If you’re looking to buy a new lens, there’s a lot to consider — weight, cost, size, quality, and style. But one of the most important factors is how it will affect your photos.

So which lenses are best for portraits?

It depends on the type of portrait you’re trying to take. If you’re taking photos of people, a standard lens is probably best.

Why? Because a wide-angle lens can distort facial features — noses get bigger and eyes smaller — and make it harder to read expressions.

DSLR cameras are usually preferred for portraits as well because they typically have better electronic focusing technology than point-and-shoot cameras, so you can use them in low light.

For more casual photography, like shots of landscapes or architecture or still life, the sky’s the limit.

A wide-angle lens might be too much for indoor shots but works great for shooting a group of people in front of a blue sky outside.

A telephoto lens would be overkill for outdoor portraits; you’d end up with nothing but the background behind your subject and no way to frame them properly.

Best Lens For Portraits

Portrait photography is more challenging than normal photography. The human face is the most difficult type of subject to photograph, and it’s often out of focus.

However, a lens that does well at portraits can still be used for other types of photography.

Here are some key features to look for in a portrait lens:

Wide Focal Length

A wide focal length provides extra depth of field, which makes it easier to keep your subject in focus without having to shoot from a distance.

Image Stabilization

A fast shutter speed is necessary because your hands move while you’re trying to take a photo of someone’s face. Image stabilization helps your camera compensate for shake , so it stays steady during the exposure.

Minimum Focusing Distance

This can be critical if you want to shoot portraits at close range.

If you don’t have a minimum focusing distance that’s long enough, you won’t be able to take sharp photos at all distances, and you’ll miss out on capturing critical personality details that make up a good portrait.

Minimum Aperture Rating

The smaller the maximum aperture (lens opening), the greater the depth of field will be in portraits and other close-up shots.

Let’s take a look at our list of the best lenses for portraits.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens is one of the most popular professional portrait lenses available on the market today. It’s a fast 85mm lens with a large aperture of f1.4, making it perfect for taking in lots of light and creating beautiful looking images.

9 Amazing Photos Taken with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Review

I’ve used this lens for years in my commercial and personal work, and I can definitely tell you that it’s one of the best lenses I’ve ever owned. It’s very sharp, and I’ve never had any issues with chromatic aberration, even when shooting into the sun.

It has a very fast autofocus motor that’s built to last, but it does have a slower focusing speed than some other lenses on the market today, which might be a drawback for some photographers.

The high aperture of f/1.4 makes this lens great for taking portraits in low light conditions without having to use a flash. The bokeh (the out-of-focus area) is also very smooth and creamy which makes it perfect for creating unique looking images.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM - DSLR Lens with IS Capability, Black - 2271C002
  • Canon’s First 85mm L-series Lens with IS Capability.
  • Large, Bright f/1.4 Aperture.
  • Image Stabilization at up to 4* Stops of Shake Correction.
  • GMo Aspherical Lens with Air Sphere Coating Technology.
  • Lens Construction: 14 elements in 10 groups

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A

I picked up the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A the other day and I have to say I’m very impressed with it. The build quality is great, with a metal mount and an outer barrel made of polycarbonate.

The deep rubber focus ring feels nice to use as well as being functional. The lens cap fits snugly in place and snaps off easily when you want to take it off.

The autofocus motor is super quiet, fast, and makes no noise at all really. The only thing that is slightly annoying about the autofocus is that it can’t be used for video recording on DSLRs, which obviously means you will have to switch from autofocus to manual focus during video recording.

but that’s not really a big deal because once you’re used to switching from autofocus to manual focus on your DSLR, it doesn’t take much time at all and you can continue shooting without missing a beat in your video recording.

When I first started using this lens, I was using it on my Canon 5D mark iii, but I quickly found out that the camera wasn’t built for this lens, so I bought myself a 6D instead (I would recommend getting one if you have the money.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF (321954)
  • The Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM Art is the latest addition to the world renowned Sigma Global Vision Line
  • It has equipped newly designed hyper sonic motor (HSM) for nimble AF control, 1.3 times better...
  • This lens is compatible with Mount converter MC-11 , so Sony E-mount users can also enjoy this lens...

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM

The Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM is a new addition to the Canon RF line of lenses, with an estimated MSRP of $2,099.00.

If you’re not familiar with the Canon RF system, it’s a new line of lenses designed for mirrorless cameras. You can read more about it in my article comparing the Canon RF system to the Sony E-mount system.

