For photographers who are into portrait photography, it is important to choose the right kind of lens that supports portrait photography. In essence, the lens should provide a fast maximum aperture in order to maximize the impact of the portrait shots. Often it is said that it is the driver that is in-charge of the race, not the car itself. Similarly, it is also believed that it is the man behind the camera that is in-charge of the show and not the camera itself. However, this is sadly untrue as for different purposes, different camera types are suitable and just a single type of camera cannot be used every now and then. For capturing people and portrait photography in general, there are specific lenses that we are going to look upon in this article.

It is noticed that it is not always the lens speed and aperture that matters but also the focal length and the distance from the subject (person) that is being photographed.

Best Lenses for Portrait Photography of 2016

50mm f/1.4 Lenses

The classic 50mm lens can give you very decent results in your portrait photography sessions as it has many variants in terms of aperture ranges. The f/1.2s is the most expensive option but even an f/1.8 can deliver awesome results by giving a genuine “bokeh” effects, blurring the background better than your normal zoom. If you wish to go a bit further back, then your hands are tied in going for the 50mm f/1.4 lens. An APS-C DSLR owner would use this to perform a portrait photography session from a fair amount of distance, ideal for a spy photographer perhaps as it is equivalent to approx. 75mm.Nikon 50mm

50mm Options

Name

Details

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM More Details
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G More Details
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Asph More Details
Pentax 50mm f/1.4 smc FA More Details
Samyang 50mm f/1.4 AS UMC More Details
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A More Details
Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 T* Planar ZE More Details

85mm Lenses

Similar to the 50mm primes, 85mm lenses also offer a variety of aperture ranges which are highly suitable for portrait photography. As it is a general rule of thumb, the smaller the aperture range would be, the higher its cost, henceforth, f/1.8s would the cheapest option. However, for better results, one could opt for either an f/1.4s or f/1.2s. With a larger 85mm lens, it gives you the freedom to capture from a larger distance but an important thing to remember is the fact that if the lens if attached to an APS-C sized sensor, this could go be equivalent to approx. 127.5mm.sigma-85mm

85mm Options

Name

Details

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM More Details
Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 R XF More Details
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G More Details
Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 Asph Power OIS More Details
Pentax DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM More Details
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM More Details
Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 T* Planar More Details

24-70mm f/2.8 lenses

Albeit, a larger and rather heavier and slower lens than a prime zoom, the 24-70mm standard zoom gives you great versatility in portrait photography. It allows you the liberty to make choices between various focal length so that you are able to go for your preferred choice. With very little time, adjustments can be made between capturing with close-ups as in mugshots of the people or even including their surroundings. Furthermore, all of this can be done fairly easily by maintaining a fixed distance whilst the fast maximum aperture works its way to create a shallow field depth.Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 G ED

24-70mm Options

Name

Details

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM More Details
Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR More Details
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED More Details
Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko PRO More Details
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Asph Power OIS More Details
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM More Details
Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD More Details