Portrait lenses

Lenses for portraits, you ask? Which ones to use?

I usually suggest:

  • Prime 50mm on crop camera, or 85mm on a full frame camera, for head and shoulder shots. A prime lens is good for this while being fast, sharp, and light.
  • Prime 35mm on a crop camera, or 50mm on a full frame camera, for half body shots
  • 16-35 zoom on a crop camera, or 24-70 on a full-frame camera, for general purpose portraits from headshots two groups of two or more.
  • 70-200 for studio headshots and fashion.

The faster, the better. f/2.8 lenses are better than f/3.5-5.6 lenses. f/1.4 lenses are even better.

The affordable, great 50mm f/1.8 is a lens you should own (if you have a Nikon D40/60/3000/5000 you need to focus it manually). If you don;t have one yet, go get it.

This quick guide, which works for most photographers, should start you off well enough.

0 thoughts on “Portrait lenses

  1. Well said, good sir. Always have a 50mm f/1.8-great for travel and low light casual shooting. I have 50mm’s in FD, 50mm f/1.8I(rare and now stays at home) & 50mm f/1.8II that goes everywhere with me even on pro shoots(as backup).

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