85mm vs 135mm – Best For Portrait Photography

85mm vs 135mm::- Today we are going to be comparing that 85mm and the 135mm frequent length when it comes to portrait photography. I have the canon 85mm 1.2 and the Canon 135mm f/2. I’m shooting with them both.

Let’s go take a deep look at 85mm vs 135mm comparison.

85mm vs 135mm lens comparison

On the Canon 5d Mark 4 which is a full-frame sensor. Today’s model is Karina and Lydia. So I really hope you guys enjoyed today’s photoshoot. I’m gonna start with a full-body shot for this one. let’s see 85mm vs 135mm lens comparison for portrait photography.

85mm vs 135mm canon

Well, I’m so close up. I need alike run to the water to get a full bush. There is no doubt that both the 85mm and 135mm great lenses for full body shots. Due to their compression and those lack of distortion with this kind of composition.

85mm vs 135mm lens comparison

I was really excited to try this test. Do you wanna try stretching your arms up ( Karina ). For me personally the 135mm shot wins here. I love the straight lines in the background and how Karina pops from the background as well.

85mm vs 135mm comparison

85mm vs 135mm portrait lens

By the way, I also didn’t add any lens correction in the post. One downside to the 135mm is the amount of space you need to capture a full-body shot. And the fact that you need to be far away from your subject.

I kind of felt like I was shouting when trying to give Karina some direction with the shot. With the 85 mm, it was nice that I was able to get in quite a lot closer to the full body shot. Here are the true focal lengths side-by-side.

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So you guys can have a look. Again I think my favorite here is the 135mm but I love to hear what you guys think. I am zooming in to 100% here to also show you the chromatic aberration from the 85mm on her jumbo.

85mm vs 135mm portrait lens

Far away with this lens. Next up we are testing a classic close-up composition backlit with some trees in the background. So we can see what the bucket difference is as well.

Both lens a shop wide open and neither lens had any issues focusing on this situation. I have a hundred percent zoom comparison coming up in a second so you guys can see.

85mm vs 135mm portrait lens
85mm vs 135mm portrait lens

I was shooting at Canon EF 85mm f1.2 and Canon EF 135mm f/2. Looking at the side of the image by side this is my subjective opinion. But I feel like the 85mm has a slightly creative feel to the headshot probably drawn to the depth of field.

85mm vs 135mm

And the 135mm has a more classic look to the headshots we took. As it looks like a flatter image compared to the 85mm. I’m also preferring what the 135mm bucket looks like here in particular as it’s more defined compared to the washed-out 85 buckets.

But again just like the full-body photos both these focal lengths are Sur great at producing a close-up portrait. Now we’re gonna shoot some harsh light backlit portraits.


135mm lens photography

135mm lens photography

So the Sun is directly hitting the model from behind and straight into my lens at F 2.8 unbirth lenses. Yet again neither lens had much trouble focusing against the hush backlight.

85mm vs 135mm lens photography

I did get a few extra out-of-focus shots on the 135 millimeters there but there was honestly not a big difference between two. When I just don’t like this one as well.

At F 2.8 both focal lengths did a good job in throwing out the highly textured and busy background to get the model to stand out. The 135mm bled out the rocks just that little bit more which I really like.

85mm vs 135mm lens photography

But I do personally prefer the more defined bucket of the 85mm here. I have a hundred percent crop for you guys to see. This one was a little hotter to pick my favorite from they are both quite similar photos.

I would love to hear what you guys think as well. We’re gonna do a walking shot now on the 135mm. It is just to show you that it is a little bit difficult to capture movement fritters on this lens.


Here all the photos I took on the 135mm walk. As you can see since it’s such a telephoto lens. It’s very difficult to be able to capture the right composition especially when a spontaneous movement happens such as when Kareena spun around.


A lot of the time I cropped out her head or her legs and just, in general, I found it really difficult to be able to frame the shot correctly with movement. I’m gonna do the same with the other one.


Let me get a bit further back. When you’re ready you can spin again, you can smile as well.While the 85mm is also a challenge to capture movement shots on.

