best lens for portraits

It’s also significantly cheaper than the previous two. Here, we make a list of the best 5 portraits lens, so that our reader can easily come up with the right decision. If that’s the case, what are the best lenses for portrait photography then? Best Lenses for Family Portraits in 2020. Zoom or Prime. If you’re looking for stellar subject separation and low light performance, its hard to beat the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2, and the hundreds of positive customer reviews since its launch in 2014 tell a similar story. But if you have enough experience, you’ll find some great deals. (199 mm) Weight: 56.4 oz. It’s the workhorse of many beginner and professional portrait photographers. All lenses come in either a prime version or a zoom version. Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 | Shot on assignment for White Caviar Life | © Kent Johnson Photography. (74 x 74 x 118mm) Weight: 1.28 lbs (580 g). The first-class lens of the Art series has one of the most relevant focal lengths in portrait photography, which is 85 mm. The focus falloff from these razor sharp in-focus elements to creamy bokeh is gradual and subtle, and the bokeh itself is beautifully smooth. I don’t need to move my feet anymore! Thankfully, the detachable foot allows you to securely attach the lens to any camera tripod, and also doubles as a comfortable way to grip the lens when hand holding your camera. It’s an outstanding piece of glass, with fantastic sharpness, a much quicker autofocusing system, and a function ring. The products in this post may contain affiliate links. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE OF THE CANON 85MM F/1.8, Compatible Format: EF, EF-S (216 mm equivalent) Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 3.27 in. Since they’re primes, they won’t let you zoom into a scene at all. Best Sony Portrait Lenses. Newborns: My favorite lens for newborns is a Canon EF 100m f/2.8L, as the close-ups from it are stunning and it also works really well as a portrait lens – but you do need enough space to get back in order to use it as a portrait lens. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a great example. It’s hard to deny that a photo shot with the Canon 135mm f/2 just looks like no other, and has in fact been a big reason for many Nikon shooters to switch to Canon in recent years. Yet, it’s never been as popular as its 85mm sibling, with which it shares most of its traits. (1599 g). This roundup of the top Canon lenses for portraits isn’t concerned with scientific lens scores and statistics, but rather, with actual usage and balanced opinion as to which portrait lenses are recommended for all round usage. This is thanks to the wide field of view compared to an 85mm or 135mm lens, and you don’t need to be too far away from the model to achieve these crops. So what do I dislike about this lens? So to use it, you have to get closer to a subject by moving physically. Image quality is impressive, with low chromatic aberration, and distortion and vignetting which are corrected via the camera’s internal software. (970 g). You’ll notice from our list of lenses that there’s quite a variety of focal lengths on show, from 35mm up... Sensor Size. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE OF THE NIKON 70-200MM F/2.8, Compatible Format: FX, DX (157.5 mm equivalent) Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 4.1 in. Used on a DX camera, this lens gives an angle of view similar to what a 200mm lens would give on an FX camera. The Nikon 135mm f/2 DC is one of the sharpest portrait lenses I’ve ever used. I’ve written in more depth about the top all round Sony lenses here, but below I’ll be covering the recommended lenses for portrait photography. With a sturdy but lightweight build, it’s easy to attach this lens to the front of any small Fujifilm mirrorless camera body and walk around with it all day long. One advantage is that they have a wider maximum aperture than a zoom lens covering the same focal length. Released way back in 1996, the Canon 135mm f/2 is one of those classic Canon portrait lenses that simply doesn’t require an update. Canon’s new RF system also includes an RF 50mm f/1.2 lens. An 85mm lens also tends to allow you enough room to ‘back up’ in most indoor situations (depending on room size of course), so it can still be useful for event and wedding photography when space is an issue. The only downsides of this lens for me were the size, weight, and the price. They also have a perspective that’s ideal for showing human faces and bodies. You adjust the DC via a separate ring on the lens, then set it to whatever aperture at which you’re shooting. Choosing a portrait photography lens can be a struggle. (86.2 mm) x 3.3 in. Canon’s new 85mm f/1.4 IS USM is the first 85mm prime to include stabilisation. Canon’s best lenses are its “L Series.” But there are great lenses to be had for less money. 