How to Choose the Best Canon Portrait Lens
As the owner of a Canon EOS digital slr camera, you are expected by friends and family to be able to take the best portrait photos. If you know your camera, you can do that with several lenses, but which lens is the best Canon portrait lens? There are certain factors that should be considered when selecting a portrait lens.
Have you noticed that when you are carrying that Canon digital slr camera, you usually are noticed because most folks know the value of the tool you hold in your hands? Even though they may know nothing about how to use it, they are in awe of its capabilities.
That's why a majority of photographers, even the ones that are not dedicated portrait photographers, are asked to take portraits of friends and family all the time. People assume that you are a great portrait shooter because of the Canon you shoot with (pun intended).
Go ahead and let them think it. Then fire away. But first, read below to get the skinny on what makes a digital lens a portrait lens.
Attributes of a Great Portrait Lens
In an attempt to discover the best Canon portrait lens, you will find an enormous variety of opinions about which one is the absolute best. And while it is sometimes a function of how much money you spend on a lens, it is more often about how you handle the setup, the lighting, and the subject.
Yes, the lens you choose is important, and here are some things you will want to know if you are selecting a portrait lens for your Canon digital slr.
First, the portrait lens is not about focal length. It is about perspective.
You will usually be taking a traditional portrait that includes head and shoulders, and you want it to look normal to the viewers. That means you don't want facial parts to look distorted or out of proportion.
Normal distance from your subject to accomplish a normal perspective is about 10 feet. You can accomplish this with a lens that is between 75mm and 150mm. If your camera is a "crop" sensor, you can use less focal length because the camera will capture photos as if it were a longer lens. An example is a Canon Rebel with a 50mm lens will act like a full frame camera with an 80mm lens, taking into consideration the 1.6x sensor.
You can get the same image with a 22mm lens as you can from an 85mm lens if you are closer to the subject. However, there is a very real possibility of having a distortion of facial parts because you will be so close to your subject.
For that reason, the best Canon portrait lens is at least 85mm.
On the other hand, you don't really want to use a telephoto lens that is, say, 400mm, simply because you would have to be too far away. Yes, you could get a better shot than the 22mm example, but the distance from the subject being somewhere around 30 ft is not optimal for communicating with your subject.
That's why the best lens choice would also be 150mm or less at the long end.
Aperture is a very important aspect of a good lens. The wider the aperture, the better. Recommended aperture would be f/4 or less, preferably f/2.8. The large aperture will give you that nice, soft background that is so desirable in people photos. It is accomplished by the shallow depth of field that happens when a wide aperture is employed.
Choosing YOUR portrait lens
There are some really great lenses that fit these requirements. Is there one that is better than all the rest. Many pros would have a definite lens to recommend, but the truth is, there are several that fit the bill.
The key is, what is the best Canon portrait lens for YOU. Will you be using it exclusively for portrait photography, or will the lens double up for other types of shots as well.
The man (or woman) behind the camera is just as important as the lens in front of the camera when it comes to getting the best shot. Know how to use the settings, the light, and the subject.
Finally, there are some very specific suggestions that fill the bill of best Canon portrait lens. Some are even more affordable than you might think.
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For a great list of portrait lenses, take a look at www.canoneoslenses.org/canon-portrait-lenses.