These 6 35mm Equivalent Lenses Are Great for Portraits

85mm? 135mm? 50mm? Nah, this post is all about 35mm equivalent lenses for shooting portraits.

Just because you are shooting on a smaller sensor doesn’t mean that you aren’t taking portraits. So what if you’re wanting to do some environmental portraiture with something like a 35mm equivalent, what lenses should you be looking into as a crop sensor shooter? Lucky for you that is exactly what we are going to be talking about today.

Ready? Let’s jump into it…

Fujifilm 23mm F1.4

“Though the Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 is expensive, could be sharper wide open, and faces off against competitors with better bokeh it is being awarded our Editor’s Choice rating. Why? Overall, it is the most versatile lens that you can use for the Fujifilm X series system and we considering to be the single best lens for Street Photography using mirrorless cameras out there. This is due to the autofocus offering and the clearly readable depth of field scale on the lens when shooting with the zone focusing method.”Read The Full Review (Buy One)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 23mm f1.4 more street photography (6 of 10)ISO 6401-480 sec at f - 5.6

Fujifilm 23mm F2

“So why do I prefer the 23mm f1.4 more than the f2? A part of it has to do with how it physically feels in the hand. I prefer the beefier feel vs the thinner feeling despite the f2’s weather sealing. Additionally, I get really excited for that little bit of extra out of focus area that the f1.4 lens gives me. But with that said the f2 isn’t at all a slouch. It’s still sharp, is by far Fujifilm’s fastest focusing lens, has a low profile, nice colors, and a lot going for it. It’s just not a lens for me personally. With that said though, I can’t recommend it highly enough for most other photographers out there.”Read The Full Review (Buy One)

chris-gampat-the-phoblographer-fujifilm-23mm-f2-r-wr-review-sample-images-6-of-23iso-4001-7-sec-at-f-2-0Sony 24mm F1.8

“To be very honest, I’ve got no complaints about this lens. The only problem that someone may complain about is the fringing wide open, but otherwise it is perfectly fine. I saw little to no vignetting while wide open as well. I’ve fallen in love with the 35mm field of view a while back and this lens renders that view perfectly. It is an absolutely amazing lens with fast focusing capabilities, an all metal build quality, excellent sharpness, terrific color rendition, and the list can go on and on. Pack all of that into a super small and portable package and you’ve got a winner.”Read The Full Review (Buy One)

Panasonic 15mm F1.7

“Panasonic put out a fantastic product that every Micro Four Thirds owner should get their hands on lest they miss out. This lens focuses super quickly, feels great, is sharp, small, and a perfect lens for any Micro Four Thirds camera due to its compact size. It also keeps the overall package much more low profile–plus it blends in with the retro looks of some of the cameras. We’re sad to say goodbye to this lens, but we encourage you to get it if we had to choose one single focal length for the system.”Read the Full Review (Buy One)

Pro Tip: Get a dog's attention by putting a treat on top of your camera lens. More about that here.

Olympus 17mm F1.2 PRO

“In the end, our opinion of the Olympus 17mm F1.2 PRO really comes down to this – the lens is good optically, built well, and performs excellently, but in the end just ends up being a lens we feel most of you should pass on due to the extreme price. If you can justify the cost of this lens to yourself then you will not be disappointed. But the capabilities, in our opinion, will not be worth the premium cost to most of you.”Read The Full Review (Buy One)

Olympus 17mm F1.8


“Overall, the Olympus 17mm f1.8 is a solid lens that performed well throughout this test. The autofocus speed is incredible and the overall image quality is very good. It is a bit on the pricey side when compared to the Olympus 17mm f2.8 and the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, but its construction and autofocus speed may be worth the premium for some. This lens will be very appealing to many Micro Four Thirds users as it, along with its slower/cheaper 17mm sibling, is your only option for a 35mm equivalent prime in this format. It was great out on the street and it is a very useful focal length when going out with only one lens.”Read Full Review (Buy One)


So there you have it; 6 excellent 35mm equivalent options for those of you looking to shoot some 35mm portraits in the near future. Do you have any lenses that you would add to this list? Drop a comment below and let us know!

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.