The Best Portrait Lens Is One with Je Ne Sais Quoi, Like These Four

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It’s not uncommon to want a softer and more analog look to your images. While you can do that in post-production, lots of photographers don’t want to, so they reach for a very unique portrait lens to help them. Many are confident with their skills. If you can nail the image perfectly in-camera, why bother with the fuss later on? With that said, some portrait lenses are better than others. If you’re looking for a very classic, analog look, we’ve got a few just for you. There are lots of lenses that can do this, but here are some of our favorites.

The thing about portrait lenses has to do with megapixels in cameras. Many new cameras and lenses let people see their pores. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a bride that wanted to see her pores. Ever photographed your grandmother? She doesn’t care to see that. And quite often, it can be unflattering. So get around that with these lenses.

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm: The Portrait Lens with Flare

In our review, we state:

“Straight out of the camera, the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 delivers very life-like colors and is fantastic when it comes to skin tones. In fact, if you purchase the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 and don’t shoot portraits with it, you’re wasting your money.”

Sample Images

Buy Now: $499.95

Rokinon 85mm f1.4 II: The Portrait Lens With Beautiful Colors

In our review, we state:

“This bokeh is beautiful. It’s creamy and not incredibly busy. I think this is very important for portrait photographers. In some ways, it gives off a rendering that makes the background look like a studio shoot. Again though, it’s also not very contrasty. So you’ll need to use lighting and color to make your subject stand out from the background and the scene more.”

Sample Images

Buy Now:  Around $399

Pro Tip: One of the fastest ways to get the analog look is post-production with Lightroom presets or something like that. But if you don’t want to do that, start by simply removing the lens hood. You’ll immediately get a lot more lens flare.

Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R: The Portrait Lens to Pair With Classic Chrome

In our review, we state:

“…there’s a lot more to this lens’s character than sharpness: it’s got great bokeh and absolutely no color fringing that we were able to find. But the color rendition of other lenses like the 35mm f1.4 is a tad superior to that of the 56mm f1.2.”

Sample Images

Buy Now: $999.99

Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM: The One With The Dreamy Bokeh

In our review, we state:

“This is the single best thing about the Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens: the image quality. During our tests we shot images at 3200K and 5600K color balance to emulate the look of film and of many of the cinematic scenes that you probably know and love. There was purposeful overexposure, underexposure, etc all to create a look and a scene. This is the most muted of Sigma’s art lenses, but even then the look that it delivers is fantastic and jaw-dropping.”

Sample Images

Buy Now: Around $1,024