The Sony A7iii is definitely one of my favorite cameras, and i can confidently say that I’ve probably tested every lens in existence with it. When it comes to portrait photography, you have to look for a few specifications and features (about which we will talk later). Out of all the lenses i tested, i can confidently say that the Sony SEL85F18 is the best value for your money. If you are considering getting a high-end lens, then the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens is hard to beat, because it basically is able to provide everything you might dream of.
One of the most common styles of photography is portrait photography where you need to take full body or close-ups of the subject in various moods and expressions. A good camera along with good portrait lens is what you need to capture some of the best portrait moments, besides photography skills.
If you are serious about becoming a professional portrait photographer, it is essential to invest in a reliable, high-quality lens along with a good camera. A good portrait camera is definitely a wise investment, but you need to pair it up with top-quality lenses to produce the images you expect. If you are trying to master portrait photography, then the perfect lens will enable you to capture the personality and emotions of a person through his portraiture.
For portrait photography, you can consider buying Sony A7III camera that is an improved version of previous Sony camera models. This camera has a powerful battery along with enhanced auto focus system. More features worth considering are high ISO performance, silent shutter mode, 10 frames per second shooting, eye detect auto focus, and more. It is a great camera for the price it comes at and is superb for portrait photography.
Once you have got yourself Sony A7III that is the perfect portrait camera, it would be a good idea to invest in the best portrait photography lenses compatible with it. Right lens will ensure that you end up with some of the best portrait collections in your portfolio and win loads of compliments for your skills.
A portrait lens with correct aperture and focal length will give you excellent portrait photos. The most popular portrait lenses are those with focal lengths 85mm, 100mm, 105mm and 135 mm. For instance, a 135mm lens used at f/2 will focus only on object while letting all the background detail fall out of focus. However, you can always experiment and use combination of lenses with their camera for portrait photography.
Now let us go through the 5 best lenses that can be used with Sony A7III for portrait photography.
|Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22
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|Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
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|Sony – E 50mm F1.8 (SEL50F18/B)
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The Sharpest Lens
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Best Budget Pick
|VILTROX 85mm F1.8 STM
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The Top 5 Best Portrait Lenses For Sony A7iii
5. Viltrox 85mm F1.8 STM Full Frame
This is a large aperture auto focus prime lens specially designed for Sony E-Mount Camera model A7III. With 85mm focal length and large aperture of F1.8, it is a perfect lens for portrait photography as it will make the subject to stand out in blurred background. This model comes in new lightweight design with so many added features. It features rounded 9-blade aperture that enhances the beauty of the portrait.
This design has more refined optical performance with 10 elements in 7 groups that includes 1 ED lens and 4 shortwave-length and high transparency lens giving superior contrast across images and sharpness. This lens is quite popular as it supports auto focus, full frame, electronic auto-iris adjustment and USB firmware upgrade also. It is equipped with STM Step Mute Motor that reduces errors in live view allowing sharp and smooth focus. It supports EXIF information transmission and offers shooting convenience.
It is perfect for outdoor shooting as the lens is secured with HD nano multilayer coating for protection against dust and moisture. The lens is sturdy and durable with all-metal body structure with lens hood.
4. Sony SEL85F18
Now you can capture beautiful portraits with this sleek E-mount mid-telephoto prime lens that is compact and lightweight and is perfect for both full frame E-mount and APS-C cameras. It is a versatile lens solution for Sony camera owners be it professionals or beginners.
It features a 9-blade fast F1.8 aperture that makes the portrait look simply gorgeous with background defocus effect. The lens helps to click exceptionally sharp portraits with even in low-light conditions due to large aperture.
The lens also features ED glass that reduces chromatic aberrations for better clarity and color precision. The lens incorporates a focus hold button that can be customized and collaborated together with Eye AF feature. It also features a wide and responsive ring along with a physical AF/MF switch.
The new prime lens features 9-blade circular diaphragm that provides smooth pleasant bokeh quality image when working with selective focus techniques. The double linear AF motor system allows quick, accurate and quiet focusing in both stills and video applications. This lightweight and compact lens is perfect for outdoor use as it is dust and moisture resistant.
3. Sony SEL50F18
This lens has Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system that produces clear images without any blur. It has 35 millimetres equivalent focal length (APS-C) of about 75 millimetres This 50mm mid-range telephoto lens has an apt focal length for clicking wonderful portraits. It has a bright F1.8 maximum aperture, Optical SteadyShot (OSS) image stabilization and superb image quality. The aperture helps in beautiful defocusing effects.
Minimum Focus Distance is 1.28 ft (0.39 m) and Maximum Magnification ratio is 0.16x. It is quite compact and lightweight with nice aluminium alloy exterior. It has diaphragm Blades 7 that are rounded. It is a premium portrait photography lens that is worth buying if your camera is compatible with it.
2. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens
This is a 85mm F1.4 full-frame G Master telephoto prime lens that is perfect for beautiful portraits. Only Sony is known for developing such ideal portrait lenses. This lens helps you to make the subject prominent by helping you to make the background blurred. It allows you to make the end result stunning with unmatched and smooth bokeh. It has 11-blade circular aperture allowing superb bokeh effect. SSM (Super Sonic Wave Motor) ensures quick, silent and enhanced focusing.
