4 Fantastic Portrait Lenses That Offer Serious Bang for Your Buck

Affordable, sharp, easy to use, and they produce magnificent bokeh; these portrait lenses are keepers.

We recently took a look at some premium 85mm lenses that blew our minds when we reviewed them. Following on from that, today, we’re looking at four 85mm prime portrait lenses that get our seal of approval. Honestly, these lenses are so good that any portrait photographer could use them and easily achieve incredible results. If you’re stepping into the world of portraits and you don’t want to break the bank buying portrait lenses, these options might be for you.

Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM

portrait lenses

In our review, we said:

“The f2 aperture, full-frame mount, longer focal length, and macro capabilities make distractions melt into the background. Images are sharp at the center, and the colors are excellent. Stabilization makes it possible to shoot the longer focal length at slower shutter speeds handheld.”

Hillary Grigonis – Reviews Editor
portrait lenses

Buy now: $599

Samyang 50mm f1.2

portrait lenses

In our review, we said:

“This lens is razor-sharp, has a decent build quality, a very smooth focusing ring, gorgeous bokeh, and has a fantastic price attached to it. If you’re an APS-C camera user, then you’ll be hard pressed to find something better for portraits.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
portrait lenses

Buy now Fujifilm X Mount: $390.55

These 85mm primes will certainly help you create fantastic images, but having great gear is only half the story. If you truly want to create a gorgeous portrait, you need to know the secrets of posing. Have your subject relax. Ask them to just be themselves. Give them a gentle pointers and build upon that. If you control every aspect of their pose, you’ll end up with an unnatural-looking image. Communicate your idea, and have your subject play around with it. You’ll find that you’ll get much more natural, organic captures this way.

Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary (85mm Equivalent on APS-C)

portrait lenses

In our review, we said:

“Images produced by the Sigma 56mm f1.4 are some of the sharpest we’ve seen out of all the lenses designed for APS-C Sony E Mount cameras. In focus areas are razor-sharp and pack a ton of details.

portrait lenses

Buy now: $396.99

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8

portrait lenses

In our review, we said:

“The Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 is a great lens in so many ways. It’s surely an improvement over the previous offering and it fantastic for portrait photographers. If you’re a fan of the classic lenses in terms of build quality and image quality, it’s going to be very difficult to get something better than this.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
portrait lenses

Buy now Fujifilm: $499.95

Get yours now M4/3: $499.95

Buy now Sony E: $499.95

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.