The 50mm Lens You Choose Makes a BIG Difference in the Look & Feel of Your Photos (VIDEO)

There’s much more to selecting a lens than focal length, maximum aperture, AF vs MF, and whether you’re looking for a prime lens or a zoom. In fact, depending upon your style of photography and the emotion you want to convey, an economical lens may be a better choice than high-end glass that’s far more costly.

It’s not a surprise that all lenses aren’t created equal, and today we're looking specifically at those in the 50-55mm range. As you’ll see, various options have very different imaging characteristics, including contrast, bokeh, sharpness, and more.

In the thought-provoking video below, Australian pro Peter Coulson compares several 50mm and 55mm lenses, from a premium Zeiss Otis 55mm f/1.4 worth almost $3,500, to a fast 7 Artisans 50mm f/0.95 that you can get for just over $200. Coulson’s comparison differs from the typical bench test analyzing various aspects of image quality.

Coulson’s approach is all about how he interprets the performance of each lens in terms of feeling, emotion, and it’s value for visual storytelling. And you might be surprised by his conclusions. He’s shooting with a 50MP Sony A1 mirrorless camera, and the lenses in his evaluation are focused manually.

As Coulson explains, optimum sharpness “is less important to me than the look I get out of a lens.” And the choice he makes for one particular assignment isn’t necessarily the best option for shooting something different. Coulson’s informal test is accomplished with available light, and he did his best to keep “all things being equal.”

We encourage you to listen and watch carefully to see if you agree with his conclusions. You may even save yourself saving a bunch of cash; depending upon the type of photography you do most.

There are more helpful tips on Coulson's YouTube channel and in another video we posted recently, explaining why another pro says high-quality zoom lenses have an edge over big, expensive primes for certain types of landscape photography.