Best Lens for Corporate Headshots

Capture Professional Portraits with Style and Precision

Understanding Corporate Headshots

Before we get  into the detail of the best lenses, it’s important to understand what corporate headshots entail. Corporate headshots are professional portraits that are typically used for business purposes. They are commonly used on websites, social media profiles, business cards, and marketing materials. These headshots should convey professionalism, approachability, and confidence.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lens

When choosing a lens for corporate headshots, several factors come into play. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind.


Aperture refers to the size of the lens opening that controls the amount of light entering the camera. A wide aperture, such as f/1.8, allows more light to reach the sensor and creates a shallow depth of field. This helps to blur the background and draw attention to the subject, resulting in a professional look.

Focal Length

The focal length determines the field of view and magnification of the lens. For men’s and women’s corporate headshots, a focal length between 50mm and 85mm is generally preferred. This range allows you to capture the subject at a comfortable distance without distorting facial features.


When it comes to choosing a headshot lens, cost is an important factor to consider. The price range for lenses can vary significantly, and it’s important to find a balance between quality and budget.

While high-end lenses often come with superior optics, build quality, and features, they can also come with a hefty price tag, not to mention a lot of extra weight to carry around. It’s worth noting that investing in a higher quality lens can greatly impact the overall image quality and longevity of your equipment. On the other hand, more affordable lenses can still deliver satisfactory results, especially for those starting out or on a tight budget.

Make sure to assess your specific needs, shooting style, and future aspirations as a photographer when determining the cost you’re willing to allocate for a single lens.

List of Best Lenses for Corporate Headshots

Now that we understand the factors to consider, let’s explore some of the best lens options for both women and men’s corporate headshots:

Budget Friendly Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is a highly regarded lens known for its excellent image quality and affordability. With its wide aperture of f/1.8, it produces beautiful background blur and allows for impressive subject isolation. The 85mm focal length provides a flattering perspective for headshots, capturing sharp details and smooth bokeh.

Budget Friendly Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G

For Nikon users, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G is a top choice. This lens offers similar characteristics to its Canon counterpart, including a wide aperture of f/1.8 and a flattering 85mm focal length. It delivers relatively sharp images with excellent colour rendition and good bokeh, making it ideal for professional headshots. The f/1.4 version is similar but different in its colour, texture and detail but for most social profiles that will be viewed fairly small, not all clients will see the differences.

Budget Friendly Sony FE 85mm f/1.8

Sony mirrorless camera users will appreciate the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens. This lightweight and compact lens provide outstanding image quality, thanks to its wide aperture and advanced optics. The 85mm focal length ensures flattering portraits, while the fast autofocus system guarantees sharp images even in challenging shooting conditions.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization can be important if you plan to shoot handheld or in low-light conditions. This feature helps reduce camera shake, resulting in sharper images. It’s especially useful when using slower shutter speeds or when shooting indoors without a flash.

With either on camera flash or off camera lighting, this is not so important and you may even get sharper images on some lenses that don’t have vibration reduction.

Lens Quality

Investing in a high-quality lens can significantly improve the overall image quality. Look for lenses with excellent sharpness, minimal distortion, and good colour reproduction. These factors contribute to capturing crisp and vibrant corporate headshots.

We shoot headshots with the NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 E FL ED VR lens. Our preferred focal length is 85 to 135mm at F4. These top of the line pro lenses can be very expensive, particularly for those starting out, ask yourself the question, do I need a $3000 to $4000 lens to start with.


Choosing the best lens for corporate headshots can greatly enhance the quality and impact of your portraits.

Factors such as aperture, focal length, image stabilization, and lens quality should be carefully considered.

The best lens for you ultimately depends on your specific needs, camera system, and personal preference. Take the time to test different lenses and experiment with various focal lengths to find the perfect match for your style and requirements.

Headshot example with off camera lighting and a dark background

Headshot example, indoors with off camera lighting with a dark background

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