50mm or 85mm for portraits?

Started Jun 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 6,384
Re: More on the 85mm

SelSol wrote:

This is where I'm at, the F1.8 85 is the safe choice, but the F1.4 is going to give me that extra degree of bokeh, but not as easily.... decisions decisions.........

If by "extra degree", you mean that the background will be even more blurred, because it's F1.4 as opposed to F1.8, you'll be disappointed. Or rather, you won't be disappointed in the F1.8. If you shoot the 85 F1.8 wide open, you'll get all the blurring you could want. You really won't notice the difference using F1.4. What is more, the depth of field at F1.4 is so thin that you probably won't want to shoot the F1.4 wide open anyway. For a head and shoulder portrait using an 85 at F1.4, you will get the eyes in focus, and nothing else, and that's if it's shot head-on. If the face is at an angle, you will only have one eye in focus.

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