Canon lenses ideal for portrait photography

By | October 15, 2020

Canon lenses ideal for portrait photography

Over time, I received many questions about the photo equipment I use, people being curious especially about the Canon lens used for certain frames.  I admit that I, in turn, am sometimes intrigued by the images of photographers (especially Russians) and I wonder how they managed to get a certain frame so sharp and with an incredible bokeh.

 

So, I decided to approach this topic and talk a little about the Canon portrait lenses that I have been using over time.  Some I like more, others less and it is absolutely normal for each of us to be subjective and use only what he thinks is appropriate.  After all, thanks to this, we now have a very wide range of photo equipment to choose from.

Along with photo examples, I will talk about Canon 50mm f / 1.4, Canon 85mm f / 1.4 and Canon 35mm f / 1.4.  All are prime lenses with a fixed focal length that largely eliminates the problem of color aberrations and distortions in variable focal length lenses.  For a portrait enthusiast, lenses of this type are indispensable because they offer superior quality and allow shooting in low light due to the large aperture.

 

 Let’s take them one at a time

Canon lenses ideal for portrait photography

 

Canon lens 50mm f / 1.4

Features

Mount: Canon EOS

 Full Frame compatible

 Type: fixed

 autofocus

 Focal length: 50mm

 Tripod necklace: No.

 Image stabilization: No.

 Construction: 7 elements in 6 groups

 Coverage angle: 46 °

 Magnification ratio: 0.15x

 Minimum focus distance: 45cm

 Nr.  diaphragm blades: 8

 Maximum aperture: f / 1.4

 Minimum aperture: f / 22

 Filter thread: 58mm

 Maximum diameter: 73.8mm

 Length: 50.5 mm

 Weight: 290g

 Sunshade included: No.

 

When I decided a few years ago to change the kit lens with a better one, I researched, and the first best option seemed to be Canon 50mm f / 1.8 or f / 1.4.  I purchased the second one, thanks to the aperture, although the first one is much more accessible for enthusiastic photos.  The difference, at least for me and my way of working, was huge and one of the factors was the creamy bokeh that made my images more special.

 

The lens weighs less than the others and is more practical, offering a suitable focal length in many circumstances and can be considered ideal for portrait photography.

Canon lens 85mm f / 1.4

Canon lenses ideal for portrait photography

Features

Mount: Canon EOS

 Full Frame compatible

 Tele type, fixed

 autofocus

 Focal length: 85mm

 Image stabilization

 Coverage angle 28 ° – 30

 Minimum focus distance: 85cm

 Nr.  diaphragm blades: 9 rounded

 Maximum aperture: f / 1.4

 Filter thread: 77mm

 Maximum diameter: 104.14 mm

 Length: 88.90 mm

 Weight: 949.7 g

The second lens, the Canon 85mm f / 1.4, is the newest in my photographer’s kit and I talked more about it right here on the F64 blog.  This lens takes portrait photography to another level and allows you to take much more artistic images.  It does not produce a noticeable distortion of the subject and allows a greater proximity to it to stand out more, thus creating a beautiful separation of the background.

Canon lens EF 35mm f / 1.4

Canon lenses ideal for portrait photography

Features

 Mount: Canon EOS

 Full Frame compatible

 Fixed

 autofocus

 Focal length: 35mm

 Tripod necklace: No.

 Image stabilization: No.

 Construction: 14 elements in 11 groups

 Coverage angle: 63 °

 Magnification ratio: 0.21x

 Minimum focus distance: 28 cm

 Nr.  diaphragm blades: 9, rounded

 Maximum aperture: f / 1.4

 Minimum aperture: f / 22

 Filter thread: 72mm

 Maximum diameter: 80.4 mm

 Length: 105.5 mm

 Weight: 760 g

When it comes to portrait recommendations, the 35mm lens is not considered a first option, but it is so flexible that it can be used brilliantly in this regard.  The good part is that you can take photos with him anywhere, both in the studio and in nature, at events, themed photo sessions, due to the focal length and perspective.  It is not very wide and does not show distortion, it does not compress the scene too much.

I did not process the photos dedicated to the objectives in this article, because I wanted the differences to be noticeable.  At the same time, I tried to keep the same distance between me and the model, to highlight each focal length separately.

 

Before choosing one of the above lenses, I recommend you try them either directly at the source, ie in the F64 showroom or at the other photographer friends, to see which one suits you.  I used them one by one, starting with 50mm and 35mm, and now 85mm which is my favorite.  I think you can get incredible results with any of them, if you have imagination and are creative!

 

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