Top Lenses for Fashion Photography – My Picks!

Posted by Jerry Avenaim on December 19, 2009 – 1:44 pm
Fashion Photography for Flaunt Magazine

24~70 Zoom for Flaunt Magazine

Fashion photography is a unique combination of all types of photography. Fashion often includes portrait photography, environmental photography, product photography, macro photography, and sometimes even landscape photography are all included under the required knowledge umbrella to be successful in fashion photography.

In order to deliver a successful fashion photography shoot, you’re going to need lenses that allow you to capture each of these aspects with artistry and creativity. In a perfect world, we’d have the finances and manpower to haul every available lens to the venue; but in reality, we’re limited to a handful of accessible, high-quality, and versatile lenses.

Here is a list (from my camera bag) of must have lenses for any given fashion or advertising assignment. I’m listing Canon lenses since I primarily shoot with 5D Mark II’s when it comes to my DSLR choice, but each lens listed should have an equivalent for other brand name DSLR producers.

Variable Zoom Lenses
1. 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom Lens
This is my favorite lenses. it’s fast and versatile, it allows for quick shooting and it’s razor sharp. I can use this lens while shooting a portrait and pull out wider with it to include the environment when on location.

2. 70-200mm f/2.8L Zoom Lens
This lens creates a beautiful bokeh (blur) at f2.8, and the compression you get when you’re zoomed in from 150-200mm gives your image a look that’s hard to achieve with any other lens. It also allows you to get in close on the subject without disrupting the moment you are trying to capture.

3. 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Sometimes the 24-70mm lens just isn’t wide enough to capture everything you want. The ultra wide angle helps you capture your surroundings, such as in reportage on the street or in tight spaces.

Prime Lenses
4. 50mm f1.2 L USM Prime Lens
This is another one of my favorite lenses. It can save the day when the light starts to drop and allow you to bring out the backgrounds. It also, makes you less reliant on your flash, creating a softer, more natural look for your subjects. The 50mm also allows you to create stunning portraits, as the low aperture creates the shallow depth of field that makes your subject pop off the page and softens your subject’s skin.

5. 85mm f1.2L II USM Prime Lens
This is a great lens, but not a necessity if you’re happy with the results from your 70-200mm. The nice thing is it is the perfect portrait lens and carries a fraction of the weight of the aforementioned variable zoom.

6. 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
If your shooting beauty and are not able to back up enough to gain the compression you would with a 200mm here is the solution. With the 100mm Macro, you can capture detailed shots with the same quality and detail as product advertisements in magazines. because t is a macro lens, it is a bit flatter, thus giving you the feel of the 200mm compression. In addition, if you want to come in tight for a detail shot such as the lips or an eye, this is your baby.

What are your favorite lenses?

Jerry Avenaim

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