Why do portrait photographers love 85mm lenses?

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85mm lenses are the classic choice for portrait photographers, and it shows, as almost every manufacturer has one, with many offering multiple options. So why are they so popular among portrait photographers? This excellent video discusses some of their properties and how these characteristics make them a fantastic choice for photographing people.

Come to you from Robin Wangthis great video will show you some of the reasons why portrait photographers love 85mm lenses. Of course, the 85mm focal length isn’t the only option for portrait work, but it’s a popular choice for several reasons. Above all, an 85mm lens strikes a nice balance between the perspective distortion of a wide-angle lens and the increased compression of a longer telephoto lens. At too wide a focal length, perspective distortion is significant, which can be quite unflattering to a person’s features. On the other hand, too much compression at telephoto tends to flatten a subject’s features, erasing the facial geometry that makes each person unique. 85mm lenses tend to fall between these competing issues, which is why they live on the cameras of so many photographers. Watch the video above for Wong’s full recap.

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