Choosing the right lens for full-body portraits may appear challenging, but it’s easier than you might think!
As a portrait photographer, I’ve tested over a dozen lenses, and I found the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2 to be the best lens for full-body portraits.
This lens offers exceptional image quality, a wide range of focal lengths, fast aperture, and durability. It provides great value at a lower price point than many premium portrait lenses.
That being said, I also discovered the best 50mm, 85mm, 100/105mm lenses, and more to fit your portrait’s needs.
So, keep reading to discover the key factors while selecting a lens for full-body portraits, along with the top 10 portrait lenses currently available in the market.
The Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lens for A Full-Body Portrait
The main things to consider before buying a lens for full-body portraits include:
- focal length
- lens’s type
- the cost of the lens
And out of all these factors, focal length and aperture are the most critical ones.
The focal length, when combined with the sensor size, determines the shooting distance and how much of the scene to capture for a full-body portrait.
Generally speaking, a lens with a 24-105mm focal point is regarded as one of the most favored lenses for full-body portraits.
A wider focal length such as 24mm will allow you to capture more of the surrounding environment, while a longer focal length such as 105mm will enable you to capture tighter shots of the subject.
Similarly, the aperture plays a significant role in determining the depth of field, background blur, and low-light performance of the lens.
It’s common to use a wide aperture like f/2.8 for full-body portraits, which produces a shallow depth of field and helps to blur the background, thereby highlighting the subject.
However, shooting with a wider aperture can sometimes make it harder to focus, especially when the light is dim or your subject is in motion.
So, another option is to use a smaller aperture, like f/5.6, which allows for more elements to be in focus.
It’s crucial to find the right balance among all these factors to meet your specific requirements.
List of 10 Best Lenses for Full Body Portraits
- Overall Best full-body portrait Lens for Canon/Nikon: Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2
- Best 50mm Full body Portrait Lens for Sony: Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA
- Best 50mm Full body Portrait Lens for Canon: Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM
- Best 50mm Full body Portrait Lens for Nikon: Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G
- Best 85mm Full body Portrait Lens for Sony: Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art
- Best 85mm Full body Portrait Lens for Canon: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Prime Lens
- Best 85mm Full body Portrait Lens for Nikon: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G
- Best 100/105mm Full body Portrait Lens for Sony: Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
- Best 100/105mm Full body Portrait Lens for Canon: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
- Best 100/105mm Full body Portrait Lens for Nikon: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4
10 Best Lenses for Full Body Portraits Reviewed
Here’s a mini-review of the best lenses for full-body portraits.
1. Overall Best Full Body Portrait Lens for Canon/Nikon: Tamron 24-70MM F/2.8 G2
The Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2 lens is highly regarded as one of the best full body portrait lenses due to its versatile zoom range, excellent optical performance, weather-sealed build, and affordable price.
The first thing I love about this lens is its versatile focal range of 24-70mm, which allows me to capture a wide range of compositions without moving around or changing lenses.
At 24mm, the lens can capture a broader view of the surrounding environment – great for environmental portraits.
On the other hand, at 70mm, the lens can capture more detailed and close-up shots of the subject.
This feature is helpful in situations where time is limited, and changing lenses is not practical, such as weddings, parties, or street photography. It allows me to concentrate on capturing the moment without any distractions.
Additionally, the lens delivers impressive sharpness, resulting in excellent image quality with vivid colors and contrast, except when zoomed in at 100%.
While the lens optics may not match the top-notch options offered by Sony, Canon, or Nikon, I’m quite pleased with its performance, and the difference in quality is negligible.
However, the real standout feature of this lens is the VC image stabilization. It’s a game-changer for me because it can visibly reduce or even eliminate camera shake by at least five stops when shooting portraits.
Portraiture was a challenge, and Tamron’s VC gives me the confidence that I can take on any shot in low lighting and still produce stunning images.
Last but not least, I love the premium feel and heft this lens provides. The lens body is solid metal, with rubberized rings for controlling manual focus and zoom range.
Personally, the only downside to this lens is the weight. After carrying it around for a while, I felt the extra weight on my shoulder. However, despite the weight, the performance of the lens makes it worth carrying around.
Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality lens that is affordable and durable for full-body portraits and environmental portraits, you can’t go wrong with the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2.
2. Best 50MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Sony: Sony 55MM F1.8 Sonnar T Fe ZA
Full-body portraits are a great way to capture a moment in time and preserve it for future generations.
The Sony 55mm f/1.8 is the best 50mm full-body portrait lens for Sony due to its sharpness, excellent low-light performance, renowned Carl Zeiss contrast and resolution, and beautiful bokeh.
