Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: April 2, 2014

Best lens for portraits: 5 sensibly priced options tested and rated

From Digital Camera World a review of portrait lenses

Best_portrait_lens_budget_DCM135.kit_group.nikon85_1

What’s the best lens for portraits that you can buy without spending a fortune? Our friends at Photography Week recently tested five of the best sensibly priced portrait lenses.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Price: $369/£299

Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G
Price: $497/£379

Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
Price: $399/£279

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
Price: $499/£349

Sony 85mm f/2.8 SAM
Price: $298/£179

Professional portrait photographers tend to favour top-money portrait lenses like the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 or Nikon 85mm f/1.4G.

But for those of us who don’t want to use this type of lens on a daily, money- earning basis, the respective prices of $2,000/£1,700 and $1,629/£1,200 put them beyond sensible reach.

At the other end of the scale, lenses like the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 cost a mere $110/£80, but come up short in terms of features, performance and build quality.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of choice to be had in the middle ground, with a range of prime (fixed length) lenses costing between $300/£200 and $500/£400. Let’s see how five of these portrait lenses measure-up.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE