50mm prime lenses are loved by photographers the world over. Their natural field of view helps produce images that are very pleasing to our peepers. Fortunately, there are several on the market for modern mirrorless cameras that don’t cost a fortune.
All of the 50mm prime lenses we’ve listed here are incredibly affordable. They also perform at levels that would make you think they cost much more than they do. They have stunning optics, they’re all made well, some feature weather sealing, and they all offer excellent performance when it comes to autofocus. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S — affordable 50mm prime lenses don’t get sharper than this
Nikon has done an outstanding job with their Z mount f/1.8 prime lenses and the 50mm f/138 is no exception. This lens amazed us when we had it in for review. It’s well made, has incredible optics, and it focused accurately. In our review, we said:
“Yikes! Stop pointing those pictures at people! You’re going to cut someone! Ladies and gents, the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a ridiculously sharp lens.”Gear Editor — Brett Day
For just under $600, you’re going to get a lens that produces images that wouldn’t look out of place being associated with a much more expensive prime. It renders colors nicely, bokeh is nice and creamy, there’s little in the way of distortions and chromatic aberrations, and it’s bitingly sharp. This is a must-own lens for Nikon Z mount photographers.
Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM — The perfect fast, affordable 50mm prime lens
Canon has always produced fast 50mm prime lenses that have been affordable. We weren’t sure if this would be the case with their RF mount version. However, they delivered and this sub $200 50mm prime lens checks all the boxes of what an affordable 50mm prime should be. In our review we said:
“For your money, you’ll get a small, lightweight burdensome-free lens that focuses rapidly in both good and low light. You’ll get a lens that’s capable of producing pleasing bokeh in the right conditions, and that renders beautiful colors. Above everything else, though, you’ll get a lens that will make you have fun.”Gear Editor — Brett Day
I’m not quite sure how Canon does it. This 50mm prime lens is fantastic. It’s small, fast, lightweight, it renders pleasing colors, the bokeh is nice, and autofocus is rapid. If can even handle some light macro work. If you own a Canon mirrorless camera and you have a spare $200, grab this lens. It will put a huge smile on your face.
Panasonic Lumix 50mm f/1.8 S — L mount perfection
Panasonic is another company that has put a lot of stock in its range of f/1.8 prime lenses. Photographers had to wait a long time for Panasonic to launch this 50mm prime lens. still, the wait was worth it. This is a lens that all other manufacturers should take a look at. It’s that good. In our review, we said:
“The lens is well made, it has weather-sealing, and it’s easy to use. The optics, overall, are excellent. The autofocus motors are silent and they zip along at rapid speeds. The lens is incredibly accurate for stills. To top it off the colors and bokeh, to my eyes, are also very nice.”Gear Editor — Brett Day
It’s hard to believe that this Panasonic nifty fifty costs less than $450. It’s fully weather-sealed, the optics are top-drawer, it’s speedy when it comes to autofocus performance, and the images it renders are beautiful. Sigma, Leica, and Panasonic L mount camera owners should give this lens a closer look.