When we speak of focal lengths, 50mm is among the first to come to mind. Revered for its versatility, many iconic photographers have shot their best work using 50mm lenses. Still, given all the innovations in lenses so far, is there some truth to 50mm being the perfect focal length?

In the video above, Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography noted that each focal length has a unique visual signature. This is what allows us photographers to create our own perspectives and interpretations of the world around us. As Forbes also said, it’s where our visual communication and artistic vision come from. He also added that there are more notable photographs shot using 50mm lenses than other focal lengths. So, we can’t help but see it as the focal length that every photographer must know how use by heart.

Forbes gives some interesting points to support the idea, both from his own experience and the reality of obsession with photography gear today. Photographers today now have plenty of lenses to choose from. It’s easy to get lost in the latest and greatest. But when you focus on shooting with just one lens โ€” and one that is as historic and versatile as the 50mm โ€” your entire creative process often changes tremendously. That may be just one of the things that make 50mm the ideal focal length for many photographers.

Do you agree with any or all the points mentioned by Ted Forbes? Share your insights with us in the comments below, or in our group discussions if you’re already part of the Photofocus Community!