The best Canon lenses for portrait photography

If you want to take a killer portrait, try taking a shot with one of these 85mm lenses (and a few exceptions)

Portrait of a strawberry blonde model with two best portrait lenses on either side

by Emily Farquhar |

We all want a lens that effortlessly makes our subject shine. Preferably, in a way where that subject can’t smell what we ate for breakfast that morning or our choice of cologne. A lens that doesn’t cramp either the photographer or the model's style and allows enough room for both to work their magic. The perfect lens to achieve those goals: an 85mm prime lens.

Related: The best Canon lenses for portrait photography

It isn’t just the comfort factor for photographers who pick a lens of that focal length. It’s also the length that gives off the most aesthetically pleasing angle of the subject. You know, no double chins and that perfect jawline?

Perhaps I just exposed a photographers’ trick behind having ‘the natural gift’ (the lens). But in all seriousness, no matter if you are shooting on a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, the choice of lens does play a big part in portraiture and capturing the winning shot. Yes, you can achieve this on a 50mm but an 85mm just gives you the ideal working space.

Related: The best cheap DSLR cameras with super high resolutions

Another factor to keep in mind in portrait photography is your aperture. You want to pick a lens that has a quick aperture, giving you a small depth of field and that gorgeous spotlight on your subject. Ranging from 45mm to 85mm, these lenses are our top picks…

What to read next:

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The best Canon DSLR cameras

Reviewed: Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM

Reviewed: Canon EF 135mm F/2L USM

Emily Farquhar is a Commercial Content Writer for WhatsTheBest, and also writes for, heatworld and Closer across beauty, tech, and lifestyle.

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