Its regular nano-structure helps in light transmission helping you click high-quality images with absolute clarity and contrast. The lens has three aspherical elements that includes a new XA (extreme aspherical) lens element that offers precision more than 0.01-micron.
More features include lens mount seal for protection against dust and moisture Super ED glass for minimal flare and ghosting and more. This lens uses the most advanced technology for picture-perfect portraits you would be proud of.
1. Sony SEL28F20 FE 28mm f/2-22
This 35mm, full-frame prime lens is for Sony E-mount cameras and known for its amazing performance and stunning results. Its circular aperture blades enhance the bokeh effect. ED/Super ED glass with multi-coating ensures that the resulting portrait has great colors and contrast minimizing chromatic aberration.
The lens allows fast autofocusing and a short minimum focusing distance. The design is such that dust and moisture does not harm the lens when shooting outdoors. It is compact and lightweight as well and works smoothly without noise. This lens will certainly allow you to attain photographic perfection.
Things To Look For Before Buying a Portrait lens for Sony A7III
Consider the following factors when looking for a lens for professional portrait photography.
Zoom or Prime Lenses
There are two types of portrait lenses: prime and zoom lenses. Both lenses function entirely different.
Zoom lenses come with range of focal length and you need to decide what focal length suits your photography. Beginners can opt for zoom lenses and you need to carry only lens with which you can adjust your focal length. However, prime lenses come with fixed focal length but they provide high-quality image as compared to zoom lenses.
Mostly professional photographers carry prime lenses for enhanced and sharp image quality, but they are expensive also and moreover you need to add quite a few prime lenses of different focal length in your lens collection.
Zoom lenses are very versatile and they allow you to experiment with different focal lengths. As said above, It is a good idea for beginners to opt for Zoom lenses, as they let them decide as to what works best for them.
So, if you want to shoot beautiful portraits prime lenses are often the preferred choice as they have wider maximum aperture and allows the subject to stand out with beautiful bokeh effect in the background. There are no visible distortions in prime lenses.
Determine your choice of photography before buying any lens. If you want quality portrait images within a budget then you should opt for a zoom lens for portrait photography. And if you don’t want to compromise on quality then go for prime lens without any second thought.
If you want something more versatile and want to get a lens that can shoot landscapes and other wide shots, then i recommend you take a look at our wide angle lens picks for the A7iii.
Keep in mind that the higher the quality, the more space you will need. Make sure you get a good SD card for your Sony A7iii if you plan to shoot high-quality footage.
Size of the Sensor
Do not ignore the sensor size when shopping for portrait photography lenses, as it will impact the focal length of the lens. A crop-sensor camera is suitable for beginners. However, one can use a full-frame camera where the portrait lens will get fully optimized. Longer focal lengths are better as they allow close-up shots of the subject and offer more realistic proportions without any distortions. Focal lengths of 105mm for full-frame cameras and 70mm for APS-C cameras lead to better portrait photography.
Aperture and Bokeh
The maximum aperture of f/1.8 or larger will work best for portraits as anything smaller than that would result in a larger in-focus area. The larger the aperture, the more light it can let in and therefore more clear and sharp images. The smaller apertures require higher ISO for optimal exposure and slower shutter speeds.
As far as Bokeh is concerned, there are both good Bokeh and bad Bokeh. Most portrait photographers can differentiate between the two and are quite obsessed with Bokeh style. Some look for innovative portrait photography techniques to digitally add Bokeh to their images. Keep those portrait photography settings in mind when shopping for a lens.
Build Quality & Weather Proof
Quite often inexpensive lenses might seem like a jackpot with all the shiny features that you were looking for in high-end lenses. However, do keep in mind that inexpensive lenses are not built to last as compared to expensive lenses.
While doing portrait photography, you are often going to shoot outdoor and if your lens is not built to last and is not weather and dust proof then your lens will get damaged with few uses. No doubt expensive lenses demand high up-front investment, but they are built to last with weather and dust resistant features. So, they will stay will you for years with proper care and maintenance.
Price & Budget
The final selection will, of course, rely on how much one can afford and if the price of the portrait lens lies within their budget or not. Price is really an important consideration as high quality lenses are not cheap. Mostly the lenses that produce high quality crystal clear and sharp images with less flare are often expensive and go out of budget range.
They feature high build quality, are weather-resistant and offer better autofocus mechanisms. Due to all these features they are expensive. But that does not mean that you need to compromise on quality and buy cheap lens. These days less expensive lenses with better and advanced features are coming up in the market. Do some research and then buy the one that balances both quality and price.
Choosing the best portrait lens relies on several factors like the camera system, the photography shooting style, the kind of results expected, and camera compatibility. Once you have figured out the size of the sensor, the kind of lens, and the focal length, it would become easier for you to make decision.
In this mini-guide, you have come across the best lenses for Sony A7III for portrait photography besides some useful tips and guidelines for buying perfect portrait lens. Consider these tips and compare various lenses so that you can buy the right portrait lens for your Sony A7III with confidence. The results will speak for themselves when you will shoot stunning portraits.
Photographer & Writer
I specialize in landscape, street and portrait photography and I have been featured in various galleries and publications. I believe that photography is a way to tell stories!