Up until recently, I would rely on either an 85mm or 24-70mm lens to photograph my environmental portraits. But on a couple photoshoots recently, I felt the need to get a little creative. So I dusted off my Sony 90mm Macro lens.

The results were simply stunning, and provided me with more flexibility with traditional lenses. Allow me to explain.

Why use a macro lens for portraits?

1. Focusing range

The biggest benefit of any macro lens is its ability to focus very closely to the subject. It’s why I love using macro lenses to capture details in my food photographs. It lets me zero in on a specific element of the food and make that the star.

The same goes for portraits. I can get closer without needing to crop afterward.

2. Spectacular details

Because macro lenses are wonderful at capturing details, they’re great at capturing the intricacies of a face, too. Your subject’s facial features just pop off the screen!

At the same time, a macro lens can really help to blur the background of your scene, creating separation between your subject and what’s behind her.

A word of caution

Because macro lenses can focus so closely, they have a higher likelihood to suffer from focus breathing. This might result in your subject’s ear or lips being in focus, instead of the eyes.

It’s something to watch out for, but even if it does happen a bit, your photos will probably still be usable. I’d also avoid any focus tracking or continuous autofocus because of this risk — outside of Eye AF, that is.

Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens

Get up close and personal with the 1:1 magnification ratio of the full-frame compatible FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens for Sony’s E-mount cameras. As a G series lens, it perfectly balances sharpness and bokeh through the use of various specialized elements, this ensures highly detailed images, with smooth out-of-focus areas, and an absolute minimum of aberrations. The lens also boasts a fast f/2.8 aperture for controlling depth of field and working in less-than-ideal light as well as a Nano AR coating that help eliminate ghosting and flare.