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DSLR portrait lens EOS 60D

shabir23
Apprentice

Looking for some advice in lens buying for a canon DSLR!

I'm looking at getting a portrait lens but I don't know much about finding one compatible with my camera and the canon site is quite hard to understand in terms of this. I'm also unsure whether they stopped making lenses for older cameras as none I looked at were compatible (mine is an EOS 60D).

Can anyone offer any advice on getting an affordable portrait lens for this camera, and where I might be able to get one if canon doesn't make them for older models etc.

5 REPLIES 5

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

Canon still makes the EF and EF-S lenses for your camera. Probably the most cost effective is the 50mm/1.8 lens which has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 80mm. There are several 85mm lenses too, which are a bit more expensive.

rs-eos
Elite

Short answer: Any EF or EF-S lens can be used with your camera.   See also Will Lens X Work on Camera Y?

I strongly recommend checking out how various focal lengths look for portraits.  Some love the look of an 85mm.  Others really like 200mm.   Personally, 135mm is my favorite for portraits.   On your crop sensor camera, to get the equivalent field-of-view of 135mm, you can go with an 85mm lens (e.g. EF 85mm f/1.8).

Reputable Canon resellers such as B&H Photo still sell EF lenses.  And the EF 85mm f/1.8 is in stock as of this writing.

One other thing to note.   While an EF 50mm f/1.8 is very inexpensive (around $125) and would give you a field-of-view as an 85mm on your camera, be sure that you wouldn't mind the distortions, especially if doing closeup headshots.

 

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

deebatman316
Elite
Elite

Hello Shabir23 welcome to the forums. Canon still makes EF and EF-S lenses which are compatible with your camera. Just make sure the the prefix is EF or EF-S. When I used to shoot with an APS-C camera I used the EF 50mm F/1.8 STM lens. This lens would provide an 80mm Angle of View compared to 35mm/ FF. Or if you mainly do headshots the EF 85mm F/1.8 USM would be better. This lens would provide an 136mm Angle of View compared to 35mm/ FF. Canon makes several different versions of the 50mm and 85mm prime lenses. Some are cheap and others are more costly especially L series lenses. Do you have a budget in mind so you can pick the best lens for your needs.

-Demetrius

EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM, EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Retired), EF 50 F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM & EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM

EOS 40D (Retired) & 5D Mark IV

430EX III-RT, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT


-Demetrius

Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

amfoto1
Authority

Recommended portrait lenses for Canon 60D (APS-C format)...

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
  • Tokina Opera 50mm f/1.4 FF
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM II
  • Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AF
  • Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

On an APS-C format camera like yours, the "traditional" portrait focal lengths are 50mm and 85mm. Those are "short portrait" to "long portrait". Of course, a lens in between them might serve, too... such as Canon's EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM Macro or Sigma's 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro lenses.

These focal lengths give the most pleasant rendition of people's faces. A wide angle lens used too close exaggerates facial features, while a longer telephoto can require a lot of working space and will more subtly compress facial features.

The 50mm is good in most situations, but puts you pretty close to your subject, especially for tight head shots. 85mm gives more working space, but may be too much if working in tight space or trying to shoot full length portraits.

While they are a good starting point, you certainly aren't limited to the 50mm to 85mm range. There are situations where a 35mm, 28mm or even slightly wider might be needed... for example to make an environmental portrait where some aspects of the person's surroundings are included, such as a workplace or home.Again, you have to be careful not to get too close with a short focal length. Also don't position people too near the edge of the image, where there can be a lot of distortion.

Alternatively, longer lenses like 90mm or 100mm isn't much different from 85mm. And even longer like Canon's EF 135mm f/2L USM can be useful if you have lots of working space. There may be instances where even longer than that are useful.

Also notice the maximum apertures of the lenses above...f/2, f/1.8, f/1.4, even f/1.2. Most have rather large max apertures. This can be useful for portraits, especially when shooting on location, where you have limited control over the background and want to blur it down to make the subject stand out.

Don't rule out zooms, either. They can be quite useful with unpredictable portrait subjects like kids and pets! Not many zooms offer larger than f/2.8 aperture, though. And f/2.8 zooms are fairly big and heavy, as well as more expensive.  

  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM II
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM III (or II)
  • Similar zooms from Sigma, Tamron & Tokina.

Canon has gradually been reducing their DSLR lens offerings, but most of the above lenses are still available to purchase new. There are also many of them on the used market. Canon USA may have refurbished copies of some of them available too.

 

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"Probably the most cost effective is the 50mm/1.8 lens..."

This was the correct answer. Not only cost effective but a very good portrait lens for a crop camera like the 60D. What I did not see mentioned in the above is what lens do you currently have? If you have one of the standard zooms that were/are pretty common like 18-55mm, you already have a good portrait lens. The 50mm FL setting on that zoom is exactly the same FL as a new ef 50mm f1.8. You can check it out before you buy a new lens. Another advantage with the ef 50mm f1.8 is a super fast aperture which is constant as all primes are.

Keep in mind 50mm FL on a cropper is not an easy FL to use as a general purpose lens. It's just a bit too long for that. But there are situations where it would be perfect, too. That is why I recommend you stay with 50mm FL because any FL over 50mm like an 85mm or 100mm/135mm (primes) are just too long for a cropper for even portrait work unless you can get a fair distance back from the subject.

You see most people that advise a portrait lens have never done real portrait work before. Oh sure they have done shots of people and probably  have gotten nice photos. But it is really just really nice snapshots of a pretty face. I have done this work for decades in studio and out. Personally I have been using my ef 70-200mm f2.8L zoom. But I use a 1DX which is a FF camera. That lens is way too long for a cropper.  My top suggestion for anybody wanting serious portrait work with a cropper is the now discontinued Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 zoom. You can find them used so the price can be very easy on the pocketbook. 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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