I personally prefer to use something wider like a 35mm or 50mm for these kinds of photos. But it was a lot easier to walk backward and maintain my composition for the majority of photos on the 85mm.

85mm 1/250 lens

We’re gonna try and shoot some portraits at s4 to see how much texture we can get with these super-compressed bucket lenses. It’s like a new term bucket lens.

85mm vs 135mm
85mm vs 135mm

Right just sort of what I’m seeing in the back of the screen it still looks like it has way too much pocket. Unlike other focal length comparisons we’ve done the 85mm and 135mm lenses are very similar to each other when it comes to portraits.

In this location, I loved what the 135mm looks like a little bit more. Due to the focal length, I was able to capture the composition I wanted of a mid-length portrait.

85mm vs 135mm

And all the distractions you can see in the 85mm shot. Such as the grass in the bottom left and the windowsill at the top left have all been cropped out of the 135 mm shot.

It’s a bit closer as well. When it comes to taking portraits at f/4 again both lenses are extremely sharp. As you can see in the hundred percent crop comparison. I do believe the 135mm is that slight bit sharper than the 85mm.

85mm vs 135mm

But both a shop enough for portrait photography. The last comparison we’re going to do is extreme closeup portraits. The widest aperture 135mm goes to is f2 so we’re going to shoot these super close-up portraits both these lenses on f2.

And I’ll shoot a couple at the end at 1.2 on the 85mm. We’re gonna get in as close as we possibly can to Karina’s face up to the point where the lens just doesn’t focus anymore.

85mm vs 135mm

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See what they look like with the 135mm close-ups you have two settings on the Canon lens. Where you can focus 1.6 meters to infinity which is the first photo that we’re seeing.

85mm vs 135mm

Then you also have the option to change it to zero point nine meters to infinity Fergus. Here is why you can get some extreme close-up portraits with just the eyes to the chin in the frame.


For me personally, 85mm vs 135mm I think I prefer the 85mm lens. It can take pretty dreamy and beautiful portraits but I feel like the 85mm is that little bit more convenient.

Because they don’t have to be miles away from my model. I definitely feel more comfortable shooting with the 85mm. I would love to hear from you in the comments which lens you prefer and why.

FAQ On 85mm Vs 135mm Lens Photography

What is a 85mm lens good for?

Additionally, 85mm lenses tend to be terribly sharp and render the background out of focus during an approach that’s pleasing to the eyes. this can be terribly helpful once shooting headshots within the studio with subjects. If you would like additional, consider my resources on studio headshots and social networking photos.

Which is better for portraits 50mm or 85mm?

Using an associate 85mm lens can lead to a picture that’s additional closely framed on your subject. On the opposite hand, shooting with the 50mm lens can lead to a picture that features additional of the background (though not nearly the maximum amount as shooting with the Canon 24mm lens).

What is 135mm lens used for?

the 135/2 is especially used for portrait photography and for indoor sports wherever the lighting is commonly poor. the quick f/2 aperture makes the lens ideal for each of those applications. among canon photographers, the lens is very regarded for its sharpness contrast and color rendition.

Is 135mm good for portraits?

85mm lenses do a really smart job however 135mm lenses have the proper quantity of profile flattening and focal lengths will|which will|that may} render pictures that the majority people are going to be proud of if the creative person can create the foremost of true.

Why is 85mm lens good for portraits?

85mm lenses are in truth the foremost versatile distance for portraiture. … With AN 85mm lens, an artist will shoot a reasonably pack up headshot and that they may also pull back any to induce additional of a subject matter. the sole drawback is that the area that you are operating in will be tight, so 85mm might not be the simplest possibility.

Is 85mm lens good for landscape?

The 85mm is thought of as an excellent optical lens, however, what many do not recognize is that the 85mm is additionally thought-about a brief photo lens! several landscape nature photographers use it once photographing wildlife!

Which aperture is best for portraits?

When shooting portraits, it is best to line a good aperture (around f/2.8-f/5.6) to capture a shallow depth of field, that the background behind your subject is nicely blurred, creating them stand out higher.

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