10 Best Canon Lens for Portraits (Excellent Options For Professional Photographers)

A perfect macro canon lens and an excellent all-around portrait lens.

Perfect for any occasion from family day to professional shoots, these versatile and lightweight zoom lenses deliver crisp images with superb image stabilization, shutter speed, and auto-focus.

Shoots up close without added bulkiness at 1x or 2x life-size magnification with extended depth of field that will make your shots stand out when reproduced into prints.

Canon is a popular camera company that has made its mark in the world of portrait photography.

They offer many different options for portrait photographers, and one of those is Canon DSLR lenses.

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With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to find the best lens for portraits.

However, we have narrowed down some top choices here! So read our article 10 Best Canon Portrait Lens.

Best Canon Lens for Portraits – (Our 3 Top Picks)

Buyers Guide – 10 Best Canon portrait Lens

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
  • 50 millimeter focal length and maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Great for portraits, action, and nighttime photography; Angle of view (horizontal, vertical, diagonal): 40º, 27º,46º
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.15 feet (0.35 meter) and a maximum magnification of 0.21x
  • Stepping motor (STM) delivers near silent, continuous move Servo AF for movies and smooth AF for stills

Sharp photos start with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, which features an economical price tag with advanced technology that provides small size and lightweight construction with great sharpness in the center.

That means you can capture moments spontaneously, no matter how far away your subject is!

This canon portrait lens does not come equipped with full-time manual focus override so it’s quick to auto-focus without having to worry about missing any shots because of focusing errors, which may be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for!

The 50mm FOV has moderate distortion and average vignetting but both of these are corrected inside post-processing software making this canon lens perfect for beginners as well as more experienced portrait photographers looking for a great camera lens.


  • Auto-focus is quite silent.
  • Good sharpness in the center at f/1.8 and very good sharpness when stopped down.
  • Small size and lightweight.
  • Economy lens.


  • Not good sharpness at the edge with maximum aperture

2. Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM - DSLR Lens with IS Capability, Black - 2271C002
  • Canon’s First 85mm L-series Lens with IS Capability.
  • Large, Bright f/1.4 Aperture.
  • Image Stabilization at up to 4* Stops of Shake Correction.
  • GMo Aspherical Lens with Air Sphere Coating Technology.

They say you’re only as good as the lenses you use. It turns out that applies to camera equipment, too.

In terms of Canon’s best DSLR lenses for professionals and enthusiasts alike, this super sharp 85 mm focal length USM lens is in a league all its own.

Equipped with Fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements help prevent smudging, water droplets, or fingerprints from adhering.

The USM lens (Ultrasonic Motor) coupled with ring-type ultrasonic motor offers swift contrast-detection auto-focus while optical image stabilization compensates for shakes when shooting handheld even at full telephoto lengths for terrific detail from EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens never looked so good.


  • Very sharp chromatic aberration.
  • Optical stabilization.
  • Dust and splash resistant.
  • Fluorine lens coat.
  • Relatively light and compact.


  • Pricey.
  • Dim corners at wide aperture.

3. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed
  • 85 millimetre standard lens with f 1.8 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras, Lens Type:Telephoto Zoom Lens
  • Ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) brings subject quickly into focus, Focal length: 85 millimetre, closest focusing distance: 2.8 feet
  • Natural angle of view and perspective is ideal for portraits and natural images
  • Designed to produce beautiful background blur; weighs 15 ounces

This canon lens is a must-have for all portrait photography buffs who like to explore the limits of artistic creativity.

You can push your model off-balance without blur by taking pictures at f/1.8 or take great macro shots sporting that nice bokeh effect when shooting up close with lots of detail thanks to this sharp and lightweight wide-angle lens.

It’s also great for portraits whether you’re shooting subjects front-on or from the side, because it gives tons of space to get in close and personal with your subject using its wide-angle perspective.

That smooth, Hollywood-style aesthetic is available right now even if you don’t have free roam over an entire movie set!


