Beautiful Budget Bokeh: 5 85mm Primes Under $800 That Will Amaze You

E Mount Lenses

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Beautiful bokeh for under $800!?! Is that even possible? You bet it is. Sometimes, you can get beautiful bokeh for well under that price too! There are those out there who believe you have to spend over four figures to produce portraits with buttery smooth bokeh. However, this is not the case, and it hasn’t been for some time now. If you’re a portrait photographer who is just starting out or who simply knows that you don’t have to spend crazy money to get good quality, these 85mm primes are for you. After the break, we will share five 85mm primes that will render creamy goodness on a budget.

Seriously, these 85mm primes will blow you away, not only when it comes to bokeh, but in every way imaginable. These lenses are razor sharp, built incredibly well, and they render colors (especially skin tones) wonderfully. The best part? Most of these 85mm primes are well under $800. If you need a new portrait lens and don’t have a ton to spend, check out these five options.

Canon RF 85mm f2 Macro IS STM

85mm Primes

In our review, we said:

While the f2, of course, won’t get the same backgrounds as Canon’s f1.2 lens for the RF mount, considering the lens’s price, the blur is fantastic. Backgrounds are softly blurred into oblivion. Even stepping the lens down for a sharper subject, the focal length and Full-Frame mount mix for excellent soft backgrounds. Bokeh is circular, thanks to the nine-blade aperture. Without distracting hard edges, the bokeh adds to the image rather than subtracts from it.”

Hillary Grigonis – Reviews Editor

Buy now: $599

Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AF FE

85mm Primes

In our review, we said:

“The bokeh from the Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AF FE is very creamy. Portrait photographers are going to enjoy this.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
85mm Primes

Buy now Sony E: $579

Pro Tip: Having a great camera and gorgeous 85mm primes will only get you so far when it comes to portrait photography. You need to know how to pose: otherwise, your images will fall flat. Spend some time practicing how to pose and communicate with various models so that your portraits come to life.

Nikon Z 85mm f1.8

85mm Primes

In our review, we said:

“You’re going to want to shoot with this lens wide open most of the time. And that’s fine. But, even when you stop it down to around f4 and focus closely, the bokeh is still gorgeous.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief

Buy now: $696.95

Tamron 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD

85mm Primes

In our review, we said:

“This lens has sharp image quality, fast autofocusing, great bokeh, a unique look to its contrast and saturation and best of all you’ll get weather sealing. It’s lightweight and can do well in the hands of amateurs, enthusiasts, semi-professionals, and professionals alike.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
Extremely soft light.

Buy now Canon EF: $749

Buy now Nikon F: $749

Pro Tip: One of the last things you want to have to do is spend hours during post removing dirt and dust from your images. Keep your lenses clean so that you don’t have to worry about this tedious task. Clean your lenses before a shoot, and give them a deeper clean every other week. This kit has everything you need, and it costs less than $15!

Sony 85mm f1.8 FE

85mm Primes

In our review, we said:

“With 9 aperture blades, you can only expect the Sony 85mm f1.8 FE lens to render beautiful bokeh. Indeed it does. The only 85mm lens with better bokeh is the G Master.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
85mm Primes

Buy now: $548