The 85mm F1.2L is a unique lens because it’s the only one in this series so far to be designated as a “L” lens; all of the other RF lenses that have been announced are considered “new standard zoom” or “wide angle zoom” lenses. This lens looks to be very similar to the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM (MSRP $1,549.99), with a few minor differences:

– Includes a removable hood

– The front element on this lens is 82mm versus 77mm on the EF version

– Both are weather sealed

– Both have 8 aperture blades but the Canon has curved blades while the EF has straight blades

* While I’ve used several versions of this lens in both formats, I have not had an opportunity to use this particular version.Power Source Camera’s power source.

Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens, Black
  • High image quality and bright f/1.2 aperture L lens for EOS R System cameras.
  • Blue spectrum refractive optics (br) Reduces chromatic aberration.
  • Minimum focusing distance of 2.79 ft. /0.85M.
  • A control ring for direct setting changes.
  • One Aspheric element and one UD lens.


Best Lens For Portraits

What Is a lens for portraits?

A great portrait lens can make all the difference in the world.

You’ll want to find a lens that’s sharp enough and fast enough that you can handhold it under most shooting conditions, but if you’re going to be photographing your friends and family, you’re probably not going to need super-slow shutter speeds.

The best portrait lenses have very wide maximum apertures — f/1.4 or f/1.8 — which allows for shallow depth of field and bokeh, or the beautiful blur effect created when light passes through a lens’ aperture.

These lenses are also usually relatively fast — at least f/2.8 — because they’re designed to let in as much light as possible.

This is especially important for portraits, where the goal is to make your subject stand out from their background.



Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

The Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens is an ideal portrait prime for full-frame mirrorless cameras. With an equivalent field of view to 127mm on 35mm full frame, this medium telephoto lens features a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, the ability to produce shallow depth-of-field effects, and a built-in vibration compensation system to minimize the appearance of camera shake when shooting in low light.

Featuring a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, the SP 85mm is designed for use in low-light conditions and produces sharp images with smooth background bokeh. An internal focusing design affords a compact form factor that is ideal for handheld shooting.

Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization can be used when shooting at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than otherwise possible, allowing handheld shooting in low-light conditions at up to four shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible without image stabilization.

Boasting an impressive focal range equivalent to 127mm on a 35mm full frame camera, this medium telephoto lens is perfect for portraits and other telephoto applications such as sports photography and wildlife photography. The fast f/1.8 maximum aperture.

TAMRON - SP 85 mm F/1.8 Di VC USD for Nikon DSLR Cameras - Black - F016N
  • Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) high-torque motor ensures fast and accurate AF response
  • Three-coil electromagnetic VC image stabilization system provides a 3.5-stop advantage for...
  • Firmware and settings customizable via optional TAMRON TAP-in Console (available separately)
  • Moisture-proof and dust-resistant construction prevents intrusion of dust or water droplets
  • Lens, Lens Hood, Rear cap, Instructions, Silkypix Developer Studio 4.0 software.Minimum Object...

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 RF

The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 RF is a very large and heavy lens, but it’s also quite fast. It has a non-rotating front filter thread, so you can use slim filters or even a polarising filter without the need to rotate it during composition.

The physical length of the lens when zoomed in at 85mm is almost double that of its 35mm equivalent, which can make it difficult to use with tighter spaces and objects in your frame. There is a depth of field scale marked on the lens itself, which can be used for zone focusing.

The minimum focus distance is 85cm from the sensor plane, which is quite long for this type of lens and can cause problems when shooting closer subjects.

The AF system itself is quick to focus and quiet in operation, but may hunt from time to time in low light conditions. This isn’t unusual for lenses that are this fast and frankly it’s not something that I’d consider to be a deal breaker. The AF motor is also fairly quiet and well damped, which makes it ideal for video applications.

There are seven aperture blades on offer here (as opposed to nine or even more), which isn’t great for creating smooth bokeh effects when used wide open.

Samyang SYIO85AF-E 85mm F1.4 Auto Focus Weather Sealed Lens for Sony E-Mount
  • For Sony E-mount full-frame & APS-C Mirrorless cameras
  • Aperture range: f/1.4 to f/17
  • Ultra multi-coated Optics; weather-sealed
  • Takes front filter size of 77mm
  • Constructed of 11 elements in 8 groups

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is a fast and high-quality telephoto prime lens. It has a medium build quality with a plastic lens mount and a metal lens barrel.

On the front of the barrel are a distance window, focusing ring, and manual focus ring with an AF/MF switch.

The manual focusing ring is nicely damped with smooth rotation, but it does not have any hard stops at the end of the focus range.

The lens has very good sharpness in the center of the frame at f/1.8 and f/2, however performance degrades significantly towards the edges of the frame until you stop down to f/5.6 or f/8 where performance is excellent across most of the frame.

The extreme corners never quite reach that level though, so there is still some corner softness when shooting wide open at f/1.8 and when stopped down to even f/4 it’s still noticeable in your images.

