Portrait lens

Started Jul 24, 2022 | Questions thread
LenRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 4,312
Re: Portrait lens

Orsonneke wrote:

Hi all , I am looking for a good 80-100mm ish lens for portraits.

Is the 85 GM a good option and would you still buy it now?

To be used on a1 and A7R4


I define portrait as either full length or waist and higher. For shoulders that is more a headshot.

I consider where I will be taking these images. Indoors or outside. Do I need any extra light like flash, do I need to use any light modifiers and if so can I do this myself or need a second person to hold a reflector/ umbrella etc

If I use a 85 mm outside what will the background look like. 85 mm may not be long enough. A 70-200 might be better even with a slower f-stop but use the extra focal length to compress the background and subject.

What are the physical working distance more so for indoors. 85 mm is too long and 35 or 50 mm might be better. So a 24-70 mm zoom even.

If you have an ugly background outside and you just can not physically move the subject you almost need a longer lens to do that work. 85 mm 1.4 under some instances can only do so much.

I can suggest look at pro Peter Hurley for headshots, Mark Gailer is a good resource.

** The close focus distance of a lens can matter too.

I used to have in Nikon world 35mm 85 mm, 105 mm all F 1.4's prime with 70-200 zoom and other lenses.  I could be in any type of space and certainly needed to set up external off camera flash as needed.  I actually used multiple speed lights with wireless ability to make myself a portable studio

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