Choose the Right Lens for Portraits

There is nothing that beats a good portrait photograph. Especially when both the subject and the photographer are pleased with the results. But, if you want to take good portrait photos you need to think about investing in the right sort of lens. If you want your subjects to be pleased with the results of your work, then make sure you get a lens fit for the job. And that means, one with the correct focal length. Lenses with a focal length less than 80mm are no good. They make noses look too big because the photographer has to get in too close. The ideal portrait lens has a focal length in the range 90mm to 135mm. These keep the natural proportions of the face as you see with the naked eye.

Don’t forget your sensor size when determining the equivalent focal length. Most modern digital cameras have a sensor that is smaller than the 35mm film equivalent. This means you have to factor in a multiplier to get the correct lens focal length. A film lens of 50mm would work out 80mm on a digital sensor with a 1.6 multiplier factor. Refer to your camera handbook for information on magnification factors for sensors. A longer focal length means you can stand a bit further away and still fill the frame to your desire. This makes the nose more in proportion with the rest of the face and is very flattering.