Best Cheap Portrait Lens Canon

It’s often said that you should invest in glass rather than camera bodies, but that does not mean you will need to spend a small fortune to find a high-quality lens. In actuality, you can get a range of top lenses for much less than $1000, from easy primes, macros, and all-in-one superzoom choices too much more exotic jelqing and pancake tastes.

Therefore, whether you fancy trimming your very own existing kit or giving the Canon consumer in your own life a pleasant surprise, here are ten good affordable options.

There’s nothing wrong with the image quality of most standard zoom lenses, but they do have their limitations. If you want professional-looking images of people you most likely require a quicker prime lens; here we recommend the best cheap portrait lenses for Canon interchangeable lens cameras.

This translates to a fairly big depth of field, which makes it difficult to blur the desktop.

Another drawback of standard zooms is they tend to produce distortions, which change from barrel to pincushion because you sweep throughout the zoom range. A prime lens is very likely to be much better behaved in this respect, as it’s designed to work at one focal length. But which focal length is greatest?


#5. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM A for Canon

Key Features:

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 136mm
  • Lens construction: 14 elements in 12 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9 | Minimum focus distance: 0.85m
  • Filter size: 86mm
  • Dimensions: 95x126mm

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A supersized 85mm optic, that Sigma is a bit like the Incredible Hulk of portrait photographers. At 95x126mm and 1130g, it’s by far the biggest and lightest lens in the entire evaluation group. Autofocus is fast, extremely quiet, and unerringly accurate.

Sharpness from the middle of the image frame is outstanding, even when shooting wide open in f/1.4, although center sharpness in the widest aperture isn’t quite as spectacular as from Sigma’s smaller 50mm Art lens.

Uncommonly for a Sigma lens, everything is wrapped up into a weather-resistant dust/splash-proof casing and, being with the 50mm Art lens also on the test, it’s compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock for implementing firmware upgrades and customizing configurations.

Also, enjoy the Sigma 50mm lens, this one also includes a lens hood and padded soft case.

  • Excellent image quality
  • 14 optical elements
  • Bulky and heavy


#2. Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD for Canon

Key Features:

  • Focal length: 85mm
  •  Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 136mm
  • Filter size: 67mm
  • Lens construction: 13 elements in 9 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Dimensions: 85x91mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.80m

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As with the Sigma lenses under, both Tamron’s on the test is also supplied with hoods to block extraneous light. Internal focusing, meanwhile, powered by ring-type ultrasonic systems, results in front elements remaining fixed throughout the working range.

Like its 45mm sibling under, this optic is compatible with all Tamron’s TAP-in games console. This enables connection of the lens into a computer with a USB connection for upgrading firmware and customizing configurations, for example, fine-tuning autofocus.

Physically smaller and lighter in weight than the competing Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM This optic is nevertheless larger and faster compared to its EF 85mm f/1.8 USM equal (below) that shares the exact same maximum aperture. In 700g, it’s still entirely manageable and feels well-balanced on full-frame bodies, while the VC (Vibration Compensation) program is a bonus for low lighting levels. In f/1.8, the Tamron is much more than eloquent enough for portraiture and the level of sharpness is consistent across the whole frame.

Bokeh is wonderfully smooth, even more so than using the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD, helped by the longer focal length. With an f/1.4 and 85mm maximum aperture this really is an especially good alternative for full-frame DSLR users and unlike most other primes provides image insertion for steadier handheld shots.

  • Great sharpness and contrast
  • The highly effective optical stabilizer
  • Excellent build quality
  • Not the lightest on test


#3. Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN

Key Features:

  • Focal length: 56mm
  • Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 90mm
  • Filter size: 55mm
  • Lens construction: 10 elements in 6 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.5m
  • Dimensions: 67x60mm

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The lens is characterized by its bright f/1.4 maximum aperture, which suits working in difficult lighting requirements and also offers improved control over depth of field for isolating subjects and working with selective focus techniques.

The optical layout utilizes 2 aspherical elements and a single SLD element, which help to reduce both spherical and chromatic aberrations for greater sharpness and clarity. Portrait lenses using a focal length and f/1.4 aperture have a tendency to be large and heavy. It’s supremely well balanced on lightweight EOS M bodies, on which it has an extremely portrait-friendly 90mm’powerful’ focal length.

The high-quality optical route includes two aspherical elements, one of which is created from SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass. Autofocus is fast and very accurate, based on a stepping motor, together with an electronically coupled manual focus ring. The net effect is a compact lens that combines excellent sharpness with beautifully smooth bokeh, perfect for portraiture.

A Super Multi-Layer Coating has also been employed to suppress flare and ghosting in order to attain more contrast and color accuracy when functioning in strong lighting conditions. Complementing the optics is a stepping AF engine, which matches both photo and video programs due to the quick, precise, and near-silent performance.