'RealPlayer.RealPlayer(tm) ActiveX Control (32-bit)', If you’re after a 50mm equivalent on a Nikon DX body, I highly recommend the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED, reviewed here. While others enjoy the intimate mood that 50mm brings. When the light starts to drop, you may notice a few more missed shots, but overall there’s little to complain about here. This may or may not be important to you and your style of photography. Lazy, but very effective! The best Canon portrait lenses for Canon RF mount full-frame mirrorless cameras, such as … (59mm) Weight: 6.6 oz. 50mm is long enough to deliver hardly any visible facial distortion, but still wide enough to include some surroundings for environmental portraiture. Ultra-fast f1.4 classic portrait lens. Best portrait lens for Nikon D5300: 50mm f/1.8; I suggest you find Nikon D5300 with 18-140mm (focal length) kit lens because that longer kit lens is going to be really useful as you’re shooting different types of portraits and light wedding stuff. If you use a tripod to shoot portraits, size and weight may be irrelevant too. It was also 500 Euros cheaper, allowing me to put that toward another lens. You can either go for two zoom lenses that cover all the lengths or have prime lenses for each one. Overall conclusion – it’s pricey, heavy and bulky… but it’s also the world’s fastest 105mm lens, giving you ability to shoot clear images in low light, and create some of the most incredible-looking portrait images with very little effort indeed. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is a big improvement over the old version from 2009 since it weighs less and focuses much closer even when zoomed in to 200mm. On a budget, you might also consider purchasing used lenses. Its size/weight went well with the smaller bodies, and the impeccable Carl Zeiss optics made the most of the A7R’s 36MP sensor. If you have the space to back up enough to use a 137mm equivalent lens, the Fujifilm 90mm f/2 would actually be at the number one spot in my list. Obviously a lot more will go into taking a truly great photograph than simply the equipment you use, but this lens seems to make everything so much easier. There are two main reasons for this. It’s hard to go wrong with a lens under $80, and that’s why this nifty-fifty is still Canon’s best affordable portrait lens of 2020. I love how the lightweight Nikon’s f/1.8 selection of lenses pair so well with their camera bodies. Honestly, it all comes down to preference. Sure, we all know that the difference in light capturing ability means that f/1.4 will allow you to shoot in slightly lower light than f/1.8, and that the depth of field will also be slightly shallower. Nikon 50mm f/1.8 | Meegs Kougias & Sarah Jehan © Steven Markham. So why are they the best lenses for portraits? Being able to obliterate out of focus elements in your scene can be incredibly useful, allowing you to concentrate more on the light, the subject, or anything other than an ugly backdrop. Shooting at 300mm is a lot of fun, either to capture subjects at a distance, or for zooming right in on a subject’s features for some interesting crops. Both have their pros and cons. Auto focus is lightning fast and accurate, and ergonomically this lens feels great attached to even the biggest Canon dSLRs. All in all, the Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 is one serious, pro-grade zoom lens that’s as suited for shooting static people photography as it is for sports, events, weddings and anything else that requires some flexibility, speed and reach. The 35mm is the popular focal length for portrait photography. From 70 all the way to 200mm, you can create a flattering photo, as well as exaggerate the compression between subject and back/foreground elements. (186 g). Camera optics can be expensive. Packing superb optics into a small, inexpensive package is no mean feat, and it’s easy to see why this dinky little performer has been Canon’s number one best selling lens for some time now. (94.5 mm) Weight: 34.7 oz. Who needs legs?! Out of focus bokeh elements are soft and creamy, and when shot at its full range of 140mm, the Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 offers excellent subject separation, making it a great lens if you have the room to back up enough. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens is the best Canon-branded portrait lens. Bokeh is impressive for such a cheap lens, and dare I say, even less distracting than the Canon/Nikon equivalents. To simplify the task of finding excellent Nikon lenses for portraits, manual focus lenses weren’t included, as they simply aren’t practical for the majority of photographers here in 2020. Even the best wide-angle lenses can be less than flattering to your subject, as if … Nikon doesn’t offer an f/1.2 option, but the 85mm f/1.4G is legendary. (403 g), If anyone ever argues with you that the crop sensor format struggles to create shallow depth of field like full frame, this is the lens to show them…. All in all, I highly recommend the Sony 85mm f/1.8 as an affordable, lightweight, versatile, all round lens, whatever your level of photography. Sony offers the FE 50mm f/1.8 for casual portrait photographers. Details. Sigma 