At mid-range aperture settings between f/5.6 to f/11 diffraction starts kicking in and image sharpness decreases significantly making it harder to achieve maximum detail from your subject matter.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed
  • 85 millimetre standard lens with f 1.8 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras, Lens Type:Telephoto...
  • Ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) brings subject quickly into focus, Focal length: 85 millimetre,...
  • Natural angle of view and perspective is ideal for portraits and natural images
  • Designed to produce beautiful background blur; weighs 15 ounces
  • Measures 3 inches in diameter and 2.8 inches long; 1-year warranty. Refer User manual for...

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II is a full-frame medium telephoto lens compatible with the Canon EOS line of cameras.

It is part of the L series, which means that it has excellent build quality and optical performance.

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II lens has a fast maximum aperture of f/1.2, allowing great control over depth of field.

The large maximum aperture also makes this lens great for low light photography, and able to produce beautiful bokeh in your images.

The large aperture is also useful when shooting video with this lens, as it allows you to achieve shallow depth of field effects that are often desirable in helping to focus the viewer’s attention on your subject.

Sensor size compatibility

This lens is compatible with both full frame and APS-C cameras; however, the angle of view will be narrower on an APS-C camera than on a full frame camera.

Image stabilization

This lens does not feature image stabilization, so we recommend using a tripod or monopod to reduce the chances of camera shake during longer exposures and while filming video clips.

Zooming capability

This lens features a fixed focal length, meaning that you cannot zoom in easily on your portrait subject.

Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras - Fixed
  • f1.2 maximum aperture
  • Ring-type UltraSonic motor (USM), Focal length : 85mm, Closest focusing distance : 3.2 feet
  • EF mount, medium telephoto lens, High-speed AF and circular aperture create shallow depth-of-field
  • 111mm focal length for APS-H sensors, 136mm for APS-C sensors, Lens not zoomable

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 EF

The Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 is a lens designed for full frame cameras, but the lens can be used on an APS-C camera providing a 127.5mm equivalent focal length. The build quality of this lens is outstanding and extremely well built, with a metal mount and metal body construction.

The lens has a very nice weight and balance to it. The focus ring is smooth to operate and the aperture ring clicks into its detents well.

The sharpness is good even wide open at f/1.4 and sharpens up nicely by f/2. The bokeh is smooth so the out of focus areas look pleasing when shooting close ups or portraits.

There is no discernible vignetting, distortion or chromatic aberration when shooting with this lens, which are all common occurrences in most lenses. This lens also has high contrast, which again helps to give your images that extra bit of pop.

When you stop the lens down, the image will get sharper as you stop down to f/2.8 but it will remain reasonably sharp for landscape photos at f/5.6 if you’re using an APS-C sensor camera.

In terms of real world usage, this lens is really easy to use for portrait.

Samyang 85mm F1.4 High Speed Auto Focus Lens for Canon EF Mount, Black (SYIO85AF-C)
  • For Canon EF mount - will function on all Canon EOS DSLR cameras
  • Aperture range of f/1.4 - f/16 and constructed of 9 elements in 7 groups (including 1 Hybrid...
  • Minimum focusing distance of 2.95 ft. And takes filter size 77mm

Best Nikon Lens For Portraits

The best lens for portraits is a 50mm prime lens. This lens has the ability to focus on the subject and blur everything, so it makes a really nice portrait. If you are an amateur photographer who is just getting into the field of photography this lens is a great start for you because it is not overly complicated and does not require much experience to master.

Description:A prime lens is one that does not zoom, meaning that it can only be used with a fixed focal length. These lenses are often faster, cheaper, and lighter than their zoom counterparts. The best prime lenses have a maximum aperture of at least f/1.8, whereas zoom lenses typically start at f/3.5 and go up from there.

Advantages of a Prime Lens

There are several advantages to using a prime lens. A fixed focal length will allow you to get closer to your subject without having to move around as much, so you avoid the distortion of zooming in or out while taking pictures.

This can also help you compose shots more easily without having to worry about how close or far away you’ll be from your subject when taking the picture. A fixed focal length will also allow you to use higher shutter speeds when shooting fast-moving subjects like sports or action shots.


Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S

You’re probably wondering why you’d pay $1,000 for a lens that’s equivalent to a 135-millimeter lens on a full-frame camera.

That’s about the same as asking why you’d spend $1,000 for a car that tops out at 80 miles per hour when you could buy one that goes 150. The answer is the same in both cases: because it does the job better than anything else.

Trying to capture an entire scene in one shot can result in lost details, either from camera shake or from making the aperture too small to gather enough light.

