Best lens for indoor and outdoor portraits

Started Apr 15, 2011 | Discussions
crabb3 Regular Member • Posts: 108
Best lens for indoor and outdoor portraits

I was wondering what lens are best for taking portraits both indoor and outdoor. I have been told that each needs a different lens. I am using a canon 40d and 5d mkII. It has been some time since I have taken portraits so any help would be great.


bhollis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,422
Re: Best lens for indoor and outdoor portraits

If you're considering primes, you might think about one of the 85mm lenses. Could be used on both of your cameras for both indoor and outdoor portraits.

The EF 85 f/1.2L is generally considered Canon's premiere portrait lens, but it's pretty pricey at over $2,000. Other options include the EF 85 f/1.8--very nice lens, and at around $400, one of Canon's best values for the money--and the new Sigma 85 f/1.4, which goes for around $900.

h00ligan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,101
Re: Best lens for indoor and outdoor portraits

What's your budget?

The 135L will probably be too long indoors...I think the first respondent nailed it. Pick and 85, any of them really based on price. Also how fast do you need it to focus. The 85/1.2 is supposed to be quite slow (idont know first hand).

007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,068
50mm for indoor, 85mm - 135mm for outdoors

I love 50mm for indoor portraits. Anyone of these will do just fine:

  • Canon 50mm f/1.8 II

  • canon 50mm f/1.4

  • canon 50mm f/1.2 L

  • sigma 50mm f/1.4

for outdoor shoot, I anyone of these will do:

  • 85mm f/1.8

  • 100mm f/2.0

  • 135mm f/2

Tejas Ramakrishnan Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: 50mm for indoor, 85mm - 135mm for outdoors

For indoor portraits, i recommend this -

That Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM. it is unbeatable at that. Excellent lens, great reviews, and never met an unhappy user on that.

For outdoor portraits, a bit more range and lower aperture might be useful, but if you are taking low light evening portrait shots, then the 50mm f/1.2 above will complement best. If you need a higher focal length for outdoors shot, then pick the Canon 85mm f/1.8 -

But a better one at f/1.2 is available at a hefty price if you want to spend more and get that. But i suggest that you pick the 50mm f/1.2L, and it would be suitable for most portrait shots.

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