The diversity of alternatives available may be too much for a portrait photographer seeking the finest Sony lenses to create beautiful photographs of their subjects. For its mirrorless cameras, Sony has been manufacturing high-quality lenses that deliver superb sharpness, bokeh, autofocus, and performance in various lighting situations.
Based on their features, technical characteristics, and user reviews, I will examine the top 5 Sony lenses for portrait photography in 2023 in this post. These lenses will assist you in realizing your creative vision and wowing your clients, whether you are filming in a studio, outside, or indoors. As well, here you will find tips on how to improve your portrait photography skills.
Top Sony Lenses for Striking Portraits
The quality and effect of your portrait photography may significantly change with the proper lens. For its mirrorless cameras, Sony provides a broad variety of lenses, but a number of them stand out for their extraordinary ability to produce eye-catching pictures.
The top Sony portrait lenses in 2023, together with their names and model numbers, are listed below:
Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
This is the best portrait lens for Sony shooters, offering exceptional clarity, contrast, and bokeh. You can separate your subject from the backdrop and produce stunning blur effects by using the f/1.4 aperture.
Additionally, the lens sports a quick and silent autofocus mechanism and is water- and dust-resistant.
Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM
For portrait photographers who wish to capture exquisite details and expressions, I recommend the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM lens. It is the best lens for portrait photography. The f/1.8 aperture offers a narrow depth of focus and excellent bokeh, while the 135mm focal length is perfect for headshots and compact compositions.
The lens also has a cutting-edge optical construction that reduces aberrations and improves clarity.
Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM
This flexible and small lens may be used for a range of portraiture techniques, ranging from close-up to environmental. The 50mm focal length produces a natural and attractive appearance since it is similar to the human eye’s viewpoint.
You can shoot in low light and produce stunning bokeh effects because of the f/1.2 aperture. Additionally, the lens sports a quick focusing mechanism and an aperture ring for video cameras, making it a versatile choice for both stills and movies.
Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM
For portrait photographers who wish to include more of the scene and convey a feeling of scale and depth, this is a fantastic option. Wide-angle portraits, group photos, and environmental portraiture are all made possible by the 24mm focal length, while background blur and depth of focus adjustments are made possible by the f/1.4 aperture.
The lens also has excellent optical performance, producing pictures that are crisp and contrasty with no distortion.
Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
This is a flexible and strong zoom lens that can handle a variety of portrait shooting situations, from close-ups to full-body pictures. You can change your composition and perspective with the 70–200mm lens length; however, the zoom range is consistently bright and has constant bokeh because of the f/2.8 aperture.
Additionally, the lens boasts a quick and precise autofocus mechanism that follows moving targets as well as optical image stabilization that counteracts camera motion.
Detailed Review of Each Lens
I will try to give an evaluation of the best Sony lenses for striking portrait photography:
Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens
This is the best among the best Sony striking portrait lenses. It boasts a traditional 85mm portrait focal length, which results in a pleasing perspective and a convenient working distance.
Additionally, it boasts a large aperture of f/1.4, allowing you to shoot in low light and produce spectacular bokeh effects. This lens produces stunning photos that are crisp and contrasty over the whole frame.
- The lens incorporates a focus hold button and an aperture ring for additional control
- The autofocus technology is quick and silent.
- The lens is sturdy and waterproof, which contributes to its dependability.
- It has a high price tag.
What people are saying about the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens:
- “…soft at the edges when shooting at wide open. I wanted to like it but ended up returning it. I then purchased the Sigma Art.” – Original Source: Amazon.com.
Photo examples taken with this lens:
You can check photo examples taken with this lens on the dedicated Flickr page for the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 lens by following this link.
Sony’s FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens
For portrait photographers who wish to capture exquisite details and expressions, this lens is yet another fantastic option, as it’s one of the best Sony cameras for portrait photography. Its 135mm longer focal length makes it perfect for headshots and compact compositions.
Additionally, it sports a brilliant f/1.8 aperture that produces a short depth of field and bokeh that is smooth. This lens produces images with exceptional clarity and little distortion.
- The lens incorporates an aperture ring and focus range limiter for added convenience
- The autofocus mechanism is quick and precise.
- The lens is durable and reliable since it is well-built and weatherproof.
- The lens is big making it difficult to handle
- It is heavy but they may be handled if you use a tripod or a monopod.
What people are saying about Sony’s FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Lens:
“Fantastic pictures, they truly stand out! However, it’s a rather heavy lens and not one to tote around haphazardly!” – Original source: Amazon.com
Photo examples taken with this lens:
For some of the best pictures taken with this lens, check it out on this dedicated Flickr page
Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens
This is a flexible and portable lens that can handle several sorts of portraits, from close-up to environmental. It has a typical focal length of 50mm, which is similar to the perspective of the human eye and produces a natural and attractive appearance.
