Portrait month is coming to a close at OLYMPUS – we’ve loved seeing your pictures on our various social networks. They confirm one thing, OLYMPUS shooters love a bit of street and people photography.
We still just have time to focus on the technical side of people snapping.
If you’re just starting out, take a look at our best kit for portraits post.
But the more specialised your shoot, the more fine-tuned your lens needs to be. OLYMPUS lenses will turn out some cracking portraits, so prepare your shopping list and get set to sweet-talk Santa. These are the glasses you need for classier portraits.
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12‑50mm 1:3.5‑6.3 EZ. Around £250
There may be a more practical, all-round portrait lens for less than £300, but we can’t name one. With an effective focal length from a wide-angle 24mm to a short telephoto 100mm, the 12-50mm allows you to shoot everything from environmental portraits to gorgeous headshots – without a bag full of glass. It’s dust and splash-proof so you don’t need to worry about using it outside, and its closest focusing distance of just 20cm means you can go for full-frame headshots without needing to crop later.
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8. Around £300
With an effective focal length of 50mm, this is a lens that every photographer should play with at some point. It’s a fairly close match to your own field of view, and the fast maximum aperture means you can keep ISOs low and shutter speeds fast. It also creates lovely bokeh in the out-of-focus parts of your image. Our advice: keep the aperture open and your eyes sharp, and you’ll come away with some amazing portraits.
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8. Around £700
Pick up the 75mm f/1.8 and its quality instantly makes itself felt. Its gorgeous metal housing and butter-smooth focus ring are only bettered by its optical quality. Incredible, edge-to-edge sharpness and well-controlled lens geometry make this amazing for portraits. Effectively a 150mm lens, it produces very tight depth of field when the aperture is wide open, and it also means tight headshots are possible without crowding the talent.
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 25mm 1:1.2 PRO. Around £1,000
Exhausted yourself with the 25mm f/1.8? Get yourself an extra bit of stop and go for the 25mm f/1.2. A bigger aperture means more light, faster shutter speeds and lower ISOs, but those aren’t the only benefits of going for the 25mm’s slightly bigger brother. Well-controlled chromatic aberration and a super-precise autofocus system mean you can shoot it wide-open with abandon. Part of that autofocus precision is courtesy of the lens’ clever design, which only moves a single internal element, keeping things simple and sharp. Its unique ZERO coating means reduced ghosting and flaring, and the prime, 25mm focal length means portrait perfection.
Wrap up portrait month in style and let us see what you’ve got! Tag us with #OlympusUK on Instagram or Twitter, or tell us if we’ve missed your favourite portrait lens. Join us next week as we launch a month of blog posts dedicated to the best of landscape photography.