Use an 85mm lens for portrait shots

The 85mm lens has become the darling of many photographers because of its design.  It is a short focal length and one of the best choices for portrait photography.  The 85mm lens allows you to capture close-up detail in a portrait and minimize the distortion of your subject’s face and body.  Many photographers in the industry agree that this classic prime lens is a must-have in any portrait photographer’s camera bag.  The lens is ideal for outdoor and studio portrait shots, so it gives you the versatility of shooting in multiple locations.  

1. Advantages of using an 85mm lens  

Reduce distortion: A common problem when shooting with a 35mm or 50mm lens is a face or image distortion.  However, you can always find a solution.  Using an 85mm lens, you can take perfect close-up and full-length portraits without facial contortions.  

portrait photography 

Depth of field: The depth of field experience with an 85 mm lens is different from the depth captured with a 35 mm or 55 mm lens.  Using an 85mm lens, you can get deep, detailed, and beautiful views.  It takes whatever background you have and turns it into a full magical scene to take beautiful photos.  

Amazing Perspective compression: We often confuse perspective compression with lens compression, but here we refer specifically to perspective compression.  Essentially, to use a focal length of 85mm or more, we have to stand further away from the subject and then use the focal length to “zoom in” the scene, giving the illusion of pulling the lens.  The background is closer to our subject.  

For backgrounds with repetitive patterns, the perspective compression you get when using an 85mm prime lens is particularly powerful in the way background elements fill the frame and add unique depth to the image.  You won’t get the same effect when shooting with a wider focal length such as a 24mm, 35mm, or even 50mm lens.  The longer the focal length, the more dramatic the look, but the 85mm and 105mm focal lengths at large apertures provide the sweet spot for taking full advantage of perspective compression.  

2. The problem of using 85mm to shoot portraits  

The biggest problem with 85mm lenses is usually the weight, price, and space they require to take portraits.  An 85mm lens with a larger aperture (such as the F1.4) can be a larger, heavier lens and cost more.  

Second, the narrower field of view requires more space to back up so that you can take full-body shots.  If you have a small studio, then you may not have the space to shoot these types of portraits. Finally, lens prices vary by aperture and other features.  

3. Why use an 85mm lens for portraits?  

The 85mm lens is usually best for portrait photography as it allows you to work relatively close to your subject while giving you everything you need to take a decent portrait.  The limitation, of course, is that because of the longer focal length, you usually need more space in the environment to shoot with it.  

portrait photography 

Some of the benefits of using 85mm include clear detail, subject isolation, and maximizing bokeh (background blur).  If your model is wearing small, delicate jewelry or wearing an elaborate costume, then 85mm is the perfect choice to capture these details.  In addition, shooting with a wide 85mm aperture at an aperture such as F1.4 or F1.8 will give you the maximum depth of field and take your subject out of the background.  When shooting wide open, you can also maximize the bokeh in your portrait to give your photos a soft touch.  

For starters, an 85mm lens is the best portrait focal length recommended by professional photographers.  Your photos will be less distorted no matter how far away they are.  If you are interested in more outdoor portrait shots, this lens is perfect for you.  Finally, good luck taking amazing pictures with an 85mm lens.  

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