As someone who always preferred using zoom lenses over prime lenses, I was initially hesitant to try the 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar. But ever since I got my hands on it three weeks ago, it hasn’t left my camera.
The sharpness of this lens is unbelievable, and it produces stunning images with excellent color accuracy.
When paired with my a7R4, the results are outstanding. Specifically, the images are sharp and crisp from front to back, and the colors are vibrant that they evoke emotions.
Moreover, I like its smooth and beautiful bokeh, and the impressive low-light performance when shooting a couple in a dark church. Consequently, I’m now a prime lens convert, thanks to the Sony Sonnar 55mm.
Another reason why I love this lightweight lens is its fast autofocus. Unlike the Sony 50mm G Master, the autofocus is responsive, ensuring that I never miss a shot. This is important when capturing candid moments during my family gatherings.
I also appreciate the lens’s robust weather sealing. Once, while shooting at a party, I accidentally spilled some salsa on the lens.
Despite my initial panic, I was relieved to find that the lens still worked perfectly.
This gives me confidence that the lens can withstand various environmental conditions without any issues.
In terms of the downsides, I’ve noticed that the chromatic aberration can be quite noticeable with this lens. Plus, it doesn’t have image stabilization, which can be a challenge in certain shooting situations.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Sony 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar to anyone looking for a high-quality lens for full-body portrait photography.
3. Best 50MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Canon: Sigma 50MM F1.4 Art Dg Hsm
Full-body portraits allow the viewer to see the subject’s body language and facial expressions in context.
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 stands out as the best 50mm full-body portrait lens for Canon due to its impressive optics, color rendition, and ability to capture stunning portraits in low-light conditions.
As a detail-oriented individual, I’ve often heard photographers use the phrase “tack sharp” to describe lenses.
However, I never truly understood its meaning until I used the Sigma 50mm f/1.4.
Compared to the Canon f/1.2, I find that this lens offers a bit more contrast and produces slightly sharper photos with smooth and creamy background blur and bokeh. The pictures become even more razor-sharp when I reach f/2.0.
In fact, I believe that this lens takes better portraits than my friend’s Canon 85mm f/1.2L.
That being said, even with a great lens, getting the lighting right for a full-body portrait can be a challenge, especially when shooting in low-light conditions.
However, I was thrilled that this lens performs well for night portrait photography.
As someone passionate about color, I find that night portraits without flash create a unique and captivating effect, and this lens delivers outstanding results.
With its wide aperture of f/1.4, I can capture stunning Milky Way portraits with a clear view of the stars and night sky. Plus, the dark environment adds to the mood, while the night sky highlights the city lights, resulting in visually compelling images.
Regarding its downsides, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 does not feature image stabilization, which can make it difficult to shoot at slower shutter speeds.
In addition, its autofocus motor can be a bit noisy.
Lastly, the lens is relatively heavy, weighing in at 1.8 pounds/815g, which could be a concern for those who are not accustomed to using heavier lenses, such as the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 (2.8-3 pounds).
In conclusion, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is a top-notch choice for full-body portrait photography, with its impressive optics and ability to capture stunning portraits in low-light conditions, although it may be a bit heavy and lack image stabilization.
4. Best 50MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Nikon: Nikon AF-S FX Nikkor 50MM F/1.4G
A well-executed full-body portrait can convey a sense of confidence and certainty in the subject.
The Nikon 50mm f/1.4G is a great choice for this purpose due to its superb image quality, excellent low-light performance, and 50mm focal length.
The first thing I love is the sharpness of this lens! When shooting wide open at f/1.4, I noticed that it didn’t perform well on calibration paper tests.
However, when I started taking pictures of people, particularly their eyes, I was blown away by how sharp they were.
Using the lens on my trusty D750, I have been impressed by the stunning depth of field it creates.
Occasionally, I have had to adjust the aperture to achieve sharp focus in specific lighting situations, but the results have been fantastic – this lens is seriously sharp!
It’s 50mm focal length and ultra-fast aperture make it an excellent option for full-body shots.
Another thing that I adore about this lens is its exceptional low-light performance, especially when paired with Nikon Z 7II and adapter.
It has allowed me to capture stunning bridal photos in low natural light, dark church ceremonies, and even group photos with beautiful bokeh backgrounds.
I was impressed with how it performed in a very dimly lit church, producing photos that looked like they were taken in much brighter conditions.
Another great feature of this lens is its precise and quiet autofocus, which quickly locks in without any need for focus hunting.
In fact, its autofocus system has exceeded most of my manual focusing lenses.
