Best Lens for Portraits – When you’re choosing a lens which is best for portraits, there are several facts to consider. Here’s some advice from my own experience as a family photographer – I hope it helps you choose the best portraits lens that will work best for your needs.
Best Lens for Portraits in 2020
Are you looking for the best lens for portraits for your new camera? If yes, I’ve gathered 5 Canon, Sony, Sigma, and Nikon portrait lenses for beginners and professionals with different budgets. All these portrait lenses will help your amazing photos.
Choosing the most effective optical lens are often confusing, as they all have some admirable qualities. As a replacement (or seasoned) portrait lensman, portrait lens choices can really get confusing! We often hear about one great lens, only to read about another great lens! We’re here to help.
Let’s get right down to the most prime and zoom lenses utilized in portrait photography. We will examine some pros and cons and give you our top picks! We’ll also tell you what lenses are available for the three most popular lens manufacturers; Canon, Nikon, and Sigma. Both Sony and Nikon also make many of these lenses.
I take portraits quite often, in different surroundings and lighting. So, this is the best portrait lens which I always take, especially for shooting weddings. When a person is at the location and you are not capturing him/her at close distance, but a lens with a focal length of 70-85 mm is good to use for shooting a half-length and shoulder portrait. As you can see, this Canon wedding lens meets both requirements and is very multifunctional in general.
It is suitable for shooting portraits in nature and gives a decent zoom range. This lens is sharp with f/2.8 in the entire zoom range and has a very low level of distortion. Vignetting is noticeable only at an open aperture, and glare protection is at a high level. I think that it is the perfect tool for reportage, event and, of course, wedding photography. This is the best Canon lens for portraits that successfully allows taking group shots, close-ups, and portraits up to the waist with full-matrix cameras.
First of all, I would like to note that this lens for portraits doesn’t boast of an optical stabilizer. But let’s be honest, it isn’t always necessary for a portrait photographer. Still, the minimum length of shutter speed is determined by the possible movements of the model in the frame, rather than by camera shake in the hands.
Aside from being the best lens for portraits, it is absolutely suitable for event reportage, it copes with dynamic shooting, works excellently in continuous focus mode. I like how this lens beautifully blurs the background and makes it very smooth. Glare and flare may be captured only if the sun hits strictly at the angle of the frame.
Sharpness and contrast of this Nikon portrait lens have impressed me. The waterproof metal bayonet is great as well. Unfortunately, the cylindrical distortion is too visible, and the speed of the autofocus is low. A pleasant feature is the relative simplicity of the optical design, so a shooter receives excellent picture quality at a low cost. Is 50mm a good portrait lens? No doubts! A model with a focal length of 50 mm is perfect for shooting semi-growth and half-length portraits.
- Read more about best canon wide angle lens.
The sharpness in the center of the frame is acceptable at an open aperture. However, it falls sharply closer to the edges of the image. Luckily, the situation is greatly improved when you change the aperture a little. The sharpness in the center increases to a higher level, the corners also become more detailed. Due to the high luminosity, this Nikon portrait lens can provide beautiful bokeh. I like how it blurs the background. It is really nice and soft.
An ultimate portrait lens that offers attractive booked effect and precise focus is possible to achieve to focus on the pupils of subjects eyes while blurring the eyelashes. It has equipped newly designed hyper-sonic motor (HSM) for nimble AF control, 1.3 times better torque of its predecessor.
I have been waiting for the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM release for a long time and now I am absolutely delighted. This Sigma portrait lens is larger and heavier than its alternatives, although it does not look so. I like that the focus ring works nicely, neither tightly nor loosely. Users can feel a slight push on the limits of the adjustment range, after which it freely scrolls further.
- Read more about Best Lens for Family Portraits.
Focusing is internal. Ultrasonic motor focusing of this lens for portraits is smart. I tried to measure the focusing speed with a stopwatch from 2.8 feet to infinity but I didn’t succeed. It seemed to me somewhere in 0.3 or 0.4 seconds, but maybe less. The motor is very quiet. There is nothing sharper in my photo backpack. But get ready that skin defects will be clearly visible with such sharpness.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM begins the list of my best lenses for portraits. It can be called a perfect option for the amateur shooter. This lens is really light and compact. It works equally well with both crop and full frame cameras. I did not expect such sharpness when shooting with a budget model. I liked that all possible distortions were minimized: chromatic and spherical aberration as well as glares. Yes, they are present but do not prevent users from getting an astonishing result.
As for a focus ring, it is very convenient, though it’s electronic. A disputable spec of this good portrait lens is its bokeh. Frankly speaking, it is quite harsh with contrasting highlights. Some shooters may not like it, but I use it as an artistic effect. There are no worthy competitors with the best optical quality and equally wide creative possibilities in this price category. Therefore, I advise it to owners of Canon reflex cameras for using in portrait photography.
A portrait lens, like other types of lenses, has its own peculiarities that must be taken into account while making a choice. If one lens captures small details of the skin and produces sharp bokeh, the other won’t be able to do it but will be good at something else. Here are the main characteristics that you need to pay attention to when selecting the best lens for portrait photography.