A longer lens allows you to get closer to your subjects, giving you more detail and more clarity at lower ISO settings. Plus, with a longer zoom lens, you can change your perspective by getting closer to your subject or farther away.

An ultrawide angle lens is a great choice for landscapes and creative photography. Zoom lenses are great for everyday shooting when you want to be prepared for just about any situation.

But if you really want to get close up, there’s nothing like a long telephoto zoom lens in your arsenal. This is where the new Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S comes into play. It offers an equivalent focal length of 127 millimeters.

NIKON NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S Portrait Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
  • 85mm f/1.8 lens with nine blade diaphragm for soft rounded book
  • Lens features 2 ED glass elements and Nano Crystal coating for lifelike accuracy
  • Dust and drip resistant, the lens is extensively sealed to keep out dust and moisture
  • Features customizable control ring

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM is a premium portrait lens that also performs well as a short telephoto on full-frame cameras and as an excellent medium telephoto on APS-C cameras. It’s compact, lightweight and relatively affordable for a lens of its class.

Tested on an APS-C body, the 85mm focal length delivers an angle of view similar to that of a 127-mm lens used on a full-frame body. On an APS-C body, the resulting field of view is equivalent to what a 136 mm lens would deliver on a full frame camera.

This makes the lens ideal for portraiture as well as for snapshots from sports to landscape photography.

The image quality delivered by this lens is simply spectacular. The sharpness is among the very best I’ve seen in any prime lens made by any manufacturer, regardless of price range.

The minimum focus distance of 1.3 ft (0.4 m) allows you to get very close to your subject and still maintain good image quality.

This makes it ideal for shooting flowers, jewelry or other objects where you want tight control over depth of field or need to keep your distance for safety reasons.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF (321954)
  • The Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM Art is the latest addition to the world renowned Sigma Global Vision Line
  • It has equipped newly designed hyper sonic motor (HSM) for nimble AF control, 1.3 times better...
  • This lens is compatible with Mount converter MC-11 , so Sony E-mount users can also enjoy this lens...

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

The Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a DSLR lens that covers the popular portrait focal length for full frame cameras, with a fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 and image stabilization.

Description:The Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is available in Canon EF, Nikon F and Sigma mounts, so it should fit a wide range of cameras. It has a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, which makes it relatively bright compared to many other lenses in its class.

It also has optical image stabilization built in to help you achieve sharp shots at slower shutter speeds.

The lens is made from high quality plastics and glass, with the focus ring featuring both rubber and ridged rings for improved grip when adjusting focus manually.

The 85mm focal length provides an angle of view similar to that seen by the human eye at about 3x life size, which is great for portraiture as it helps create a natural looking perspective with a pleasingly shallow depth of field for separation between the subject and background elements.

TAMRON - SP 85 mm F/1.8 Di VC USD for Nikon DSLR Cameras - Black - F016N
  • Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) high-torque motor ensures fast and accurate AF response
  • Three-coil electromagnetic VC image stabilization system provides a 3.5-stop advantage for...
  • Firmware and settings customizable via optional TAMRON TAP-in Console (available separately)
  • Moisture-proof and dust-resistant construction prevents intrusion of dust or water droplets
  • Lens, Lens Hood, Rear cap, Instructions, Silkypix Developer Studio 4.0 software.Minimum Object...

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a high-quality lens for large-sensor cameras (APS-C and full frame). This lens offers the possibility to create stunning images with soft bokeh effect, creamy background defocusing, and unique perspectives of subject isolation.

Description:The large aperture of f/1.4 allows photographers to achieve a shallow depth of field effect, which makes the subject stand out against a blurred background.

This shallow depth of field effect can be used to produce images with a very dramatic look and is particularly useful in portraits.

Because of the wide aperture, this lens also allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds, which is especially important when working in low light conditions or with fast moving subjects.

Description:This lens has been designed as part of Sigma’s Global Vision line. It has a matte black finish that helps to reduce reflections and glare from sunlight as well as a rubber gasket around the lens mount for dust and splash-proof protection.

The Sigma Global Vision lenses are designed to be the ideal companion with over 60 dedicated lenses available, meaning that they can dramatically expand your photographic horizons without having to compromise on quality or performance.

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF
  • Package Dimensions: 20 L x6 H x10 W (Inches)
  • Package Weight: 4 pounds
  • Country of Origin : Japan
  • By including three FLD glass elements, two Sled glass elements, and one aspherical lens element

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G

This review will be short and sweet, because the lens is so compelling that it doesn’t need much in the way of introduction.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G has been around for a while, but in its current form it was introduced in Spring of 2011, as a replacement for the original AF-D version from back in 1996.

If you’re wondering why I’m talking about a lens from 2011 like it’s new, it’s because Nikon just released an all-new model — the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4E ED — and I’m reviewing this one to see how it compares to the newer iteration.

