A Debate on 50mm vs 85mm Lenses for Portraits

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

A while ago, we did a comparison of the Canon 50mm f1.4 vs the 85mm f1.8 (due to price points) when it comes to taking portraits. Weekly Imogen recently did their own filmed portrait comparison and asked their readers which one they preferred. After a long time of gathering comments and feedback, many of the readers loved the look of the 85mm lens more. However, as some commenters state, the crew used a cropped sensor camera body–which for Canon actually renders an 80mm field of view not the 75mm as stated due to the 1.6x crop factor.

What this actually means is that a 50mm lens will give the field of view of an 80mm lens and an 85mm lens will give around 136mm to the viewer with a cropped sensor camera. Still though, the lenses will still act like their actual focal lengths–which means that an 85mm will still render a less distorted image.

The comments and feedback are an interesting back and forth debate–though many still lean more towards the 85mm. The video is after the jump.