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5 Best 50mm Lenses for Nikon in 2024

Last updated: March 18, 2024 - 8 min read
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50mm lenses are one of the most popular in all of photography, which is why every photographer needs one. If you’re a Nikon user, it’s important to find the best 50mm lenses for Nikon cameras, which are know for their versatility and quality. 

Our top pick is the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S, which stands out for its exceptional low light performance and sharpness, making it a fantastic choice for Nikon users. We have four more 50mm lenses in this article, with options for Z-mount and F-mount cameras. Keep reading to find out more. 

Our Top 3 50mm Lenses for Nikon
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G

What Is the Best 50mm Lens for Nikon?

To find the best 50mm lens for Nikon, you need to consider low-light performance, sharpness, and bokeh quality. Our list includes Nikon and Sigma lenses, chosen for their exceptional image quality and versatility. These lenses are ideal for professional photography, offering a blend of portability and optical excellence.

Our Top Pick
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
  • Exceptional sharpness, even at wide apertures
  • Fast, accurate autofocus with silent operation
  • Durable build with weather sealing features
  • Pleasing bokeh for portrait and macro photography
  • Versatile for street, portrait, and everyday use
Best Pro Z Lens
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
  • Ultra-wide f/1.2 aperture for low-light mastery
  • Superior optical design ensures edge-to-edge sharpness
  • Professional-grade build with weather-sealing durability
  • Fast, precise autofocus with minimal noise
  • Exquisite bokeh for standout portrait photography
Best DSLR Lens
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
  • Bright f/1.8 aperture for excellent low-light performance
  • Compact, lightweight design for easy portability
  • Superb image quality at an affordable price
  • Fast and silent autofocus system
  • Ideal for portraits with beautiful bokeh effects
Best Macro Lens
Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm F/2.8
Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm F/2.8
Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm F/2.8
  • True 1:1 macro capability for detailed close-ups
  • Compact and lightweight design enhances portability
  • Sharp images with minimal distortion
  • Dust and drip resistance for outdoor reliability
  • Smooth bokeh effect for pleasing background blur
Best Sigma Art Lens
Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM | A for Nikon F
Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM | A for Nikon F
Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM | A for Nikon F
  • Exceptional sharpness and clarity across the frame
  • Large f/1.4 aperture for superior low-light performance
  • Art series build quality ensures durability and reliability
  • Hyper Sonic Motor for fast and silent autofocus
  • Beautiful bokeh effect enhances portrait photography
 

Our Favorite 50mm Lenses for Nikon

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite 50mm lenses for Nikon cameras. From low-light champions to macro specialists, there’s a lens here for every style and skill level.

Explore these options to find the perfect fit for your photography bag.

1. Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Our Top Pick
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
415 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a classic “nifty-fifty” lens for Nikon’s mirrorless cameras. The combination of sharp optics, a fast aperture, and affordability makes it a must-have lens for Nikon shooters of all kinds. 

Its wide f/1.8 aperture allows for precise exposure control, even in low light, and a beautiful bokeh effect. This makes it a good option for photographers who need to isolate their subjects from a busy background.

The lens is also lightweight at 415 g, making it easy to carry around for daily shooting.

Optically, the lens features two extra-low dispersion elements and two aspherical elements. These reduce chromatic aberrations and ensure sharp images across the frame. Its edge-to-edge sharpness is particularly important for professional photography, where detail is key.

However, it lacks built-in image stabilization, relying on the camera’s system instead. Given its wide aperture and quick autofocus, this is not a major issue in most shooting scenarios.

Thanks to its stepping motor, the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S has quick and accurate autofocus. This is crucial for capturing spontaneous moments in street or event photography.

 

2. Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S

Best Pro Z Lens
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
1090 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.2
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S is a professional standard 50mm prime lens. Sensational optical quality and a super-fast max aperture make it a great lens for high-level portrait, product, or food photography. It also gives you more creative control when shooting street or travel photography. 

The fast f/1.2 max aperture gives you excellent low-light performance, helping you capture sharp images in dim conditions. It’s a great Nikon lens for night photography

An aperture this wide also gives you an ultra-shallow depth of field, producing a stunning bokeh effect in portraits or product shots. A 9-blade aperture diaphragm also enhances the smoothness of your background blur.