While it may be a bit slower to focus, the smooth and quiet operation more than makes up for it.
In terms of the drawback, this lens can have some chromatic aberration when shooting wide open, I have found that it is usually possible to correct this issue during post-processing.
Overall, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G is a versatile lens that excels in creating sharp, stunning full-body portraits, with excellent low-light performance and autofocus, although some chromatic aberration can occur when shooting wide open.
5. Best 85MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Sony: Sigma 85MM F1.4 Dg Dn Art
Whether candid or posed, full-body portraits can offer a unique and memorable way to capture a moment in time.
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 stands out as an excellent option for Sony cameras due to its exceptional image quality, fast aperture, and smooth autofocus performance.
When I was deciding between GM or Sigma for portraits, I ultimately chose the Sigma lens due to its reduced size and weight compared to previous models, while also boasting improved optical qualities.
Additionally, the latest 85mm offers fast and accurate autofocus performance, with the motor so silent that I can barely hear it.
To my surprise, the autofocus performance is much closer to the performance of my Canon RF 85mm F1.2 than I had expected.
One of the great features I love about the Sigma 85mm F1.4 is its exceptional sharpness. It is even sharper than the Sony 1.4 GM.
It produces superb sharpness across the entire frame at any aperture setting, and offers excellent contrast balance and color reproduction, even when shooting wide open at f/1.4.
Plus, it provides pinpoint sharpness on eye focus, making it a great choice for portraits.
Additionally, it has almost no chromatic aberrations, resulting in vivid and natural colors, beautiful tone and contrast, and nearly zero chromatic distortion.
The 85mm focal length is perfect for capturing moments at a wedding reception with not-so-good lighting, allowing me to easily take shots of couples dancing on the floor from my table.
I’m impressed with the bokeh performance of the 85mm Sigma lens, especially in low light or night pictures. The bokeh provides a smooth effect.
It’s as smooth as I expected, and even more so – the bokeh is super creamy and amazing.
Just be careful not to over-sharpen it in post-processing.
As for the downside, it could be its weight (625g) for some users.
However, I found that once in use, the weight becomes quickly forgotten due to its impressive performance and image quality.
Overall, the Sigma 85mm F1.4 is an outstanding lens for portrait photography, with exceptional sharpness, quick and precise autofocus, and beautiful image quality.
6. Best 85MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Canon: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Prime Lens
For many people, full-body portraits are an important way to express their style and identity.
The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L offers fast and sharp optics, beautiful bokeh, built-in image stabilization, and a wide aperture for separating the subject from the background, making it the best 85mm full-body portrait lens for Canon.
I was blown away by the sharpness of this lens, it’s really impressive and can even rival the Canon f/2 135L. The sharpness is rock solid, even at 1/15 of a second, which is fantastic for most shooting situations.
However, I have noticed that the intense sharpness can be too much for some portrait shots and I’ve had to apply some softening during post-production.
When deciding how much sharpness to use, it’s important to consider factors such as the subject, texture, and makeup.
Another aspect I love about this lens is its excellent image stabilization, which was the main reason why I chose it over the 85mm 1.2 II.
Compared to 1.2 II, this lens is lighter and faster focusing, but it’s the added image stabilization that sets it apart.
It’s made a huge difference for portrait shoots where time is limited, and I’m impressed with how effective it is, providing up to a full 4 stops of stabilization.
Plus, it’s optimized for video, even for panning shots. With this lens on my 5D Mark IV, I’ve been able to achieve tripod-like results without the need for an actual tripod.
In terms of shallow depth of field – this lens is quite impressive. When taking full-body portraits, background distractions can be a real issue, as they can detract from the appearance of the subject.
Despite its size and weight of 950g, the lens has surprised me with its ability to produce a very shallow depth of field.
Even when shooting wide open at f/2, only a very narrow one-inch area is in focus, which helps to isolate the subject and eliminate any distracting elements in the background.
Plus, the autofocus is also very fast and accurate, making it a pleasure to use.
In terms of the downsides, there can be some fringing in certain lighting situations. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s something to be aware of.
Overall, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L is a fantastic choice for those seeking a high-quality lens for full-body portraits.
7. Best 85MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Nikon: Nikon Af-S Nikkor 85MM F/1.8G
Full-body portraits are a great way to document physical changes over time, such as pregnancy or weight loss.
The Nikon 85mm f/1.8 is the best 85mm full-body portrait lens due to its fast and sharp optics, beautiful bokeh, and excellent image quality.
I was blown away by the image quality it produces. Even when shooting wide open, the sharpness is top-notch, but it’s even better when stopped down to f/2.8.
