5 Great Portrait Lenses for Under £1,000

The kit lens that you bought with your camera is a versatile optic, but if you want to take more flattering and creative portraits, a dedicated portrait lens makes a great addition to your kit. A focal length of around 70-100mm is the classic choice for portraits as it allows a comfortable distance between the photographer and subject, and doesn’t create the big nose, small ears issue of a wide-angle lens so the results are flattering.

Let’s take a look at five of the more affordable options:

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art - £979.00

Sigma is riding the crest of a wave following the introduction of its Art lenses a few years ago. These optics have become renowned for their high build quality and superb images, with their bokeh (our of focus areas) being particularly attractive. This lens is available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mount and is designed for use on a full-frame camera. 

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R - £839.00

On a Fuji X-Series mirrorless system camera, this 56mm optic has an effective focal length of 85mm, making it ideal for portraits. Its large maximum aperture (f/1.2) also ensures that backgrounds are attractively blurred while the optical quality means the subject is nice and sharp. In addition, an aperture ring allows quick and easy control over the depth of field. At £839, the XF 56mm F1.2 R is also considerably more affordable than the Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R APD which has an apodisation filter for even smoother bokeh.

Olympus 75mm f1.8 M.ZUIKO PW EZ - £699.00

Available in black or silver, this lens has an effective focal length of 150mm on a Micro Four Thirds camera and this in combination with the f/1.8 maximum aperture gives excellent separation between the subject and background.

Despite the long focal length this high-quality optic is only 69mm long (64mm in diameter) and weighs just 305g, so it won’t take up lots of space in your bag.

Sony FE 85mm f1.8 - £599.00

At 78 x 82mm and 371g the FE 85mm f1.8 is smaller, lighter and more affordable than the Sony FE 85mm f1.4 GM, making a very popular choice for portrait and wedding photographers with a Sony A7-series full-frame mirrorless camera. 

Tamron SP 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD - £699.00

Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony mount, the Tamron SP 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD is designed for full-frame DSLRs and delivers super-sharp results even when wide-open while the wide maximum aperture produces attractive bokeh and a blurred background.

  • By Matthew Ward
  • 30 Jan 2018

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