My Portrait Lenses | Christa Rene Photography

Let’s face it. Photography equipment  is expensive! But one thing I had to learn was that you buy better lenses before a better camera body. I was so curious what other photographers used when I started! I wanted to buy the best equipment to make my images look good and something practical. Today I’m sharing what equipment I currently use.

I started with the kit zoom (18-50mm), then got the 50-200mm and loved it. After that I bought the 18-200mm which was great, too. Around October of 2013, I got a little 50mm 1.8d for around $100, and after that I was sold on primes. 

All my lenses are Nikon primes. There are pros and cons to primes, but they work for me! I know I’ve explained this a lot if you’ve followed along, but primes don’t zoom- they have a fixed focal length. Here’s what I use now:

50mm 1.4g. This is my all time favorite lens I’ve ever owned! I bought the 50mm 1.8d a year and a half ago and that’s when I was sold on using primes. I since have upgraded to the 50mm 1.4g, and it’s such a little versatile lens. I’ve shot entire sessions with nothing but a 50mm! It’s perfect for outdoor portraits (so I love it!). 

85mm 1.8g. This is my second most-used lens. It’s nice zooming in a bit and makes the background slightly creamier than if I stepped way up with the 50mm. It also helps me not get in people’s personal space for close-ups! 🙂 

35mm 1.8g. Even though I use this the least for outdoor portraits, this one is a necessity for me. Sometimes you can only back up so far before you hit a tree or a wall, and need to zoom out more. I’d have been sunk at a wedding a couple weeks ago during family portrait time if I hadn’t had this lens! You can also get some beautiful portrait shots with a lot of landscape included using it!

105mm 2.8 macro.  I’ve loved this for ring shots! No, I don’t think this lens is an absolute necessity, but I do love it now that it’s in my bag! Even at a senior session this afternoon I used it to get his class ring, and at a 1-year session last weekend I got her little hands, and feet with it! It’s also really helped me step up capturing details. You can also use it as a regular prime, not only for details (if you buy the right one). However, I normally am shooting wider than f/2.8 (usually between f/1.4-2.2), so I don’t use it for anything but macro right now. If I could go back, I’d still buy this one last out of the 35, 50, and 85mm. 

My favorite would be the 50mm! It’s the perfect length for most outdoor sessions. Also, next on my list of equipment would be the 70-200mm 2.8. I’ve read it’s great for ceremonies, I’m just waiting a little longer since it’s a bit pricey 🙂 

For my camera bag, I use the Ona Capri and it’s been excellent! The leather is beautiful, and it has enough room for all these lenses and my camera body. I can even stuff my flash into it for weddings! The inside is split: one side for lenses, and on the other side I put my extra batteries, lens caps, keys, phone, etc. It also has shoulder straps and a satchel strap which is great! Plus it just looks like a really cute leather bag… not a camera bag! Another thing I like is the top zips open and I leave it open during sessions, which helps me change lenses really quick. I’m hoping to use this a long time! 

If you have any additional questions, you’re always welcome to comment or contact me! Hope this helps!! 

Here’s a shot from a session today using my 50mm! 

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