  • Compact and lightweight but solid
  • Fast f/1.4 aperture rating
  • Low price
  • No weather-seals
  • No optical stabilization


#2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Key Features:

  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Filter size: 49mm
  • Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 80mm
  • Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
  • Weight: 160g
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 7
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.35m
  • Dimensions: 69x39mm

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As well as its advanced autofocus system, additional upgrades over the former EF 50mm f/1.8 lenses incorporate metal in place of the plastic mounting plate, and seven diaphragm blades rather than five, that gives a more in-ear headset. In 49mm, the filter attachment thread is even smaller, yet this time that the front element is very deeply recessed, which makes the ES-68 lens hood a really optional accessory.

This is particularly useful for preventing the apparent pentagonal shapes of defocused bright items when stopping down a little, which plagued images taken with the earlier 50mm lenses.

Certainly, no heavyweight, Canon’s latest 50mm f/1.8 is only 30g heavier, 1mm wider, and 16mm longer compared to 40mm pancake lens around the test. That’s fairly impressive, considering its longer focal length and quicker f/1.8 aperture score.

Performance in terms of color fringing is about equal to the prior version, and there’s slightly less barrel distortion. In general, at this cost, the 50mm f/1.8 STM is a creep.

  • Metal mounting plate
  • Well-rounded aperture
  • With a very affordable price
  • Auto-focus noisier than some


#1. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Key Features:

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 136mm
  • Filter size: 58mm
  • Lens construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
  • No. of diaphragm blades: 8
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.85m
  • Weight: 425g
  • Dimensions: 75x72mm

Price at Amazon


There’s a lot to love for this lens for portraiture with a full-frame camera like the EOS 6D Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV. Furthermore, as one of Canon’s’advocated’ lenses, it is sufficiently sharp for use with all the ultra-high-resolution EOS 5DS and 5DS R bodies.

Sharpness isn’t magnificent at f/1.8 but, for portraiture, it is simply good enough to capture human hair and skin pores, along with excellent detail in the eyes. Border sharpness, however, is usually unnecessary in portraiture, where you’re normally more concerned with defocused softness or bokeh, that it does very well. In general, a high-value option for full-frame shooters.

Like the firm’s EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, this person has a rather well-made aperture according to eight diaphragm blades. It defeats that lens by with a ring-type, instead of the motor-based, ultrasonic autofocus system, which can be equally fast and very silent.

  • Ring-type ultrasonic autofocus
  • Small and lightweight build
  • 1-year warranty
  • Sharpness not spectacular


Things to Consider When Picking the Best Cheap Portrait Lens for Canon

Zoom Prime Lenses

Zoom lenses arrive in varying focal ranges (for instance, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, etc.), which makes every lens exceptionally versatile. Zoom lenses allow it to be effortless for you to shoot a huge array of photographs without having to change out your equipment. They’re also usually smaller and more comfortable to carry over the zoom lens, although not necessarily — some sequential lenses are rather beefy. Most professional portrait photographers favor primes since they often have quicker maximum apertures.


That blur is known as bokeh. The bigger the aperture (and, consequently the higher your f-stop number), the longer bokeh you’ll receive. If this blur is significant to you, start looking for a lens that may shoot at a larger aperture like f/2.8, f/1.8, or perhaps f/1.2.

Quantity of Lenses That You Would like to Take

If you merely wish to carry about one lens, then you might choose to start looking for a zoom. Zoom lenses can provide you with many alternatives when it has to do with focal lengths. A lens such as a 24-105mm will allow you to capture different vertical styles without swapping lenses as well as shifting positions. If your plan is to shoot primes and wish to use different focal lengths, then you’ll need to carry many lenses. Lots of professional photographers get around needing to always swap out sequential lenses by utilizing two camera bodies using distinct focal length primes mounted.

How a Lot of People Will Be at the Photo

If you’re planning to shoot bigger collections of people, you will most likely need a broader lens that’s equipped to catch more people within a framework, like a 35mm. It’s necessary to keep in mind, but that broader lenses can cause greater distortion — particularly once you get broader than 35mm. In the event, you do not need the people about the exterior border of your photograph to seem bigger/more stretched compared to people toward the center, do not utilize a superlens. Bear in mind, if you are shooting outdoors or in massive areas you can always simply return to add more people from the framework.

Accessible Space Where You Are Shooting

If you’ll be shooting outside in broad places, you have many alternatives for lenses however when your sessions will soon be happening at a more restricted surrounding, you are going to want something broader. Even a 70-200mm zoom or 85mm prime lens will probably be great when you’ve got a good deal of space to operate but within someone’s home, you will likely need a shorter focal length. 50mm is a fantastic standard length for most surroundings.


Technically, you can use any lens readily available to you when shooting portraits. So the very best portrait lens boils down to your own needs and preferences.

Do your homework and familiarize yourself with all of your alternatives. Camera optics can be costly. So think about that one that you will use the most, and invest in it.



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