Zoom vs Prime: What Lens is Best for Portraits?

What Lens is Best for Portraits image

In the video above, the fine folks at Mango Street offer their perspective on the issue.

As they discuss in the video, they prefer to shoot portraits with prime lenses. But, for comparison’s sake, they shoot with a Canon 24-70mm as well as 24mm and 35mm primes.

Below, I’ve outlined a few arguments for zooms and primes as being great options for portraits.

Which Lens is Best for Portraits? The Argument for Zooms 

zoom vs prime 1 image

photo by meatbull via iStock

So, both zooms and primes have their advantages, and as you can see in the video by Mango Street, you can create gorgeous images with either kind of lens.

In the end, the selection between the two will mostly come down to your personal preference and budget.

Fortunately, no matter if you’re after a zoom or a prime lens, all major camera manufacturers have a huge selection of both types in all manner of price points.

Better still, you can find great deals on used lenses so you can save some money at the same time (or use your extra cash to buy multiple lenses!).

Learn More:

4 Prime Lenses You Should Own  7 Reasons Why a 50mm Lens is All You Need For Great Photography 

Which Canon 50mm Lens is the Best?

Which Canon 50mm Lens is the Best image

This newer lens has a Stepping Motor (thus the acronym STM) that Canon claims is nearly silent when focusing. Anyone that’s used this lens, however, will tell you that though it is less noisy than the motor in the f/1.8 II, it’s nowhere near silent. Unless you shoot a lot of video, that feature is probably fairly meaningless.

Learn More:

The Best Portrait Lenses for Photographers on a Budget  Why Every Photographer Should Have a 24-70mm Lens 

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II vs Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM  

canon 50mm f1.8 stm front image

Since they’re so evenly matched in terms of features and performance, the answer to the question, Which Canon 50mm lens is the best?” likely comes down to your personal preference. 

Some photographers prefer the old-school feel of the f/1.8 II and its rock-bottom price. Others like the more modern version with its 7 aperture blades and metal mount. Either way, both of these lenses are a steal and would make a great addition to your camera bag.

Learn More:

35mm vs 50mm: Which is the Best First Prime Lens to Buy? 

The Best Replacement for a Kit Zoom Lens

The Best Replacement for a Kit Zoom Lens image

Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS

The point here is that if you know where to look, you can find a top-quality 24-70mm lens discount that makes it an even more worthwhile investment. 

Remember, your lenses will long outlast your camera (if you take care of them), so it makes sense to put your money towards better lenses.

Think about it – Nikon’s new Z-series mirrorless cameras are compatible with Nikon’s old lenses (with an adapter), so you can use a 10-year-old FX lens with a brand-new Nikon Z7. If that doesn’t speak to the long-term value of good lenses, I don’t know what does.

Learn More:

Bad Photography Habits You Need to Break Tips for Buying Used Camera Gear 

How to Choose a Travel Photography Lens

How to Choose a Travel Photography Lens image

 photo by MarioGuti via iStock 

At the end of the day, zooms and primes offer their distinct advantages for travel photographers, but they are very evenly matched in terms of their abilities in the field.

Choosing a travel photography lens will probably come down to your personal preference and your specific needs on your trip.

Learn More:

3 Lenses Every Photographer Should Have in Their Camera Bag  Want Ultra-Sharp Photos? Try These Lenses  

This New Portrait Lens Might Be a Game-Changer

New Portrait Lens Might Be a Game Changer image

Tamron has also coated the front lens element with fluorine, so it’s resistant to water and oils from your skin. 

The result of all that is a lens that works hard for you to reduce or eliminate aberrations, fingerprints, and water droplets so you can spend more time shooting portraits and less time cleaning your lens or removing smudges in post.

See this lens in action in the video above by Matt Granger.

Learn More:

3 Lenses Every Photographer Should Have in Their Camera Bag  Cheap Nikon Lenses That Offer Amazing Image Quality 

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD Specs

 Tamron 35 105mm f2.8 4 Di VC OSD image

The Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD will be released for Nikon F-mount cameras on May 23, 2019, and for Canon EF-mount cameras on June 20, 2019.

Pre-ordering is available right now for $799.00 for both Nikon fit and Canon fit.

Learn more:

Which is Best for Portraits: 50mm or 85mm?  Why Every Photographer Needs a Telephoto Lens