10 Best Camera Lenses For Portraits for 2023 – Reviews and Buying Guides

Capturing the perfect portrait requires the best camera equipment, and the quality of the lens you use is crucial. When it comes to photography, a high-quality lens can help you create a stunning portrait that pops. But with so many options to choose from, figuring out which one to use can be overwhelming. In this article, we will walk you through the top 10 best camera lenses for portraits that can help you achieve the perfect shot every time. So, whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur, keep reading to find the best camera lenses for portraits for your budget and skill level.

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Last update on 2024-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Everything you Need to Know About Camera Lenses For Portraits

Camera lenses play a crucial role in portrait photography. The lens you choose can significantly impact the look and feel of your images, making it important to choose the right one. Portrait lenses are designed specifically for this type of photography and come in different focal lengths to suit different needs.

Short telephoto lenses, such as 50mm and 85mm lenses, are ideal for portrait photography. The focal length helps to create a flattering perspective, making the subject appear more natural. These lenses are great for shooting headshots and waist-up portraits. They are also excellent for shooting in low light conditions, thanks to their wide apertures which allow for shallow depth-of-field and beautiful bokeh. Other important features to consider when choosing a portrait lens include image stabilization, fast autofocus, and build quality.

Best Camera Lenses For Portraits by Editors Choice

RANK 1
Canon Portrait and Travel Two Lens Kit with 50mm f/1.8 and 10-18mm Lenses...
  • EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a compact, lightweight fixed focal length lens ideal for everyday photos, and with a large f/1.8 aperture, a perfect lens for low-light...
  • EF-S10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM is an EF-S ultra-wide zoom lens with an impressive starting focal length (16mm in 35mm equivalence). For expansive scenery from tall...
  • A stepping motor (Gear-type STM) supports the Movie Servo AF function in providing smooth and quiet continuous AF during video recording, as well as when...
  • EF 50mm f/1.8 STM:Minimum focusing distance of 1.15 ft. (0.35m); maximum magnification of 0.21x. EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM:Full-time manual focus allows...
  • EF 50mm f/1.8 STM :Circular aperture (7 blades) helps deliver beautiful, soft backgrounds.Metal mount helps provide stability and ruggedness
RANK 2
Meike 85mm F1.8 Auto Focus Medium Telephoto STM Stepping Motor Full Frame...
  • Standard 85mm full frame lens for portrait, subject, architecture and landscape photography
  • Wide aperture of f1.8 with 9 diaphragm blades, designed to produce super smooth round blur effect (bokeh)
  • Support AF, electronic aperture adjustment and EXIF information transmission
  • Equipped with STM stepping motor, the lens will bring you experience of silent and smooth focusing; Features micro USB firmware upgrade interface, enables you...
  • Compatible with Sony E Mount Cameras A7 A7R A74 A7R4 A7III A7RII A7RIII A7SIII A9; Also compatible with Sony APS-C frame cameras A6300 A6400 A6500 A6600, the...
RANK 3
Lightdow 85mm F1.8 Medium Telephoto Manual Focus Full Frame Portrait Lens for...
  • - 8 pieces of circular aperture, smooth and large focus rings internal focusing(IF) hybrid aspherical lenses (H-ASP), ultra multi coating(UMC)
  • - FULL MANUAL FOCUS OPERATION: require complete manual focus operation on dslr camera to align with lens body, NOT suitable for SLR beginners, recommended for...
  • - Compatible with Canon EOS Rebel T7, T7i, T6, T6i, T5, T5i, SL2, 80D, 77D, 700D, 70D, 60D, 50D, 5D, 6D, 7D, 600D, 550D, 200D, 150D, 100D, 1300D, 1400D, 1500D...
  • Warm Tips: This is a MANUAL FOCUS LENS, NO Electronic Contacts, your camera will not detect the lens when mounted, that's why it shows "NO LENS ATTACHED",...
  • - Large Aperture with a pleasing bokeh quality to further enhance shallow depth of field images
RANK 4
85mm f1.8 Portrait Lens - EF Lens for Canon, Medium Telephoto Lenses Manual...
  • 【User Instraction】: This is a FULL MANUAL lens, NO Electronic Contacts, your camera will not detect the lens when mounted, that's why we can't press the...
  • 【Versatile Portrait Lens 85mm】: As a portrait lens, the 85mm lens makes it easy to take half- and full-body shots. It can also take close-ups of faces....
