Best Canon Lenses for Portraits & Other

The holiday season is right around the corner, and that means fantastic sales! It also means fighting for parking space and waiting in lines only to find out that the things you wanted to get for your friends and loved ones aren’t in stock. This is where online shopping comes into play. Not only do you not have to deal with the undue stress that comes with shopping at the malls, but you can be guaranteed that what you want to buy is in stock. Online companies have even gone one step further by offering steep discounts on high-demand items.

canon lens for portrait

“Untitled” captured by Heng Fu Ming using a Canon Ef 85mm f/1.2 II USM.

So what do you get for your favorite photographer? Well, there are a bunch of lenses that Canon has out on the market this year, and they make the perfect gift for the person who loves taking pictures, but may not have the special attachments to take those detailed, wide angle, long distance, or even underwater shots. Canon lenses are by far the most adaptable and widely used by professional photographers and home users alike. Let’s take a look at a few of the great lenses Canon is offering during the holiday season.

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens

Most users and reviewers sum this lens up as being “outstanding.”

The Canon EF 85mm has an extremely sharp focus, which makes it ideal for portrait shots. The EF 85mm also gives you control in low lighting, as well as giving you fantastic depth-of-field ranges. It’s a little on the heavy side, but the Canon EF 85mm is easily portable, durable, and well worth the money.

Pros: Extremely durable; Fast & accurate auto-focus; incredible depth of field

Cons: Bulky; A little on the high-end

Canon EF 180mm f3.5 Macro USM AF Telephoto Lens

This is by far one of the best telephoto lenses for beginners and professionals alike. The Canon EF 180mm AF Telephoto Lens is rugged and durable (perfect for photojournalists, nature photographers, and outdoor events), but comes packed with features.

portrait lenses

“Hungry Caterpillar” captured by Jimmyweee using a Canon EF 180mm AF Telephoto lens.

The EF 180mm has a long macro lens, which is fantastic for getting your subject matter in full detail at long ranges. The Canon EF 180mm will work at long ranges for both long zoom and close-up shots, and will also allow you to de-focus the background to let your subject matter stand out.

Pros: Ultra-sharp imagery; Superior design

Cons: Heavy; Comes with 72c adapter for macro flashes

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

The Canon EF 70-200mm USM Lens comes from Canon’s Luxury Lens Series.Known for being extremely durable, the EF 70-200mm USM is also very lightweight and portable, with metal mountings.

“Giro” captured by Samuele Silva using a Canon EF 70-200 F/4L IS USM.

This Canon L-Series Lens is perfect for taking incredible shots of moving objects: birds, cars, players at a sporting event, kids running through the house. The Canon EF 70-200mm’s built-in Ultra Sonic motor allows you to take clear and sharp pictures of moving object, while allowing you to toggle between auto and manual focus, so you don’t have to worry about missing any of the action while fiddling with settings.

Pros: Fast auto-focus; 4-Stop IS; Incredibly sharp images; Superior design and quality; Lightweight

Cons: A little on the pricey side – until you see the quality of your pictures

Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Tilt Shift Lens

canon lenses

“Gerbera blossom HD” captured by Kain Kalju with a Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8

With the Canon TS-E 90mm Lens, you have complete control over the tilt, shift, and rotate adjustments. This means that you can place your subject matter at the angle your want, form the position you are in to take a picture.

The Tilt option of the Canon TS-E 90mm allows you to adjust which objects are in and out of focus while taking a portrait shot. The Shift option gives you control over perspective distortion So if you want things to be enhanced or corrected, you can take care of that by using this lens, rather than dealing with photography software after you’ve already taken your picture. The Rotate function gives you complete control over the sharpness of the focus then taking specific portraits.

Pros: Ultra-sharp images; Superior design and lens quality; Consistent picture quality

Cons: According to reviews and users, there aren’t any.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens

This is without a doubt the best Canon portrait lens on the market today, combining blindingly fast focus speed and pinpoint accuracy. The Canon EF 135mm has response functionality, such that you can get focused on your subject matter in microseconds. Portraits come out ultra-sharp, and you can use the Canon EF 135mm to blur anything within a 3-foot radius of your subject matter. This means your portrait shots will come out crystal clear, and no one will be distracted by anything other than your subject matter

“Wet Snake Hangs on a Tree” captured by Michael Bently using a Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM ens.

The EF 135mm from Canon is light and portable, making it easy for taking wherever you go. The Canon EF 135mm is a fantastic multi-purpose lens, but in the field of portrait shots, the EF 135mm gets nothing but rave reviews from professional and consumer photographers alike.

Pros: Super-fast focus; Ultra-sharp images; Full field-of-view focus control

Cons: None!

This is just a handful of the Canon lenses on the market for the Holiday Season. There are ten in total, but this is a good overview of a few of the best. The great thing is, that even with the holiday rush, many dealers are offering these lenses (and the rest in the Canon line) at up to 40% Off the in-store and catalog prices.

About the Author:
Igor Soyka writes for So whether you know someone who is an avid photographer, photojournalist, nature photographer, home user, or if you are thinking about getting a camera for yourself – Canon offers an great range of lenses for every type of photographer.

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2 responses to “Best Canon Lenses for Portraits & Other”

  1. Jess says:

    You should mention whether these lenses i.e. 135mm are appropriate for the 1.6x sensors for portraits as well. I would assume that most people who read these articles will have that size sensor and not full frame. It frustrates me that no one barely mentions the differences for the different reader audiences.

  2. Ed Dziuba says:

    Are these lens that you reccomend for a full frame Canon. I have a 7D. I have 1oo mm 2.8,17-55mm 2.8, 70- 200 2.8 . all are is,usm. which would be the best portrait lens?—–Ed

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