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.
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.
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.
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.