I got a chance to break in my new 85mm lens recently at the Sweetlife Music Festival shooting some photos of concert goers touting Boxed Water, the environmentally friendly water that comes in boxes, rather than plastic.
The 85mm focal length is widely considered the best for portraits. Wider (lower number) focal lengths can distort a subject’s facial features, though at 50mm, most people won’t notice the difference. Where it really becomes noticeable are lens wider than 50mm.
Most likely, if you’re going to sit for a portrait, the photographer, if he or she does it for a living, will pull out a lens in the 70mm to 105mm range. Personally, I prefer the 85mm. And I can report that my new Sony 85mm f/1.4 is an amazing lens and one I can’t wait to use for portrait work. It’s sharp as a tack and its 11-blade diaphragm (the equivalent of the lens’ iris) creates the kind of creamy the blurred, out-of-focus background that makes portraits pop.
All of these shots were taken with the 85mm and my Sony A7rii.