Curious about the best focal length for portrait photography?

Drawing from my experience in both video and photo making, I’m here to share my insights with you.

In this article, you’ll not only learn about the ideal focal length for portrait photography but also find answers to frequently asked questions. 


  • 50mm Lens are deal for natural-looking portraits without distortion, mimicking human eye perspective, and often comes with wide apertures for shallow depth of field.
  • 35mm Lens are suitable for environmental portraits,
  • 85mm Lens are preferred for headshots


What Is A Focal Length

Antes de sumergirnos en los mejores distancia focal for portrait photography, it’s essential to understand what focal length is and how it affects our images.

Focal length refers to the distance between the camera’s image sensor or film plane and the lens’s optical center.

It is measured in millimeters (mm) and determines how much of the scene you can capture (campo de visión) y lo grande que parece el sujeto (aumento) en el encuadre. La distancia focal también afecta a la perspectiva y a la distorsión de los rasgos faciales del sujeto.

Different focal lengths have different advantages and disadvantages for portrait photography. 


Cómo afecta la distancia focal a la perspectiva y la distorsión

El más corto la distancia focal, el más amplio the field of view and the closer you need to be to your subject to fill the frame.

The center of the image will appear to bulge forward, while the edges will be stretched and distorted.

This can exaggerate your subject’s nose, forehead, chin, and ears, making them look unnatural and unflattering.

El más largo la distancia focal, el más estrecho the field of view and the farther you need to be from your subject to fill the frame.

The center of the image will appear to flatten, while the edges will be compressed and reduced.

This can make your subject’s face look more proportional and balanced, but also wider and less three-dimensional.

distancias focales de las cámaras

Categorías de distancias focales

La distancia focal suele medirse en milímetros (mm) y puede agruparse en cuatro categorías principales:

Objetivos gran angular

 These have focal lengths of menos de 35 mm y ofrecer una amplio campo de visión.

They are good for capturing landscapes, architecture, interiors, and large groups of people.

However, they can also create distortion and exaggeration of the subject’s facial features, especially at the edges of the frame.

Lentes estándar

These have focal lengths of 35 mm a 70 mm y ofrecer una perspectiva natural that is similar to what the human eye sees.

They are versatile and can be used for different types of portraits, from environmental to headshots.

These lenses produce minimal distortion and give a realistic representation of the subject.


These have focal lengths of 70 mm o más y ofrecer una estrecho campo de visión.

They are good for isolating the subject from the background, creating a shallow depth of field, and compressing the subject’s facial features.

Telephoto lenses are ideal for headshots, half-body shots, and full-body shots. However, they require a lot of distance between the camera and the subject and can be heavy and expensive.

Objetivos ojo de pez

These have focal lengths of menos de 16 mm y ofrecer un campo de visión ultra gran angular.

They create a circular vignette effect that wraps around the subject. They are not very common in portrait photography, except for special effects or creative purposes.


50mm Lens

Cuando se trata de fotografía de retratouna distancia focal muy utilizada por los fotógrafos es 50 mm.

The 50mm lens offers a versatile focal length that closely mimics the perspective of the human eye.

This makes it an excellent choice for capturing natural-looking portraits without distortion.50mm retrato 50mm lenses often have wide maximum apertures, such as f/1.8 or f/1.4. These wide apertures allow for a poca profundidad de campolo que resulta en fondos borrosos that draw attention to the subject.

The ability to achieve a shallow depth of field is particularly desirable in portrait photography, as it helps isolate the subject from the surroundings and creates a pleasing aesthetic.

If you own a Canon camera, here are the best lenses for portraits.


Other Focal Length Options

Mientras que 50 mm es un elección populares importante tener en cuenta que la mejor distancia focal para la fotografía de retratos puede variar en función del estilo del fotógrafo, el sujeto y el resultado deseado.

Exploremos otras opciones comunes de distancia focal y sus características únicas:

35 mm

La 35 mm ofrece un campo de visión más amplio que un objetivo de 50 mm, por lo que es adecuado para capturar retratos ambientales.

Environmental portraits aim to portray the subject within their surroundings, providing context and telling a story. The wider angle of view allows photographers to include more of the background while still maintaining a natural perspective.

85 mm

Para unas fotos favorecedoras con un campo de visión más estrecho y un mayor aislamiento del sujeto, una 85 mm lens is often the preferred choice.

This focal length helps to compress facial features, resulting in a pleasing and flattering perspective. It allows photographers to capture stunning portraits with a shallow depth of field while maintaining a comfortable shooting distance.

135mm and Beyond

Teleobjetivos con distancias focales de 135 mm y posteriores se utilizan habitualmente para capturar retratos íntimos from a distance.

These lenses allow photographers to maintain a comfortable shooting distance while still filling the frame with the subject. The longer focal length also helps to compress features, resulting in a flattering and visually appealing image.

Si eres principiante, échale un vistazo: 7 cámaras con objetivo asequibles para principiantes.


How To Choose a Focal Length

Aquí hay algunos factores clave a tener en cuenta:

Distancia al sujeto

Think about how much space you have to work with and how close or far you want to be from your subject.

A wider focal length can help you fit more in the frame in tight spaces, while a longer focal length can help you keep a comfortable distance and avoid distortion.

Perspectiva deseada

Imagine the mood and style you want to convey in your portraits.

Do you want to show more of the background and context, or focus on the details and expressions of your subject? Try different focal lengths to find the one that matches your vision.

Luz disponible

Check the lighting conditions and the maximum aperture of your lens.

A wider maximum aperture can let more light in and help you achieve better exposure and bokeh in low-light situations. A narrower maximum aperture may require more artificial light or a higher ISO setting.

Comodidad del sujeto

Pay attention to how your subject feels when you’re taking their portrait. Some people may feel more relaxed when you’re farther away, while others may feel more connected when you’re closer.

Choose a focal length that makes your subject feel comfortable and confident.


 Preguntas frecuentes

Aquí tienes las respuestas a algunas preguntas frecuentes sobre la mejor distancia focal para la fotografía de retrato:

Can I use a zoom lens for portrait photography?

¡Claro que sí!

Zoom lenses offer versatility and the convenience of adjusting focal length on the go.

However, prime lenses are often preferred for their wider maximum apertures and overall image quality.

Do I need a full-frame camera for portrait photography?

While full-frame cameras have their advantages, such as better low-light performance and wider field of view, you can achieve excellent portrait results with crop-sensor cameras as well. et.

Can I use a wide-angle lens for portraits?

Wide-angle lenses can be used creatively for certain types of portraits, such as environmental or group shots.

However, they may cause distortion when used too closely to the subject’s face, resulting in unflattering proportions.

Are there any recommended lens brands for portrait photography?

Many reputable lens manufacturers offer excellent options for portrait photography, such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Sigma.


Palabras finales

I personally prefer the 50mm lens and it’s often considered the best focal length for portrait photography.

Its field of view closely resembles that of the human eye, providing a natural and compelling perspective in portraits.

When using a 50mm lens (or any lens, really) for portraits, pay close attention to your shooting distance.

While the 50mm lens is versatile, getting too close to your subject can cause slight distortion, which might not be flattering for close-up portraits.

Instead, try stepping back a bit and zooming in if needed. 

Echa un vistazo a las mejores herramientas GRATUITAS de edición fotográfica:


¡Gracias por leernos! 🙏

I hope this guide helped you understand what’s the best focal length for portrait photography 🙂


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