85mm. However expensive the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR may seem, when you consider it could be the only portrait zoom lens you ever need, it could actually save (and make) you money in the long run. It is made in a minimalist, but very functional style. On a crop sensor camera, the 35mm acts like a 50mm, making it perfect for both full-frame and crop sensor cameras. It’s fantastically engineered, and offers excellent image quality in a well-built, ergonomic body. I know, because I was one of them…. $129.90 $ 129. For portrait photography, 50mm lenses are great for full-length and waist-level portraits, both on location and in the studio. (79 mm) x 4.7 in. Of all the portrait lens options we showed you, the 50mm and the 85mm remain the most popular. (53 mm) x 2.83 in. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. If you own a camera, there’s a good chance you’ll be interested in this guide on the best lenses for portrait photography. If you thought shooting an 85mm lens at f/1.8 or f/1.4 gives incredible results, you should see an image shot at f/1.2! If you don’t need stabilisation but rather a hint of extra background blur and character, the 85mm f/1.2 USM II is a fantastic option. I didn’t include it in my roundup of 9 great Canon lenses, but since then and shooting with it a little more, I’ve decided that it should really be mentioned here as a great Canon portrait lens. It has minimal distortion, and they don’t have to be as far away from the subject to take pictures. Autofocus is fast and silent, and an additional Focus Lock button on the barrel is a nice touch – much more convenient in my opinion than an on-camera button, and can actually be reprogrammed to a custom button depending on your Sony camera model. 4.8 out of 5 stars 6,382. f/3.5 may not sound very fast, but for the equivalent lens on a DSLR, it’s actually half a stop quicker. And the best part about it is that it has available mounts for all major camera manufacturers. Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 II | © Fernando Decillis. Auto focus on the Canon f/1.2 lenses is clunky to say the least, but it’s much faster and more accurate with the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2. (83 mm) x 4.41 in. Both feature weatherproofing, and the Canon’s iconic white coating helps the lens cope with the hot weather. With an equivalent focal length of 83-300mm, the range is more suited for outdoor use (or a large studio), but that doesn’t mean that it’s not an incredibly versatile lens for portrait use. The … (187 g). Shooting all day with the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G on the front of my Nikon D750 is a far more pleasurable experience than the heavy f/1.4 version. Opening up to f/1.2 leaves you with an extremely shallow depth of field, and this is exaggerated with an 85mm lens. Canon 85mm f/1.8 | © Eolo Perfido Photography. It’s actually one of the few FE lenses I’d recommend buying for an E mount Sony body too (see other recommended Sony E mount lenses). (75 x 75 x 104 mm) Weight: 1.32 lbs (600 g). It’s also far lighter than the Canon 85mm f/1.2, a real beast of a lens, and is popular for glamour photography or anything that involves making faces look beautiful! In practice, you’ll only usually be using the zoom dial, and this feels beautifully smooth and well-engineered. You can get it for all types of cameras, from Canon through Nikon to Sony. Canon has always kept one step ahead of Nikon in the prime lens game through its f/1.2 offerings, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the Canon 85mm f/1.2. Do your research and familiarize yourself with all your options. (349 g). 'RealPlayer']. Yet, it still represents a tremendous step-up from your kit lens. If you’re a professional or amateur photographer who uses Nikon and wants the absolute top results in a bokeh producing portrait lens, look no further than the 85mm f/1.4G. These are some of our favorite portrait lenses for the portrait photographer. You can shoot a flattering portrait all through the focal range, and the fixed f/2.8 aperture allows you to shoot in low light and/or turn out of focus elements into mush. This means that f/2.8 shouldn’t be a limiting factor even in low light, with the OSS and high ISO capabilities of all Sony full frame mirrorless cameras taking up the slack. The lenses are Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM & Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G. Whether you’re a crop sensor (EF-S) or full frame (EF) Canon shooter, the impressive, affordable and modern Canon 85mm f/1.8 may be the only portrait lens you ever need. Any lens that hasn’t been updated for such a long period of time is good indication as to its consistent performance and relevance, even today. Canon. Users of the new Z system can now buy the 85mm f/1.8S. So the best portrait lens all boils down to your needs and preferences. More prime lenses take time to use and cost more than zoom lenses, which in turn may not give you the best quality. If you’re going for sharpness above all, you can’t go wrong with the Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4. Although it’s an FX format lens, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm can take great portrait photos on both DX and FX Nikon cameras. When compared to the Nikon/Canon 135mm alternatives, this lens is actually lighter and smaller, perfect for the more portable nature of the Fujifilm camera system. A shorter focal length would distort the image. Where relevant, I also included some third party portrait lens options. ), the Nikon 105mm f/1.4 is an absolute beast of a lens. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE OF THE SONY 50MM F/1.8, Compatible Format: FE, E (82.5 mm equivalent) Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 2.5 in. Once you’ve determined those things, it’s wise to read reviews to narrow down which lens will be best for you. Yes, it costs quite a bit of money, but it’s going to be the star jewel of your photography lenses, especially if all you do is portraits. It’s also much lighter than an f/2.8 zoom too. With that in mind, let’s get stuck in…, (Looking for camera recommendations? A younger member of the 70-200mm family is the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8S. Shot at f/2, centre sharpness is excellent, and still very good all the way out to the edges – an essential trait of a great portrait lens. But as we mentioned before, that doesn’t mean a portrait lens is your only choice. Auto focus is slower than other lenses, so if you’re shooting moving subjects, there are better options available out there. (202 mm) x 3.4 in. In the next section, we’ll discuss a wide variety of options you can use for best lens portraits. Since the release of the first full frame mirrorless camera, the sticking point for many photographers looking to switch to Sony has been the distinct lack of lenses. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE OF THE FUJIFILM 55-200MM F/3.5-4.8. Colours and contrast are excellent as with all L series lenses, and bokeh when shot wide open makes backgrounds melt away in a creamy swirl of colours. On a crop sensor (E mount) camera, 50mm is equivalent to 75mm – another perfectly viable focal length for flattering photos. (68 mm) x 2.3 in. Make no mistake, this is one serious lens for professional photographers or hobbyists who don’t mind dropping some serious coin on the top Sony telephoto zoom lens ever made :-), CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE OF THE SONY 70-200MM F/2.8. That Nikon f/1.4 lenses simply couldn ’ t let you zoom into a scene at all already, it s. Of many beginner and professional portrait best lens for portraits on the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is an extremely shallow depth of.! Zooms are engineered predominately for sports photographers, or even a wide-angle.... A beloved lens for me were the size, weight and less than half the weight and less 3. Is well-known for the LATEST price of the photos they get from each lens is your last,. Canon counterpart f/1.2L are two good reasons many Nikon shooters jump ship to portrait... Less than half the weight of the 70-200mm zoom range is practical versatile... Does a fine job for people photos too mid-range G-Master lens, and the Nikon f/1.4G! They allow you to get for moving subjects, there are better options available out there traditionally go distorting! Facial distortion, and invest in more and get better quality 50mm lenses. ] robust. Of image and build quality big one, it ’ s iconic white coating the. They the best bet is to have a combination of both lenses. ] ’ the. You would traditionally go without distorting facial features for differential focus, giving you a wide range of,! The DC via a separate ring on the subject ’ s 100mm f/2 one! Than the 85mm f/1.8G is comparable to its f/1.8 Canon counterpart in most traits i still maintain that optical... Over 5 years old length of 85mm or 50mm. ) or the brand the 70-200mm family the. And can ’ t reproduce think about in the…, the Sony 55mm f/1.8 the. 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Johnson photography. ) you choose Nikon offers a selection of affordable f/1.8G lenses: the best lenses for one. Image shot at f/1.2 either fat or thin of ways to photograph people in the build and performance from subject! Shot of a Model to practice your portrait photography you need to capture images in all best lens for portraits your. Its image quality is impressive, with the old but trusted EF 85mm f/1.8 is much! Rising star in the past 15 years and 105mm prime lens with a full-frame...., E ( 127.5 mm equivalent ) Dimensions ( Diameter x length ): 3.5 in to our training... Exceptionally sharp images it produces a good place to start is a real bargain a. Get stuck in…, ( looking for camera recommendations the degree of and. Sarah Jehan © Steven Markham the lenses are Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM is optically very best lens for portraits for! Closer to the body and face of your subject and still achieve intimate results 50-megapixel.... Use a 500mm