  • Perfect for Portrait Photography.
  • Sharp images.
  • Wide aperture.
  • Lightweight and compact.


  • No image stabilization.

4. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Canon Cameras US 6310B002 EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens - Fixed Black
  • 40mm focal length, Lens not zoom able, 64mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C Cameras
  • Minimum focus distance at 0.30m/11.81 inch, F2.8 maximum aperture, F22 minimum
  • Stepper type AF motor with full time manual focusing
  • 52mm Filters, Lens Construction: 15 Elements in 12 Groups

Tell your subjects to get ready for it.

This Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens is a great way to get started and always be at the right distance from your subject with this compact fixed focal length lens.

The legendary optics of Canon are on full display here but don’t think you’ll have to sacrifice any other conveniences either.

It’s small enough to take with you everywhere (weighing in at only 5 ounces), perfect when street portrait photography is hiding around every corner or just going on a walk and being creative wherever you go.

The lightweight design means that you won’t painstakingly miss focus like some lenses do while zooming in!

And speaking of focusing, easy peasy, just turn the focusing ring!


  • Very good optics.
  • Tiny size.
  • Silent autofocus.
  • Responsive electronic manual focus.
  • Decent construction.


  • Can be susceptible to flare.
  • No lens hood supplied.

5. Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM

Canon RF35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM Lens, Black
  • Compact macro Lens with 0.5x Magnification Ratio
  • Minimum Focusing Distance of 0.56 ft. ; 0.17M
  • Control Ring for direct setting changes
  • Optical Image Stabilization at up to 5 Stops of shake Correction

You know what they say, “A picture tells a thousand words.” And that couldn’t be truer for the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM Lens (EF Mount).

With this lens you get to capture all those moments in life with incredible detail and sharpness, thanks to its fantastic optics; and even shoot amazing close-ups of tiny things like flowers and bugs!

The optical stabilization makes your photos clearer when using slower shutter speeds too. Plus it’s an attractive price on top of everything else!

Imagine your company’s brochure.

The logo is front and center, stretching the width of a rectangular shape.

On one side, there are photos of smiling people who get along well with each other.

On the opposite page, there are happy consumers enjoying their purchases reflected in a mirror eating an ice cream cone, or reading a book while sitting on a park bench.

The text beneath shows thick black font underlined and bolded to catch the eye: Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro STM-best lens for portrait photography.


  • Crisp optics.
  • 1:2 macro reproduction.
  • Image stabilization.
  • Bright aperture.
  • Attractive price.


  • Some barrel distortion.
  • Vignette at wide apertures.

6. Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM

Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens, Black
  • High image quality and bright f/1.2 aperture L lens for EOS R System cameras.
  • Blue spectrum refractive optics (br) Reduces chromatic aberration.
  • Minimum focusing distance of 2.79 ft. /0.85M.
  • A control ring for direct setting changes.

How quickly do you want to take killer photos or nail that long-zoom shot of your best friend walking deep in the forest?

This Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM lens can help you find out, packing beautiful optics and a bright f/1.2  maximum aperture for fast shutter speeds.

It also offers dust protection, so don’t worry about those unexpected shots getting ruined by the weather.

The customizable control ring lets you change your zoom speed while shooting with just one finger!

Canon is one of the heavyweights of portrait photography.

This 85mm F1.2 lens adds to their proud legacy with blazing optics and plenty of money in your pocket; which one do you want for your RF camera? It’s like all those other L lenses, but on a cheaper body!


  • Extra-bright f/1.2 optics.
  • Excellent resolution.
  • Dust, splash, and fluorine protection.
  • Reliable auto-focus.
  • Customizable control ring.


  • Background blur is not as pleasing as DS edition.
  • Visible focus breathing.

7. Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM

Canon RF50mm F 1.2L USM Lens, Black
  • Fixed focal length, Lens with high image quality and bright f/1.2 aperture for the EOS R system
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.31 ft. /0.40M. Filter Size: 77mm
  • A control ring for direct setting changes
  • Three aspherical elements and one UD Element

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s our favorite motto to live by.

