Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Portrait lens help?


I'm looking for a portrait lens (I know there is no "specific" lens that is for portraits only but just one that will be good). I am looking to do all types of portrait work (head, full body, etc)


I currently have a Canon 70D & Canon 50mm 1.8


I was really interested in the Canon 135 f/2 but I'm afraid it'll be too long on my cropped body, any opinions? I also like the 85mm 1.2 or the 70-200mm 2.8 but I just don't know! I'm trying to spend under $1000 on a used lens. ANy sugestions or advice would be much appreciated! 🙂


Attached are some photos I've done with my nifty-fifty:IMG_9066.jpgIMG_9846.jpgIMG_9902.jpg


All lenses used wide open, provided the aperture blades fully retract, some don't, show circular out of focus points in the center of the image. However, not all lenses have good bokeh. You do get the uniform circular defocused area shooting wide open but the defraction is still there and the other aberrations.  This is what causes the onion effect.  The lighter ring appearing on the outside of circular highlights.

Bokeh is noticed more on bright points of light but it is actually present on all OOF objects.  Just less noticeable.

Another type of blur known is called Gaussian blur. Ideally this is what you would like.  It is a more smooth consistent transition from focus to OOF.  This is what really makes for good bokeh.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

@ebiggs1 wrote:

"... but I also have a 50mm 1.8 as well..."


Even more so, you don't want the 85 mil.  The 50 is by far a better portrait lens on your Rebel than the 85 ever will be.

Primes are specialized lenses any more.  Any of them has limited usefulness.

I agree with that characterization of primes in general. But 85mm is (IMO) a perfectly fine focal length for a portrait lens on a Rebel.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

BOKEH is the quality of the OOF area. Bokeh does not need highlights. And example of lenses with a poor bokeh are reflector lenses, the OOF is often 'nervous' with donut shaped highlights.

When the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is wide open the aperture blades are fully retracted and it has a nice bokeh. Stopped down and the straight aperture blades impact the quality of the bokeh. The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM has more aperture blades and the are curved so it's bokeh is far superior.

11/22/2022: New firmware available for EOS R3, EOS R7 and EOS R10
11/16/2022: We're thrilled to be ranked among the Best Employers for Veterans in 2022 by Forbes.
10/14/2022: Help ensure your autofocus is properly aligned with a Canon Precision Alignment
09/19/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS C70
08/31/2022: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for RF 70-200mm L IS USM
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 300
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 500
07/28/2022: New firmware version 1.2.1 is available for EOS-R3
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.6.0 is available for EOS-R5
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.6.0 is available for EOS-R6
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.1.0 is available for EOS-R7
07/21/2022: New firmware version 1.1.0 is available for EOS-R10
07/14/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1 is available for CR-X300
07/01/2022: New firmware version 1.3.0 is available for PowerShot PICK
06/10/2022: Service Notice:UPDATE: Canon Inkjet Printer continuous reboot loop or powering down
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.3.2 is available for PowerShot G7 X Mark III
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3 is available for EOS M50 Mark II
05/31/2022: Did someone SAY Badges?
05/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C500 Mark II
05/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C300 Mark III
05/10/2022: Keep your Canon gear in optimal condition with a Canon Maintenance Service
05/05/2022: We are excited to announce that we have refreshed the ranking scale within the community!
04/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS R5 C
03/23/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C70
02/09/2022: Share Your Photos is back!
02/07/2022: New firmware version 1.6.1 is available for EOS-1DX Mark III
01/13/2022: Community Update. We will be retiring the legacy profile avatars on 01/20/2022. Click this link to read more.
01/05/2022: Welcome to CES 2022!