Which Is Better for You: 85mm or 135mm Lenses?

When it comes to shorter telephoto primes, 85mm is probably the most common choice, but 135mm is often a popular second option. So, which is the right choice for your work? This fantastic video takes a look at the two focal lengths and shows you some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

Coming to you from Jason Vong, this helpful video will show you the pros and cons of 85mm lenses and 135mm lenses. No doubt, an 85mm lens is the classic choice for portraits, and often, a manufacturer's unofficial staple lens is a wide-aperture 85mm model, but 135mm lenses can be a great alternative, and they can often be substantially cheaper while still offering the characteristics that make a lot of photographers drool over the aforementioned 85mm options, such as buttery smooth bokeh. One important thing to consider that often gets overlooked when choosing between the lenses is the working distance. If you are working outdoors, it probably will not be a big issue, but if you normally work in a studio, be sure you can accommodate the increased distance required by a 135mm lens. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Vong. 

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J. H.'s picture

Then go for a 105mm. Alex, please don't bombard us with all these boring and annoying videos. What is the matter with FS?

alex kooistra's picture

I just check in once every couple of months, this site has almost no original content anymore. fast majority is quick youtube grabs, couple of lines of text added and that's it. Sad.

Steve Powell's picture


charles hoffman's picture

a 135 is for people you have to shout at
an 85 is for those with whom you have a conversation