Build the Perfect Portrait Kit with the Sony A7 II for Under $2,500

If you’ve been thinking about stepping up to Full Frame cameras for Portrait work, and of doing it with the Sony A7 II, this is how you can on a budget.

If you have been using crop sensor cameras for a while, and want to step up to a Full Frame cameras to get a little more depth of field for your portraits. this round up is for you. For under $2,500 you can get a portrait photography setup that includes the Full Frame Sony A7 II, the essential lenses for portraits, and a few accessories. Before you know it you’ll be set to capture portraits that will delight your clients. Join us after the break to see our recommendations.

You really don’t have to spend a ton of money to get top quality equipment these days. You might be wondering why we have decided to go with the Sony A7 II here. Well, there are lots of top reasons. The Sony A7 II may be a few years old, but it is still a mighty fine camera; more than enough for most photographers. Apart from being incredibly affordable (under $1,000 for a Full Frame camera) it has excellent eye detection capabilities, the image quality is simply superb, the 5-axis in-body image stabilization is a game changer, and its magnesium alloy, weather resistant body means it will last a long time.

Rokinon 135mm f2

The razor sharp prime lenses we have suggested will give you access to the most widely used, and best regarded focal lengths for portraits. The 50mm f1.8 is perfect for full body portrait shots. The 85mm f1.8 is simply one of the best lenses on the Sony Platform, great for 3/4 length body shots and head and shoulder shots. The 135mm f2 will make your clients’ jaws hit the floor time and time again. It’s a bokeh beast! All in all you’ll be out less than $2,500. The lenses below can of course work with any Sony E mount camera, and they would make a fine addition to any portrait photographer’s lens collection. Find out more about our gear suggestions for the Sony A7 II below.

 

The Sony A7 II

 

Pro

  • Image stabilization is pretty effective
  • Improved grip, though there wasn’t much of a problem with the first
  • Improved battery life performance with the same batteries that every other Sony mirrorless camera uses
  • Better autofocusing than we’ve seen in previous versions; it acquires a subject faster than before

Cons

  • Slow startup time
  • Not a whole host of differences from the A7

Check out our full review

Buy now ($998): Amazon

 

Sony 50mm F1.8

 

Pros

  • Pretty decent image quality
  • Affordable
  • Small
  • Fast to focus in good lighting

Cons

  • Autofocus in low lighting even with the a7r II is very slow.
  • Autofocus is a bit louder than I’d personally like, though it’s still pretty quiet in real life use.

Check out our full review

Buy now ($223): Amazon

 

Sony 85mm F1.8 FE

 

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Fast focusing with the Sony a7r II and in good lighting it will focus quickly with the Sony a7
  • Nice feel, though not as great as the G Master 85mm f1.4 lens.
  • Weather resistance built in
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Honestly, not a darn thing.

Check out our full review

Buy now ($573): Amazon

 

Rokinon 135mm F2 ED UMC for Sony

 

Pros

  • Stunning image quality on every front
  • Very precise focusing ring

Cons

  • Kind of big, but that’s natural for a lens like this
  • Rokinon needs a new exterior. I’d pay extra for metal for sure.

Check out our full review

Buy now ($448): Amazon

 

The Godox TT685S TTL Flash

 

 

  • Super reliable
  • Automatic transition to high speed sync
  • Stroboscopic mode
  • Incredible TTL output that meters will with the Sony system
  • Well built
  • Affordable
  • Pretty much gives you an awesome studio option in a small size with loads of features

Cons

  • Initially tough to use until you actually sit there and page through the manual.

Check out our full review

Buy now ($152 w/ wireless trigger): Amazon

 

Rogue Flashbender 2 XL Pro

 

Pros

  • Packs Flat
  • Can be Used For Off-Camera Flash
  • Bend to Shape Light
  • Bright Medium Contrast
  • Works with XL Pro Lighting System Attachments
  • Size 13″ x 16″ (33cm x 41cm)
  • Weight 9.6oz (272g)

Cons

  • None

Check out our full review

Buy now ($59.95): Amazon

 

Sony 85mm F1.8

There you have it. For a total of $2,453.95 you can build a portrait photography kit centered around the Full Frame Sony A7 II. There is no doubt that with this gear you will be able to create some truly stunning images. The extra depth of field you’ll get from the Full Frame sensor will make your portraits pop just a little bit more, and the lenses can stay with you if you ever decide to go with another Sony camera later on down the line. For the total price this hard to beat. You’ll be getting a portrait photography kit that will serve beginners and old hats incredibly well.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.