The biggest advantage this lens has over its successor is its price: at $500, it’s half the cost of the new 85mm f/1.4.

On top of that, this lens has image stabilization (VR), which helps to combat camera shake when shooting at slow shutter speeds and/or with longer focal lengths.

Image Stabilization isn’t universally available on lenses, so if you shoot with an older Nikon body (such as those without a built-in autofocus motor), any zoom or prime lens with VR increases your options immensely by letting you take pictures handheld under circumstances where otherwise you’d.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Fast aperture medium telephoto lens
  • Internal focus, focal length: 85 millimeter, minimum focus range: 0.80 meter
  • Silent wave motor (SWM). Number of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded diaphragm opening)
  • M/a focus mode switch. Filter-attachment size is 67 millimeter (p=0.75 millimeter)
  • Nikon super integrated coating (sic)

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED

The AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED is a fast, prime telephoto lens with a normal focal length on FX-format DSLRs. Ideal for portraiture and available in Nikon FX or DX formats, this lens features Nano Crystal Coat, which provides superior color balance and minimizes ghosting and flare when working in strong lighting conditions.

This allows photographers to capture images without having to worry about extraneous light sources that may appear in the background of an image.

Trying to find the best portrait lens available? Look no further than theAF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED, which offers the highest level of sharpness and clarity, even at its widest aperture setting of f/1.4.

Nano Crystal Coat effectively reduces ghosting and flare while enhancing color balance, which can be especially helpful if you’re shooting in bright lighting conditions outdoors.

The maximum aperture of f/1.4 allows working in low light situations without having to use a flash and also helps create a shallow depth of field for artistic effect.

Its large f/1.4 aperture is particularly useful for shooting outdoors or in bright lighting conditions when you want to achieve a nice, soft background that keeps your subject out of focus.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Internal Focus; Manual Focus Override
  • F-Mount Lens/FX Format,
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16. Maximum Reproduction Ratio : 0.13x
  • Nano Crystal Coating; Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Maximum angle of view (DX-format): 15°20', Maximum angle of view (FX-format): 23°10′

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

The AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G is the second lens in Nikon’s range of professional f/1.4 lenses, complementing the excellent (and expensive) AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G in Nikon’s line up.

Taken on its own merits, the 85mm f/1.4G is a superb performer, with great sharpness, contrast and color rendition at all apertures, and almost no distortion or vignetting.

On an FX body like the D700 in which it’s designed to be used, it delivers images of beautiful quality throughout its aperture range, making it a viable alternative to the 58mm f/1.4 for portrait work (though obviously not as suitable for low light).

It can focus quite closely to around a foot and a half from the front element (which isn’t particularly close for a lens of this focal length), but it has an effective minimum focusing distance of around 5 feet when used on an APS-C camera body like the D90 or D7000 (where its field of view is equivalent to that of a 130mm lens on the FX body). It has 9 aperture blades and uses an extra-low dispersion element.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Ultra-fast f1.4 classic portrait lens, Nano Crystal Coat
  • Focal Length : 85 mm, Minimum Focus Distance : 3.0 ft. (0.85m). Compatible Format(s)- FX, DX, FX in...
  • Optimized for edge to edge sharpness on both FX and DX cameras;Closest focusing distance:0.85 m
  • M/A Focus Mode Switch enables quick changes between manual and autofocus operation
  • Internal Focus (IF) provides fast and quiet autofocus

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 F

This review is based on a loan sample of the Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 F lens, provided to me by B&H. You can purchase it here or check for availability at Adorama and Amazon.


The Samyang 85mm f/1.4 is an autofocus prime designed for full-frame sensors and has no optical stabilization. It has a fast, near-silent autofocus motor and an aperture that stops down to f/22.

The fast maximum aperture makes this lens useful for low light photography, portrait photography and video work, but its lack of stabilization limits its usefulness for action photography or other scenes where camera movement is likely.

The 85mm focal length is relatively long and meant to be used at medium to long distances from the subject. The 85mm lens has become a standard in portrait photography because it is flattering to most face shapes, can create nice separation between the subject and background, and can do double duty as both a headshot lens and part of a two-person interview setup on a full-frame camera body.


The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 F is available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Fujifilm X.

Samyang SYDS85M-MFT VDSLR II 85mm T1.5 Cine Lens for Olympus/Panasonic Micro 4/3 Cameras
  • Full frame coverage with aperture range of T1.5 - T22
  • New VDSLR II line that is color matched with other Samyang VDSLR II lenses and have unified gear and...
  • 28.3 degrees angle of view on full frame cameras & 17.7 degrees angle of view on APS-C
  • Minimum focusing distance of 3.6 ft.; uses filter size of 72mm

Best Sony Lens For Portraits

Sony’s made a lot of lens announcements this year, with its new FE-mount lenses for A-mount cameras, the addition of the FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS to the FE lineup and a couple of macro lenses thrown in for good measure.

