The Best Lens for Portrait Photography?

What is the best lens or focal length suited for alt/glamour portrait photography? There is no one definite answer. For fun we've asked several top photographers we admire: 

What is your favorite lens (or focal length) for portraits and why?

 

Model: Samantha Acampora. Photo by Ed Fox.

 

ED FOX:

"My immediate textbook response was "85mm 1.8" because it's just a given to use a longer than 'normal' lens for portraiture. BUT depends on your subject. The last few unique looking models I shot were purposely shot using a 50mm to distort and accentuate their unique characteristics."

http://www.edfox.com

 

 

 Photo by Laura Dark.

LAURA DARK: 

"I like the 50mm prime lens. I like the depth of field I can achieve with it. I love that I can use it in just about any lighting, studio, outside, concerts, etc. It's really my main "go-to" lens."

http://www.lauradark.net



Model: Sabrina Sin. Photo by Damian Hevia.


DAMIAN HEVIA:

"85mm and up. 200-300mm even better. 105mm is classic. This is assuming 35mm size sensor. There's a lot to this topic but it gets technical. Sensor size is an issue in determining the actual focal length you are using. An 80mm lens on a DX sensor is not the same if the same lens is on an FX sensor. it's called the lens factor. Bottom line though, a "portrait" lens is like 85mm and higher. With some fashion looks, the lens can be pretty long to get the feel. More like 300-400. Of course, you have to have the room to get back and get your subject in the frame."

http://archive.dhevia.com/

 


Model: Jessica Garza. Photo by Pretty and Inked.


PRETTY AND INKED A.K.A. AMBER ALLEN STRICKLER:

"I use a variety of lenses for my shoots. Primarily the Canon 50mm 1.2 and the 85mm 1.2."

http://www.prettyandinked.com



Photo by Lorenzo Chuca.


LORENZO CHUCA:

"My all time favorite is my 85mm, great quality up close."

http://www.chuca.net



Model: Angela Ryan. Photo by Obscuri.


 

OBSCURI:

"My lens of choice is the Nikon 24-70 2.8 a close second is the 70-200 2.8."

http://www.obscuri.net

 

Model: Annabelle Lee. Photo by Peter Gonzales

 

PETER GONZALES: 

"My workhorse has been the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS  for the last few years. Many photogs prefer the 24-70 from Canon, but since I almost always shoot handheld from weird angles, the extra focal length of the 70-200 really allows me to stay in my shooting spot and create a number of different compositions. And with the 70-200 being an IS lens, it offers me a built in safety factor when shooting handheld to reduce camera blur from moving around. Since I work mostly in studio, the Minimum f/2.8 Aperture of the 70-200 is more than sufficient for my shooting style."

http://www.petergonzalesphotography.com

 

Model: Elisanth. Photo by Zatsepin Alex.


ZATSEPIN ALEX: 

"I usually use Canon 24-70mm or 24-105mm due to versatile focal lenght. L series offers great quality. I also like manual 85mm 1.4 Samyang for nice bokeh and aperture ratio. Besides, I can use it with continuous lighting."

http://www.zatsepin-alex.com

 

Model: Tressa Louise
Makeup/hair: Jennifer Corona

 

SHANNON BROOKE:

"My Favorite lens is a 28-80 nikkor, so that I can have a wider angle for shooting cars, and a good normal lens for 3/4 crop to headshots of my models."

http://www.shannonbrookeimagery.net

 

If you are a professional photographer and have your own opinion on the matter, please let us know in the comments. What lens do you like to use?

 

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