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Best focal length for portrait in photography

This is a discussion on Best focal length for portrait in photography within the Digital photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; Originally Posted by AcadieLibre I prefer around the 50mm range and a prime and not a zoom lens. With a ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcadieLibre View Post
    I prefer around the 50mm range and a prime and not a zoom lens. With a cropped 30mm prime lens.
    on a DX or FX format camera?
    Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner. ~Author Unknown

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    flozaeliza is offline Banned
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    The most widely held belief in answering this question is a lens in the range of 85mm to 135mm. I sure canít argue with this as a good workable range.

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    I have been taking many portraits over the last few weeks. My best results are coming when I shoot around 180-200 mm(on a FF body). At that focal range I find the backgrounds "compressed". It allows subject focus and isolation.

    Another reason why I like the longer focal length is that if I'm shooting more than one person the longer length allows more to be in focus. Meaning both sets of eyes are sharp.

    While I have been using a 2.8 lens, it is easy enough to create great bokeh even at 5.6.

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    Mike Guilbault is offline Junior Member
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    It also depends on how much of the body is showing in the 'portrait'. A head and shoulders portrait is best captured, as has been mentioned already, in the 85-200 (FF) range. I use my 70-200mm almost exclusively for this. However, if you're doing half to full length, I'll switch to my 24-70mm or even the 50mm prime. Most of the full length portraits I shoot are easily done with the 50mm. For more environmental portraits where the subject is full length and less than half of the image area, you can use just about any lens depending on the effect you want. Google Al Gilbert's environmental portraits using a wide-angle lens.

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    70 -135 is my choice for portraits I like the top end because it tends to flatten the image slightly

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    It depends upon what kind of portrait youíre taking... and there are other variables (easpecially shooting distance).
    I use only fixed focal lens: 35-50mm for environmental portrait; medium-telephoto for more tight portraits.
    ...sorry for my poor english...
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    Hello,
    If you are capturing close up portraits, a focal length of 85mm and up is ideal according to me.

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