What is the best lens for portrait photography?

You have the perfect camera, but have you got your perfect portrait photography lens yet?

What is the best lens for portrait photography?

Portrait photography also known as people photography is the only niche in photography that can be carried out with any camera. Because it’s not the camera that makes a difference, it is the camera lens. If you ask 100 professionals about the best lens for portrait photography, you will get 100 different answers. However, few lenses are recommended by almost every portrait photography professional. If you own a camera and want to explore the dimensions of portrait photography, this list might help you choose the best as per your need.

ALSO READ: What is the best lens for landscape photography?

1. Nikon 50mm f/1.8G 

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G is a great pick for beginners who want to focus on learning without spending much. The focal length of 50mm is good to shoot headshots, medium shots, and wider shots with groups. The f/1.8 aperture works amazingly in low-light situations and turns the busy background into a heavily blurred smooth framework.

2. Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR  

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most honoured portrait photography lenses. The lens has a history of withstanding years of daily usage at every aperture and producing nail-sharp images even at wide open at f/2.8. The built-in customizable buttons in the barrel allow you to adapt your lens as per your need.

3. Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM  

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM has earned its place among the best portrait lenses because it has the widest aperture among all lenses on the list. It allows you to showcase your photography skills in any challenging situation with very little light. If you want ultra-shallow depth of field, you are good to go with it without any second thought. The weather sealing feature of this portrait photography lens doesn’t let moisture or dust ruin your picture. This small and easy-to-carry lens is perfect for capturing sharp images with a blurred background.

4. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM  

Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM lens has everything that a portrait photographer might expect, from exquisite sharpness to beautiful background blur, from fast autofocus to sealing against dust and moisture. Few extra features like a built-in focus lock button and manual control for aperture adjustment are appreciated by the professionals.

5. Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM  

Some professionals prefer a camera lens with a wider field of view while some prefer a narrow field of view. This amazing Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM has both and its performance is hard to beat. Suitable for Canon RF mirrorless cameras, this workhorse has fast and reliable autofocus. If you own Canon mirrorless cameras and want a lens to rule your portrait photography sessions, then this one should be on your priority list.

6. Sigma 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art  

Whether you’re trying to stand out in your pictures or just want something interesting and unique, this Sigma 40mm lens might be the right choice for you. As one of the widest lenses on this list, its 40mm focal length is perfect for photographers who like to include a little more of their field of view for a different look. With the f/1.4 aperture and fast autofocus, you can take sharp full-body shots with a nice blurred background. This heavy beast lens will give your arm a good workout if used daily.

7. Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM  

The performance of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM is appreciated among portrait photographers because of its stunning sharpness and absolute versatility. For every professional photographer shooting with canon, it is their favourite. The focal length of 85 mm offers great headshots, medium shots, full body shots, and group photo shoots. The built quality of the lens is sturdy to withstand some falls and drops. The reasonable size and the weight of the lens make it very convenient to carry.

Lens for Portrait Photography

Note for people who are just getting started with portrait photography

Many of the above-listed lenses are prime lenses. Prime lenses have a single focal length and a large aperture that allows more light to enter, and offers greater sharpness to the image.

ALSO READ: DSLR vs Mirrorless camera: Which is better for a beginner?

So, it’s a win-win for the portrait photographer to have a prime lens because along with shooting portrait sessions, it is a great choice for general-purpose photography also.

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