85mm BEST for Portrait Photography? 🤔

Are you in search of the perfect lens for capturing stunning portrait shots? Look no further than the 85mm lens. Known for its exceptional image quality and versatility, the 85mm lens has long been a favorite among portrait photographers. The focal length of 85mm provides a great balance between wide-angle and telephoto, allowing you to capture your subject with incredible clarity and beautiful bokeh. Whether you are shooting in a studio or outdoors, the 85mm lens excels in producing sharp, flattering portraits with a gorgeous background separation. In this blog, we will explore why the 85mm lens is considered the best choice for portrait photography and how it can enhance your creative vision.

85mm BEST for Portrait Photography

When it comes to portrait photography, many photographers advocate for using an 85mm lens as the best choice. The reasons behind this preference are numerous and revolve around the unique qualities that this focal length offers.

The Perfect Compression for the Human Face

One prevailing reason why most photographers believe that the 85mm lens is ideal for portraits is its ability to achieve perfect compression for human faces. The 85mm focal length allows the photographer to capture the subject’s face in a flattering manner, making it look naturally beautiful without any unwanted distortion. This specific compression effect enhances the overall appearance of the subject, making them more attractive.

Avoiding Unwanted Distortion

One of the potential pitfalls of using wider focal lengths for portraits is the possibility of creating distortion, especially on the subject’s face. However, with the 85mm lens, this problem is significantly minimized. The lens’s optical design ensures that there is minimal distortion, resulting in a more accurate representation of the subject’s facial features. This distortion-free imagery greatly contributes to producing compelling portraits.

Versatility Across Different Portrait Styles

Another advantage of using an 85mm lens for portrait photography is its versatility in capturing different styles of portraits. The ability to shoot both close-up portraits and environmental portraits with ease is a distinct advantage of this lens. Whether capturing headshots or full-body portraits, the 85mm focal length allows photographers to maintain an appropriate distance from their subjects while achieving the desired framing and composition.

Creating a Pleasant Bokeh

Bokeh, characterized by the aesthetically pleasing blur in the out-of-focus parts of an image, is highly sought after in portrait photography. The 85mm lens, with its wider aperture options, allows photographers to create a beautiful bokeh effect effortlessly. This quality is especially beneficial for isolating the subject from the background, resulting in a more captivating and professional-looking portrait.


In conclusion, the 85mm lens is widely regarded as the best choice for portrait photography. Its unique ability to achieve perfect compression for the human face, avoid unwanted distortion, provide versatility across different portrait styles, and create a pleasant bokeh effect make it a favorite among photographers. Whether capturing close-up portraits or environmental portraits, the 85mm lens consistently delivers exceptional results, showcasing the true beauty of the subjects and creating stunning portraits.

85mm Best for Portrait Photography – FAQ

1. What is the significance of using an 85mm lens for portrait photography?

Using an 85mm lens for portrait photography offers several advantages. It allows you to capture a natural perspective while providing a pleasing compression effect on the subject. The focal length effectively isolates the subject from the background, creating a stunning bokeh effect.

2. Can I use an 85mm lens for other types of photography?

Absolutely! Although primarily popular for portraits, an 85mm lens can also be used for various other photography genres like fashion, street photography, and even some landscapes. It is versatile enough to capture sharp details and produce impressive results in different scenarios.

3. Which camera systems are compatible with 85mm lenses?

Most camera systems offer 85mm lenses in their respective lens lineup. Whether you use a Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, or any other major brand, you can easily find an 85mm lens that is compatible with your camera.

4. Is it necessary to invest in an expensive 85mm lens for quality portrait photography?

The price of an 85mm lens varies depending on the brand, build quality, and additional features. While more expensive lenses may offer superior image quality and faster autofocus, you can still achieve excellent portrait results with more budget-friendly options. Research and compare different lenses to find the one that fits your needs and budget.

5. Should I always shoot at maximum aperture (wide open) with an 85mm lens?

While shooting wide open (at the maximum aperture) can create a wonderful shallow depth of field, it may not always be necessary or appropriate for every portrait. Experiment with different apertures to achieve the desired effect and consider factors such as the number of subjects, the background, and the desired level of sharpness.

6. Are there any drawbacks to using an 85mm lens for portrait photography?

Though an 85mm lens is highly regarded for portraits, it does have a few considerations. The lens tends to be larger and heavier compared to other options, which can make it less suitable for capturing candid moments or carrying it for extended periods. Additionally, shooting in tight spaces may require you to step back to frame the subject adequately.

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