Taken together, it’s a pretty impressive set of optics. To help you find the best Sony lens for portraits, we’ve put all of them through their paces in our lab (and on real live people). Here’s how they fared.

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM: The best Sony lens for portraits

The 24-70mm f/2.8 is the most expensive zoom in Sony’s line-up, but it has been designed to meet the needs of professional portrait photographers who need flexibility. As such, it features optical image stabilization (OIS) and full-time manual focus override (FTM) — two big pluses that are missing from all other FE portrait zooms.

The G Master designation indicates that this is a highly corrected lens and there’s no doubting that fact when you look at its lab test results. The graphs below show just how well corrected it is; no corner softness or distortion issues here in.

Sony FE 85mm f/1.8

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 is a lens for those who want a longer focal length and faster aperture than the already very capable Sony FE 85mm f/1.4. It has a fast autofocus motor and accepts 77mm filters, making it ideal for portraits, street photography and low-light shots.

The 85mm focal length on APS-C format cameras offers a field of view similar to 127mm on full-frame cameras.

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8’s optical design consists of 10 elements in 8 groups, including one aspherical and one extra-low dispersion element to control aberrations and distortions.

The ‘Stepping Motor’ AF system offers quick, smooth silent focusing and full-time electronic manual focus override by just turning the focus ring at any time.

The lens is sealed against dust and moisture to protect it from the elements when shooting outdoors or in inclement weather conditions. The 7-blade circular aperture delivers smooth, natural background blur when shooting wide open.

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8’s rounded 9 blade diaphragm works with the Optical SteadyShot system in the camera body to deliver stable exposure during handheld video recording.

Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22 Medium-Telephoto Fixed Prime Camera Lens, Black
  • Wide F1.8 maximum aperture enables beautiful defocusing effects
  • 9-Blade circular aperture creates beautiful round defocused bokeh
  • ED glass element for corner-to-corner sharpness
  • Double Linear motor system for fast, quiet and precise focusing. The maximum magnification ratio is...
  • Direct control w/ customizable focus hold button and AF/MF switch.35 mm equivalent focal length...

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a medium format-equivalent lens designed for full-frame DSLRs, and so it is a bit of a beast: it’s big, heavy, and expensive.

But it is also an absolute gem, offering superb optical performance across the aperture range from wide open to stopped down.

It is extremely sharp wide open and has beautiful bokeh that is both smooth and pleasant.

It also features a very fast autofocus system with very little hunting or searching for focus and can fire off bursts of shots at 4.4fps.

When used on the high megapixel camera bodies from Nikon or Canon it gives excellent results with minimal noise even at higher sensitivities up to ISO6400 and has low levels of chromatic aberrations which are common problem in lenses that have such shallow depths of field as this one does.

The build quality of this lens is excellent with a metal mount, metal barrel and all-metal internal construction.

The zoom ring is smooth and easy to use but the focus ring feels quite stiff which may take some time to get used to if you have previously owned Sigma Art lenses or other third party lenses like the Zeiss Otus series or the Leica Noctilux.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF (321954)
  • The Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM Art is the latest addition to the world renowned Sigma Global Vision Line
  • It has equipped newly designed hyper sonic motor (HSM) for nimble AF control, 1.3 times better...
  • This lens is compatible with Mount converter MC-11 , so Sony E-mount users can also enjoy this lens...

Tokina atx-m 85mm f/1.8 FE

Tokina announced the Tokina ATX AF 85mm f/1.8 FE, a new autofocus lens for Sony E-mount full-frame cameras. The new portrait lens is now available for preorder priced at $499 USD and will ship in mid-November.

The ATX AF 85mm f/1.8 is a fast telephoto prime lens designed for portraits and low light shooting. It has a minimum focusing distance of 0.8 meters/2.6 feet and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:10.

The optical design incorporates two SLD glass elements to reduce aberrations and distortions throughout the aperture range. In addition, it features an improved Nano-GI (Gradient Index) coating that helps to minimize reflections and ghosting that can occur in high contrast shooting conditions such as backlighting or direct sunlight.

The Nano-GI coating also promises reduced flare and ghosting when using wide aperture settings that are popular among portrait photographers to help separate the subject from the background.

The lens has a 9 blade aperture diaphragm that creates smooth out of focus areas commonly referred to as bokeh and is well suited for portraiture work due to its fast f/1.8 maximum aperture with minimal aberration issues even.

