AF-S 50mm is fast and highly productive for low-light photography. Its newly developed optical system sharply processes photos with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor with AF range up to 1.48ft from the subject.

The maximum aperture diameter is f/1.8 for stunning bokeh effects alongside a 47 degree viewing scope for close-ups and portraits. For nighttime photography, the aperture eliminates the need to tinker with ISO settings, hence delivering sharp and noise-free images in low light as well.

The lens’s non-zoomable properties make it a perfect street lens for both FX and DX-type cameras. With no zoom, Nikkor AF-S enhances the depth of field for smooth and buttery background blurs. Weighing 0.4lbs only, Nikon 50mm simply fits anywhere when traveling.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G Lens:

NIKKOR 50mm F1.4G
NIKKOR 50mm F1.4G Lens

The stunning background blurs and fast autofocus with an aperture range of f/1.4G makes Nikon AF-S 50mm a perfect second lens for beginners as well as professional photographers. The shallow depth of field provides for deep blurs in portraits with a viewing angle of 47 degrees resembling a human eye perspective. For street photography, tilt the camera to landscape and capture aberration-free shots with perfection.

Nikon FX nifty fifty is an upgraded version of its f/1.8 predecessor. It steps up the results with better low-light performance and a more sophisticated depth of field.

The AF is quieter and faster compared to the f/1.8G version. Nikon f/1.4G weighs 0.64lbs only, making it one of the fastest and most compacted prime lenses by Nikon for travel photography.

For Sony Cameras:

Sony – FE 50mm F1.8 Standard Lens:

Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 Prime Lens
Sony – FE 50mm F1.8 Prime Lens

Sony lenses offer impactful and color-consistent portraits with their f/1.8 aperture settings and tack sharp near-circular diaphragm construction.  Sony FE 50mm standard lens is economical and capable of delivering top-notch photographs with minimal aberrations.

Also, Sony’s nifty fifties yield outstanding bokeh effects. The refined optical clarity of the foreground and creamy blurs couple up impeccably to bring masterclass results without requiring any post-shooting edits.

In addition, the indigenous AF is brusque and specific in focusing what’s vital and blurring out defocused objects in real-time.

Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 is compatible with numerous models by Sony alongside a variety of other brands. FE 50mm weighs a little less than 0.5lbs and serves as a market-beating price tag for beginners.

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