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How to Shoot with a 85mm Lens: Photography Tips and Strategies

If you are looking for a new lens to try, the 85mm is great option. It’s perfect for taking portraits and capturing images in low light settings. Our article will cover different uses for 85mm lenses outside of just portrait photography.

Pros Of Using An 85mm Lens For Outdoor Photography

One of the great benefits to using an 85mm lens is that it allows you to be more creative with your shots. You can capture everything from close-ups of flowers, insects or even portraits (which we will cover later). With outdoor photography, there are several types of lenses needed for versatile options.

You can use a wide angle like a 24mm for landscapes while a 100mm is great to get close ups of far away subjects. The 85mm lens falls in the middle, allowing you to capture both types without switching lenses constantly throughout your photo session or hike.

Also, because it’s not too wide and not too telephoto, this option works well on most camera bodies which makes it an affordable choice for photographers on any budget.

Cons Of Using An 85mm Lens For Outdoor Photography

85 mm lenses are perfect for portraits but they aren’t ideal if you want more depth when photographing landscape scenes that have objects near and distant from where you’re standing. This means that trees closer to your position will appear larger than those further out into the distance – something known as perspective distortion.

For this reason, you might want to look at a lens that has less magnification like an 18mm for wide angle shots or 100mm to shoot longer range subjects without the distortion. If your goal is portraits though, then 85 mm lenses are perfect because they offer clean images with sharp focus and bokeh effects too!

Tips For Shooting Outdoors With A 85mm Lens

Now that you have a little background on the 85mm lens, let’s get to some photography tips for taking great shots with it.

Let’s start by discussing exposure settings. Because this type of lens works well in both sunny conditions and low light / indoor scenes, understanding how to use an aperture priority mode is key to getting professional looking images each time .

  1. Set your ISO between 100-400 so there won’t be much grain or blurriness when you shoot either outside or inside without flash. Then determine what aperture setting will allow enough natural light into the photo while also capturing everything in focus from near to far away objects (remember that physics lesson about perspective distortion?). Try starting at f/16 and adjust up if needed until you’re satisfied with the results.
  2. The next thing to do is play around with shutter speed because this controls how much ambient light you let in while also capturing movement or blurring effects . Going too slow will cause your subject to blur, something that doesn’t look great when photographing people or other living things. Try starting at a setting of 125th/sec and adjusting down if needed until everything looks sharp from front to back.
  3. Once these two settings are dialed in, don’t forget about ISO – which should be set between 100-400 depending on scene brightness – and make sure white balance matches what would appear natural given the lighting conditions (i.e., cloudy for overcast days). This way you can capture true colors without any added filters or effects.
  4. Last but not least, get creative with the 85mm lens and try different angles to see how it changes perspective in your images. Shoot from below for a lower looking point of view or above an object if you want to capture a tiny look at something large like a building. Use the camera’s LCD screen as a guide while framing photos outdoors rather than simply relying on what appears through the lens itself because this will help avoid any errors that might cause inaccuracies when importing into post-processing software later.

Best Subjects And Outdoor Shots For A 85mm Lens

Now that we’ve covered how to use a 85mm lens for outdoor shots, let’s dive into other subjects or uses for this types of lens when shooting.

Close-Up Photography

As mentioned earlier, 85mm lenses are great for snapping portraits because they offer a very narrow depth of field which makes the background appear blurred and blurry. This helps direct focus solely to your subject while also creating attractive bokeh effects that draw attention to them as well.

Landscape Or Street Photography

With a narrow depth of field, 85mm lenses are also great for taking landscape shots outdoors because they capture more detail in the foreground and background. Then you can play with aperture settings to adjust how much is blurred versus sharp before importing images into your post-processing software like Photoshop or Gimp where you can make final edits on color balance, contrast levels or tone curves.

