When discussing studio photography and portraits, it is always coming up which lens is the best. Not having a professional studio with loads of room makes need for special considerations, but in general, some lenses of a certain focal length are often referred to as ‘portrait lenses’. The manufacturers consider the ideal portrait lens to be a medium telephoto lens such as a 135mm lens. This lens provides a visual perspective that does not distort the human face when recording head and shoulder portraits.
I have always been a sucker for old Minolta lenses, and my choice is heavily coloured by this fact. I am sure the new Sony/Carl Zeiss lenses does an awesome job, and it is going to be interesting to see the comments on this. I headed out using the Minolta Maxxum 100mm f/2.8, it is brilliant in sharpness, but due to the size of my studio it was not easy to work with. Quite often did I have to use the Minolta 50mm f/1.4 prime (on full frame) and it worked out for me as long as I took care with of the field distortion, noses of my motives could easily bulge forward giving them oddly big features. Since I got my Minolta 80-200 HS APO f/2.8 G primes has been stored away in my photo bag.
I value good interaction with my motive, so for me it is ideal using the lens between 80mm and 135mm; likewise is my preference a blurred background, this calls for a less with an f/2.8 or less.
Having an eye on the wallet.
The Handshake would be an option. With its 28-135 f/4.0-4.5 would, it zoomed all the way out it works perfectly for full body shots, and at 135mm you can zoom in quite close. The unmistakably Minolta colours as combined with spectacular sharpness would make it ideal for a shooter on a budget.