For those moments when your photographer friend wouldn’t be enough and only the Canon 50mm will do, you’ve come to the right place!

This prime lens has been optimized to provide sharpness with minimal distortion regardless of shooting conditions while its wider aperture allows for some beautiful bokeh shots at nighttime or in busy, high-contrast settings.

Plus it features a fluorine coating on front and rear elements which combat dirt and water spots like nobody’s business.

It is protected against dust and splashes from all angles because if the marinara sauce gets into your equipment what are you going to do?

Don’t think this lens is for you if you’re constantly zooming in and out.

It’s perfect for stills, though!

Soft-focus portraits, black and white shots? This baby will do the trick.

You’ll get beautiful bokeh with it – a shallow depth of field to get all your subjects looking blurry and romantic like they’re meant to be forever.

And because this baby has no image stabilization, we recommend keeping tripod legs nearby when you’re taking photos at long exposures (it is better than not getting any photos at all).


  • Very bright aperture.
  • Edge-to-edge clarity.
  • Minimal distortion.
  • Dust and splash protection.
  • Fluorine lens coat.


  • No optical image stabilization.
  • Shows a heavy vignette.

8. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 MACRO L IS USM

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, Lens Only
  • 100 millimeter focal length and 1:2.8 maximum aperture. The EF1.4X II; EF2X II extenders cannot be used with this lens. There are no compatible close-up lenses
  • Lens construction consists of 15 elements in 12 groups
  • 23.4-Degree diagonal angle of view
  • Inner focusing system with USM and full-time manual focus option. Closest focusing distance 0.99 feet; 0.3 meter (maximum close-up magnification: 1x)

A perfect macro lens and an excellent all-around lens.

This lens has an f/2.8 maximum aperture, which lets you take nicer pictures of things in motion and shoot more creative images since they don’t need as much light to come through.

This canon zoom lens is best for macro photography, meaning it can focus on objects close-up so that the details are really clear and pretty cool!

The IS (image stabilizer) also helps when keeping your hands steady to get low-light shots with better clarity.


  • Superb Image Stabilization for ultra-sharp results.
  • Excellent optics.
  • Superb auto-focus.
  • Lightweight portrait lens.


  • Tripod collar not included.

9. Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM

Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM Lens, Black - 2439C002
  • Fixed focal length Lens with high image quality
  • Bright f/1.4 maximum aperture
  • 32mm field of view equivalent to 51mm on 35mm full-frame
  • Close-up shooting with up to 0.25x maximum magnification

The Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM is perfect for those looking for a versatile lens that goes from landscape to portrait photography with ease.

With the large maximum aperture, you get natural bokeh for depth and dramatic effects in your photos and videos are never out of focus thanks to the fast and stable auto-focus function.

Get creative with this nifty gadget.

Sometimes the best picture is when something catches your eye in one quick, obscured flash; other times, it’s a deliberate and detailed look of what you want to remember.

Canon’s new EF-M 32mm lens for their camera lineup offers both perspectives with stunning clarity, without shaking any blur out from behind.


  • Use this lens for portrait and landscape photography.
  • With the large aperture of f/1.4, you can create a natural bokeh look in your photos.
  • With stable and fast autofocus, you can record smooth videos.


  • No image stabilization.

10. Canon EF 28-70mm f/2 L USM

Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens, Black - 2965C002
  • Bright, constant f/2 USM zoom Lens
  • L series Lens with high image quality
  • Control ring for direct setting changes
  • Dust and water resistant with fluorine coating

This product is a state-of-the-art lens engineered for the modern photographer.

We think that from what you’ve seen, you’ll agree that it merits all your attention!

With a fast maximum aperture and incredible optical performance to ensure excellent image quality, the best canon portrait lenses are thoughtfully designed and unrepentantly well built.

