There is absolutely no denying that the Sony A6000 is a very popular camera body that is steadily increasing in popularity even to this day and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In addition to this, portrait photography is probably the second largest photography niche after landscape photography.
Due to this, we would imagine that there are a large number of portrait photographers looking for advice on how to find the best lens for portraits for a Sony a6000 camera. We have decided to publish this article to try and cover what you should be looking for in a potential portrait lens as well as recommending a number of different lenses throughout the article.
We know that there are some dedicated articles online that specifically focus on actual lenses to pick up for portrait photography if you own a Sony A6000. On the flip side of this though, if for whatever reason you don’t want to or can’t afford those lenses, the often leave out the actual features you should be trying to find in the lens.
In our opinion, the first and foremost think that you should take into account when looking for an ideal portrait lens for your Sony A6000 is its focal length. Although there are some portrait photography sub-niches where this may change, the vast majority of the community would agree that you are wanting to pick up a lens that ranges between 35mm to 50mm focal length.
This will provide you with optimal focus on the subjects of your photographs and allow you to capture their portraits with the best possible image quality. Ideally, you would be looking to pick up something like either the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS or its little brother, the Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS. Both of these lenses are solid options for portrait photography when using a Sony A6000 and will serve you well.
Although the best aperture for portrait photography is up for debate, we personally prefer to use a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 at the very highest with an aperture of f/1.8 being ideal in our opinion. This will provide you with some superior low light performance and ensure that you are able to capture the subject of your photography in any situation.
Realistically, there is not much else to say about the aperture of a lens to get the best portrait photography performance but just keep in mind, a general rule of thumb for lenses is that the lower the aperture, the higher the price tag but this is not necessarily always the case.
Depth Of Field
The depth of field of a lens is another important thing to factor into a potential lens of choice when shopping for a portrait lens. Following on from the two points above though, a focal length between 35mm and 50mm as well as an aperture of under f/2.8 should provide you with an optimal depth of field for your photographs.
Additionally, this will also tend to provide you with the capability to manipulate your levels of bokeh in your photographs without issue. Although the amount of bokeh on any given photography usually comes down to either the photographer’s personal style or the gig specification from the client, you should always be using a lens that is able to allow you to tweak your bokeh as required.
Again, this is something that is going to come down to the photographer’s personal style and the requirements of the client but a sharp lens that can provide some extremely sharp images can also be ideal for portrait photography.
In our opinion, if you want a sharp lens for your portraits then the Sigma 60mm F2.8 EX DN Art lens is the obvious choice. The Sigma Art range is renowned for being one of, if not the sharpest lens range currently available on the market right now and the Sigma 60mm is not only budget friendly but also an excellent choice for portrait photography.
Native A6000 Compatibility
Although we know there are a number of lens converters and adapters on the market that can allow you to use a ton of non-native lenses with your A6000, we would always recommend that you try your hardest to find one that has the Sony E-mount connector as standard and ideally, have a metal mount connector too.
Although this may seen like common sense, we see that time and time again people pick up a cheap little portrait lens for their Sony camera only to find that they have to pick up an expensive lens adaptor to mount it on their camera body.
This can easily ramp the costs of the lens up to over what it would be just to pick up a native E-mount lens in the first place. All three of the lenses that we have mentioned in this article come with the E-mount as standard and will mount directly on your A6000 camera body without issue.
Another thing to look out for, especially in the budget-friendly price range is the use of plastic lens mounts on the lens. Although they can be a great way to reduce costs, the plastic can warp in shape over time making it a nightmare to mount or unmount from your camera.
If you are on a very tight budget then we would recommend that you watch the video below that specifically covers the best budget portrait lenses for your Sony camera.
Wrapping It Up
We feel that there are plenty of lenses on the market that meets the requirements that we have highlighted for a portrait lens above. In addition to this, the number of available lenses increases further if you as slightly open to tweaking the recommendations. For example, upping the maximum focal length you are willing to use from 50mm up to 60mm.
Trying to gt the tick in the box for as many of our recommendations above as possible will see you right through and ensure that you get a solid little lens that will perform great on your Sony A6000 and allow you to capture some excellent portrait photographs.