Additionally, the bokeh effect is beautiful, and the lens is incredibly sharp, making it perfect for capturing portraits in detail.
However, I did notice that the f/1.4G version produces warmer colors. To counter this, I suggest adjusting the white balance manually or shooting in RAW.
Moreover, I also like the autofocus of this lens that I got instead of spending extra money on the uber-fast f/1.4G version.
It’s fast enough for my photography needs, and although it struggles a bit in dark situations, I haven’t found a lens yet that doesn’t.
In normal lighting, the autofocus is both snappy and accurate, and while there may be some occasional autofocus hunting on my Nikon Z5, this is not a major issue for portrait photography.
Plus, the focus on this lens can be a bit slow when moving from the minimum to the maximum. However, I find it works well when adjusting the focus in smaller steps.
Furthermore, I was thrilled to find that this lens is quite lightweight at just 350g, which is probably due to the poly casing it has, making it very easy to handle, particularly when shooting at weddings which can also be long and tiring events, and a heavy lens can cause fatigue over time.
Plus, a lightweight lens may help to reduce the likelihood of camera shake, which can be problematic in low-light situations commonly encountered at weddings.
Having a lighter option is always desirable, and this lens offers a perfect balance as it doesn’t feel too cheap either. It’s an excellent choice for shooting with my Nikon Z5.
Speaking of downsides, one limitation of this lens is its limited close-up focus ability. It’s rated at .8M/30, which may not be suitable for certain types of photography that require closer focusing capabilities.
However, it’s important to note that this lens is not primarily designed for those situations.
Overall, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 produces sharp and detailed images with beautiful bokeh, and accurate autofocus, making it a great choice for capturing physical changes over time.
8. Best 100/105MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Sony: Sigma 105MM F/1.4 Dg Hsm Art
When it comes to capturing a successful full-body portrait, factors such as pose, lighting, and lens selection all play a crucial role.
For Sony users, the Sigma 105MM F/1.4 stands out as the top choice, thanks to its exceptional resolution, superior optical design, and gorgeous bokeh effect.
I was impressed that autofocus is lightning fast, even with moving subjects, and it’s so quiet I barely notice it.
Additionally, the eye autofocus speed is just as good as native lenses resulting in stunning portraits and subject isolation.
Moreover, the smooth focus ring makes manual focusing a pleasure, and even shooting in auto feels like a breeze.
Furthermore, the bokeh is gorgeous, rendering out-of-focus backgrounds to perfection, which is why I’d call it the Bokeh Master Lens for a good reason.
Despite its hefty weight, it’s a plus for me as it helps maintain rotator cuff strength. For anyone wondering about the sweet spot between the Sony 135mm GM being too long and the Samyang 85mm 1.4 being too narrow, the 105mm is the way to go.
Last but not least, the depth of field that this lens provides is simply incredible.
I can virtually eliminate the background if I want to or stop it down to maintain a complete focus on the subject and still get a wonderfully out-of-focus background.
This feature allows me to capture portraits with the whole family in the frame, without losing the shallow depth of field that I love.
With other 105mm lenses, I often lose the shallow depth of field by the time I move far enough back to fit larger groups in the frame.
When it comes to the downsides, it’s worth mentioning that shooting wide open, which is where I usually shoot, combined with a high contrast setting, can result in noticeable chromatic aberrations.
However, I have found that using a Circular Polarizer in full daylight helps a lot.
It’s also worth noting that the f/1.4G lens doesn’t do much better in controlling chromatic aberrations.
Overall, the Sigma 105MM F/1.4 lens offers excellent performance and is a top choice for Sony users looking to capture beautiful full-body portraits.
9. Best 100/105MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Canon: Canon Ef 100MM F/2.8L Macro Is USM
Full-body portraits are a great way to showcase an individual’s style and fashion sense.
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L is the best 100/105mm full-body portrait lens because it offers exceptional image quality, versatile focal length, image stabilization, and fast and accurate autofocus.
One of the great features of this lens is its excellent image stabilization.
When I was trying to decide between this lens with image stabilization or the cheaper non-L series 100mm Macro lens, I spent a considerable amount of time weighing my options.
In the end, I’m glad I went with the image stabilization. The IS system works great and the images are sharp, even when zoomed in.
I primarily use this lens with my Canon 6D Mark II and have found the image stabilization to be very effective, especially in situations where I can’t use a tripod but still want to maintain critical focus while working with shallow depth of field.
Additionally, the IS system in this lens is an improvement on Canon’s IS system found in other earlier lenses, using Hybrid IS technology. While the IS system can be a little noisy, it’s reassuring to know that it’s working.
