12 Best Canon Portrait Lens 2021 - Reviews, FAQS & Guide
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12 Best Canon Portrait Lens 2021 – Reviews, FAQS & Guide

12 Best Canon Portrait Lens 2021 – Reviews, FAQS & Guide

If we consider portrait lenses, nearly all the lenses can be used as a portrait lenses. Lenses that have a focus distance ranging from 11mm to 800mm can be used to capture your beloved moments. All lenses are perfect but some of them are specifically made for this purpose.

First of all, you need to understand the perspective for portrait photography because the part of the subject closest to the lens will appear larger than the rest of the body. This effect is caused by perspective distortion. If you move the lens too close to the object some of its parts will appear too large to tolerate.

However, if the lens is placed far away from the subject to be captured it also causes problems such as the facial features appearing compressed. At the same time, many physical obstacles may also cause poor effects.

Therefore, the focus distance depends on your perspective, the object to be captured, and the space available.

The ideal lens for portrait photography is considered as 85mm-135mm, however, you can use a lens with a wider focal length for environmental photography which will capture the surroundings. We also suggest a longer focal length for tightly-framed photoshoots.

Alongside the perspective, the blurred background will make your focused subjects pop. Longer focal lengths will blur out the distracting background very easily. In short, it will reduce the focused field.

12 BEST CANON PORTRAIT LENS

Let us help you choose the portrait lens that you may require. At the same time, it is important to mention that the following list is only a recommendation for portrait photography; there are many other lenses that are used for this purpose as well.

1.Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
  • Effective focal length: 136mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.85m
  • Filter size: 77mm
  • Lens construction: 14 elements in 10 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 950g
  • Dimensions: 89×105

Review

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 IS USM lens arrived at a very passionate audience and many people cannot wait to get it.

Focus: Clearly, the focusing speed is fast for Canon EF 850 f/1.4 IS USM lens. But this does not mean that it is the best.

The autofocus speed thus is always ready to catch you in action. The lens audible focus is very low and will not disturb your focused subjects.

Accuracy:

This lens can exclusively take on the most challenging portrait sessions you may encounter. Furthermore, stable subjects can be captured without any blurred effect.

Even at a sudden light flash, image stabilization is of great use at the time of capturing.

Sharpness:

The sharpness of the Canon EF 850 f/1.4 IS USM lens is worth mentioning. The center sharpness is roughly sharper than the edge.

The peak is reached at f/5.6. Soon after the peak is reached the image has the effect of softening.

Weight and build quality: Adding to the features great the build quality is specifically for an ideal portrait lens. It assures us the professional-grade build quality for this lens will be excellent.

When it comes to weight this Canon EF 850 lens weighs 950g which is ideal for photography. With the vast grounds this lens covers, travelers can carry it along with them.

Drawbacks

  • This canon lens weighs about 1kg
  • Depth of field is less tight
Pros
  • Dust and moisture resistant
  • Light weight
  • Image stabilization can be incorporated
  • Impressive sharpness f/1.4
  • Accepts filter and adaptors through 77mm wire
Cons
  • Considerably expensive
  • Chromatic divergence in not completely absent

2.Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L III USM lens

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 35mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Effective focal length: 98-280
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.2m
  • Filter size: 77mm
  • Lens construction: 23 elements in 19 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 8
  • Weight: 1480
  • Dimensions: 88.8×199

Review

There are many reasons due to which we added this Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 III USM lens in our 12 best canon portrait lens list. The features are mentioned for your guidance.

Focus: The 70-200 f/2.8 is an entirely professional lens with accurate autofocus. The  Canon’ 70-200mm lens is impressive in optical range along with its great autofocus performance.

As portraits refer to pictures of people, some also refer to wildlife photography as portraits. This lens of course captures the perfect moment with a great autofocus effect.

Accuracy: The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L III USM lens is a purely professional lens, designed with great image quality and accuracy.

Moreover, flare effects may be caused due to sharp lighting. It can be avoided but somehow the flare can be destructive to the image.

Sharpness: This Canon lens offers a fairly sharp center of the frame, particularly, for zoom lenses. In addition, the sharpness is relatively lower at the end of focal length.

