So, you are out on the market for a Nifty Fifty, (or as some may still call it: a 50mm f/1.8 lens). This is not surprising. The Nifty Fifty is often the second lens anyone will buy. It is usually cheap, at 1.8 it is relatively fast, and it gives a great Bokeh (or as some may still call it, blurred background).
Here is the thing though, while you’d think this is simple, the choice you have is actually kinda big, and if you budget around $1,400 (its a round 1,000 pounds) and can go up to 1.4 it really starts to get a matter of which of the lenses will provide the most value for you, and at what price. Christopher Frost did a great comparison of 10 of these options, starting with the cheap Yongnuo 50/1.8 (at $50) all the way up to the most expensive Canon USM L 1.2 ($1400).
Christopher compares price, sharpness, vignetting and distortion, contrast and flaring, Bokeh, features, and value for money
Here is the breakdown by price (followed by the number of stars)
Yongnuo f/1.8 – $50 (12*)
Canon f/1.8 mkII – $90 (14*)
Canon f/1.8 mkI – $100 (15*)
Canon f/1.8 STM – $120 (19*)
* it is not technically nifty fifty lenses from here on, but if you are out for a 50mm lens, you should definitely consider those as an option
Canon f/1.4 USM – $300 (*15)
Sigma f/1.4 HSM – $400 (21*)
Samyang f/1.4 UMC – $400 (20*) (or Rokinon)
Zeiss f/1.4 Planar ZE – %550 (12*)
Sigma f/1.4 Art – $900 (23*)
Canon f/1.2 USM L – $1,400 (19*)