Additionally, it boasts an extremely wide aperture of f/1.2, allowing you to photograph in low light and produce striking bokeh effects. Even with wide apertures, this lens produces clear, contrasty photos, which is a good image quality.
- High-speed, quiet autofocus is included,
- The lens features a de-clicked aperture ring for video shooting.
- The lens is trustworthy and dependable since it is well-designed and weather-sealed.
- It has an exorbitant price
What people are saying about the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens:
“Such a great lens. It excels in all respects. Photos have silky smooth bokeh and are razor sharp. However, it’s a little big for everyday use. I wish it weren’t so pricey.” – Original source: Amazon.com
Some examples of photos taken with the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens:
Check out some of the best photos taken with this lens on this dedicated flickr page
Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens
For portrait photographers who want to get a better sense of the scene’s depth and scale as well as capture more of it, this lens is a terrific choice. With a 24mm wide-angle focal length, it is ideal for wide-angle group photos, environmental photographs, and wide-angle portraiture.
Additionally, it boasts a brilliant f/1.4 aperture that lets you adjust the depth of field and blur the backdrop. The clear, contrasty, and little distorted images produced by this lens have exceptional image quality.
- The lens incorporates a focus hold button and an aperture ring for additional versatility
- The autofocus technology is quick and silent.
- The lens is sturdy and trustworthy since it is well-made and weather-sealed.
- It is expensive
What people are saying about the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens
“I am a wedding and event photographer, and my all-time favorite lens in my bag is the 24mm GM lens. Fantastic bokeh, quick focusing, and really crisp images… Although costly, the lens is very worthwhile.” – Original source: Amazon.com
Some examples of photos taken with the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens
Click on this dedicated flickr page for some of the best photos taken with this lens
Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS zoom Lens
The Sony FE is ideal for striking portrait pictures. The lens is a strong and adaptable zoom that can handle a variety of portrait situations, including close-ups and full-body pictures. You may change your composition and viewpoint thanks to the lens’ adjustable 70-200mm focal length range.
Additionally, it has a fixed aperture of f/2.8, which guarantees steady brightness and bokeh across the whole zoom range. The high-quality photos captured by this lens are crisp, contrasty, and exhibit little chromatic aberration.
- The lens incorporates optical image stabilization that counteracts camera shaking
- The focusing mechanism is quick and precise.
- For further control, the lens also has a focus range limiter, a focus hold button, and an aperture ring.
- The lens is durable and reliable since it is made nicely and weather-sealed.
- It has a high price tag
- It has a heavy weight
What people are saying about the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS zoom Lens
“Surprisingly, it’s a very good landscape lens delivering very good color and sharpness… Although the lens is suitable for candid and street photography, it’s a little too evident for any covert shooting… The price of the lens is its only drawback.” – Original source: Amazon.com
Some examples of photos taken with the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS zoom Lens
Check out these examples of photos taken with this lens by clicking on this link
Criteria for Selecting a Camera Lens
As a portrait photographer, I am aware of how crucial it is to select the appropriate lens. Your photos’ quality may make or break their ability to convey your artistic intent.
I made the decision to test, assess, and rate the top Sony lenses for portrait photography in 2023 based on their characteristics, efficacy, and adaptability. The following criteria were utilized by me to assess and rate the lenses:
For me, this is the most crucial aspect since I want my portraits to be clear, contrasty, and aberration-free. Additionally, I seek lenses that can create beautiful bokeh effects that improve the subject and the atmosphere of the photo.
Another important consideration for me is the lens’s operating distance and viewpoint. For portrait photography, I use lenses with a pleasing focal length like 85mm or 135mm since they provide a natural and at-ease appearance.
Additionally, I enjoy lenses with adjustable focal lengths like the 50mm and 24mm, which can capture a variety of images, from close-up to ambient.
Aperture is a component that is also significant to me because it has an impact on the lens’ depth of field and low-light performance. Wide-aperture lenses, such as those with an f/1.4 or f/1.8 maximum, are what I seek because they enable me to separate the subject from the background and produce spectacular bokeh effects.
Additionally, I search for lenses with a consistent aperture, like f/2.8, that provide uniform brightness and bokeh over the zoom range.
For me, this is a crucial component since it influences the lens’s quickness and precision. I search for lenses with autofocus technology that is swift, silent, and capable of smoothly tracking and locking on the target.
In order to have more control over the focus and exposure of the image, I also seek lenses with a focus hold button and an aperture ring.
The versatility of the lens is important, as it determines how adaptable and convenient it is. I search for lenses that can capture diverse portraiture styles, from wide-angle to telephoto, from studio to outside.
Additionally, I look for a camera with optical image stabilization, which reduces camera shake and enables handheld shooting. In order to choose lenses that are dependable and long-lasting, I also search for designs that are resistant to moisture and dust.
Best Sony Lens for Beginners
I have a suggestion for you if you’re just getting started with portrait photography and are seeking the best Sony lens to use: the Sony FE 50mm f/1.8. You may get beautiful, high-quality, and simple-to-use portraits of your subjects with the aid of this lens.