Overall, the sharpness is quite good throughout the focus distance. Thus, it is a good option for you if you consider sharpness as an important feature.

Weight and build quality: On top of that this canon lens has a great build quality including the sealing makes it way more professional and fun to use.

One of the reasons to buy this Canon EF 70-200mm lens is the compelling lens size and weight difference. It’s weight is 1480g which is typically good.

Drawbacks

  • It weighs about 1.5kg
  • Quite similar to previous editions
  • This lens has some distortion
Pros
  • Sealed against dust and moisture
  • Strong sharpness
  • Great build quality
  • Image stabilization
  • Lens coated with fluorine
Cons
  • A little distortion
  • Moderate vignette
  • Much similar to previous editions

3.Sigma Canon 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Effective focal length: 136mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.85m
  • Filter size: 86mm
  • Lens construction: 14 elements of 12 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 1130g
  • Dimensions: 95×126mm

Review

The Sigma Canon 85mm lens is one of the lenses we recommend to you in our 12 best canon portrait lenses because of its diverse features. This is also one of the best lenses we can offer you but of course, your selection totally depends on your preference.

Focus: The autofocus of the Canon 85mm lens is very fast. The quick focus makes you able to capture the wildest scenes of all.

Since the autofocus is amazingly fast, the Canon 85mm f/1.4 lens is focused to capture you in action without any blurred effect.

Accuracy: The lens delivers superb quality in all aspects. As far as accuracy is concerned, we see consistent accuracy from all perspectives.

Sharpness: The sharpness of this Canon f/1.4 lens away from the center is excellent. However, center sharpness is not as good as the edge.

The sharpness is not as good. You might expect a great sharp quality image which you will not get.

Weight and build quality: The Canon 850mm lens is ideal for portrait photography. Its weight is also suitable for carrying, 1130g.

This Canon lens is incredible for portrait photography. It is, however, the biggest of all lenses mentioned. The professional look arrived from the casing.

Drawbacks

  • This lens is heavy and large
  • It is expensive if you are budget conscious.
  • Not manageable for 85mm prime lens
Pros
  • Amazing image quality
  • 14 optical elements
  • Dust resistant
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Considerably heavy and bulky

4.Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Effective focal length: 136mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.85m
  • Filter size: 58mm
  • Lens construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 8
  • Weight: 425g
  • Dimensions: 75×72mm

Review

This Canon recommended lens is undoubtedly one of the best. This lens is for those who are extremely passionate about portraits.

Focus: The autofocus system offered by Canon’s 85mm lens is an exception. The ultrasonic autofocus system enables the camera to capture images very fast and quietly.

Accuracy: We often see that this lens is more likely to give good results under dim light conditions. In bright light, however, its image is not disturbed.

For exceptional results, you must prefer softness in portrait pictures which Canon 85mm provides very well.

Sharpness: In addition, Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is sufficiently sharp for use with ultra-high resolution.

The sharpness range is good enough for portrait photography as it captures every single (small or large) detail.

Weight and build quality: Surprisingly, the Canon 850mm f/1.8 lens is the lightest of all the lenses mentioned before. This feature makes it a good option for travel photography. The lens is exceptionally small and lightweight.

Drawbacks

  • It is quite expensive
  • The sharpness is relatively low
Pros
  • Smaller in size
  • Have a light weight
  • Perfectly ultrasonic autofocus
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Sharpness not impressive

5.Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 70-200mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.2m
  • Filter size: 72mm
  • Lens construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 924g
  • Dimensions: 76×179.8mm

Review

There is no reason to exclude Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM from the list of 12 best Canon portrait lenses. The best features grow from image quality and build quality to image stabilization and fast autofocus.

Focus: This Canon lens is an upgraded version of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens. The focus length has been minimized in this version.

The 70-200mm enables you to click pleasing pictures that focus on the center subjects. In short, this lens offers excellent autofocus that is fast and quick.

Accuracy: Whether it comes to indoor photography or outdoor photography, the Canon EF 20-700mm lens is of great importance. They accurately captured pictures will compel you to go with this one.

Sharpness: The ultra-high-resolution results in sharp images. The sharpness is not focused on one point rather all the points inside the focal length are sharp.

