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  • Writer's pictureJane

Best lenses for static pet portraits


The focal length of an ideal pet portrait lens is between 85 and 135 mm for a full frame (55-90 for crop cameras). This particular focal length creates additional volume by bringing the background visually closer. It also shows the proportions of the pet as it is unlike wide-angled lenses, which distort proportions significantly.


The aperture of an ideal pet portrait lens is at least 1.8 (1.4 and 1.2 are better if you are ready to $ pay more). The wider the aperture is, the more background blur you’ll get. In my opinion, an aperture is critical for a portrait lens, so it’s the thing you should not compromise on.


So, the ideal lenses for pet portraits are 135 mm 1.8, 100 mm 1.8/1.4, 85 mm 1.2/1.4/1.8


Unfortunately, the mentioned lenses are expensive. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot save. Here are a few things you can do if the ideal lens is above your budget:


✅ Buy a lens with a focal length between 50 and 85 mm (full frame, for a crop, divide by 1.5). Usually, the cheapest option is a 50 mm lens.


✅ Buy a lens from a 3rd party manufacturer. If you have a mirrorless camera, I recommend taking a look at Viltrox lenses. I use 85 mm 1.8 and 56 mm 1.4 Viltrox lenses. They are available for Fuji, Canon, Nikon, and Sony. The price is about 400$, 100% worth their price


✅ If you have a mirrorless camera, consider buying a lens for an SLR camera plus an adaptor. Unfortunately, any adaptor decreases autofocus speed, so before buying, I suggest you rent and make sure the focus speed satisfies you


✅ Buy a manual lens. This is a bit radical, but the cheapest option uses a manual lens may cost about 50 USD. Make sure the dogs you plan to picture are calm enough, and you have tons of patience.


And finally, a small remark. 100-135 mm 1.8 lenses usually require strong camera autofocus. If you have an entry-level camera, I recommend renting and testing this type of lens before buying.


If you have any questions feel free to ask below.

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