Apart from its excellent image stabilization, I was thoroughly impressed by its exceptional image quality and fast focus speed.
Its operation is smooth and the motor is almost silent, which makes it ideal for taking photos without being noticed.
Autofocus is responsive and comes in handy when capturing still or slower subjects. Both portrait and macro photography produce incredibly sharp results.
However, it should be noted that autofocus can struggle in very low light conditions when focusing extremely close, but I don’t think it’s a big issue.
On my 6D Mark II, I was able to take full-body portrait shots from a distance of just 20-25 feet.
Regarding the downside, when focusing on an object that is around 12 inches from the sensor, which is approximately one inch in front of the lens hood, the lens can block the light on the subject.
All in all, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L is a great choice for anyone looking to capture stunning full-body portraits with impressive sharpness and detail.
10. Best 100/105MM Full Body Portrait Lens for Nikon: Nikon Af-S Nikkor 105MM F/1.4
Full-body portraits capture the subject’s entire physical form, making them a popular choice for artists and photographers alike.
The Nikon 105mm f/1.4 is the best 100/105mm full-body portrait lens for Nikon because of its exceptional image quality, fast and accurate autofocus, versatile focal length, and wide maximum aperture.
I love the images I capture with this lens! The bokeh is smooth and tasty that looks like it’s straight out of Photoshop, and it’s remarkable how sharp the photographs turn out with that creamy bokeh at f/1.4.
When I stop down to f/2 or f/2.8, the sharpness is jaw-dropping, and the results remain impressive even at f/8.
Notably, it produces portraits that look realistic, with vivid colors, excellent contrast, minimal distortion, and impressive end-to-end sharpness.
Unlike back in the day when an f1.4 lens was never quite sharp wide open and only sharpened up nicely at around f2.8, this lens is impressively sharp at f1.4. I mainly use it with my trusty D850 camera.
However, I must admit that this lens requires some skill and patience to handle. Shooting at f1.4 can be tricky because the depth of field is shallow, making it difficult to keep the focus spot on, especially when trying to get both eyes in focus.
So, it’s crucial to be careful and precise when focusing. But once you manage to nail it, the resulting creamy bokeh and overall look of the photographs are stunning.
Another aspect I appreciate about this lens is its precise autofocus. While it may not be lightning-fast, it gets the job done without any issues, which is understandable considering the lens’s size and weight.
As for the drawback, when shooting at its widest aperture, the autofocus of this lens can be slow. Aside from that, other drawbacks are the size and price.
Despite this, I still find the lens to be an excellent choice as it is much lighter and more compact compared to a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens.
Overall, the Nikon 105mm f/1.4 is a versatile and high-performing lens that is ideal for portrait photographers who demand the best image quality and performance from their equipment.
How To Photograph a Full-Body Portrait
Full-body portraits are a practice that frustrates many photographers, but they’re easy to master.
Think of shooting a full-body portrait as a three-step process, which we’ll cover below.
Choose the Right Focal Length (Right Lens)
Arguably the most critical aspect of full-body portraiture is selecting the right equipment.
Any lens with a wide aperture and a short focal length should provide excellent full-body portraits.
An F stop in the range of f/1.4 to f/2.8 will typically produce beautiful portraits. If it’s prime, 50 or 55mm is best suited, and for zooms, a range of 24-70mm is ideal.
Posing is another critically important consideration during sessions and will help you shoot natural-looking portraits.
Avoid shooting head-on, as it will create a photo that’s more stiff and boxy.
Instead, have the subject stand at a slight angle, with their weight on their back foot, and avoid posing them so that both sides of the body are symmetrical.
The final piece of the puzzle is shooting at a flattering camera angle.
Most full-body portraiture is shot at or below waist height, as this provides a flattering perspective.
Shooting even lower will place the subject in a position of power compared to the viewer, and shooting from above will make your subject appear vulnerable to the viewer.
Finally, allow for some space in the frame above your subject’s head, or your images will look cramped.
When it comes to the best overall full-body portrait lens for Canon and Nikon cameras, the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2 takes top billing as the best lens available.
This Tamron lens sits squarely in the middle of the pack from a cost perspective, but its feature set and build quality aligns with what you’ll get from the top-of-the-line lenses on the market.
Tamron’s 24-70mm f/2.8 lens provides quality optics and an ideal F-stop and zoom range for portraiture. Plus, it’s built incredibly well, with premium appointments throughout.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or someone new to portrait photography, this Tamron lens is an excellent choice. You can take a closer look at this portrait lens here.