Today we’re looking at the best lens for portraits. Even if you have a quality camera, you can seriously benefit from upgrading with a nice lens. Portrait photography is all about capturing life, capturing moments, and bringing the best out in people. To do this, you need a great lens. A quality lens will make sure that each portrait you add to your photography portfolio is 100% professional.
If you are looking to get into some serious money with excellent clientele, it’s critical that your photos are up there with the best. To do this, you’re going to need a very specific lens. And there are two main types we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to look at zoom lenses and prime lenses. These are the two main types of portrait lenses.
A zoom lens will cover a wide range of focal lengths, they are super versatile, and you’re able to switch between a variety of different styles and different perspectives using the same lens. With a zoom lens, there is no need to switch or fight with a whole bagful of lenses. If you’re a beginner portrait photographer, it’s also very handy to invest in a zoom lens so that you can see which type of focal length is best suited to your style.
The other kind of lens is a prime lens. These are must-have tools for any professional portrait photographer. A prime lens is light and quick to use, and it offers sharper and better images than any other lens when dealing with portraits. When compared to a zoom lens, the quality and performance are way better. The only downside with prime lenses is that they are typically way more expensive, and you’ll probably have to carry more of them as you begin to get the hang of portrait photography.
If you’re looking for the best Canon lens for portraits, you definitely need to check out this model. It is a peerless standard lens that features an extremely large aperture for a narrow field of depth and a soft background blur that is going to make all your photos look extremely professional. It’s suitable for any kind of shooting, with a lens coating that is optimized for minimum ghosting and flare. This lens costs quite a bit, but that’s because it’s high-performance. It also has great weather resistance and superb image resolution. This lens has all the power you would expect from a quality Canon product.
While you can probably get by with a much cheaper standard lens or zoom lens, if you want the best rendering, the best bokeh, the best colors, and the best of everything, this little baby is what you’re looking for. It’s able to capture so much light that you get amazingly gorgeous photos with or without the autofocus. It’s reliable, extremely well-designed, and the focal range even at 1.2 is simply stunning. It basically captures what your eyes can really see, but it does it better than your eyes ever could.
- Lightweight & Easy to Use
- Stunning Bokeh
- Premium Lens w/ Premium Construction
- Great for Digital Cameras
- Little Expensive
- No Zoom
- Autofocus Can Be Tricky
If you want a budget telephoto lens to kick off your journey with portrait photography, this is the best one to do it with. It’s dirt cheap, it’s a standard telephoto lens that offers superb quality and great portability. It uses two high-refraction lens elements combined with unique Gaussian optics to eliminate and suppress previous astigmatic difference. In English, the lens provides crisp images with almost no flare regardless of the light and even at the maximum aperture. You get a close focusing distance of 1.5 feet, with a filter size of 58 millimeters.
To be quite honest, this is an affordable lens that’s ideal for casual photographers or professional photographers. It’s great for many different kinds of shooting. It uses an extra-small USM but still provides excellent manual focusing options. For weddings, anniversaries, graduation, and even just everyday life, this is a perfect all-around lens that can bring your world to life. And even though there is no weather sealing, it’s still very durable and great to take along with you when adventure calls.
- Extremely Accurate in Tough Situations
- Ideal for Everyday Life
- Powerful Bokeh
- Affordable for Everyone
- Best for Artists
- Fixed Lens
- Focus is OK
- No Weather Sealing
This is a fantastic prime lens from Sony at a discounted price. The lens offers the ideal focal length for portrait photography. But it can do a large range of other things as well. It’s designed to be extremely versatile, with a bright 1.8 maximum aperture, a 7-blade circular aperture, and solid durability. You get impressive image quality with an artistically defocused background bokeh that is going to make your social profile number one. And you get all this in a small, compact, and lightweight prime lens.
Sony has refined the optical performance of this lens to effectively minimize distortion, suppress field curvature and distortion, and provide premium images that you just can’t get without a lens of this caliber. It also has extremely fast focusing and smooth defocusing. With the large maximum aperture, you have an advantage when shooting at night or inside when it’s not very bright. And because this is Sony, you know it has great in-body stabilization to keep you on point all the time.
- Unbeatable Price
- Wide Aperture
- Fast Lens
- Great Shallow Depth
- Ideal for Beginners
- AF is Not Great
- Feels Like Plastic
- Budget Option
Nikon offers their 85mm telephoto lens at a reasonable price for professional portrait photographers. This is a really premium lens. It blends optical ingenuity with artistic distinction to give you unbelievable photos of your fellow human beings. The perspective is flattering, the resolution is breathtaking, and the bokeh is simply unbelievable. The focus is unwavering to give you a lifelike accuracy that you simply can’t get unless you spend this much money on a premium 85mm lens.
This lens is the best for those people who want to shoot incredible portraits, headshots, close-ups, and tight video. If you are looking to capture the natural beauty of your subjects, this is the lens to do it with. It uses ED glass elements to correct for all the chromatic aberrations, preventing any annoying color from fringing your images. It’s dust and rip-resistant, it has an anti-glare coating, and it uses multi-focus technology. It also comes with five-axis image stabilization. And to top it all off, it only weighs about one pound! This is really the pinnacle of great 85mm lenses.
- Premium Lens w/ Amazing Images
- Lightweight & Fun
- Reasonably Priced
- Designed for Portrait Photography
- Strong Construction
- Slow Focus in Low Light
- Specific to Nikon
- Best for Mid-Range Photography
The final lens on the list for today is a powerhouse. This is an 85mm short telephoto lens that takes beautiful pictures with perfect rendering, sharp contrast, and amazing bokeh. 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. This lens is arguably the best portrait lens from Canon. The only issue is with its relatively slow focus speed, but that doesn’t really matter if you’re taking pictures of people who aren’t moving very fast.
The lens is designed for professionals, so beginners might have a bit of trouble sorting out all the features. But it’s definitely worth it if you take the time to learn. As a fixed-length lens, this model has an impressive optical performance, a giant aperture design for the best low-light shooting ever, and a circular aperture that creates an amazing shallow depth field, bringing your subject to the forefront of attention while blurring the background perfectly. If you have a giant chunk of change to spare and you’re hungering for the best 85mm Canon lens, you should seriously consider this one. It will never let you down.
- Creamy Bokeh w/ Amazing Resolution
- Great Low-Light Lens
- Impressive Optical Performance
- Rendering is Perfect
- Best Canon Portrait Lens
- Wildly Expensive
- Slow Autofocus
- Designed for Professionals/Confusing for Beginners
All the lenses we talked about today are obviously great. We have added a lot of different types so that you have a better idea of what you can expect from your budget. As a rule, the more money you spend, the better your lens is going to be.
We already talked a little about prime and zoom. Prime lenses are the best but the most expensive, while zoom lenses are more affordable and a bit more versatile. But you also need to think a lot about the sensor size. This is because your camera body and the sensor size of your camera are both going to affect the focal length of your lens. If you are using a cheaper type of camera for beginners, a 50mm is going to be more like an 80mm. However, if you are using a full-frame camera with a sizable sensor, even a standard 50mm portrait lens is going to be fully optimized.
At the end of the day, just pick which lens is best for you! It’s all about comfort, skill level, and affordability.