Here is a quick summary of this lens’s salient characteristics:
- Cost: This lens is one of the more affordable Sony lenses for portrait photography, without sacrificing quality. This wide-aperture prime lens is available for less than $200, which is a fantastic price.
- Image quality: This lens produces photos that are crisp, contrasty, and have nice bokeh effects. Having a 50mm focal length is near to the viewpoint of the human eye, producing a natural and attractive appearance.
You can photograph in low-light conditions and separate the subject from the background thanks to the f/1.8 aperture.
- Usability: Because of its portability and small weight, this lens is perfect for handheld photography. Additionally, it includes a rapid and silent autofocus technology that can smoothly and swiftly track and lock on the subject.
Additionally, it contains a focus hold button that offers you greater control over how the image is focused.
I strongly advise you to start with this lens if you are new to portrait photography and want to develop your abilities and originality. It is inexpensive, excellent, and simple to use, and it may help you take beautiful pictures of your topics. You won’t regret purchasing this lens because it will be a good investment for years to come.
Best Sony Lens for Professionals
As a professional portrait photographer wanting to update your equipment, the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM is what you need. You may use this high-end, high-quality, and high-performing lens to take beautiful photos of your subjects.
Here is a quick summary of the salient characteristics of this best Sony lens for portrait photography:
The Sony G Master series, which is the top tier of Sony lenses for portrait photography, includes this lens. With a metal mount and a body that resists moisture and dust, it boasts superior design and construction.
Additionally, it contains an aperture ring and a focus hold button, which offer you additional control over the focus and exposure of the image. It also has a new XA (extreme aspherical) element as well as three ED glass elements that work together to ensure that you get a high resolution and premium quality image
Outstanding Optical Quality
This lens produces crisp, contrasty images over the whole frame. Additionally, it boasts a large aperture of f/1.4, allowing you to shoot in low light and produce spectacular bokeh effects.
Additionally, it has a cutting-edge optical design that reduces aberrations and improves clarity.
This lens includes rapid, quiet autofocus technology that can seamlessly track and lock on the target. Additionally, it sports an 11-blade circular aperture that produces bokeh effects that are supple and realistic.
Additionally, a nano-AR layer that lessens flare and ghosting is present.
I advise you to think about this lens as an upgrade if you are a professional portrait photographer who wants to advance your abilities and originality. It is top-notch, high-performing, and can help you take beautiful photos of your subjects.
This lens will suit your professional needs and allow you to use more sophisticated photography techniques, so you won’t regret your purchase.
Based on their features, capabilities, and applicability, I have analyzed and ranked the top Sony lenses for portrait photography in this post for 2023. Image quality, focal length, aperture, autofocus, and adaptability were the factors I used to assess and rank the lenses.
Along with a quick summary of each lens’s primary attributes, I also highlighted its advantages and disadvantages.
In order to improve the quality and impact of your portrait photography, it is crucial to use the appropriate lens. A decent lens can be useful to wow your clientele by expressing your artistic perspective.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, though, since various lenses each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Finding the lens that suits you best requires taking into account your unique requirements and spending limit. I really hope that this post has assisted you in finding the top Sony lens for portrait photography in 2023 and making an educated selection.
Q: What distinguishes the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 from the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM?
A: The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM is a premium lens with exceptional optical quality, performance, and features. A bigger f/1.4 aperture on it makes room for more light and bokeh.
Additionally, it contains an aperture ring and focus hold button, which provide the user with additional control over the focus and exposure. The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 is an affordable lens with respectable optical quality, functionality, and features.
Its smaller f/1.8 aperture restricts the amount of light and bokeh. It lacks an aperture ring and a focus hold button, which limits the amount of control you have over exposure and focus.
Q: Between the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM and the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G which is better for portrait photography in low light?
A: Both lenses feature brilliant apertures of f/1.2 and f/1.4, which make them suitable for portrait shooting in low light.
A bigger aperture of f/1.2, which allows for more light and bokeh, gives the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM an edge over the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM.
Additionally, it includes a typical 50mm focal length, which gives portraiture a natural and attractive perspective. Because of its smaller f/1.4 aperture, the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM has less light and bokeh.
It also has a wide-angle 24-mm focal length, which distorts and exaggerates perspective for portraits.
Q: Which lens between the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM and the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS is better for zoom portrait photography?
A: Both lenses offer lengthy focal lengths that allow them to capture close-ups and full-body photos, making them suitable for zoom portrait photography.
Although the Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM has a brighter aperture of f/1.8, which offers a smaller depth of field and smoother bokeh, it has an advantage over the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS.
Additionally, it has a fixed 135mm focal length, which provides the best sharpness and clarity for portrait photography. Because of its smaller f/2.8 aperture, the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS features less bokeh and depth of field. Additionally, a changeable focal length