What is the best lens for portrait & beauty photography

What is the best lens for portrait & beauty photography

As with every other topic, there is a lot on the internet voicing various opinions on which lens is the best, which camera brand, what combination of lens and camera / model etc you should be using.

The good news is you can ignore it all!!

It’s irrelevant what your camera or lens brand is, all you need to worry about for a good portrait or beauty shot is the focal length and how it translates to your camera, and finally if your camera is a crop or full frame body.

So why all the fuss about lenses?

To put it simply, if you use a lens that is too wide angle, it will distort the face, this is generally not a good look for anyone and is why we try to avoid this.

If you are using a crop camera the distortion will disappear from around 50mm and on wards.

If you are using a full frame the distortion will disappear from around 85mm and on wards.

Can you use an even longer lens? Yes! by all means, as long as you don’t go shorter you will not run into any problems with distortion.

So what if you only have a wide lens, can you still use it for portrait or beauty shots?

In theory yes, just stand further away from your subject and the distortion will be mostly around the edges and not as prominent in the middle of the frame.

The problem with this is that you will need to crop most of your image away, and in doing so you will lose a lot of detail in the process, so although it is possible it is not advisable.

See below a graphical representation of a full frame camera shooting a grid at 24mm and then at 80mm

Full frame @ 24mm

 

Full frame @85mm

 

 

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