Best Sony Lenses For Portraits – 2020 Ultimate Review

If you own a Sony camera and are looking for the best lenses to give you the most beautiful portraits, then you have landed in the right place.

In this article, you will find reviews of the best Sony camera lenses for portrait photography in the market.

We will also provide you with some tips on what to look for when purchasing one. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Sony Lenses For Portraits

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22

  • Equipped with ED glass element for edge-to-edge sharpness
  • Customized focus hold button with automatic and manual switch
  • The rounded aperture with a 9-blade diaphragm is best for beautiful bokeh
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Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM

  • Image stabilization for steady images
  • G-Master design for great sharpness and bokeh
  • Dual floating focus system for the speediest autofocus
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Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

  • Best for the money
  • E-mount lens for full-frame cameras
  • Nano AR coating for reduced ghosting and flare
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Sony - FE 50mm F1.8

  • Lightweight design for compactness
  • 7-blade diaphragm for the best bokeh rendering
  • Double-glass configuration for minimal distortion
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Sony SEL50F14Z Planar T FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA

  • Ring drive SSM for smoother and faster autofocus
  • 11-blade aperture for smoothly defocused background
  • Aperture ring comes with a manual to automatic switch
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Can Any Lens Be Used For Portraits?

Portrait lenses must have the right focal length, as well as a sufficient aperture to capture the most stunning shots. However, it is possible that any lens you choose can be used for shooting portraits. You can use zoom lenses, portraits, prime, and even kit lenses to take portrait pictures. Even though that is possible, you can only capture the best portrait shots on a lens with a focal length of 70-135mm and an average wide maximum aperture. This allows the lens to capture stunning shots even in low-light conditions with a shallow depth of field.

How to Choose a Lens For Portraits

In order to choose the right lens for portrait photography, you must look over the following factors to ensure that you get the right lens:

Bokeh

Bokeh is the ability of the lens to beautifully blur the background of the image without making it too harsh, while ensuring the subject and the background are beautifully merged together. This is largely attributed to the aperture of the lens, which controls the background blur effect. The wider the aperture is, the more beautiful the bokeh will be.

Focal Length

There are a variety of focal lengths displayed in this article. However, the one you choose is based on a few factors. The amount of space you have is a factor that needs to be determined when choosing the right focal length. A 35mm focal length will allow you to capture more portraits, while the 85mm will have a narrower focus. It also allows you to choose your preference based on the situation.

Sensor Size

If you own a crop-sensor camera, the focal length equivalent to the sensor will change. A 50mm focal length on your crop sensor camera will turn into 75mm on a full-frame one.

Quick Take - Best Sony Lenses For Portraits

Before we dive into our review, here are the best Sony lenses for portraits:

  1. Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22
  2. Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM
  3. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

Review of the Best Sony Lenses For Portraits

Let’s dive into the reviews of the best Sony lens for portraits you can find in the market right now.

Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22 Medium-Telephoto Fixed Prime Camera Lens, Black

PROS

  • Controls chromatic aberration properly
  • Fast and accurate autofocus is nearly silent
  • Incredible optical performance to capture stunning images
  • Clarity and sharpness are outstanding
  • Wide aperture on the lens allows for the most beautiful bokeh

CONS

  • Depth of field does not exist
  • Distance markers are not located on the lens
  • Stabilization does not work with all E-mount cameras

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are in absolute awe of the outstanding performance of this lens. It is one of the best portrait lenses that you can find under $1500 for a Sony camera, and it renders the most amazing bokeh. The clarity of the images is stellar, and the quality of the lens from its build to its performance are top-notch.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this lens is one of the best for portrait photography is the ample features it provides at an unbeatable price. The value for the money spent on this lens is amazing since it comes with a double linear motor for precise autofocus, a well-built design for dust and moisture resistance, and many more features.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent lens for everyday use since it is durable and compact, making it easy to carry around wherever you go. It is a good camera lens for street photography, and you can take close-ups of pets, people, and other things, as well. If you’re looking for a Sony lens that will capture the best portraits, this is the one for you.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a lens that will surprise you in a wonderful way, then this is the best option for you. It has an excellent build, tons of stunning features, and takes the most beautiful portraits with creamy bokeh. You will not be disappointed if you purchase this lens for your portrait photography.