  • 【Large F1.8 Aperture】: The large 1.8 aperture lens delivers fantastic background bokeh. Large aperture with pleasing bokeh to further enhance shallow...
  • 【Manual Focus】: Please rotate the focus ring of the lens to achieve focus. Manual camera lenses cannot display the aperture value in the camera. Shutter...
  • 【EF Lens for Canon】: 85mm F1.8 Manual Portrait Lens Compatible/Replacement for Canon DSLR Camera such as Canon EOS Rebel T8i T7i T7 T6 T6s T6i SL3 SL2 90D...
SaleRANK 5
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras (Renewed)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is manufacturer refurbished it shows limited or no wear
  • Includes all original accessories plus a 90 day warranty
  • Fast, f/1.8 prime lens is perfect for low-light conditions, travel, environmental portrait and general photography, Engineered for Nikon DX-format D-SLRS, the...
  • Aspherical lens element minimizes coma and other types of lens aberrations, further improving image integrity, Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances...
  • Close focusing to 1 foot for creative perspectives and versatility, Rounded 7-blade diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural, Accepts...
RANK 6
JINTU 85mm EF Lens - Portrait Lens Manual Telephoto Lenses F1.8 for Canon EOS...
  • 【Note】: Full Manual lens, No auto focus, when lens not attached, Please enable "M mode " or "Release without lens" in the setting of camera when use manual...
  • Standard 85mm Manual focus full frame lens for portrait, subject, architecture and landscape photography. Wide aperture of f1.8 with 6 diaphragm blades,...
  • EF Lens Compatible with Canon APS-C frame EF-Mount SLR cameras,such as 5D 6D 7D Mark II 70D 80D 800D 1000D 1100D 600D 60D 450D 550D 5D3 5D4 Rebel T7i T6i T6s T6...
  • Good Portrait Lens : Wide aperture of f1.8 with 6 diaphragm blades, designed to produce super smooth round blur effect (bokeh).Beautiful Bokeh enhances...
  • 【Strict Quality Control】: All of our lenses all passed strict quality testing.if they don't work, it's an operational and setup issue. Pls contact us...
RANK 7
Meike 85mm F1.8 Auto Focus Medium Telephoto STM Stepping Motor Full Frame...
  • Standard 85mm full frame lens for portrait, subject, architecture and landscape photography
  • Wide aperture of f1.8 with 9 diaphragm blades, designed to produce super smooth round blur effect (bokeh)
  • Support AF, electronic aperture adjustment and EXIF information transmission
  • Equipped with STM stepping motor, the lens will bring you experience of silent and smooth focusing; Features micro USB firmware upgrade interface, enables you...
  • Compatible with Nikon Z Mount Cameras Z50, Z5, Z6, Z7, Z6II, Z7II
SaleRANK 8
58MM 0.43x Altura Photo Professional HD Wide Angle Lens (w/Macro Portion) for...
  • LENS ATTACHMENT: Easily screws on to the front of your lens, and instantly expands the field of view for breathtaking wide-angle photography. Features a...
  • LENS COMPATIBILITIES: Popular 58MM Lens models including Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III...
  • CAMERA MODELS: Canon EOS Rebel T7 T7i T6i T6 T6s T5i T5 T4i T3i T100 SL3 SL2 SL1 90D 80D 77D 70D 1100D 700D 650D 600D 550D 7D Mark II 6D Mark II 5DS 5D Mark II...
  • NOTE: PLEASE VERIFY YOUR CAMERA'S LENS THREAD SIZE BEFORE ORDERING. This Wide-Angle is compatible with 58MM lenses only. Lens sizes vary regardless of camera...
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: Backed by Our 90-Day Satisfaction Guarantee.
RANK 9
Meike 85mm F1.8 Auto Focus Full Frame Large Aperture Lens Compatible with Nikon...
  • Standard 85mm full frame lens for portrait, subject, archiecture and landscape photography.
  • Wide aperture of f1.8 with 9 diaphragm blades, designed to produce super smooth round blur effect (bokeh).
  • Lens consturction is 9 elements in 6 groups with decent build quality, capable of delivering sharp and clear images.
  • Compatible with Nikon APS-C frame cameras, the equivalent focal length is 127.5mm.
  • Features micro USB firmware upgrade interface, enables you to upgrade the lens online
RANK 10
Meike 85mm f1.8 Large Aperture Full Frame Auto Focus Telephoto Lens for Canon...
  • Filter size is 67mm, minimum focus distance with 0.85m
  • Lens aperture range is F/1.8-F/22, lens construction with 6 groups of 9 pieces
  • Full frame view: level: 16 degree / vertical: 24 degrees / diagonal: 28.5 degrees
  • Lens carrying the usual electronic contacts, but also a USB connection that can be used to upgrade the lens firmware
  • Suitable for a wide range of other subjects, including selective architecture, landscapes, portrait, short range sports and theatre photography

