Another 35mm vs 50mm rant.
If you are going to have just one lens I guess most people would recommend either a 35mm or a 50mm for maximum versatility. (This is a 35mm and 50mm on a full frame or 135 FILM camera, do the math if you use something larger or smaller).
I have written countless posts about the subject of which one is the best as your “one” lens. And the reason is simple: the 35mm is in general the most versatile focal length because it is the best for one type of pictures, while the 50mm is the most versatile because you can use it both for what you would use a 35mm for (to a certain degree) and for a short portrait lens.
A 35mm lens is awesome for shooting “snap shots” or groups of friends or family members or landscapes, because you don’t have to get far away to capture it all. It’s kind of like a phone camera. You can just shoot from where you are and take most pictures. And the wide focal length means that the impact of a lower F stop number is less, and auto focus is often faster.
A 50mm on the other hand is better because you can control a little bit more what is in your picture, and easier blurring out backgrounds and portraits look a little bit more pleasing.
I personally prefer the 50mm when I’m shooting pictures or even portraits. But the 35mm like lens on my x100 is the best when I just shoot stuff around the house. If I had to pick one lens for a vacation, I think I would go for a 35mm.