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Here’s What You Get When You Shoot Portraits With a 500mm Lens


Portrait photographers generally pick focal lengths somewhere between 80mm and 135mm, which produces a flattened perspective distortion when the subject fills up the frame. Photographer Keydrin Franklin of 924photography recently decided to try his hand with shooting portraits with a 500mm super-telephoto lens.

Franklin, who’s based in Fort Worth, Texas, was using the Sony a9 camera and the $6,000 Sigma 500m f/4 lens (with an adapter) for the shoot, which was backed by Fort Worth Camera.

In addition to having to handle the size (1.25ft/38cm long) and weight (7.30lb/3.31kg) of the lens, you’ll also be standing quite a ways away from your subject — you may need to shout instructions… or bring a walkie-talkie or megaphone).

“If I weren’t doing testing, I would have put on my Sony AW-4 mic with my assistant and just directed my model through them,” Franklin tells PetaPixel.

Here are a few of the portraits that resulted:

Here’s a 10-minute behind-the-scenes video showing how it all went down:

“This is a great portrait lens and I’m pretty sure your clients will be in a ‘wowed’ state because the background is just completely blurred out,” Franklin says. “It’s just gone.”