These features not only make shooting with our products enjoyable but also give them robustness against weather conditions – perfect for those who want to get out there when others don’t dare venture in. It is also good for travel photography.

The Canon EF 28-70mm f/2 L USM is one of the lightest, most expensive, and best image quality lenses around. It’s a hefty investment–but it’ll last for years to come!

So what makes this portrait lens so great? Well for starters, you can’t get crisper images or clearer photographs with any other lens on the market.

The clarity and detail are outstanding. It’s like an artist painting in your hands! You’re definitely buying quality when you invest in this incredible piece of equipment.


  • Superb image quality.
  • Fast maximum aperture.
  • Robust build with weather-sealing.


  • No image stabilization.

FAQs Over the Internet

Which Canon lens is best for portraits?

Canon’s 85mm f/1.2L USM lens is known for producing an extremely soft and smooth bokeh, but it’s also one of the best canon portrait lenses on the market.

If your subject is standing 20 feet from you and walking away while you are shooting with a 50mm prime lens at f/8, they’ll be thirteen feet away when they disappear into in-focus background blur because of hyperfocal distance. 

Is a 2.8 lens good for portraits?

It really depends on the situation. A portrait photo could range from being too close to the subject to a decade-long event, so you just need to make sure that your lens can accommodate both of those extremes and give you the desired quality output.

A 2.8 maximum aperture is best used outside in daylight or a well-lit area because it is better at capturing details and less susceptible to camera shake or motion blur.

This means that if you’re shooting in darker environments, you might want a bigger aperture like 4 – 5.6 which will let in more light but also has a greater risk of blurring your images due to camera shake with slower shutter speeds; this would be good for when taking pictures inside where there’s not as much light available.

What lens do professional portrait photographers use?

They use a 50mm lens. Most 39-70mm lenses are interchangeable and can achieve a similar result – as will any lens with the “normal” focal length from 24-35mm.

The term “normal” comes from the original measurements published by German optics maker Carl Zeiss in 1885, where it was called an angle of 95° (100°) at 29 cm (30″).

The number 50 is just arbitrarily synonymous with this normal or average perspective of how humans see and because English speakers often don’t know what 95° means, they substitute fifty for normal.

What is the best Canon camera for professional photography?

That really depends on the type of photography you’re interested in. For a really nice all-around camera that excels at photo and video, check out the Canon EOS 5D Mark III full-frame camera.

It can shoot up to 60 frames per second for crisp, clear videos and has a 35mm sensor with a resolution of 22 million pixels for beautiful photos!

However, if you’re looking to produce excellent quality long exposure or astrophotography shots, we recommend checking out their brand new Canon EOS 6D Mark II which has an impressive 45-point autofocus system as well as Wi-Fi connectivity so that your pictures will stay safely backed up with cloud storage while in transit!

What lens is most flattering for portraits?

A 50mm lens is the best lens for portraits because of its beautiful depth of field and non-distracting background.

With a 50mm, you will capture your subject’s entire body including their hands and feet, as well as what they can’t see in the mirror. The 50mm has a lovely close focus distance that lets you really concentrate on one thing which makes it perfect for portraiture.

What’s more, anything outside of this distance blurs into beautiful bokeh lights that add to the story behind your picture! This is also why it’s known as a “nifty fifty” – simply unparalleled! You can check out some more awesome tips by clicking here!

What Canon lens is best for model photography?

Canon EF 200mm Lens -This lens is perfect for the ambitious beginner to intermediate photographer. Despite being one of the more pricey options, it pays for itself with the sheer amount of versatility and quality you get out of this lens.

It comes in handy when you’re looking for a longer focal length that can cover some distance without getting left behind like a few other lesser models tend to do; all in all, your best buy on this list is if you’re going with Canon lenses.


From the top 10 Canon lenses for portrait photography to some more specific recommendations, we hope you found this article helpful.

If you have any questions about these lenses feel free to ask us! We love hearing from you and are always happy to help find a solution that fits your needs.

Do you know which lens is best for portraits? Let us know below.

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