Why photographers love the 50mm.

We’re almost there! The Ides of March have passed and we’re in the final days of the 50mm month. Just for fun, I wanted to see what other photographers thought of their 50mm lenses. I asked some of my favorite photographers to share with me some insights on shooting with the fifty and some of their favorite shots taken with the focal length.

Genevieve Elaine

Santa Monica, California based photographer Genevieve Elaine loves the Canon L-series 50mm f/1.2 that she uses on her Canon 5D MkIII. Having never used the 50mm f/1.2 myself, I definitely saw a difference in Genevieve’s shooting after she picked hers up. From engagements to senior portraits, the photos she shares on her website and blog show the versatility of this lens. Prolific and consistent, Genevieve always has something new to share.

genevieve elaine 50mm f/1.2 vsco california couples photographer
“My Canon L 50mm f/1.2 is my favorite lens. It rarely leaves my camera. I can count on it for gorgeous bokeh, and sharp photos.” —Genevieve Elaine

twoguineapigs // JK Blackwell

Another Canon L 50mm f/1.2 shooter, JK Blackwell makes magic with this lens while photographing her favorite subjects: pets! Way down in Sydney Australia, the award-winning artist knows how to create poetic photos showing the beauty that bonds both animals and owners. In her downtime between pet portraiture and editorial photography, JK has her own cats and guinea pigs craving their own portraits to which she abides as you’ll see on her social media pages.

two guinea pigs black cat with its shadow

Lume Photography

Andrea, my new Instagram friend and fellow VSCO user, was generous enough to share one of her thoughts about the 50mm. Specializing in wedding and portraiture, the 50mm makes its way into Andrea’s camera bag on many of her sessions. The Michigan-area photographer knows how to work the 50mm to create her colorful and textural photos. A Nikon shooter, the 50mm f/1.8 was one of the first lenses she ever bought and it’s still a trustworthy piece of glass. I think this photo really shows how the focal length combines the subject and surroundings so pleasantly.

lume andrea brandt ring hanging from succulents
“My 50mm lens is defintely one of my go-to lenses, especially for portraits and details. I love to use it for kids portraits because it’s so small, it doesn’t scare them as much as my bigger lenses! I also love the creamy background it produces at wide apertures.”—Andrea, Lume Photography

Stephanie Acar

Hailing from my own state of Florida, Stephanie is an up-and-coming portrait and editorial photographer out of Jacksonville. Finding ways to play with shadows and light while creating dramatic but real portraits is her signature (hopefully she doesn’t mind me saying that). It’s not all beach and water with her as she finds herself in interesting architectural, gritty, and urban areas. The 50mm allows her to capture location and personality in the same frame without overpowering one over the other.

stephanie acar jacksonville portrait model photographer

Akiko Aiko

One of my oldest photography friends, it was looking through Akiko’s photos on Flickr and discussions over e-mail that convinced me to buy the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro (enough letters in there for you?). We both shot Pentax at the time and you could find these lenses used on eBay for less than $200—a great price for a macro. I think we both kept pushing each other to try new things and take advantage of this lens. It’s a sharp, contrasty, and fun lens—one I recommend to a lot of beginners still. We’ve both moved on from our Pentax cameras since then, but we still love our 50mm friend.

akiko aiko japanese daughter graduation
“I like 50mm lens because the impression of the image through 50mm lens is similar to the image I see with my own eyes.” —Akiko Aoki

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