Weight and build quality: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L II USM lens is a big deal in a small package. The lens is very small and lightweight (924g).

The amazing build quality makes it a great option for you. The lightweight, small size, and great design are perfect.

Drawbacks

  • It shows prominent distortion
  • It is not as better as f/2.8
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Highly sharp
  • Good optical stabilization
  • L-series quality
  • Compact build
Cons
  • Faded corners
  • Visible distortion

6.Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Effective focal length: 80mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.40mm
  • Filter size: 77mm
  • Lens construction: 13 elements in 8 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 815
  • Dimensions: 85×100mm

Review

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM is much heavier and longer than the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM but there is a reason behind this. The Sigma 50mm lens is much more complex than the Canon 50mm lens. Here are some major points you must know about this lens.

Focus: A new and distinctive feature of the Sigma lens is that it comes with a fast, quiet, and ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system.

Whereas, the Canon 50mm features a motor-driven ultrasonic system.

Accuracy: Accuracy is something that is up to the task for a reason. This was expected as mentioned. In decent lighting conditions, the accuracy is good but in low light places, it is not very great.

Sharpness: Alongside other features Sigma 50mm also has a better sharpness at the center than any other lens in this list of 12 best Canon Portrait lenses.

The sharpness at the edges, however, is not very appreciable. Color fringing is very well managed and distortion does not exist.

Weight and build quality: Furthermore, this Sigma 50mm lens is perfectly weighted (815g) for photographers as they travel a lot and it is very easy to carry.

On the other hand, the build quality of this lens is not different from the others mentioned in this list.

Drawbacks

  • The Sigma 50mm lens is long and a little heavy
  • The sharpness at the edges is not very good
Pros
  • Fast and silent autofocus
  • Good color blend control
  • Good sharpness at centre
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Corner sharpness is not impressive

7.Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 45mm
  • Effective focal length: 72mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.29mm
  • Filter size: 67mm
  • Lens construction: 10 elements in 8 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 540 g
  • Dimensions: 80×92mm

Review

Unlike other portrait lenses in this list, the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is very lightweight. Optical stabilization is the key feature of this lens that differentiates it from other lenses.

Focus: First of all, the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 lens offers you the ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system. It is very quick and quiet.

The image quality is as good as the speed of autofocus. You should consider this lens because it is one of the best.

Accuracy: Under medium light, the image quality degrades. The distortion, however, has been minimized to a greater extent as compared to other lenses.

It is not as accurate in dim light but offers good quality in bright light.

Sharpness: On the other hand, the sharpness of this lens in the list is highly impressive. There is comparatively less distortion. The image and contrast quality is also appreciated.

Weight and build quality: Besides the lightweight Tamron SP 45mm lens have impressive build quality with strong performance.

It is very lightweight making it easy to carry. The weight of this Tamron SP 45mm lens for portrait photography is 540g which is very nice.

Drawbacks

  • This lens have a very little distortion
  • The image quality degrades in medium light
Pros
  • Sharpness and contrast is relatively good
  • Great build
  • Weather seal are incorporated
Cons
  • Little lens distortion

8.Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 70 to 200mm
  • Effective focal length: 85mm to 135mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.2m
  • Filter size: 67 mm
  • Lens construction: 8 elements in 13 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 8 rounded
  • Weight: 750g
  • Dimensions: 88.8 x 199mm

Review

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM is a professional lens that has very good image quality.

Focus: Focusing speed is very good for Canon EF 70-200mm lens along with a fast minimum focus speed of 1.2m.

If you want to try out a medium telephoto zoom lens then you should consider the Canon 70-200mm f/4L.

Accuracy: It takes clear and good photos without any blurred effects. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L has excellent accuracy.

This lens also features a ring-type USM side by side with an international focusing mechanism which results in quick and accurate autofocus.

Sharpness: The center sharpness offered by Canon EF 70-200mm is great. However, the corners are very soft at 200mm. Overall sharpness is good.

Weight and build quality: It’s a lightweight 750g lens making it easy to carry without tiring yourself.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L has a professional build and other optical qualities. Good build quality also compels people to buy this lens.

