We must not compare apples to oranges.
A 50 mm lens for 35-mm. film cameras can be a Tessar variant or a more complex system while a 50 mm lens for the 16-mm. film format as a double-normal focal length is a tele lens. Generally, really only in the broadest general sense, longer focal length lenses are of simpler design.
Now come the exceptions. Many a 50 mm lens for the 16 film format is a Double-Gauss system of six elements or more. The Kern-Paillard Switar 50 mm, f/1.4 is a six-element design, similar to the the Switar 25 mm, f/1.4. The Wollensak 6 inch telephoto for 16 mm film consists of two doublets. The 16-mm film Kern-Paillard Yvar 25mm, 75 mm, 100 mm, and 150 mm are all triplets.
Zeiss, Kinoptik, Panavision, Leitz, Cooke, Kilfitt, and other lenses of 50 mm focal length vary the more the younger they are. Up to the 70s six elements were rather standard. The early and the later Kern Switar 50 for 24 × 36 still photography have seven and eight elements respectively.
A well mounted and well used triplet gives better technical sharpness than a not perfectly mounted and or focused six-element lens. One chapter of the story bears the title Macro. Standard lenses are made for the object distance range from infinity down to about four or three feet. They cannot keep up with macro lenses specially designed for short distances. The other way round, macro lenses perform mostly only moderately on longer distances.
I am a huge fan of small, compact, and lightweight triplets. Only very few film stocks have enough resolving power to capture all the detail the lenses deliver, especially in the 16-mm. film format. Expensive lenses are an overkill. They are actually, in my humble opinion, only justified when a wide opening is needed, from f/2 to f/1. As long as one has enough light for, say f/2.8 through f/11, triplets and Tessar designs do the job alright. So, instead of the Switar 50-1.4 I mostly use a Cinor Berthiot or a Xenon by Schneider. With 35-mm. shoots my favourite 50 is the Angénieux 50-1.8 (S1).