Last update on 2024-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reasons for Buying Camera Lenses For Portraits

There are multiple benefits to investing in Camera Lenses For Portraits that aspiring photographers should consider. These lenses can deliver a sharp focus, produce stunningly clear images, and provide more depth in the background to create a professional-looking portrait. In this section, we will explore some of the key reasons why you should definitely consider buying camera lenses for your portrait photography needs.

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Camera Lenses For Portraits?

When it comes to photography, lenses play a significant role in capturing the perfect shot. This is especially true for portrait photography. The right lens can make all the difference in achieving the desired look and feel of your photos. In this section, we will explore some key factors to consider when it comes to selecting the best camera lenses for portraits.

Focal length

Focal length is an essential factor to consider when buying camera lenses for portraits. The focal length of a lens is the distance between the lens and the film or sensor when the lens is focused on infinity. The shorter the focal length, the wider the field of view and the more distortion in the image. In contrast, the longer the focal length, the narrower the field of view and the less distortion in the image.

When choosing a lens for portraits, it is essential to consider the subject’s distance and the desired composition of the shot. A shorter focal length lens can be effective in capturing environmental portraits or group shots, while a longer focal length lens is ideal for headshots and portraits with shallow depth of field. By considering the focal length before purchasing a camera lens, photographers can ensure that they select the best lens for their specific needs and produce the desired results.

Aperture

Aperture is an important factor to consider when buying camera lenses for portraits because it affects the depth of field in your photos. The wider the aperture (lower f-stop number), the shallower the depth of field, which can provide a blurred background and make the subject stand out more. This is great for portraits where you want to draw attention to the subject and create a more artistic effect. On the other hand, a narrow aperture (higher f-stop number) will create a greater depth of field, which can be useful for landscape photography or capturing more of a scene in focus.

Another reason to consider aperture when buying camera lenses for portraits is that it can affect the amount of available light entering the lens. The wider the aperture, the more light can enter the lens and the faster the shutter speed can be, which is useful for low-light situations or when shooting moving subjects. However, a wider aperture lens may also be more expensive and heavier than a narrower aperture lens. Overall, considering the aperture of a lens is important in determining its capabilities for capturing portraits, as well as its cost and practicality.

Image stabilization

Image stabilization is an essential feature to consider when buying camera lenses for portraits. It is a mechanism for reducing camera shake, which results in blurry images. When taking portraits, the photographer has to work with slow shutter speeds to capture the details of the subject correctly. However, slow shutter speeds can also increase the chances of camera shake, which can ruin an otherwise perfect shot. Image stabilization technology minimizes these disturbances and ensures that you have clear, sharp photos that are worth sharing.

Choosing a lens with image stabilization also provides flexibility in your shooting. You can capture photos in low-light conditions without worrying if you have a steady hand or if you’re using a tripod. Image stabilization enables you to take sharp shots even when you’re on the move or capturing fast-moving objects. In sum, image stabilization is a crucial aspect to consider when buying camera lenses for portraits, ensuring that your shots are sharp, clear, and have great quality details, regardless of shooting conditions.

Autofocus capabilities

Autofocus capabilities are an essential feature to consider when purchasing camera lenses for portraits. This is because a portrait photo is all about capturing the subject’s facial features and expressions accurately. The autofocus feature helps to achieve this by allowing the camera to quickly and accurately focus on the subject’s eyes or face, ensuring the resulting image is sharp and clear.