For anyone upgrading their kit, this lens is an absolute steal. Capable of shooting in low light with little noise, making it ideal for weddings and other events where you have to do your best work in challenging conditions.

TOKINA atx-m 85mm F1.8 Compatible With Sony FE Mount
  • Full compatibility to Sony FE camera
  • Fast & quiet autofocus
  • Fast F1,8 lens with excellent resolution
  • Nice rounded bokeh
  • Hi-grade optical construction

Best Fujifilm Lens For Portraits

Fujifilm is an amazing camera company that creates some of the best lenses on the market. Their X-series camera systems are some of the most popular in the world, but they are also great for shooting portraits.

With all kinds of lighting and weather conditions it can be hard to choose a lens, so I am going to list my top three favorite Fujifilm lenses for portraits and why they are my top picks.

My favorite lens for taking portraits will always be the 56mm f/1.2 R APD because I like using natural light and this lens takes amazing photos.

Not only does it have amazing bokeh, but it’s very fast at 1.2 so you can shoot with very low lighting. The next lens I would use for taking portraits would be the 35mm f/2 WR.

This is great for shooting outdoors or indoors because of its wide aperture, and it’s super lightweight!

You can bring this around with you all day without feeling any kind of weight and it’s great for indoor events where you don’t have as much room to move around in and space is limited.

My last choice would be the 60mm f/2.4 R Macro Premium because there are times when you need a little more distance.

Fujifilm XF56mm f/1.2 R APD

If you’re already familiar with the Fujifilm XF56mm f/1.2 R APD, please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!…The Fujifilm XF1.2 R APD is a lens which will serve many purposes for many photographers and the debate around whether it should be considered a portrait lens or not is interesting.

What’s clear is that this lens should be considered an excellent high quality prime lens with a fast aperture and as such it belongs in every photographer’s kit bag as it can be used to great effect in a wide number of situations.

There are so many lenses out there now it’s difficult to keep up with all of them, but this lens has certainly piqued my interest.

I’ve been trying to decide whether I would like to add it to my small collection of primes but I’m not sure what use I would get from it over my other large aperture primes, especially as I own the XF56mm f/1.2 R already (I don’t own the 1.4 version). At the same time though, I would love to have one just for those times when I want shallow depth of field as, again, my other lenses offer me that facility.

Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R
  • 35mm equivalent - 85mm
  • Max aperture F1.2, Min aperture F16
  • Number of blades - 7(rounded diaphragm opening)
  • Focus Range : Normal 0.7m - ∞; Macro 0.7m-3m
  • Filter Size 62mm. Max. magnification :0.09x

Best Pentax Lens For Portraits

If you are looking for the best Pentax lens for portrait photography, then you have come to the right place. Here we will discuss some of the best portrait lenses for Pentax DSLR cameras that are available today.

What is the best Pentax lens for portraits?

The main purpose of a portrait photo is to produce a picture that is pleasing to the eye and can be used as a keepsake.

The photographer should make an effort to capture something unique while at the same time respecting their subject’s privacy. As such, portrait pictures should ideally be shot in a manner that allows the subject to be seen clearly and not draw unwanted attention to them.

There are numerous ways to create a pleasing portrait image. Some of these include:

Taking advantage of beautiful backdrops and compelling lighting conditions Making use of facial expressions and body language Choosing your focal point carefully

Here are some tips on how you can take great pictures with Pentax lenses:

Check if your camera has a built-in flash or supports an external flash unit Make sure your camera settings are correct Set your camera to aperture priority mode Set your ISO speed between 100-200 Choose your shooting mode based on your subject type or preference Shoot in RAW format whenever possible Review your shots after each shot.



The new HD PENTAX-D FA* 85mm f/1.4ED SDM AW is the widest portrait lens in the FA* series to date, and it features a large maximum aperture of f/1.4. The Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA* 85mm f/1.4ED SDM AW is also one of the brightest, fastest lenses in its class.

Originally designed for use with digital SLR cameras, this lens is also compatible with 35mm film SLR cameras and DSLR cameras with APS-C image sensors. It offers a focal length equivalent to 127.5mm in 35mm format, which makes it ideal for portraiture and other types of photography that require short to medium telephoto perspectives with little or no distortion or aberration.

The HD PENTAX-D FA 85mm f/1.4ED SDM AW’s construction includes five elements in four groups, including aspherical elements that are featured in the fourth group to reduce spherical aberrations while minimizing the number of lens components and thus reducing overall size and weight.

In addition, HD Coating has been applied to each surface of the lens elements to minimize ghosting and flare while ensuring high levels of contrast.one super ED glass element to minimize chromatic aberrations for improved clarity and sharpness even at the edges of the frame.

