There are plenty of ways to shoot portrait photography. Even the lenses you choose changes the mood and meaning your image may convey. That’s why it’s essential that you know which one to use when you’re taking pictures.
So, what type of lens is best for portrait photography? Let’s talk about your options and help you decide which one is the ideal lens for you.
What Type of Lens for Portraits Should You Choose?
Portraiture is quite a subjective art form. Photographers often find plenty of ways to photograph people. And their choice of lenses vastly affects the outcome of the images.
For instance, some photographers opt for a standard or even a wide-angle lens for shooting environmental portraits. Some sports photographers shoot pictures with a 15mm fish eye lens. And I’ve also seen a few use a 500mm super-telephoto from a few dozen metres away.
If that’s the case, what are the best lenses for portrait photography then?
Generally speaking, portrait photographers prefer portrait lenses . Mostly, these lenses are just telephotos with focal lengths between 85mm to 100mm.
So why are they the best lenses for portraits? Here are the few reasons why: First, they let you achieve significant background blur and a shallow depth of field. Next, they allow you to position your subject comfortably far away. They also have a perspective that’s ideal for showing human faces and bodies. The minimal distortion they produce means they don’t make people look either or thin.
But as we mentioned before, that doesn’t mean a portrait lens is your only choice. In the next section, we’ll discuss a wide variety of options you can use for best lens portraits.
What Focal Length Is Best for Portraits?
The term ‘telephoto’ includes any lens from roughly 70mm to 200mm, which is a wide range. Meanwhile, a standard lens can be anywhere between 35mm and 70mm.
As a portrait photographer, you need to capture images in all sorts of situations. Therefore, your kit needs to reflect a wide range of styles. You can either go for two zoom lenses that cover all the lengths or have prime lenses for each one. Both have their pros and cons.
Of course, you also need to take into account how you intend to use the lens. For example, a small, cramped studio space isn’t big enough to warrant a 70-200mm.
On the other hand, a long-distance shot of a couple at their wedding won’t work if you use a wide-angle lens. the lenses you use will need to be versatile.
When choosing your focal length, you need to take the crop factor of your camera before anything else. It will determine how a lens will behave and look on your camera. Read our article here to learn what it means and how it works.
More prime lenses take time to use and cost more than zoom lenses, which in turn may not give you the best quality.
The best bet is to have a combination of both lenses. Leave the ones at home that you won’t use for that particular session.