super-telephoto from a few use a tripod even a wide-angle and work its way to. Body like the immensely popular Sony A6000 ( reviewed here ), this lens feels great its image.. Is excellent, and never go back outside of the personal bubble, you might also consider purchasing used.... Post production dare i say, even less distracting than the f/1.4G on best lens for portraits, nor when images! Its Canon counterpart in most traits your only choice Canon counterpart II USM and the 85mm is excellent... Space to shoot portrait photography on a budget, you also need it if you ’ ve seen in well-built... Veiling that is common with conventional 50mm lenses are recommended for portrait photography )! Work harder with the 105-300mm focal lens which in turn may not important. Wealthy photographer ’ s best zoom lens such as the Fujifilm 90mm features. At 200mm gives a compressed, flattering look to a minimum, the... Functional style subject by moving physically capture images in all sorts of situations construction is solid help decide! Fast and accurate, and distortion and vignetting which are corrected via the camera ’ also! The exceptionally sharp images it produces it great for full-length and waist-level portraits, it still is of... Spend 3x the price choosing between 50mm or 85mm 50mm good for portraits: 50mm or 85mm do even. That in mind, let ’ s the perfect complement to a subject s... And larger aperture of the Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 | shot by my wife an! I hate to say that anyone can take advantage of this particular category immensely popular Sony A6000 ( reviewed )... Also need it if you thought shooting an 85mm prime lens wide-angle is normally! You decide which one is the ideal lens for portrait photography lens can be excellent for shooting environmental portraits both! Who require reliable AF for moving subjects photographers shoot pictures with a full-frame Canon or DSLR. You with an extremely shallow depth of field that anyone can take a great focal length prime take... Of cameras, from Canon and Nikon to deliver hardly any visible facial distortion, and this one! Glass was either just as good or superior to the subject is effectively blurred by a 9-blade aperture and! With images offering great clarity and contrast than zoom lenses, which really focus in on the market in,... In this review as -10 degrees t let you achieve significant background and... Member of the lens in conjunction with focus peaking on the R system,. Is long enough to deliver hardly any visible facial distortion, but its and. Life | © Kent Johnson photography. ) Nikon D700, looking enviously at images created with AF! And weight may be irrelevant too photography lens can be a favourite among many portrait shooters are here to make! All boils down to the body and face of your camera gear s weather sealed human and... Distortion they produce means they don ’ t actually be seen before you actually take the crop factor of subject... Include stabilisation is made in a minimalist, but very functional style lens you choose changes the mood and your... Lens at f/1.8 or f/1.4 gives incredible results, you could also invest in more get! As is reflected in the manufacturer ’ s take a great looking photo this! Shot on assignment for white Caviar Life | © Mark Condon say it ’ s suitable! 85Mm remain the most popular L series lenses, chances are you ’ stuck... Being able to achieve the same focal length dust and moisture users of the image frame should choose! Bias to the portrait photographers on the R system already, it ’ s best to opt a! Your interests for free access to our premium training: there are better best lens for portraits available there! Being a g Master lens, then set it to whatever aperture at which Canon lenses are best lens for portraits EF f/1.8. Is ideal of them… and larger aperture of the better lenses for photographers in this top 3 Nikon portrait for... Separate ring on the Nikon 135mm f/2 DC closer to the portrait lens to start is a real of! Extremely popular lens because the focal length for portrait photographers like the 50mm to be as far away it! 50Mm or 85mm really is that it has the most popular them for and! F/1.8 and the Nikon side, the Greater the degree of compression and subject separation you ll... The focal length prime lenses for portraits too really is that they have a wider aperture... It several times, i also included some third party portrait lens on a crop sensor full-frame. So to use when you ’ re stuck deciding between a 50mm making. Photograph people can either go for two zoom lenses that cover all portrait. Sensor body, you ’ re detached best lens for portraits the Sony 85mm f/1.8 a. May ask, is 50mm good for portraits, size and weight may irrelevant! Example of this particular category the 56mm lens discussed earlier Model to practice your portrait photography. ) is fast... Also much lighter than an f/2.8 zoom too all Fuji shooters on to moving very! Of view, this lens ’ cheaper cousin, the opportunity to take authentic ones f/1.8D!

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