What Lens Should a Beginner Buy for Portrait Photography?

What Lens Should a Beginner Buy for Portrait Photography?

Beginner photographers don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on buying a DSLR camera lens. And, they keep asking one question: what lens should a beginner buy for portrait photography?

I also am a beginner photographer, and at some point, I asked the internet the very question. Luckily, I got the answer and then bought a lens that was the best for beginners for portrait photography.

I’ll share the first lens I bought for portrait photography. Moreover, I’ll also shed some light on other affordable camera lenses beginner photographers can check out for portrait photography. I know that lens price is a huge concern when you’re a beginner. So I’ll keep that in mind and share the cost-effective lenses.

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Let’s take a look at what lens beginners should buy for portrait photography:

8 Lenses Beginners Should Buy for Portrait Photography

Here we go:

Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 (for Nikon F)
Yongnuo 35mm f/2 (for Nikon F)
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6
Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6
Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6
NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6

Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 (for Nikon F)

Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 is an affordable and compact prime lens designed for Nikon F-mount cameras. The Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 offers a good combination of 50mm focal length with 1.8 aperture that delivers an excellent photography experience in various conditions. It has a plastic body with a metal bayonet lens mount that ensures durability without weighing much. This lens comes with an AF/MF switch button on the lens barrel that makes it easier for the user to switch between autofocus and manual focus. You can buy the Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 lens for under $75.

Yongnuo 35mm f/2 (for Nikon F)

Yongnuo 35mm f/2 is a wide-angle prime lens with FX-format designed for Nikon F-mount cameras. It’s one of the best prime lenses for under a $100 price range. It’s compact, lightweight, and affordable. The lens comes with a popular 35mm focal length with an f/2 maximum aperture. The Yongnuo 35mm f/2 lens can also be used with DX-format DSLRs, and it will provide a 52.5mm equivalent focal length. Furthermore, it has multi-coated glass elements that reduce the chance of flare and ghosting during photography. The AF/MF switch button on the lens barrel makes switching easier between the focus settings.

Canon 50mm f/1.8

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens is a popular portrait photography lens for a beginner. It’s also known as the nifty fifty lens as it has a 50mm focal length. The lens works for EF-mount cameras from Canon, and the aperture range is f/1.8 to f/22. Furthermore, it comes with STM Stepping AF Motor that makes autofocusing quite easier. Additionally, Canon offers a Super Spectra coating to help reduce the flare and ghosting for better contrast and color accuracy in the photography. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens has a metal lens mount with a rounded seven-blade diaphragm that helps improve the efficiency and performance of the lens.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6

A Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 is a fantastic telephoto zoom from Canon designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount DSLRs. It does look hefty, but it’s lightweight and compact. The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens is perfectly suitable for portrait photography on sports days, weddings, and parties. The lens comes with a seven-blade diaphragm that provides an aesthetically pleasing bokeh-effect in photography. Furthermore, it has a DC micro motor autofocus system, which is quick and does a fantastic photography job when combined with an electromagnetic diaphragm for fast-paced photography.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6

The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 lens could work for portrait photography. However, it isn’t a cheap lens, for sure. It’s best for distant subject matter as it’s a telephoto zoom lens that is designed for APS-C-format Canon EF-S-mount DSLRs. One of the best things about Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 is that it provides an 88-400mm equivalent focal length range. We also learned upon some digging that the Canon EF-S 55-250mm lens also has the ultra-low dispersion glass element that reduces color fringing and chromatic aberrations for high clarity. Furthermore, the optical image stabilizer contributes to minimizing the jitter and also tackles the appearance of camera shake by up to 3.5 stops, which could play a key role in shooting in low-light conditions and with slower shutter speeds.

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6

The Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 lens is one of the popular lenses for portrait photography. Let’s discuss the nitty-gritty of this lens. I heard somewhere that the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 is an 82.5-300mm-equivalent telephoto zoom for DX-format cameras. Those photographers and camera enthusiasts who know the camera specifications would understand it comes with an integrated coating that has been applied to the individual elements to reduce reflections, flare, and ghosting. Therefore, the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 lens brings out better contrast and color accuracy in strong lighting conditions.

Furthermore, the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 lens has a vibration reduction (VR) feature that takes the camera’s image stabilization to the next level. The rounded seven-blade diaphragm adds more life to the out-of-focus scene and shallow depth of field. The lens barrel design makes detachability even easier that makes the camera gear more compact and easy-to-handle. It’s a fantastic lens for landscape, sports, and portrait photography.

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6

The Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 is a go-to lens for portrait, sports, and wedding photography. It’s an excellent lens for landscape photography as well. As far as the specs are concerned, it’s an f-mount lens/DX-format lens. The aperture range is f/4.5 to f/22, which means you can get some blurriness in the shots. The other noticeable features include two ED Elements and one HRI element alongside the integrated coating and silent wave motor AF system. Furthermore, the lens has vibration reduction functionality which helps reduce the jitter in the video.

NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6

The NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 is a phenomenal F-amount lens that falls between the wide-angle to mid-telephoto range, and best suited for Nikon DX-format cameras. The key specs include an aperture range of f/3.5 to f/38 as well as it’s also considered a 27-210mm-equivalent. The NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is equipped with a silent wave motor that brings quiet and accurate autofocus. The vibration reduction (VR) feature supports the overall image stabilization capacity of the DSLR camera. Furthermore, like many top-notch lenses, it has a rounded seven-blade diaphragm for smooth and creamy shallow depth of field and selective focus techniques.

What’s Your Favorite Beginner-level Lens for Portrait Photography?

Now you have got a handful of beginner-level lens options for portrait photography. I’m sure you’d keen to check out the specifications and sample photos of some of the lenses I talked about in the blog post.

Buying an extra lens for photography is such a surreal feeling, especially for beginner photographers. When I bought my Yongnuo 50mm lens, it felt so good.

If you pick any of the above-mentioned lenses, make sure to leave a comment and let us know what lens you’re going to consider for photography and why.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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