Choosing a Lens for Boudoir Photography


Choosing a lens for Boudoir Photography

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Picking a lens to get the best results with your photography can be a real headache when you are just starting. Add in the specific demands of boudoir and it can be a nightmare! If you are new to photography or need a refresher on lens terminology check out this post.


35MM

The 35mm is a little on the wide side for boudoir photography. But where it shines is if you are in a smaller space. You will be able to get your subjects whole body in the frame with a little bit of the environment as well. One thing to look out for is that the 35mm will produce some distortion of the face when you try to get a close-up portrait. This is something you can fix in post when you shoot in RAW file format.


The 35mm is the lens I would recommend if you are doing self-shot boudoir. The wider field of view will allow you to set the camera further back and crop in a little making it easier to get your composition right.


For crop-sensor cameras a 24mm lens will give you a 36mm equivalent field of view. This is using a crop of 1.5 for Sony, Nikon, and Fuji cameras. Canon uses a crop of 1.6.


Recommended Full-Frame Lenses:

Recommended Crop-Sensor Lenses:

50mm

The 50mm or nifty-fifty as it’s also called, is a standard focal length lens that best represents the field of view for the human eye. It’s a great jack of all trades lens that is good for portraits, close ups, and everything in between. Which is what makes it a great focal length for boudoir photography and as a first prime lens for anyone just starting out in photography. This is the lens I would recommend for couples who want to dive into boudoir.


For crop-sensor cameras a 35mm with a crop factor of 1.5 will give you a 52.5mm equivalent field of view.


Recommended Full Frame lenses:

Recommended Crop-Sensor Lenses:

85mm

If the 35mm is on the wide side, the 85mm is on the telephoto side. Where the 85mm shines is compressing the background and helping the subject pop. This is especially useful in portrait photography. The best shots for an 85mm in boudoir are portraits and detail shots. It helps when using the 85mm indoors that you have a large space to work with. The 85mm makes a great pairing when combined with the 35mm, but if you are only going to own one lens, I do not recommend it.


For crop-sensor cameras a 56mm will give you a 85mm equivalent field of view with a 1.5 times crop.


Recommended Full-Frame Lenses:

Recommended Crop Sensor Lenses:

Honorable Mention: 24-70mm f/2.8

The 24-70mm f/2.8 can be a good choice if you want one lens that is good for pretty much anything. Due to the f/2.8 aperture you won’t get the bokeh that a faster prime lens can give you, but you will get some. I do not recommend the equivalent crop sensor lens due to the larger depth of field.


Recommended Lenses:

Final Thoughts

What lens you get is largely a personal choice based on the desired outcome you want from your photos. One last piece of advice I can give you is you can use a company like borrowlenses.com to rent a few different lenses to try out before you slap down serious money. As a bonus I will leave you with a video by Michael Sasser that also talks about the 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm but with examples I wasn't able to provide.



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