Drawbacks

  • Geometric distortion is very low for zoom lenses
  • Chromatic aberrations is also low
Pros
  • Sharpness is amazing
  • Colours are very good
  • Lightweight
  • Focusing speed is great
  • Auto focus is amazing
Cons
  • AF seems slow sometimes
  • Not good in low light f/4 must need flashlight

9.Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Effective focal length: N/A
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.35mm
  • Filter size: 67mm
  • Lens construction: 12 elements in 11 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 500g
  • Dimensions: 78×90.5mm

Review

The Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM provides a luxurious experience but the fact that it is expensive cannot be ignored at all.

Focus: Nonetheless, this Canon lens also ranks in the 12 best canon portrait lenses. It offers you a beautifully defocused background.

The center subject, however, is focused to a greater extent. There is no reason you should say no to this lens.

Accuracy: At first sight, it might seem like a macro lens, the 85mm focal length obviously leads to capture portraits.

The accuracy of this lens is more than better. This lens will never disappoint you in both dim and bright light.

Sharpness: Canon RF 85mm f/2 lens is not behind any other lens in comparison to sharpness. This lens has been proved incredibly sharp.

Weight and build quality: While looking at the weight and size we observe that this Canon RF 85mm lens is very lightweight and compact. The 500g weight will enable you to carry it easily anywhere you want.

Like all the other Canon lenses this lens is also very attractive and smooth. It is a well-constructed lens. In addition, the professional look will give you a decent experience.

Drawbacks

  • F/2 maximum aperture only
  • It is a costly lens
Pros
  • Image stabilization
  • Double as the 0.5x macro lens
Cons
  • F/2 max. Aperture

10.Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 85cm
  • Filter size: 82mm
  • Lens construction: 13 elements in 9 group
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 1195g
  • Dimensions: 103.2 x 117.3m

Review

Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM is not for normal use, it is a pure professional lens. Our 12 best Canon portrait lenses list includes this lens because its photo result is very clear and great.

Focus: The focus speed is very fast. Canon RF 85mm f/2.1L USM has a keen depth of focus. The autofocus seems to be very quick and quiet.

It is a great lens; it focuses in extremely dim light and gives you clear pictures.

Accuracy: Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM has an impressive photo quality. It has a professional-grade L- series along with accurate AF.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L has great photo results. Overall, there is no reason that you should not buy this lens.

Sharpness: The f/1.2L is sharp in the center making your pictures very clear.

Moreover, it is plenty sharp toward the edge as well, hence giving you extraordinary results.

Weight and build quality: Its weight is 2.63 lb / 1195g. It has a lot of features in a lightweight lens.

 The extremely sharp lens features a control ring which is another amazing feature of this Canon lens.

Drawbacks

  • Background blur is not very good.
  • Visible focus breathing
Pros
  • Clear photo quality
  • Sharp shoot
  • Full extra stop light
  • Capture great photos in dim light
  • High brightness
Cons
  • Expensive
  • The background blur is not very impressive

11.Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 135mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 87.5cm
  • Filter size: 82mm
  • Lens construction: 13 elements in 10 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Weight: 1130g

Review

As you go down the list you see more and more lenses but do not confuse yourself. All the lenses listed are best in their own way, however, this Sigma 135mm lens is worth discussing.

Focus: Focusing is instant and precise in any event, but can be of much use in close working. 135mm automatically offers impressive autofocus.

The blurred effect is likely enhanced by the blades. Overall the performance is really good.

Accuracy: The lens itself is a pleasure to use for photography. The sharpness combined with excellent handling and bokeh effect makes a strong combination.

Sigma 135mm lens is no doubt the perfect lens with accurate performance.

Sharpness: Sigma f/1.8 is a flawless lens in this list. The center sharpness is beyond the edge of this lens.

It seems to give a close limit, as a result offering you a sharp center and edge image. The finish is excellent.

Weight and build quality: Sigma 135mm f/1.8 lens is clearly an exception with the great build quality. It weighs 1130g. It may seem heavy now but believe it, this is an ideal weight of a lens.

The dust and splash-proof construction is another amazing feature. Controls are smooth and made very well with a good feel.

