I had a reader ask me ” I was just wondering, is there one lens you use the most in taking pictures for other people?” The answer is a resounding YES! When doing portrait photography (specifically portraits of just one person)I use, almost exclusively, my 85mm 1.8 lens.
“WHY????” you may scream and shout (or not)
Well, I’ll tell ya! It’s 3 things.
1. Its focal length. 85mm is considered a telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses (pretty much anything larger than 50mm) are SO flattering for portraits. As wide-angle lenses distort and skew the subject, making the world seem wider – telephoto lenses do the opposite by compressing, or flattening the image, bringing it closer to you. Why is this awesome for portraits? Well, who wouldn’t want your nose drawn back in a tad, or our cheekbones raised that tiny bit? What it also does is give you that close, intimate feeling. It’s so important to capture that when doing portrait photography. So, I love my 85mm for that reason.
2. It’s aperture. It has a wide aperture (or a low f-stop of 1.8) which means it creates a WONDERFUL bokeh (or blurry background). This also gives you that intimate feeling and makes your subject really stand out. It’s wide aperture also makes it a great lens for shooting in lower light situations, and who can’t benefit from that?! These pictures wouldn’t have had the awesome bokeh they have if I had used a different lens.3. It’s quality. It’s a great quality lens. It runs smoothly, it’s focus is sharp, it’s just a great piece of glass. LOVE IT! Sometimes, especially if you are serious about getting better than average shots, it’s worth it to spend a little money to invest in the good lenses. It will make a huge difference!
6 thoughts on “Photography Friday – What Lens I Use”
I agree! I appreciated your advice on this back when I was purchasing mine a couple of years ago– and it's such a wonderful portrait lens for outdoors!
Oh I wish that I had this information before i purchased my 50mm 1.8 lens. The lens I bought was not that expensive but still….I would have put the money towards the one that you have. I love taking portraits and need all the help that I can get. Thank you for explaining why you use the one that you do for your beautiful portraits. It is on my list to buy. Now all I have to do is save for it. 🙂
Just one question. Is your 85mm lens a fixed lens? thanks Bobbi.Mary
I love your tips!
Thanks for your constant advice! Some photographers, (as I've found), are so stingy with what they know. I appreciate you!
I agree with Amy,most photographers are very stingy with information.I like to follow blogs that provide information,ones that teach others.So thanks for your tips… 🙂