What’s the Best Lens for Boudoir Photography?

by | May 13, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“I don’t think about what camera I should use that much. I just pick up the one that looks nicest on the day”— William Eggleston

It may come as a surprise but I believe that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on photo equipment to make high quality glamour or boudoir photographs. Of my three of the favorite Micro Four-thirds lenses* I use for Boudoir Photography only one of them was purchased new. And that’s the lens I want to mention today—the M. Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens.

You don’t always need new gear. There is used gear available at great prices as well as a  subset called demo and refurbs. Refurbs are similar but somebody may have previously owned it and there may or may not be come with a factory camera warranty. Used cameras are available from many sources and I recently purchased a used Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 Asph. Mega OIS lens from KEH Camera

Local camera stores, if you’re lucky enough to have one, often have a selection of used gear. From time to time camera stores will offer demo gear so it pays to have a sales person you work on a regular basis to keep you informed of these bargains. Some camera clubs or organizations sponsor photo shows where you can actually see, hold and buy used gear. Don’t forget that your friends are a good source of used cameras too. It’s a win-win for both of you.

How I made this shot: I photographed Erin Valakari in the doorway to a “butler’s pantry” that’s located between my kitchen and dining room using a combination of daylight with fill from a 32-inch round reflector placed at camera left. The camera used was a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with that selfsame M. Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens and an exposure of 1/40 sec at f/1.8 wide open and ISO 400.

In the past, I’ve bout and sold some cameras and lenses on eBay as well as purchased a few, some from as far away as Japan.. And while the bargains that abounded in eBay’s early years have pretty much disappeared, it remains a great place to find and buy hard-to-find items.

The final point is that, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t care if a cameras or lens I buy are used because I’m going to use them anyway. It’s like getting a door ding in a new car, the first one is painful but you soon get over it. With used equipment—cars or cameras—I don’t mind if maybe they already come with that “first dent,” so now I can just use it happily shooting and making photographs.

*PS: If you’re wondering what the other two Micro Four-thirds lens are that I use for glamour or boudoir photography., I’ve decided to feature each of them in subsequent Thursday installments of this blog. Next week, I’ll be featuring the lens that is probably the most used lens I have for making these kinds of images.

If you enjoyed today’s blog post and would like to treat me to a cup of Earl Grey tea ($2.75, Starbucks raised the price of Earl Grey), please click here. And if you do, thanks so much.

My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography and includes information on all of the cameras used as well as the complete exposure data for each image. New books are available from Amazon for $22.03 with used copies starting around eight bucks as I write this. Kindle version is $19.99 for those preferring a digital format.