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

Avant de nous plonger dans les meilleures longueur focale 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 (champ de vision) et la taille de votre sujet (agrandissement) dans le cadre. La distance focale affecte également la perspective et la distorsion des traits du visage de votre sujet.

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


Comment la distance focale affecte la perspective et la distorsion

Le plus court la longueur focale, le plus large 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.

Le plus long la longueur focale, le plus étroit 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.

longueurs focales de l'appareil photo

Catégories de longueur focale

La longueur focale est généralement mesurée en millimètres (mm) et peut être divisée en plusieurs catégories quatre catégories principales :

Objectifs grand angle

 These have focal lengths of moins de 35 mm et offrir une large champ de vision.

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.

Lentilles standard

These have focal lengths of 35 mm à 70 mm et offrir une perspective naturelle 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 ou plus et offrir une champ de vision étroit.

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.

Lentilles Fisheye

These have focal lengths of moins de 16 mm et proposer une champ de vision ultra-large.

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

Lorsqu'il s'agit de photographie de portraitLa longueur focale la plus utilisée par les photographes est la suivante 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.Portrait 50 mm 50mm lenses often have wide maximum apertures, such as f/1.8 or f/1.4. These wide apertures allow for a faible profondeur de champ, ce qui se traduit par une belle arrière-plans flous 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

Alors que 50 mm est un choix populaireIl est important de noter que la meilleure longueur focale pour la photographie de portrait peut varier en fonction du style du photographe, du sujet et du résultat souhaité.

Examinons d'autres options de longueur focale courantes et leurs caractéristiques uniques :

35 mm

A 35 mm offre un champ de vision plus large que celui d'un objectif de 50 mm, ce qui le rend idéal pour capturer des images. portraits environnementaux.

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

Pour des photos flatteuses avec un champ de vision plus étroit et une meilleure isolation des sujets, un 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

Téléobjectifs d'une longueur focale de 135 mm et au-delà sont couramment utilisés pour capturer des portraits intimes 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 vous êtes débutant, consultez le site : 7 appareils photo avec objectif abordables pour les débutants.


How To Choose a Focal Length

En voici quelques-unes facteurs clés à garder à l'esprit :

Distance par rapport au sujet

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.

Perspective souhaitée

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.

Lumière 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.

Confort du sujet

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.



Voici les réponses aux questions les plus fréquentes concernant la meilleure longueur focale pour la photographie de portrait :

Can I use a zoom lens for portrait photography?


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.


Derniers mots

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. 

Découvrez les meilleurs outils de retouche photo GRATUITS :


Merci d'avoir lu ! 🙏

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


Partager c'est aimer ❤️

Si vous avez trouvé cet article utile, veuillez le partager sur les réseaux sociaux avec votre famille et vos amis !

Articles connexes :