Portrait Lens for DSLR : Guide and Tips

Portrait Lens is the photographic lens, which are perfect for taking photographic portraits . It is more easy to pickup the wrong Lens due to various reasons. We are not going to discuss the elementary chapters on Portrait Photography taking that the reader is already used to these topics either by reading our or and standard blog or book. Today, most of the good Authors of Digital Photography tips providing blogs becomes the Author of standard printed Books from good publishers. So, practically choosing a good book and Author’s active Photography Tips blog is very important; you can directly communicate citing his/her book.

Still, few links are here for who have never read either the topics or our website’s Digital Photography section which are definite important point to know – First is the basic Studio Setup for Portrait Photography (this is the near ideal setup to test a Lens), basics of Portrait Photography, Crop Factor and Full Frame DSLR.


Basics About These Portrait Lens for DSLR


There is probably no Lens which is stamped as Portrait Lens on the box. This idea of Portrait Lens arrives due to various reasons written below. Keep in mind – a DSLR with APS-C sized Sensor and a Full Frame DSLR are not the same from optical point. 50 mm and 85 mm are traditionally known as portrait lenses. Portraits seem to be very natural when using a working distance in a range between about three meters or a bit more is used, at such a distance, which is normal considering everyday interaction with other peoples in real life. For a full-format portrait photo this results in a angle of between about 15° to 30°, which is considerably smaller than the optical angle of a typical standard lenses – about 45° to 55°.

Standard lenses may well succeed taking good portrait photos, wide-angle lenses are unsuitable for classical portraiture, since the working distance for a frame-filling portrait is very small and it leads to a strong distortion (“moon face” or big nose error). A cropping by blurring before restless background with short lenses difficult or impossible.

In the area of film SLR cameras (with a small format 36 x 24 mm film) typical portrait lenses had a focal length of between about 80 and 135 mm. In this focal length range, the presentation is perceived as pleasant distortion, but not flat. While the smaller sensors of digital SLR cameras in accordance with the format factor demands shorter focal length lens. So for APS-C sized sensor, lens with less focal length will be required.

An important composition option for the portrait is a shallow depth of field. For this purpose, large aperture is necessary with usually an initial aperture of 1:2.8 or faster, there are lenses are up to an initial aperture of 1:1.2. At maximum aperture, the face or the whole person can be isolated from the background and foreground – optically. Some lenses for portrait photography is known to have a soft focus – Minolta Varisoft is an example.


The introduction to Portrait Lens for DSLR took so much forewords, it is not abnormal that there are quite bigger sized print books.


Portrait Lens for DSLR : Guide and Tips


Of course one can use the supplied kit lens, it can also create a portrait photograph nicely. Kit lenses are built and packed to the customers to make the offer more palatable – not one of these lenses, no matter which vendor is really worthy or can take the advantages of their camera to the full.

Usually for Canon DSLR users with APS-C sized sensor, the 50 mm f / 1.8 (Nifty Fifty) is a basic suggested Prime Lens. f  / 1.4 with the same focal length is definitely a big deal if you compare the price of 50mm f / 1.2 Lens. Darren has a quite nice article on this aspect :





Nikkor has similar range of Lens. Full frame cameras have a much shallower depth of field which is for portraits is a big advantage because the subject, more easily can be separated from the background. Prime Lens are generally are preferable to a zoom lens for portrait photography.

What lenses are suitable for portraits is not guaranteed, but the above URL of Darren’s blog, definitely will give you the idea of the pricing and number of manufacturers. As we are not taking about the techniques of Portrait but only the Lens; this much is enough covering the normal need.


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