Portraying someone is stealing a bit of the soul, telling their secrets through their eyes, their story through their scars and their fears through their wrinkles. A portrait is not just a photo, it is much more, it is the image of a person with a soul, with feelings, with so much to tell! And no matter what camera you use, you are the person who has to know how to transmit all this. And the goal ... does it count? It is important? In my opinion, and I think that when you finish reading the article you will agree with me, yes it is. It is not that it is essential to use one or the other, in the end, as I said you are the one who transmits and the person portrayed who counts. However, the lens can contribute or distort more than we imagine. Yes after seeing these imagesYou also think that the objectives have something to say for their focal length, this post interests you, accommodate yourself and read on, I will tell you which objectives would be the most recommended for portraits. But first I would like to underline the word "recommended", and I say this because in the end, as I mentioned before, it is you who takes the picture and decides how to transmit, how to create. Therefore, although I tell you that a fisheye, for example, is not among those recommended, you may want to make a different, original portrait and you are looking for precisely the distorting effect produced by the fisheye. In that case you have the last word and who decides, of course. You already know that the rules are to skip them, although for this you must know them and know with what intention you skip them. The first thing we are going to see is what elements influence when an objective is more or less recommended for the portrait.


In case you do not know what I mean by this term, I leave the following summary scheme, because they say that a picture is worth a thousand words . If with the scheme you do not clarify at all, do not worry, here is everything you need to know about the focal length of your lens . The important thing is that you know that the appropriate focal length for portraits is between 50mm and 135mm. If you look back at the images at the beginning, you can see how the face is distorted below 50 mm.
Focal length scheme
The shorter the focal length, the more you will have to approach the person you are portraying. This is an important factor that you have to take into account. You may be one of those who hide behind a "TV" for shyness, but if that is the only reason you portray "from afar," your portrait may also be a little "far" from what the subject has to tell. That is why I recommend that you lose your shyness and if you want to portray strangers do not necessarily hide behind a telephoto lens, a smile will always help you overcome that shyness and get permission (almost always) from that person. Other reasons for using a telephoto lens is the ability they have to isolate the subject from the background. This is a good reason to use them, but for that you don't need to hide .


Focal can be fixed or variable. The fixed ones are those that, as the name implies, you cannot vary, with them you cannot do any kind of zoom. The variables, on the other hand, cover different focal distances. The first ones are more suitable for the portrait because they achieve greater sharpness, are more luminous and allow a lower depth of field, they are also cheaper . The disadvantage is that they are less versatile and that to reframe you will have to move from the site (although the latter does not have to be a disadvantage).


A really important element in an objective is the opening of the diaphragm. The greater the aperture, the greater the brightness and blur. Lenses with larger apertures allow you to further isolate the subject from the background and focus on certain details (you can even isolate the eyes from the rest of the face). In addition, these types of objectives usually work better when it comes to focus. If you are not very familiar with the term, you should know what is indicated by the number "f", but the smaller the number "f" (or depth of field), the greater the opening.  


Now that you know the most important elements to consider when choosing a lens for portraits, I leave you a list with some of them. If I name only Canon and Nikon it is not because they are the only brands, of course, but because most users have one or the other. If you are from Sony, Pentax ... you can search for a lens for your camera with features similar to those listed below. I link you to a sales page, so you can see approximately the price, although if you like any better you look at several sites to compare prices and incidentally, it may help you: How to base your material purchase decisions photographic? And as "to show a button", each of them is accompanied by a portrait made for that purpose. Best Canon Objectives for Portrait
    • Canon EF 70-200 mm f / 2.8L IS USM . Yes, this is a bit expensive, but of course, it is much more versatile than those of fixed focal. Here is an example of a portrait taken with this lens.
      Canon EF 70-200 mm f2.8L IS USM
    • Canon EF 85 mm f / 1.8 USM . With a lot of sharpness and a very soft bokeh (blur).
      Canon EF 85 mm f / 1.8 USM
    • Canon EF 100 mm f / 2 USM . Its minimum focusing distance is 90 cm (you can get quite close ). Compress the facial features and allow the subject to stand out well on the background.
      Canon EF 100mm f / 2 USM
  • Canon EF 50 mm f / 1.4 USM . This Mario is called the King of Objectives, do you want to know why he calls him that? Click on the link and you will know all its "benefits". If your budget does not allow it, you may want to know the one called by the Prince of the objectives.
    Canon EF 50 mm f / 1.4 USM

Canon EF 50 mm f / 1.8 USM


  • Nikon AF-S 70-200 F / 2.8 FL ED VR SD2 Zoom . The same as with the analogue of Canon, expensive but versatile.
Nikon 70-200 mm f 2.8
  • Nikon 85 mm f / 1.8G AF Nikkor . The 85 mmm is one of the preferred by professionals for portraits.
    Nikon 85 mm f / 1.8
  • Nikon 105 mm f / 2.8 AF DC-Nikkor. A sharp target
    Nikon 105 mm f / 2.8 AF DC-Nikkor.
  • Nikon 50 mm f / 1.8D AF Nikkor . Very good results at a really interesting price. I can't think of a goal with such good quality that it costs less.
    Nikon 50 mm f / 1.8D AF Nikkor
So far the article today, but before I say goodbye I have to tell you that there are many more factors to consider when making a portrait in addition to the objectives. If you really want to master portrait photography , you can't miss the last blog post in which we tell you everything you need to know to get stunning portraits. If you found it useful, I would appreciate it if you shared it on Facebook, Google + or Twitter. If you think so, someone else may also find it useful . Thank you and see you next time!

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