What lenses do I need for portrait photography?
Portrait photography is all about the subject. Most portrait shots will blur or soften the background so the subject completely dominates the photograph. To achieve this effect, lenses between 50mm and 135mm lenses are often used.
Standard zoom lenses, which usually come together with a camera body, cover this focal length range, and are therefore quite suitable for portrait photography. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to use a large aperture lens with an even greater maximum aperture. In these cases 85mm lenses are the ideal option, especially if portrait photography is a serious pursuit.
Some portrait lenses to consider are:
- EF85mm f/1.2L USM. This medium telephoto lens is the standard portrait lens.
- EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Because these lenses are a standard zoom lens, they are lightweight, extremely versatile and produce high quality images.
- EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. This is a large aperture telephoto zoom lens that covers landscape, action or sports photography, as well as portrait shots.
Single focal length lenses, like the 85mm, have a brighter maximum aperture than zoom lenses, making them ideal for portrait photography. Because the aperture is wider in these lenses, the depth of field is very shallow. This shallow depth of field softens and blurs the background, which is characteristic in portrait photography on your EOS digital SLR camera.
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