What lenses do I need for portrait photography?

Published: 31st July 2009
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Portrait photography is all about the subject. Most portrait shots will blur or soften the background so the subject completely dominates the photograph. To achieve this effect, lenses between 50mm and 135mm lenses are often used.



Standard zoom lenses, which usually come together with a camera body, cover this focal length range, and are therefore quite suitable for portrait photography. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to use a large aperture lens with an even greater maximum aperture. In these cases 85mm lenses are the ideal option, especially if portrait photography is a serious pursuit.



Some portrait lenses to consider are:



- EF85mm f/1.2L USM. This medium telephoto lens is the standard portrait lens.



- EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Because these lenses are a standard zoom lens, they are lightweight, extremely versatile and produce high quality images.



- EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. This is a large aperture telephoto zoom lens that covers landscape, action or sports photography, as well as portrait shots.



Single focal length lenses, like the 85mm, have a brighter maximum aperture than zoom lenses, making them ideal for portrait photography. Because the aperture is wider in these lenses, the depth of field is very shallow. This shallow depth of field softens and blurs the background, which is characteristic in portrait photography on your EOS digital SLR camera.



This article was brought to you by Canon Australia - Helping you with portrait photography. Find the EOS digital SLR camera range at Canon Australia.





Canon Australia is a leading provider of advanced, simple-to-use imaging solutions for businesses and consumers. Canon's Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops customised solutions for local customers, and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-three US patent recipients for the past 17 years, and had global revenues of around $US45 billion in 2008. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services.


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