Drawbacks

  • The lens may be a slightly heavy
  • Little flare can occur
Pros
  • Perfect sharpness
  • No flare
  • Pretty bokeh
  • Low distortion
  • Good construction
  • Dust and splash proof
  • F/1.8 aperture
  • Good focus
Cons
  • Heavy
  • No shake depletion

12.Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STD

Best Canon Portrait Lens

Features

  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Effective focal length: 80mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.35m
  • Filter size: 49mm
  • Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 7
  • Weight: 160g
  • Dimensions: 69×39mm

Review

The last lens under discussion in this list of the 12 best Canon portrait lenses is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STD lens. As you will see this lens captures the best images in the best way.

Focus: The autofocus speed is now even faster. This lens now has an edge over the previous editions Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens.

The autofocus, as all the Canon lenses, is very quick and silent. You will see rapid focus.

Accuracy: Moreover, Canon f/1.8 offers very impressive accuracy. Another worth discussing feature about this lens is the accurate result in all lights.

Sharpness: When it comes to sharpness, Canon lenses are well known for their performance regarding sharpness. But this doesn’t mean that all of them have perfect sharpness.

Canon 50mm has very good sharpness at the center as well as edges. It also offers pretty good softness in the pictures.

Weight and build quality: The most impressive quality of this lens is its extremely low weight. The weight of this lens is 160g which is very good for traveling.

Fortunately, build quality is maintained very well along with the image quality. It’s pretty impressive to see a longer focal length with a fast aperture.

Drawbacks

  • Autofocus creates a little noise
Pros
  • Aperture is well-rounded
  • Metal mounting plate
Cons
  • No focus length scale
  • Noisier autofocus

BUYING GUIDE

In this portion of the article, we will let you know about the features that you should consider at the time of buying a lens. Meanwhile, choosing the best lens for a camera can be difficult because you don’t really know the essential features that a lens should have.

First of all, the most important thing to consider is your photography style. After that keep in mind the following features under discussion.

Accuracy

The accuracy of a lens is quite important for a lens. Mostly, people don’t consider this feature yet it is very important because the performance of a lens in low light areas is demanded by almost every photographer.

Moreover, the performance of the lens in dim light is very important and essential and does not concern hour photography style. So, make sure that the lens you are buying performs adequately in low-light situations.

Longer Focal Length

It is salient for a lens to have a longer focal length so make sure that the lens you are going to buy has a considerably longer focal length. The focal length indicates and measures the area that will be captured on the screen.

It also informs us about the size of the objects/subjects that will be captured in the image. A longer focal length means a bigger object and a narrower angle of view.

Budget

You must consider your budget before choosing the best lens for you. In most cases, the price tag explains the performance of a lens but not all the cases.

Unfortunately, there are a few features that take the price of the lens you desire to the sky but you don’t need to buy a lens just because of one added feature. So, make sure that you buy the best budget-friendly lens available.

Keep these features under consideration before going for the perfect Canon portrait lens.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this portion, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to this topic.

What is a portrait lens used for?

A portrait lens is a lens that has the accurate focal length and aperture to take extraordinary portrait photos. “Portrait lens” does not refer to any specific lens, rather, any lens can be used as a portrait lens such as prime, zoom, telephoto, or even a kit lens.

What lens is best for portraits?

Telephoto lenses can be used for portraits as they will enable you to maintain a comfortable distance from your subjects. Many portrait photographers prefer a lens in the 50mm to 200mm range.

What is a good focal length for portraits?

A short telephoto is typically the favorite focal length of portrait photographers. Along with something, around 56mm on a camera with an APS-C sensor or 85mm on a full-frame model being ideal.

How far can one shoot with a 50mm lens?

A 50mm lens can shoot up to 3-5 feet or 0.91-1.5m away from the subject to produce a praising perspective. It has a min. focusing distance of 0.45m or 1.45 feet, and you can decide your distance from the subject depending on the desired effect.

CONCLUSION

This was our complete article about the best lenses for portrait photography. Here we have listed 12 lenses that we think are the best to capture portraits. You can choose the ideal Canon portrait lens from these 12 according to your photography style. Keep the aforementioned features in mind before finalizing as they are important for every lens.

We hope this article was helpful for you.

About the author

awaisgul

It's me AG software engineer. A pro lover of Technology and tech gadget. Love to Write about tech gadgets and news of upcoming things related to technology.

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