Top Three Lenses for Boudoir Photography [NSFW]

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Time and time again photographers ask what is the best lens for a certain type of photography.  Truth is that there is never one best, as each session may call for something a bit different. 

Michael Sasser runs through the different scenarios in which makes his three favorite lens the best for each type of session. If you are looking for the full environmental look versus up close and intimate. While there are plenty of gear review videos saturating the market, it is great to see those specifically speaking about boudoir photography.

The top three favorite picks are the 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4, and 85mm f/1.8.

35mm f/1.4. Image with permission and courtesy of Michael Sasser.

50mm f/1.4. Image with permission and courtesy of Michael Sasser.

85mm f/1.8. Image with permission and courtesy of Michael Sasser.

Each calls for just a slightly different look, however Sasser explains that 90 percent of his time is shooting with his 50mm f/1.4. The 35mm is great for shooting in close spaces or hotel rooms but the distortion can be a bit much if you get in to close to the subject. The 85mm works wonders on cleaning up background issues such as cords but gives to much of a "camera" look as Sasser explains. The 50mm is the sweet point for that personal focal length. 

Watch the entire video for some great information on the Sony a9 with his boudoir and video work.

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7 Comments

Bill Peppas's picture

35mm, 50mm for portraiture... yeah, surely the best lens for the task :D

Krzysztof Kurzaj's picture

Nobody said they are "the best". The whole stipulation is that different concept and setup will call for different focal length. Altogether I don't find this as a major revelation. 35mm, 50mm and 85mm represent your most typical wide, normal and tele focal lengths respectively. People worry entirely too much about distortion from 35mm or 50mm in portraits. It will create a different look but it can be done and it will work.

Vincent Alongi's picture

ok, go ahead and shoot boudoir with a 70-200, and let us know how that works out.

I never really thought about a lens having a "camera" look but it's obvious in this context. Suddenly, everything I've ever read about using normal to wide angle lenses for portraiture makes sense. :-)

Eric Snyder's picture

I love my 85 1.4 and 70-200

What about a 28-70 2.8?

This will be a fine lens for boudoir, but I wouldn't say it has anything special about it. I always shoot at f/1.4 for 90% of my images, and that is something that 28-70 cannot do. I do know a hand full of photographers that do all their work at 2.8, so you should be set!