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The Use of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm in Portraits

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The Use of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm in Portraits
The Use of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm in Portraits

The Use of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm in Portraits: If you are going to shoot portraits, it can pay to buy a prime lens, because these are often the most bright and offer the best results at the specific focal length for which you buy the lens. But what focal length do you choose exactly? Photographer Hyun Ralph Jeong will work with a 35mm, a 50mm and an 85mm and show you in his video the effect of each of these lenses.

Different focal lengths give different portraits

“It’s easy to make the mistake that lenses with longer focal lengths are just for zooming in,” says photographer Hyun Ralph Jeong. “But that is not entirely true. Even if you have your subject in exactly the same place in your frame, the result is very different every time you use a different focal length. ” In his video he therefore shows a number of examples of different portraits that he has made with different focal lengths: 16-30mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm.

The Use of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm in Portraits

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He starts by talking about using the 16-35mm. “If you use such focal lengths, you get a lot of your background in the picture,” says the photographer. “This doesn’t have to be a problem, however, because your background shouldn’t be distracting from your main subject, it doesn’t mean your background has to be boring.” Ultimately, he wouldn’t use short focal lengths as quickly when shooting portraits of models. “You see a lot of distortion. In a photo where he is close to the lens, you can see that his lower body looks much bigger than it actually is. ” Unless this is your intention, this may not be an effect you would like to have.

The Use of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm in Portraits

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Sometimes, however, this may also be the intention. Shooting your subject from below can make it more impressive. However, if you want a more realistic look, you want to use a longer focal length. ‘ He describes 50mm as the most ideal portrait lens if you could only take one lens: because after all, there is still enough of the background visible, but at the same time there is still a nice bokeh in the background.

However, the 85mm excels in other areas: it indicates that you get the most background blur with this lens. More importantly, the person in the shot looks more like the main character of the story.

Watch all his portraits and comparisons in the video

Do you want to see the photographer’s full comparison? Watch the video below: