After recognizing your passion for portrait photography, you may be thinking about where to invest, vintage, or other lenses? If you want to concentrate on what you’re shooting rather than randomly clicking based on autofocus, then you need a vintage lens.
Nowadays, vintage lenses have become popular for both professional and beginner photographers due to their photo quality and wide compatibility with most modern DSLR. Cost-effectivity is another reason for the resurgence of vintage portrait lenses.
Therefore, if you are having difficulties in finding the best vintage portrait lens, we have come up with some top-notch vintage lenses for you.
Keep reading to find your intended vintage lenses for Fuji, Canon, Nikon, and so on.
Best Vintage Portrait Lens Reviews
1. Rokinon 85M-E Vintage Portrait Lens | Fixed Lens | 85mm | F1.4
A considerable focal length lens is the best way to kick off the list, isn’t it? Yes, Rokinon comes with such a vintage lens, which offers more than your expectation. Let’s unlock its other features.
First, see its construction. Rackinon has manufactured the lens through 9 elements in 7 groups. As a result, the aspherical elements of the lens minimize the aberration and sharply defined images.
There is good news for Sony users who are looking for a fixed lens for their Sony E-Mount mirrorless cameras. Besides, it will be compatible with other APS-C format cameras.
In this lens, you will get a maximum focal length of 85mm, which is equivalent to 127.5mm. However, when you use the lens for APS-C format cameras, then it will provide you 35mm focal length.
Though Rokinon 85M-E is considered a vintage lens, it has come with some upgraded lens technology. The lens can easily reduce maximum flaring and ghosting. Thanks to its UMC super multi-layer coating that made it possible.
The lens is also good for low light photography. That means it offers an aperture range from F1.4-2, which is able to render better image quality even in difficult light conditions. Besides, you can pick some quality flashes for better experiences.
Let’s come to its price. If you consider the lens in terms of features and image quality, the price is quite reasonable for this one. So, don’t be late to start your portrait photography.
- The maximum focal length of 85mm
- The lens aperture range is F1.4-2
- Included multi-layer coating technology
- Minimum focusing distance is 33 feet
2. 7artisans APS-C Vintage Portrait Lens | Fixed Lens | 55mm | F1.4
For those who are looking for the best vintage lenses for video at an affordable price, there is an exciting vintage collection for them. 7Artisans always understand what you need for your portrait photography.
7artisans claimed this is the best lens for portrait photography based on its focal length. Indeed, this is true because it offers you focal length of up to 55mm. The good news is that this lens will cover the maximum focal length up to 82.5mm.
It is a manual fixed lens. And it has specially designed fuji X Mount cameras. In fact, this is the lens of the APS-C format. So, you can use it on various models.
The aperture of the lens is F/1.4, which can effortlessly work with shallow depth of field. Along with that, the lens is quite good for producing a better image in low lighting conditions. So, you can undoubtedly use this one for night photography.
The lens provides low chromatic aberration due to its 6 construction elements in 5 groups. Plus, the 14 diaphragm blades ensure awesome transition and fantastic bokeh.
The lens is also famous for its lightweight and compact design. This is possible due to its aluminum made bayonet and body.
- A lightweight and portable lens
- Provides nice bokeh and transition
- F/1.4 Aperture is good in critical lighting
- Focal length is 55mm covers up to 82.5mm
3. Helios-40-2 Vintage Portrait Lens | Manual Lens | 85mm | F1.5
If you are looking for a manual lens for portrait photography that is compatible with your Nikon SLR/DSLR, then Helios-40-2 would be the most suitable vintage portrait lens for you.
While looking for a prime lens for portrait photography, you have to consider this Helios-40-2 series lens. Because Helios ensured some upgraded lens technology, which means it is a product of both classic and unique optical design.
You will be intrigued after seeing its compatibility with multiple cameras. Besides Nikon SLR/DSLR, you can use it on Canon EF-Mount cameras.
That’s how it becomes a common phenomenon for professional photographers.
Helios-40-2 is a great lens for fashion photography besides portrait photography. This is because Helios-40-2 will provide 85mm in general. However, if you use the lens for APS-c models, it will provide you a maximum 136mm focal length.
Interestingly, the lens comes with a dual ring aperture design. One ring is for adjustment of aperture value by clicking stops. Another is ready to immediately switch off the selected value and the F/1.5 position.
Due to its 10 diaphragm blades, the lens provides awesome bokeh background quality. Besides, the manual focus works at a minimum distance of 2.6 feet.
- Focal length 85mm coves 136mm
- Dual rings aperture which is F/1.5
- Compatible with multiple models
- 10 diaphragm blades ensure nice bokeh
4. Meike Vintage Portrait Lens | Support EXIF | 85mm | F1.8
Are you looking for a budget-friendly vintage lens? Then Meike has brought a fantastic lens for you. In fact, it is considered the best vintage portrait lens due to its focal length and photo quality.
How does it deliver such a quality image? If you look at its construction, you will understand the secret. The lens has been manufactured through 11 elements in 6 groups. As a result, it is able to provide sharp pictures.
This vintage lens is a blessing for sony users. It can easily adjust with the Sony E-Mount mirrorless cameras.