Its optical design includes elements that reduce aberrations, ensuring images are sharp and colors are true. The outer elements also have Nano Crystal and ARNEO coatings that eliminate lens flare and ghosting. 

Weighing about 2.4 lbs (1.09 kg), this lens is on the heavier side, which might not suit everyone. However, its build quality is top-notch, designed to withstand tough conditions, making it a reliable choice for outdoor shoots.

The autofocus is quick and silent, a big advantage for both photographers and videographers.

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S delivers high-quality images with its exceptional sharpness and fast aperture. It’s a good option for those who prioritize image quality and creative control. Its durability and weather sealing also make it a useful lens for professional use in various shooting environments.

 

3. Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G

Best DSLR Lens
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
185 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G is an absolute classic, one of Nikon’s most popular all-time lenses. That’s no surprise considering it’s compact, sharp, and affordable. Any Nikon DSLR user needs this lens in their camera backpack

Its f/1.8 aperture allows for excellent low-light shooting and beautiful bokeh, making it a favorite among portrait and street photographers.

The lens is lightweight at 185 g, allowing you to use it for long periods without fatigue. It’s also compact enough for even smaller camera backpacks and bags. 

This lens includes an aspherical element that minimize aberrations and improve image clarity. It delivers consistent performance across various shooting conditions, from dimly lit environments to brightly lit landscapes.

The autofocus is quick and reliable, capturing moments as they happen without missing a beat.

The Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G is a versatile and affordable option for photographers looking to improve their shooting skills. Its wide aperture, sharpness, and portability make it a popular choice for a wide range of photographers.  

 

4. Nikon Z MC 50mm f/2.8

Best Macro Lens
Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm F/2.8
Brand
Brand
Nikon
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
260 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Nikon Z MC 50mm f/2.8 stands out for its macro capabilities, offering a true 1:1 magnification ratio. This feature is perfect for photographers keen on capturing the intricate details of small subjects.

With an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/22, it performs well in various lighting conditions, allowing for significant control over depth of field.

The lens impresses with sharpness across the frame, even at its widest aperture. The inclusion of an extra-low dispersion element minimizes chromatic aberrations, ensuring images are clear with true-to-life colors. Its minimal distortion and controlled vignetting further enhance its appeal for detailed work.

Its construction ensures it is both lightweight and durable, making it a reliable companion for outdoor shoots.

The Nikon Z MC 50mm f/2.8 is a versatile lens that excels in macro photography without losing much versatility compared to other 50mm lenses. Its compact design and optical performance make it a unique 50mm option for Nikon users. 

 

5. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A for Nikon F

Best Sigma Art Lens
Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM | A for Nikon F
Brand
Brand
Sigma
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
815 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
50 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A is a beautiful prime lens from Sigma Art line of lenses. Pristine optical quality and wide aperture range give you the creative control you need to produce pro-level images. 

The lens’s optical construction includes Special Low Dispersion (SLD) elements and ensures sharp images with minimal chromatic aberrations.

An ultra-wide f/1.4 aperture provides excellent exposure control, helping you capture sharp images in low-light conditions. It also gives you a shallow depth of field, enhancing portraits with a gorgeous bokeh effect. 

Weighing in at 815 grams, this lens is relatively heavy for its class. But its build quality is solid, offering a durable and reliable option for daily use.

The autofocus is quick and accurate, enhancing its usability in dynamic shooting scenarios like street or event photography. Despite lacking image stabilization, its superior aperture range mitigates this drawback.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A is a top choice for those seeking the best in image quality and artistic control. Its ability to create accurate images with beautiful background blur makes it a valuable asset for any photographer. 

 

Conclusion: The Best 50mm Lenses for NIkon

The article reviews five 50mm Lenses for Nikon, highlighting their strengths in various photography scenarios. Each lens offers unique features, from low light performance to macro capabilities, giving Nikon users plenty of options when looking for the best 50mm lens. 

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S stands out for its sharpness and low-light performance. It’s also compact, lightweight, and affordable, which is why we were so confident selecting it as No.1. But as we’ve seen, there are other fantastic 50mm lenses for Nikon cameras. 

Our Top 3 50mm Lenses for Nikon
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.2 S
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G