Lenses for Portrait Photography: 10 Best Portrait Lenses Chosen by Experts

  • Lenses
  • 7 min read
best lenses for portrait photography

The holidays are approaching and to immortalize these beautiful moments in love or with many, what could be better than a reflex equipped with a high-performance lens for best photography? In addition to this article explaining how to properly choose your portrait lens, here are 10 lenses for portrait photography that will allow you to make quality portraits.

Even if the purists will not agree, you will find in this selection mainly 35mm and 50mm, why will you tell me? Simply because even if the best portrait photos are taken with lenses between 50mm and 100mm, it will not necessarily be obvious to have the necessary recoil.

It is generally accepted to consider lenses with a focal length of 85-135 mm as portrait lenses, but this is just a convention. The fact is that such lenses distort the proportions of the faceless, but these distortions can be used for artistic purposes as well.

When I first started photographing, like many newbies, I only had a whale lens, which I used to shoot everything, including portraits. And nothing, sometimes it even worked. Then I began to understand better and eventually acquired my first cheap prime lens – Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 G. It also has better picture quality, and with low light there are more options, besides, the image is sharper, and the blur is stronger. It is suitable both for a portrait and for photo walks, and you can take it on a trip to take pictures of landscapes, and it won’t take up much space in your bag. Lately, I often shoot with it again.

Let’s go straight to the best selected lenses for portrait photography by our specialized portrait experts.

10 Best Lenses for Portrait Photography

Lenses for Portrait Photography

The best lens for shooting portraits is not easy to choose from among the variety of lenses on the market today. Kit zoom lenses can be used quite successfully for portraits, however, even the most inexpensive fixes in this area will give you much more creative flexibility. We’ve tested the top 8 lenses available to see how they perform at their task.

1. CANON EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM

50 mm f/1.8: This lens is one of the best for those looking for the best price/quality ratio, what to do excellent portraits for a competitive price, a best seller at Canon.

CANON EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM
CANON EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM

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2. CANON EF 35 MM F/2.0 IS USM

35 mm f/2.0: Second Canon lens of my selection, less affordable than the 50 mm but it will fit perfectly if the recoil distance is limited. It is also equipped with a fast and quiet auto focus.

CANON EF 35 MM F / 2.0 IS USM
CANON EF 35 MM F / 2.0 IS USM

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3. CANON EF 85 mm F/1.8 USM

85 mm f/1.8: If recoil is allowed this lens is excellent, light and quiet. It is one of the best in portrait at Canon and in view of the services it offers its rate is quite acceptable.

CANON EF 85 mm F / 1.8 USM
CANON EF 85 mm F / 1.8 USM

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4. NIKON AF 50 mm f/1.8 D series

50 mm F/1.8: We Go to Nikon with a 50 mm that takes the excellent price/quality ratio of its competitor at Canon, even focal and aperture. Attention this is the “D” series, it allows you to change the diaphragm manually with the ring.

NIKON AF 50 mm f / 1.8 D series
NIKON AF 50 mm f / 1.8

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5. Nikon AF-S DX 35 mm F/1.8 G Series

35 mm F/1.8: The brand’s must-have lens, ideal for wedding photos, portraits or even group photos. I can’t not have it in his photographer’s bag.

Nikon AF-S DX 35 mm F/1.8 G Series
Nikon AF-S DX 35 mm F/1.8 G Series

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6. NIKON AF-S FX 85mm f/1.8 G series

85mm f/1.8: If recoil is allowed this 85 mm lens is excellent and more versatile, it allows to have an excellent dive.

NIKON AF-S FX 85 mm f / 1.8 G series
NIKON AF-S FX 85 mm f / 1.8 G

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7. SONY DT 50 mm f/1.8 SAM

50 mm f/1.8: Difficult to find at Sony, for a SLR sensor APS-C must be oriented towards the lens’s “DT”, this 50 mm will be perfectly suitable for an alpha A77 for example.

SONY DT 50 mm f/1.8 SAM
SONY DT 50 mm f/1.8 SAM

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8. PENTAX SMC FA 50 MM f/1.4

50 mm f/1.4: At Pentax the 50 mm is very bright and opens to f/1.4, it is not the most affordable but offers excellent quality in portrait. Pay attention to one detail: it is not stabilized.

PENTAX SMC FA 50 MM f / 1.4
PENTAX SMC FA 50 MM f / 1.4

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9. CANON EF 100 mm f/2.8 L MACRO IS USM

100 mm f/2.8: 100 mm it starts to be consistent to take pictures at the restaurant but impossible to propose a selection dedicated to portraits without incorporating these last two jewels.

CANON EF 100 mm f / 2.8 L MACRO IS USM
CANON EF 100 mm f / 2.8 L MACRO IS USM

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10. NIKON AF-S FX VR 105 mm f/2.8 G series

105 mm f/2.8: As with Canon, The Last camera in this selection will be a fixed and long focal length, but to give its maximum it needs to step back if possible. It is also excellent in macro photography.

NIKON AF-S FX VR 105 mm f / 2.8 G Series
NIKON AF-S FX VR 105 mm f / 2.8 G Series

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Sometimes you want to shoot a landscape, and then a portrait lens comes to the rescue, which is actually a wide-angle lens. Confused? Just do not overload your head with terminology, but shoot for your pleasure: at least with a portrait lens, at least with any other.

You may also like to read: Portrait Photography Techniques.

Hope this selection of best lenses for portrait photography will help you to take stunning portraits. Please share this article to your friends who are looking for the lenses for portrait photography. Finally let’s take a look to some best portraits taken by some experts.

Portraits Taken with Above Mentioned Portrait Lenses