Along with that, it is working with the APS-C format cameras such as Sony A6000, A6300, A6400, and A6500.
Meike 85mm is a good lens for professional street photography as well. Because the 85mm focal length is pretty good for professionals. Interestingly, the 85mm length will provide up to 127.5mm focal length while using APS-C models.
If you usually work at night or suffer low photo quality due to critical lighting, in this case, you can undoubtedly use this one. This offers a wide aperture lens of F/1.8, which provides a smooth photo quality even in low lighting.
- 85mm focal length covers 127.5mm
- F/1.8 aperture for low-light capturing
- Lens can save EXIF information
- USB port allows firmware upgradation
5. ZHONGYI Speedmaster Vintage Portrait Lens | 50mm | F/0.95
For those who are searching for a multi compatible vintage portrait lens, ZHONGYI has brought a search ending lens for them. Along with that, the focal length and its aperture made it appealing to most portrait photographers.
Let’s talk about lens construction first. ZHONGYI manufactured the lens through 1 high refractive index element and 5 ultra-low dispersion elements. As a result, it minimizes chromatic aberration and distortion.
That’s how it provides exact sharpness, color accuracy, and clarity.
The lens is specially designed for Sony E-Mount mirrorless cameras. Besides, you can use them on Canon RF and Nikon Z-Mount.
In general, the lens offers a focal length of 50mm. However, if you use the lens on APS-C format cameras, then you will get a maximum focal length of 75mm. Besides, to get better images at night, you can go with premium camera flashes.
The aperture range is F/0.95 to F/16, which is quite standard for night photography. Along with that, you will get a nice bokeh on your every click. Thanks to its 11-diaphragm blade that made it possible.
This manual focus length can capture from minimum of 1.6″ feet away. Along with that, the metal lens mount makes sure the durability between camera and lens. And the lens metal barrels engraved the focus scales and depth of field.
- A pro-grade vintage lens
- Lens aperture range is F/0.95 to F/16
- Focal length is 50mm covers 75mm
- 11-diaphragm blades produce smooth bokeh
Things to Consider Before Buying Vintage Portrait Lens
While buying, technological devices create confusion and endless suffering unless you select the right product Same goes for vintage lenses as well. That’s why you need to consider some crucial factors so that you can escape after buying harassment.
No worries! We have put together some significant factors of the portrait lenses, which will help you find the best vintage lenses for video or photography.
There two different types of lens appropriate for portrait photography. You can either use a prime lens or zoom lens for this purpose.
Basically, you can choose any type of lens, but the lens should be chosen according to your photography. That means if you use the lens for other photography besides portrait, then you should consider which one will be fine for both purposes.
Focal length of the lens is an important aspect of portrait photography. If you are unable to choose the exact length, it would be a disaster for your photography because portrait photography demands a particular focal length.
For those who are always doing photography in the evening or in low light conditions, you must check the lens aperture. If you choose the wide aperture lens, you will get a better-quality picture even in a dark environment.
That’s why the lens aperture is significant while choosing the vintage portrait lens.
Ghost and Flaring
These are the common enemies of all types of lenses. However, a better-quality lens prevents maximum lens ghosting and flaring.
To reduce lens ghosting and flaring, manufacturer’s use multi-layer coating technology on lenses. As a result, the lens produces better-quality photos by reducing the ghost and flare.
This is a simple but profound aspect of vintage lenses. Bokeh is mostly essential for portrait photography. So, if you need a smooth blur photo background, then you check whether the lens can produce nice bokeh or not.
Minimum Working Distance
Vintage lenses are fixed lenses and manually focused. So, it requires a minimum capturing distance to get a better image. Different lenses offer different minimum working distance. So, don’t forget to check whether it is compatible with your photography.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
1. Are vintage lenses able to produce bokeh?
Some of the vintage portrait lenses produce smooth and nice bokeh. So, if you need vintage bokeh lenses, you can check them out on the above list.
2. What is the best focal length for portrait photography?
In general, the lens between 55mm to 135mm is quite standard for portrait photography. However, it depends on the photography. If he/she needs a specific lens like prime or zoom, then they must consider the lens according to the works.
3. Can I use these lenses for fashion photography?
Yes, you are.
These portrait lenses work well for fashion, wedding, and street photography as well. So, you can effortlessly use them for fashion photography.
4. How can I pick the best vintage lenses for video?
If you consider some factors, it would be easy for you. First, see those features which are significant for your photography. For instance, see its aperture, focal length, construction, and some other lens technology.
Finally, check the price and see whether it goes with the feature and quality of the lens. If everything’s okay, you are good to go.
5. Are they compatible with the Fuji cameras?
There are some lenses that support the Fuji X-Mount mirrorless camera. So, if you are searching the lens for a specific camera, check the compatibility beforehand.
While choosing the lenses for portrait photography, especially vintage lenses, you must consider the minimum capturing distances, bokeh, focal length and aperture. If you find these things are included with the lens, that means you are about to have the best vintage portrait lens.
Hope that you will find your desired vintage lenses as you have considered the reviews and subsequent sections.