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens

PROS

  • Comes with teleconverter capability
  • Included tripod collar is rotatable
  • The construction of this lens is sturdy and durable
  • Comes with a long focal range with an f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Sharpness and clarity of the photograph are excellent throughout the focal range

CONS

  • Some level of distortion is there
  • Bulky and heavy to carry around
  • Flare is noticeable in photographs

What Recent Buyers Report

This is one of the best portrait lenses you can find in the market for Sony cameras, and it can be used for almost anything else, too. It is capable of taking amazing shots and the autofocus is quite speedy. The bokeh rendering is also stellar and this lens works like a charm.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This high-performing lens is the best high-end unit you can find for portrait photography. It comes with high-quality features such as Nano AR coating technology that reduces flare and ghosting and makes the image seem life-like. Moreover, it has image stabilization and a parfocal design to shoot high-quality videos.

Who Will Use This Most

This is definitely a lens that will suit professionals and experts. Since it comes with a heftier price tag, it is used by professionals for event photography. It also comes with a lot of features and controls that may be hard to understand for beginners or novices, which is why its tough build is suited for professionals in their everyday use.

Bottom Line

If you’re a professional looking for a high-quality camera lens for your portrait photography, you will be impressed with the optical performance of this one. The stunning clarity of the images and bokeh rendering of this lens are absolutely breathtaking, and you will be able to take tack-sharp portraits each time.

Best for the Money:
 Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens

PROS

  • Zero distortion in all images
  • Edge-to-edge sharpness throughout the range
  • Wide aperture for stunning bokeh and blurry backgrounds
  • Design is bright and beautiful, making it look sleek and expensive
  • Build is strong and sturdy, making it dust and splash-resistant
  • One XA element and three extra-low dispersion elements embedded

CONS

  • No optical stabilization
  • Vignetting at wide apertures
  • At the f/1.4 aperture, observable dimmed corners

What Recent Buyers Report

This is an incredible lens that makes photos tack-sharp and life-like. The clarity you get from this lens is jaw-dropping, and the lens is capable of rendering the most beautiful bokeh. Its quality is also quite stunning and the build is durable and long-lasting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens comes packed with everything you need in a portrait lens. It is compact, durable enough to withstand moisture and dust, and comes power-packed with stunning optical performance. It has so many features that make it stand out, and is one of the most innovative and technologically advanced lenses for portrait photography.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent lens to use for photography enthusiasts who want to capture portraits of everything around them. It is an amazing choice for cinematography and can be used to capture some of the most beautiful portraits with the lushest and creamiest bokeh. Professionals can also use it for event photography.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a lens that will give you the best value for your money, you will not be disappointed with this one. Sure, the price may seem a little steep, but once you start using the lens and look at its quality, you will be amazed. It takes tack-sharp images with extreme precision and has an 11-blade diaphragm for the most outstanding bokeh.

Sony - FE 50mm F1.8 Standard Lens (SEL50F18F), Black

PROS

  • Easy to use for any kind of user
  • The f/1.8 aperture is fast and precise
  • Allows shooting in low-light conditions
  • High-quality design and amazing features
  • Minimizes flare and controls chromatic aberration

CONS

  • Autofocus is not fast or accurate
  • Lens is made of plastic rather than metal
  • Some chromatic aberration is still noticeable at the edge of the frame

What Recent Buyers Report

This is an amazing lens that works brilliantly with the Sony A7. It is lightweight, compact, and is easy to travel around with. Moreover, the clarity of the images taken with it is stunning, and the quality is tack-sharp and beautiful. The autofocus is also smooth, and the bokeh rendering is great, as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this lens stands out is because of its amazing features and stunning portraits. The large f/1.8 maximum aperture allows it to capture more light and take brighter and clearer photos. It can also work in low-light conditions and comes with an in-built image stabilization feature for steadier and sharper portraits.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is a great choice for photographers who want to take the most stunning portraits. It is lightweight and compact and is great for travelers who want to take close-ups of their subjects. It is also a great choice for beginners and photography enthusiasts, as it is easy to use and control.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a lens that will perform up to the standard of a high-end one with stunning clarity and superb sharpness, then this is the one for you. With an unbeatable price tag that doesn’t break the bank, it is bound to give you a bang for the buck, and will certainly not leave you disappointed.

Sony SEL50F14Z Planar T FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

PROS

  • Sharpness of the image is outstanding
  • Minimized distortion with ZEISS T coating
  • Aperture ring is great with click/no click button
  • Amazing bokeh rendering which is creamy and silky
  • The build is strong and sturdy, making it dust and moisture-resistant

CONS

  • The weight is heavy
  • Less contrast against the light
  • Some level of chromatic aberration

What Recent Buyers Report

The build of this lens is heavy, yet the result is stunning. The quality is amazing and it can render beautiful bokeh. It takes tack-sharp images each time and can perform very well under low-light conditions. It is great at blurring backgrounds to mesh with the subject beautifully.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this lens stands out is because of its high-quality design and features. It is designed with a sleek and luxurious finish and is capable of taking the most stunning photographs and the creamiest bokeh. The sharpness and clarity of the images are also impeccable.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great lens to use for portrait photography on an everyday basis and is also an excellent choice for professionals. They can use it to capture stunning candid portraits at events such as weddings or birthdays, as you can get beautiful bokeh and tack-sharp images from corner-to-corner.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for a lens that will give you stellar image quality and high-quality images for under $1500, then you’re at the right place. This lens by Sony is packed with outstanding optical performance, is built to withstand harsh conditions, and is dust and moisture-resistant.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before buying a Sony lens for portraits, there are a few aspects you need to consider. Here are the key features you should consider before buying a portrait lens:

Aperture

The aperture of the lens lets the light come through the lens, and the wider the aperture is, the better the image quality will be. If you need a lens that works great under low-light conditions, you need to look for a lens with the maximum aperture. It can also affect the depth of field an image has and how natural the blurriness of the background is. Make sure the one you buy is also within your budget, as lenses with higher apertures usually come with a heftier price tag.

Versatility

You also need to check whether the lens is versatile or not. If you’re splurging on a lens, make sure it can do more than just capture portraits. You need an all-rounder model that works for every type of photography so you can accommodate different subjects in your photographs.

Image Stabilization

If you’re looking for a camera lens that can capture fast-moving objects, then you need one with this feature. Wildlife and nature photography requires you to have a fast autofocus system and image stabilization so the image doesn’t get blurry and the subject stays in focus.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

There are also some precautions you should keep in mind before investing in a portrait lens. They are as follows:

Mount

Make sure the mount of the lens is suited for your camera. If a lens is only suitable for an e-mount, then you cannot attach it to any other camera. You can use adapters to attach third party lenses to a Sony camera, but if you want your lens to be more versatile, make sure it is a native or no-mount lens so it can be attached to any other camera, as well.

Ergonomics

You should also make sure the lens you buy is easy to hold. For this, you need to make sure it comes with a tripod collar and check where the focus ring is placed, and whether it comes equipped with AF-on and lock button. This depends on the priority comfort has for you. If you buy a heavy lens, you need to make sure it is not straining on your wrist.

Responsiveness of the Autofocus

One of the main things you should also take into consideration is the responsiveness of the autofocus. If you want to capture candid portraits, it requires a fast shutter speed and precise autofocus. For this, you need to make sure the autofocus on the lens is speedy.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article helped you decide which Sony lens is best for your camera to capture the most stunning portraits. Portraits can technically be captured through any lens, but to get maximum clarity and the most beautiful bokeh, these lenses will surely measure up to the task.