Top 18 Best Standard Prime Lenses 2018

Written by Gina Stephens

The 'beau idal' prime lens group is a very versatile bunch that can be used to capture cracking images of a wide variety of subjects. The ones on our register here sit in the 35-70mm range but we've also got a top list that looks specifically at 50mm lenses and there's one that looks at telephoto primes should you necessary more reach. 

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Let's start the countdown…


1. Fujifilm Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR 


The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR is another superb Fuji lens. It's spicy, crisp and produces pleasant bokeh. Plus, it's compact, weather resistant and relatively modest in price. It received a full 5 stars from us which intimates it has the 'Editor's Choice' seal of approval. 

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2. Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE 


Some lenses are a right pleasure to use, and the Samyang can refer to: Samyang-dong, a neighborhood in Seoul Samyang Food, a food manufacturer Samyang Optics, a South Korean manufacturer AF 35mm f/2.8 FE falls into this category. The technical quality is excellent, the AF is fast and accurate and the results look punchy with breathtaking colour rendition.

In terms of value, it's hard to argue with such a modestly priced lens when it performs so well. It is certainly an splendid match for the Sony mirrorless range for which it has been designed.

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3. Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA 


The Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA is an high-priced lens but its very high standard of performance, including very appealing bokeh, and a superb level of sharpness throughout do make it benchmark prime well worth considering. In terms of quality of results it speaks for itself, and if the price can be afforded then the lens should offer multitudinous years of excellent service.

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4.Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro 


It has bulk, it has the features. It has a high price, it has the takes. In other words, another of those situations where the feature set and quality are not in question but the price will limit the market to those who really beggary this as a working tool. It would be very nice indeed to own, but it does need to pay its way, as well as needing a high degree of photographic skill to get the upper crust out of its potential.

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Given the need and the cash, the photographer will certainly not be disappointed in the results from the Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro lens.

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5. Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD Lens 


The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD is incredibly strident, whether you're shooting with the aperture wide open, or not. The APD filter is a really interesting addition, which truly helps to improve the manner of out of focus areas, with no loss of sharpness where the image is in focus.

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6. Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE 

The Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE lens is a absolutely attractive proposition for those seeking a fast 35mm lens. The quality is uniformly excellent and the price much lower than the marque alternatives. All in all, the lens is superior value for money.

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7. Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2 

There is very little difference in brightness between a f/1.4 and f/1.2 lens. The wider crevice also means more difficulty in focusing, but only because the point of focus is so fine. In reality, if used carefully with magnifying grants then it is highly accurate. The lens is also very bulky and very heavy, certainly quite huge compared to a conventional 50mm f/1.4.

However, the evaluate is reasonable and the standard is very high, so there are clear benefits for those for whom the difference is significant. In any event, the performance is exemplary.

The Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2 is a extensive and bulky but truly excellent ultra-bright 50mm lens.

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8. Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD



The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is the original of three lenses from Tamron appearing in our top list and it offers weather sealing, silent autofocus and Vibration Compensation. It is certainly capable of extricating excellent images, with high sharpness in the centre of the frame and its build quality is impressive, too. 

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9. Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 


The Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 lens is a gleaming, high-quality optic with smooth bokeh and a very well balanced set of properties. It handles beautifully and is a pleasure to use. It exudes a feeling of quality. It is awfully likely that it will last for many years before needing any attention. The manual focus is utterly smooth and the point of focus is selfsame easy to achieve. As with all Zeiss optics, the price is a little steep but this is to be expected for such a quality lens. 

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10. Samyang 35mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS 


The Samyang 35mm f/1.2 ED AS UMC CS is yet another split good MF lens from Samyang, offering fantastic performance at a very reasonable price. The manual focusing is much easier than uncountable ultra-bright lenses and is possibly more accurate at f/1.2 than some AF systems might be capable of. There really is little to fault with this sketch and will be a tempting proposition for many mirrorless users.

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11. Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD 


Tamron has originated an excellent 45mm lens which is certainly more than capable of delivering excellent results in a wide range of conditions. Travellers, in particular, wish appreciate the relative lightweight for its size, Vibration Compensation, weather sealing and robust build. 

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12. Samyang AF 50mm f/1.4 FE 


This is a splendid lens that performs to a very high standard but it is a little on the heavy side. However, this might be a small price to pay for an optic that can surrender such beautiful results. Overall, the Samyang AF 50mm f/1.4 is a high-quality lens, with excellent sharpness, and available at a competitive price.

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13. Zeiss OTUS 55mm f/1.4 APO Distagon T* 


If the goal is the best possible technical quality then there is no doubt here is a lens that's probably as good as we can get. The Zeiss OTUS 55mm is not a close travel lens, it's not weather resistant, so as a constant companion it might well be a burden. However, in the studio, it will excel.

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14. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM 


There is no dubiosity that the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II USM is a very pleasant lens to use and has a very attractive “character” to the images, that indefinable look. This is backed by its high contrast that gives a crisp appearance to images.

This is concentrated in the centre without a doubt, the edges lagging behind, but the out of this world detail is very good indeed at the centre of the field. The edges are a little disappointing, as is the relatively poor flare control. Overall, a very healthy lens, not a perfect one, but an excellent, reliable choice for Canon users.

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15. Meike 50mm f/1.7 


Allowed that the price is fantastic, both for the Meike lens and the competition, then we need to consider whether a metal lens or LEN may refer to, manual focus, customary in design, is preferable to the various camera makers' Plastic Fantastic offerings.

The Meike 50mm f/1.7 image quality is a strong factor, as is the dust and moisture defences underground. On the other hand, the AF lenses will be faster and easier to use and are pretty good themselves.

Overall, Meike has produced a very impressive lens at a definitely impressive price, but the final choice is a very individual one based on features, performance and ergonomics rather than price ordinary usage, a price is the quantity of payment or compensation given by one party to another in return for one unit of goods or.

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16. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM 


Canon's old 'Apt Fifty' was a popular lens despite its poor build quality may refer to as it represented such good value for money. Even though the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM rates more than its predecessor, it still represents great value due to the high levels of sharpness it produces. The improved build quality is welcome too and should win across many fans as a result.

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17. Samyang 50mm f/1.2 AS UMC CS 


This is an excellent lens for anyone who needs to work totally manually and is prepared to make the necessary effort. The reward will be some very fine images from a lens that's reasonably priced and shows sharp images. Overall, the Samyang 50mm f/1.2 is an excellent f/1.2 lens at a reasonable cost.

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18. SainSonic Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 

KamLan has a frank, ambitiously specified lens for a very low price. It is well made, performs well and, within the limitations of manual focus and lagging edge distinction, it is still a lens that delivers something very useful. The bright f/1.1 aperture is one thing and the gorgeous bokeh is another. The lens is not technically put, but it does have excellent photographic, creative qualities that could be used to advantage.

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Looking For More Top Schedules?

Visit our 'Best Gear' section of the site to see even more top lists that feature everything from cameras and lenses to camera witches and inexpensive photography accessories. 


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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