5 Unconventional Lenses for Wedding and Portrait Photography - Trust Me Shops

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5 Unconventional Lenses for Wedding and Portrait Photography

5 Unconventional Lenses for Wedding and Portrait Photography

B&H explora - All posts
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Just like any other genre of photography, portraiture is a creative field that knows no bounds. There are no rules dictating how a portrait needs to be made, how it needs to look, or more specifically, how it was shot. On the other hand, photographers love to categorize and label things based on “best” and “typical” usage situations (and I’m certainly guilty of doing this). One of the labels that bothers me is the term, “portrait lens.” I think most photographers would have a decent sense of what kind of lens I’d be referring to if I wrote “taken with a portrait lens.” Most of the time, most people would think I’d be referring to a short to medium telephoto lens or longer focal length lens; something longer than “normal” (there’s another one of those brilliant labels) but still wide enough to give a sense of environment and context. And to pigeon-hole it even further, many people would immediately think of an 85mm f/1.4. Even though I think many of us share this sense of reductionism, we also know that a portrait can be made with any focal length, or any lens, for that matter. Here’s a look at five lenses that I’d call unconventional portrait lenses.

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2

I love to be contradictory, especially with the first lens in an article like this, but I’m going to include the Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 here because I truly believe it is an unconventional lens that excels at portraiture. It’s slower than what you’d usually look for in a lens for portraits, but it makes up for this with its unique and very distinct soft focus look and a removable center spot filter. It’s based on the original Thambar from the 1930s, in that its design makes no attempt to resolve spherical aberrations, but improved coatings do give a snappier, more contemporary look to images. Also, it has 20 diaphragm blades. That’s a lot of blades, and by using so many of them, the lens is certain to render out-of-focus specular highlights with a dreamy round shape and overall pleasing and smooth quality. The Thambar may be an obvious choice for portraits, but it’s an unconventional lens in every other regard.

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