Step into the world of 85mm prime lenses

The 85mm prime lens is ideal for portrait lenses.  No one would dispute the fact.  It is the lens of choice for almost every wedding and portrait photographer in the world.  Best of all, with a focal length of 85mm, you don’t have to go near the main subject to get a good shot.  Next, let’s step into the world of 85mm prime lenses and understand 85mm prime lenses.  

1. What is an 85 mm prime lens?  

The 85mm prime lens has a fixed focal length of 85mm, unlike a zoom lens that can zoom in and out within a certain focal length.  

Prime lenses are generally better than zoom lenses because they emphasize quality over versatility. This is because manufacturers can put all their design work into ensuring optimal performance at very specific focal lengths and periodizations, rather than trying to balance that performance across multiple focal lengths.  Not to mention the added weight and complexity of an autofocus motor.  

portrait photography

2. Step into the world of 85mm prime lenses  

An 85mm prime lens is often seen as a more traditional portrait lens.  Such focal lengths are loved and appreciated by many, thanks to the level of compression they provide, the fact that they do not distort faces and facial features, and the increased level of subject separation.  Yes, if you like bokeh, this is the lens we can use instead of 50mm.  

While the 85mm prime can be used for the same types of shots as the 50mm lens (full length, 3/4, and headshot), you’ll have to be more aware of your surroundings, as the longer focal length will make it harder to pull and some of the lenses will close if you’re shooting in a tight space.  The telephoto nature of the 85mm lens means you’ll be moving away from your subject to get the same type of picture as the 50mm, so keep that in mind.  

The 85mm focal length is great for portrait photography, thanks to the level of compression they provide without distorting facial features.  Distortion control and compression will help soften facial features, resulting in a more flattering portrait of your subjects;  Let’s face it, everyone wants a more flattering image of themselves.  Compression is a feature of telephoto lenses, and it also helps make the background look closer, which can make your subjects stand out.  This is the image that many customers want these days.  

If you want to eliminate the background, pick up the 85mm lens and shoot at full tilt.  Of course, you can also maintain more environmental focus by simply choosing the slower F-stop: It’s all up to you and your creative vision.  

3. What type of photography works best with an 85mm lens?  

The 85mm lens is perfect for portrait work.  By isolating the subject and minimizing distortion, the lens produces captivating, flattering portraits, heads, and full-body images.  

Ask “What’s the use of an 85mm lens?”  And you’ll probably get the default response “Portrait work.”  

However, many experienced photographers praise the versatility of the lens and firmly believe that the 85mm lens can be used for street and landscape photography.  By directing the viewer’s gaze, the 85mm lens is perfect for creating interest in street scenes and capturing details in nature shots.  

portrait photography

4. Aperture Priority mode is great for capturing natural details  

The 85mm prime lens is best for portraits and other close-ups of people, plants, and animals, which means that aperture first mode should be used more frequently than shutter speed first or fully manual mode.  This allows you to adjust the depth of field and different levels of lighting without worrying too much about camera Settings, as it automatically optimizes them before each shot based on the F/Number Settings you choose so that they look great every time they appear.  

These lenses often have a variable aperture setting, which means they don’t stay at a specific level all the time, but instead, change based on the amount of light available for each shot.  This may seem counter-productive because you want everything to stay the same in terms of camera options like shutter speed or ISO level, but sometimes photographers end up shooting scenes with too many different lighting conditions in the image, even if it looks bright away from a distance. 

 In these cases, temporarily switching the lens Settings to manual mode while still shooting at aperture priority should solve the problem, as 85mm lenses usually have maximum openings from F /20 to F /32.  

There is no standardized scope for these types of Settings, meaning photographers usually just fly by the seat of their pants, but other options include shooting in larger openings like F /11 or even smaller ones like F /22 to better present the background details.  

Choosing between the different levels involves finding the locations where your image looks clearest up close and away, so it’s better to keep them in mind when shooting rather than just deciding on a particular setting in advance based on math.  This allows you to take pictures more spontaneously, rather than being stuck trying until you get it right, as many 85mm prime lenses are shot from a distance to capture the entire landscape.  

5. Last word  

If you’re a new photographer, it’s nice to know that shooting at full aperture is also slightly more difficult than shooting at 50mm, because we’re talking about the extremely thin depth-of-field.  Newer cameras help solve this problem thanks to advanced eye autofocus, but you still need to be aware of this.  If you’re a portrait photographer who prefers to focus more on 3/4 lenses and tighter headshots, we would recommend 85mm over 50mm.  

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