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What is the best but affordable lens for portraits

peggyowenby
Apprentice
What is an affordable portrait lens
18 REPLIES 18

cicopo
Elite

There are several threads on the topic already but because cameras (DSLR's) today use different sized sensors we need to know which one you're using. The same lens on a 1.6 crop body doesn't give the same results (FOV or DOF) on a full frame body.

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

diverhank
Authority

Opinions will vary but my vote goes to the EF 85mm f/1.8.  This is the only non-L lens I own and it's my favorite for portraits (I have the 24-105 f/4L, 24-70 II f/2.8L, 100mm f/2.8L macro, 70-200mm f/4L IS...any of which can make a nice portrait lens but none can beat the 85mm bokeh @ f/1.8.

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85 f/1.8 for FF and 50 f/1.4 for crop are probably the best all around affordable lens for portraits.

I agree 100 percent with 7d5d the 50 for rebels or the 85 for full frame. About $350.00 each.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

I also agree with 7D5D. 50 / 1.4 for crop sensors and 85 / 1.8 for FF

 

Pat

In my opinion 50mm is not as good for portraits even for crop sensor 

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr


@diverhank wrote:

In my opinion 50mm is not as good for portraits even for crop sensor 


But the 85mm on a crop is?  Smiley Frustrated

 

I even like 50mm on a FF for portraiture, but it can be a bit uncomfortable for the model if they're not used to a camera in their face.  You also have a much larger background to deal with.

 

That said, I'm not crazy about the 50/1.4 as a lens.  I try to love it, but I don’t.  The 85/1.8 is a better lens IMHO.  And providing that you have the space, you can always go longer with portraits.  85mm is a workable distance on either crop or FF.

 

I also find macro lens can be a really good portrait lens. The Canon 100mm Non-IS is good and doesn't cost that much too.
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hsbn wrote:

I also find macro lens can be a really good portrait lens. The Canon 100mm Non-IS is good and doesn't cost that much too.
 
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I agree.  I also use the 100 f/2.8L as a portrait lens.   However, part of the reason the 85mm f/1.8 is better is because of the bokeh below f/2.8.  Because the 85mm is affordable, I recently bought it just to see (having owned the 24-70II, 100 2.8L, 70-200 f/4L already).  The 85mm is now my portrait lens...it is that good.
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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
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