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Best Micro Four Thirds Lens FOr Portraits

I love shooting portraits. I especially like to photograph people who are not models and you’d never think they could be. I always use natural light because it’s free and I think it looks much more appealing than the pictures taken in a studio with light that comes from a flash.

Description:If you want to shoot portrait pictures of your kids, friends or the people around you, then you need to get the best lens for portraiture photography. A good portrait lens will allow you to capture the soul of the person in front of you no matter where they are.

The best lens for portraiture photography should have a large aperture and be able to shoot at low ISO levels. The high aperture will allow enough light into the camera so that you can take great pictures even when there are not a lot of lights around.

On top of that, the best portrait lens should be able to shoot at high shutter speed without making any noise which may cause distractions for the person being photographed. It is also important for the lens to have image stabilization features so that you can take blur-free pictures even without a tripod.

Olympus 45mm f/1.8 M.ZUIKO Digital

Purchasing the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 M.ZUIKO Digital Lens is a great way to enhance your photography. You can use it for regular shooting or even for taking high quality close-up shots of flowers and animals.

The lens is lightweight and compact, making it easy for you to carry it around in a purse, backpack or your pocket. The focal length of 45mm is perfect for taking pictures of people because it allows you to capture facial details from a distance.

This M.ZUIKO Digital lens has an aperture ring that allows you to change its aperture from f/1.8 to f/22 with just a flick of your finger. It also has three ED elements that reduce chromatic aberration and increase sharpness and contrast for clear images.

The Olympus 45mm f/1.8 M.ZUIKO Digital Lens features an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, which ensures that the out-of-focus areas in the background are smooth and pleasant-looking.

It has a minimum focussing distance of 0.3 meters, so you can take close-up shots of small objects such as flowers and bugs with ease. This lens comes with a high grade metal mount that prevents external light.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras (Silver)
  • High-Grade Portrait Lens (150mm 35mm equivalent)
  • High-speed, single-focal-length telephoto lens optimized for studio, stage, indoor sports and...
  • Nine-blade circular aperture unit
  • 50mm diameter glass front; 10 lens elements in nine groups
  • MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) autofocusing mechanism

What Are The Best Lenses For Studio Photography?

If you’re using a DSLR or any other high-end camera, the built-in lenses might not be the best for studio photography.

In order to take great photos and get the most out of your equipment, you need to invest in a few lenses that were made for this particular purpose.

The 50mm Lens

The 50mm prime lens has been around since the early days of photography and it remains one of the most popular options today. It’s also known as the “nifty fifty” because of its price and versatility.

This lens is extremely basic and doesn’t come with any frills, but it’s a great option if you’re just starting out.

Many professionals still choose to use this lens even when they already own several others because it can deliver sharp images and beautiful bokeh.

The 85mm Lens

If you’re looking for a portrait lens, an 85mm prime lens is exactly what you’re after. It’s perfect for taking shots from further away because it gives you more room to work with.

You can really stand back from your subject when using this lens and still get nice, sharp shots without sacrificing quality.


How To Choose The Best Lens For Portraits?

When you are out on the streets capturing portraits, you will face a dilemma of choosing the best lens for portraits. There is always a question about what lens is best for portraits.

Before, when I started my portrait photography journey, I was facing the same problem that was bothering me till now. After several months, I have come up with some tips and tricks. These tips and tricks will definitely help you if you are also facing the same dilemma.

Here are some general tips and tricks to choose the best lens for street portraiture.

When you are out on the streets capturing portraits, try to use the 50mm prime lens. The 50 mm prime lens is ideal for street portraiture because it can give you perfect perspective without distorting your subject.

If you have a zoom lens then make sure to set your zoom to 50mm before taking a photograph. Once you set your zoom to 50mm then move a little from left to right so that your subject gets into focus.

The depth of field will be enough to give you good results just like this image.

The second tip is that try to make your subject comfortable when taking their photographs. You must know how to talk with people in order for them to get comfortable in front of your camera.

Best Canon Lens For Portraits – Wrapping Up

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens is a great lens for portraits, especially weddings, and the reason why is because it’s inexpensive, light weight and produces sharp images.

The f/1.8 aperture allows you to shoot in lower light situations without flash and still get a fast shutter speed to freeze action.

This lens is not very expensive, however it will take great portrait photos that are sharp from corner to corner even at f/1.8.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens is a very popular portrait lens and also happens to be one of the least expensive “L” lenses in this focal length range.

It performs very well wide open and has fast focusing capabilities which are needed when trying to capture that special moment during a wedding reception or other event where timing is critical.

I have been using my 50mm f/1.4 lens for over five years with great results on many different camera bodies including 1D Mark II through 5D Mark III bodies as well as 1Ds Mark III and 5D Mark II bodies.