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My Favorite Lens For Portraits

Having tried and tested many different lenses in the industry. What I am about to share may not be the best for a different photographer but at this moment, Nikon 50mm F1.4G is my favorite. I won’t go too much into the technical details but would like to share a little on why this is my favorite portrait lens so far.

It has got the widest aperture Nikon has to offer and its chromatic aberration is pretty decent in my opinion, the f1.4 gives a lovely bokeh and has worked well to distance distracting background from the subject. To add on, this large aperture is excellent for low light conditions when you wish to shoot in ambient, it is always good to have that extra two stops as compared to a f1.8 lens. Given its quality of a prime lens, it is relatively small and light and I could easily go into stealth mode while shooting – also easy to carry around on my travels and fits easily into my bag. Personally I like the weight on my camera body but not on the lens as I find heavier body gives stability when I’m composing my shots but a really bulky lens tires me fast.

I have a penchant for interaction as mentioned in previous discussions, and that is why I like using lens which has got good proximity with my subject. In that sense, anything more than 100mm is a tad too far. I probably have to shout across just to instruct my model properly. I have tried the Nikon 105mm f2.8, its sharpness is incomparable and it has got very nice bokeh but it’s kind of bulky and heavy – not too friendly for me to go onto all the weird angles I’m known for. The 50mm f1.4G has got good distance with the subject for you to pull in and out without breaking the connection.

Price wise, it is not the most costly lens to get your hands on as compared to the famous ‘Trinity Lenses’ giving it a worthy investment for pros and hobbyist alike. Lastly and one of the most important reasons why this is by far my favorite lens is… its 50mm is actually the most natural distance for the human eye. I am using a full frame body and thus, an equivalent 50mm just like how I would see if I were to pull my eye away and look at the subject directly. This reason may not be much for others but this allows me to see perspective in real sense when composing.

In conclusion, this is not meant to be a lengthy post but I would like to share my perspective on how I see my subjects in my photography world. In future I may explore a little more of my underused 85mm f1.8G but for now, 50mm f1.4G is really handy and gets the job done well. What about you? What is your go-to portrait lens? Do share!

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