We often think of 35mm and 50mm prime lenses as being your standard walk-around lenses, but switching out to an 85mm prime could bring something special to your photography.
There’s probably never been a better time to get yourself an 85mm prime lens given the wealth of options currently available. Sony users, in particular, are blessed with a veritable smorgasbord: not only do they have the Sony and Zeiss options, there’s the Samyang/Rokinon AF 85mm f/1.4 for less than $700.
Cheaper still is the recently-released Viltrox 85mm f/1.8 at just $399, and Nikon users might also be tempted as a version for the Z-mount has just hit the shelves — the first third-party lens for Nikon's mirrorless cameras.
Canon’s 85mm f/2 Macro IS has been drawing some excellent reviews from Canon RF-mount owners and it’s also a relatively affordable option at $599. While that’s still not cheap, it’s certainly more easily within reach compared to its f/1.2L sibling which will set you back $2,699. If you want a fast 85mm and need to save some cash, consider the Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 which, like the Sony version, is just $679.
If you're pondering your first prime lens and you're not sure what to choose, be sure to check out this article which runs you through a host of options.