Vacations Or Trips

85mm lenses are perfect for capturing everything around you when traveling to other countries because they’re not too bulky or heavy. This means that it’s easy to take photos without being conspicuous which helps preserve the integrity of your trip by avoiding having people pose in their best outfits or behaviors just for a photo op! Just be sure to use aperture priority mode, adjust ISO levels as needed and play with shutter speeds until you get the results you want each time .

Photographing Nature With A 85mm Lens

If there is one thing about nature photography, it’s that different types of animals behave differently depending on where they live so getting quality shots takes some trial and error during shoots. That said, these tips will help capture better animal pictures using 85mm lenses:

  1. Get closer to the subject. 85mm lenses are designed for close-up shots so use this focal length when photographing little creatures like bugs or fish in order to capture more detail and avoid capturing too much of the background that might distract from your subject’s natural appearance . This also allows you to experiment with blurring backgrounds by playing around with aperture settings, shutter speeds and ISO levels until everything looks sharp while maintaining an attractive shallow depth of field look . Use slower shutter speeds if there is a chance your pet will move during photos (i.e., lizards) because it takes time for these types of cameras to adjust focus between different depths which can cause blurry results otherwise. Shoot during hours or other times before sunset/sunrise when lighting conditions are optimal and there is less chance of having too much glare on the lens to avoid washing out your shot.
  2. Create a nice bokeh effect by using smaller aperture openings (i.e., f/11) for more detailed shots, especially if you’re photographing something like birds or insects that might be far away from your camera so it’s important to show as much detail as possible such as feathers or wings in the case of flying creatures . Then adjust shutter speeds accordingly depending on how fast they may fly until everything looks sharp before importing images into post-processing software later where you can fine tune them with color balance and contrast levels .
  3. Avoid standing near water since this will cause inaccurate focus between different depths within an image because of how light refracts when passing through water. Instead, wait until you are closer to the animal in question before snapping photos so you can get more accurate shots without showing any distracting backgrounds .
  4. Try using a tripod if possible for very detailed close-up shots with moving animals like fish or insects where it is difficult to keep them in focus while holding still enough during shoots due to their quick movements which causes blurry images otherwise. A tripod will attach your camera securely in place and allow you take lengthy exposures that capture plenty of detail since 85mm lenses don’t have image stabilization technology built into them, unlike other lens types . Just be sure not stand too far away from your subject either so it doesn’t look minuscule compared to surrounding details like the background or water.

Aperture Priority Mode is Perfect for Capturing Details in Nature

85mm lenses are best used for portraits and other close-up shots of people, plants and animals which means that aperture priority mode should be utilized more often than shutter speed priority or full manual modes . This allows you to adjust things like depth of field (i.e., how much appears sharp) and different levels of lighting without worrying too much about camera settings since it will automatically optimize them based on your selected f/number setting before every shot so they come out looking great each time with less effort required from shooters themselves . Smaller apertures such as f/11 can provide more detailed images when photographing specific objects while larger openings such as f/22 can blur other objects in the background to create a creamy bokeh effect that takes advantage of 85mm’s ability to bring backgrounds up close and personal .

These lenses typically have variable aperture settings which means they don’t stay at one specific level all the time, but instead change depending on how much light is available for each shot. This might seem counterproductive since you want everything kept constant when it comes to camera options like shutter speed or ISO levels, but sometimes photographers end up photographing scenes where there are too many different lighting conditions within an image even though it may look fairly lit from far away (i.e., sunny day vs dark alleyway). In these instances, switching your lens setting temporarily over to manual mode while still shooting with aperture priority should do the trick since 85mm lenses typically have a maximum opening of f/20 to f/32 .

There is no standardized range for these types of settings which means that photographers will often just go by feel, but other options include shooting at larger openings such as f/11 or even smaller ones like f/22 to bring out background details better. Choosing between different levels involves finding where your images look sharpest both near and far so it’s best if you keep them in mind while shooting instead of deciding on one specific setting beforehand based purely on math calculations . This allows you to take photos more spontaneously without having time stand still when trying things out until you get it right since many 85mm shots are taken from a distance to capture the scenery as a whole.