Portrait photography is the most challenging photography project that you will find. You have to focus on getting the right light, the right setting and the right mood for the picture. However, there is one more thing that is even more important than others. The lens for portrait photography has to be very versatile in its own right. This is why most of the photographers chose lenses between normal to medium telephoto ranges i.e. 24mm to 105mm. This gives them a broad perspective for their pictures which can be effectively utilized for getting the most mesmerizing shots. If you are a portrait photographer, you must only believe in quality portrait lenses. We are presenting a few of them so that you can get your favorite.
Nikon 105mm f/2 DC Nikkor
The Japanese lens comes with the most distinguished lens bokeh elements. These provide a beautiful and natural background blur effect to the images. This is why it is one of the best portrait lenses around. The lens is a Defocus Control lens (signified by the DC in its name). You can not only control the size, but also the shape of the aperture.
It comes with 9 bladed rounded aperture which means that the lens would be providing sharper images and more rounded spectral highlights. This takes you to the highest degree of Defocus Control available today. You can use graduated filters or polarizing filters with the lens as it comes with a stationary front element.
As the aperture of the lens is fairly wide, standing at f/2, you can get the most stunning shallow depth portraits possible. Due to its outstanding optical features, this lens must definitely be your primary portrait lens. You can use them for creating portraits at a shallow depth of field, with natural bokeh and a distinctive subject with blurred background. The lens is quite sturdy and fits well with DSLR cameras
Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM
This has been one of the most favorite portrait lenses for photographers. It comes with a decent aperture at f/1.8 which is enough for creating a shallow depth of field in the frame. Moreover, it comes with a fast Ultra Sonic Motor that works quietly without creating distortions in the image.
You can use this lens with Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera sensors or the APS sensors. The lens is also quite cheap as compared to its counterparts. Moreover, it comes with a more natural bokeh effect in the background.
The 85mm length is ideal for all kinds of portraits. You can also use it with low light portraits and even for shooting on cloudy days. The results are generally commendable. It works well even at the highest aperture. The lens is most suitable for close-ups of the face, but can also be used for the head and shoulders pose. It also has a non-rotating front element which helps keep your filters in place. Overall, it is a great budget buy that really produces some great results.
Sony 135mm f/2.8-4.5 Smooth Transition Focus
This lens is known for its special and unique Smooth Transition Focus technology which helps in clicking more mesmerizing portraits. This lens is essential for the seasoned portrait photographer who prefers high precision manual focusing.
The lens would also produce very soft and rounded natural blurring in the background, also known as bokeh effect. You can get full control over this blurring with the help of the Aphodization element of the element.
It comes with a rounded filter which helps in providing more dramatic bokeh in the pictures.
The sharpness of the pictures are commendable with this lens. It has great defocus control. It also comes with a rounded 9 blade aperture that works on the Auto mode and a rounded 10 blade aperture that works in the manual mode.
Pentax 70mm f/2.4
The design of this lens is par excellence. It provides your medium telephoto capabilities at a staggering f/2.4 aperture. You would be able to take amazing full length as well as close-ups with this lens. The lens comes with SP coating that would help in reducing the impact of water, dust and grease. It also comes with Quick-Shift focusing that helps you in switching from auto to manual focus modes within a split second.
As a prime lens, it is the best option for taking normal portraits for the clients. However, with the great design and innovative technologies, you would be getting better image quality with each shot.
Olympus Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6
These are one of the best portrait lenses in town. They are quite lightweight and small in their design. As the range of the lens is quite versatile, you would be able to get a wider variety of portraits in a very small lens. From telephoto sports photography to normal high school portraits, you would be able to get more choices to be creative with your portraits.
The Olympus Zuiko lens are perfect for creating rounded spectral highlights. With a powerful 300mm zoom, you get many possibilities for close-up portraits and bigger frame compositions as well. Just like any other good quality portrait lens, the front lens element is non-rotatable, making it ideal for usage with filters.
Leica 90mm f/2 APO Summicron
Though this is not one of the most high-end lenses with modern designs, the Leica lenses are still great to be used for portrait photography.
The only reason behind the popularity of this lens is because of the amazing image capture. However, newer versions of this lens are quite capable and promising. The aperture at f/2 provides better pictures in low light conditions as well.
You can even get one-stop down functionality with these lenses, which is perfect in case you don’t want to use an extra accessory.
The portrait lenses are especially commendable because they capture the best and the most natural skin texture and hair fluidity in the pictures. The pictures even look 3D to an extent. This lens is perfect for taking close up shots as it would capture details with ease, without making them look unnatural or inanimate.
Using one of these lenses would ensure that you take the best portrait pictures possible. Remember, portraits ask for dramatic influences that don’t look over the top. You need to maintain a proper balance between the two. Before buying any lens, try to research it as much as possible. Ideally, look for images taken with the lens so that you can get a clear idea of what the lens is capable of.