In addition to accuracy, autofocus also offers convenience, as it eliminates the need for the photographer to manually adjust the focus on the lens, saving time and effort. Autofocus capabilities are particularly important when photographing moving subjects or in low-light conditions, where manual focus can be challenging. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the autofocus capabilities of a camera lens before making a purchase, especially if the primary use of the lens will be for portrait photography.

Lens construction and build quality

The construction and build quality of a camera lens play a crucial role in determining its durability and performance. A well-built lens made of high-quality materials can resist wear and tear and withstand harsh weather conditions, making it a reliable tool for professional and amateur photographers alike. Moreover, a sturdy lens design can help maintain the optical integrity of the lens, resulting in sharper and clearer images with minimal distortion.

When it comes to shooting portraits, lens construction and build quality become even more important. A portrait lens should have a wide aperture, which can allow for shallow depth of field and create blurred backgrounds, enhancing the subject’s sharpness and making them stand out in the frame. A well-constructed lens with a fast and accurate autofocus system can also ensure that the subject remains in sharp focus, while the bokeh effect of the blurred background creates a pleasing aesthetic that adds depth and dimension to the image.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best camera lenses for taking portraits?

There are several types of camera lenses that can be used for taking portraits, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. One of the most popular lenses is the 50mm prime lens, which offers a natural-looking perspective and can create beautiful shallow depth of field effects. Another popular option is a 85mm prime lens, which compresses the background and draws the viewer’s attention to the subject’s face. This lens is especially well suited for head and shoulder portraits. Zoom lenses in the 70-200mm range can also be great for portrait photography, as they allow the photographer to compose shots with a variety of different focal lengths and can create stunning bokeh.

In general, lenses with wide apertures (such as f/1.8, f/1.4, or even f/1.2) are preferred for portrait photography, as they allow for greater control over depth of field and can create a pleasing background blur. However, lenses with narrower apertures (such as f/2.8 or f/4) can also be great for portraits if the photographer wants to capture more of the background or create a sharper image overall. Ultimately, the best lens for taking portraits will depend on the photographer’s style, the subject’s needs, and the overall shooting conditions.

Which camera lens is better for capturing portraits: prime or zoom?

Prime lenses are generally considered better for capturing portraits because they have a wider aperture which allows for better bokeh (background blur) and a shallower depth of field. This helps to isolate the subject and create a more visually appealing image. Prime lenses also tend to be sharper and have less distortion than zoom lenses.

However, zoom lenses can be more versatile and offer a range of focal lengths, which can be helpful for capturing different perspectives on the subject. They’re also more convenient for changing compositions without having to physically move the camera. Ultimately, the choice between a prime and zoom lens for portraits depends on the photographer’s specific needs and preferences.

What aperture range should I look for when choosing a lens for portraits?

When choosing a lens for portraits, it is generally recommended to look for lenses with a wider aperture, usually starting at around f/2.8 or wider. This allows for more light to enter the lens, resulting in a shallower depth of field and background blur, which can help to separate the subject from the background and draw attention to their features and expression. A wider aperture also enables faster shutter speeds, making it easier to freeze motion and capture sharp images.

However, it is important to note that the ideal aperture range will also depend on personal style and the desired look for the portrait. Some photographers may opt for a more narrow aperture to capture more details in the subject and background, while others may prefer a wider aperture for a more dreamy, romantic effect. Ultimately, it is up to the photographer to experiment with different aperture settings and determine what works best for their particular style and subject.

Can I use a wide-angle lens for portraits or is it better to stick with a standard or telephoto lens?

While a wide-angle lens can technically be used for portraits, it is generally not recommended as it can distort facial features and make the subject appear unflattering. A standard or telephoto lens is a better choice as it produces a more natural looking image with smoother and more flattering facial features.

Key Takeaways

As we can see, finding the best camera lenses for portraits can be a challenging task. However, with the right knowledge and research, it is possible to make an informed decision. We hope that this article has provided you with valuable insights into the top 10 best camera lenses for portraits available in the market. Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur, choosing one of these lenses can significantly enhance the quality of your portraits and capture those special moments with clarity and precision. Remember, investing in the best camera lenses for portraits is an investment in your craft, and it will pay off in the long run.

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