📸 5 MUST-OWN Lenses for Family Portraits In 2024 [Guide]

Jan 12, 2024 | Buying Guides

Have you ever wanted to buy the best lens for family portraits so that you can easily capture unforgettable moments with your family and save them for generations to come?

If you like to reminisce over photos you have taken throughout the years, you probably have.

Family portraits are one of the keystones of photography and are the photos most accessible through historical records.

image for family portraits lenses guide

Despite the need for awesome family portrait images that can echo in eternity, the internet doesn’t follow up with providing comprehensive buying guides, which would lead photographers to impeccable optics. This is especially important since lots of beginners opt out of buying lenses so that they can take family portraits.

With those ideas in mind, I have come up with the solution – creating my buying guide, which will help every photographer get the best lens for family photography.

Editor's Choice
Best Runner Up
Best Budget

Nikon 105mm f/2.8G Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens

Olympus 75mm f/1.8 Lens

Description:

Unleash stunning detail and remarkable versatility with this exceptional lens, favored by experts for its top-notch performance.

Description:

Elevate your photography to new heights with this high-performance lens, capturing breathtaking images with unrivaled precision and clarity.

Description:

Discover the perfect balance of affordability and quality with this lens, offering impressive results for both amateurs and enthusiasts alike.

5.0
4.9
4.6
Editor's Choice

Nikon 105mm f/2.8G Lens

Description:

Unleash stunning detail and remarkable versatility with this exceptional lens, favored by experts for its top-notch performance.

5.0
Best Runner Up

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens

Description:

Elevate your photography to new heights with this high-performance lens, capturing breathtaking images with unrivaled precision and clarity.

4.9
Best Budget

Olympus 75mm f/1.8 Lens

Description:

Discover the perfect balance of affordability and quality with this lens, offering impressive results for both amateurs and enthusiasts alike.

4.6
Nikon 105mm f/2.8G Lens

Nikon 105mm f/2.8G is one of the best macro lens that is designed for macro photography and it delivers lovely photos with beautiful bokeh.

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Nikon 105mm f/2.8  is the best Nikon lens for family portraits and comes with an optical design of 14 elements in 12 groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades and an angle of view of 23° 20′. The maximum magnification is 1x, with a maximum macro reproduction ratio of 1:1.

The minimum focus distance is 1,03 feet, and the lens has optical image stabilization. One of the reasons it made the best lenses for family portraits list is the nano-crystal coat in combination with ED glass elements that improve the general image quality by reducing flare and chromatic aberrations.

Unfortunately:

The lens is not zoomable but intends to create close-up and macro shots. When capturing portraits, it goes without saying that combining a wide aperture and optical image stabilization does a great job of capturing photos with creamy bokeh with amicable separations between the defocused backgrounds and the subject in focus. The sharpness is excellent, and the detail the lens can preserve isis sufficient to battle more expensive counterparts.

The focus system of the lens is relatively fast, and the focus doesn’t jam, nor does it miss shots. I tested the lens for low-key portraits under lousy lighting, and it did a phenomenal job of letting enough light inside the sensor to captivate great images. The design is solid; the only objection is the lack of zoom. However, it won’t be a big deal with the usable focal length.

Pros

  • Wide aperture
  • Bokeh
  • Overall sharpness
  • Price

Cons

  • No zoom

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens

Pictures are incredibly sharp even at the widest opening. Canon 50 mm comes with an ultra-silent motor that ensures nice and smooth operation.

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  • Lens Type: Normal
  • Mounting Type: Canon EF
  • Focal Length Range: 50mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance:  0.45m
  • Weight: 1.28 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 3.39 x 3.39 inches

What lens is best for family portraits? Our recommendation is always Canon 50mm f/1.2. The best Canon lens for family portraits is designed with eight elements in six groups, with eight rounded diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 46°, a minimum focus distance of 1,48 feet, and a maximum magnification of 0,15x.

The Canon 50mm f/1.2 doesn’t come with optical image stabilization, but it sports a vast aperture of an f/1.2 and the USM system for fast focus operations.

The bokeh effect is why these optics made the best lens for the family portraits list. It is creamy, with a clear separation between the subject and the background. The widest opening should be used with caution since the depth of field of such magnitude coulfocusing solely on a nose or eyes, with the rest of the face getting blurred out.

During the testing phase, I shot portraits at an f/2, and the results were an incredible sharpness and a beautifully defocused background. The focus system is responsive and accurate and didn’t cause any issues.

However, there is a learning curve when using the focus at an f/1.2 because it requires some time to focus on a particular area. The overall image quality is outstanding, with no vignetting or ghosting issues, and the color transmission is equal to human skin tones in real life. If you are looking for the best lens for outdoor family portraits, the Canon 50mm f/1.2 is the right choice.

Pros

  • Wide aperture
  • USM focus
  • Bokeh effect
  • Sharpness

Cons

  • Lack of OIS

Olympus 75mm f/1.8 Lens

Olympus 75mm f/1.8 has a 150 mm equivalent field of view, with a minimum focusing distance of 0.84 m. It packs Olympus's Extra-low reflection coating.

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  • Lens Type: Telephoto
  • Mounting Type: Micro Four Thirds
  • Focal Length Range: 75mm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.84 meters
  • Weight: 0.67 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches

Olympus manufactures the best lens for family portraits in the category of micro thirds. The given optics has an optical design of 10 elements in nine groups, with nine rounded diaphragm blades. The angle of view is 16°, and the minimum focus distance is 2,76 feet, with a maximum magnification of 0,1x.

Although:

The Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization; it does have a wide aperture, sufficient for capturing a lot of light, to ensure dramatic and gorgeous family portraits even under poor lighting. The bokeh effect is unique and doesn’t compromise the overall sharpness of the subject you are focusing on. Moreover, you can capture dramatic and artistic-looking shots using the widest aperture to create a dreamy depth of field.

Another awesome thing is the autofocus, which does a great job of performing under all circumstances. It is relatively quiet and very responsive, with the ability to take focused shots even when subjects are not still.

The overall image quality is stunning, as well. If you decide to use the lens as a general workhorse, you won’t be disappointed since there are no aberrations or distortion issues. The design is solid, and the lens feels sturdy and robust, although there is no weatherproof option. Olympus 75mm f/1.8 is also the best lens for large family portraits.

Pros

  • Wide aperture
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Fast focus
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No OIS
  • Not weatherproof

Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Lens

The lens has optical image stabilization, which, in combination with a wide aperture and autofocus ensures excellent image quality.

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Tamron has ten elements in eight groups and nine rounded diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 52° 21′ and a minimum focus distance of 11.42 inches, while the maximum magnification is 0,29x. The lens also has optical image stabilization, which, combined with a wide aperture and high-speed autofocus, ensures excellent image quality, even under dim lighting.

One of the reasons:

Why Tamron made the best lens for the family photography list is a fluorine coating on the lens’s front element. It helps with preventing fingertips, and it repels water quite efficiently. The portrait shots this lens is capable of achieving are next to incredible.

I shot many portrait shots, even of multiple people at once at an f/2, and was delighted with the overall sharpness and background blur. The lens is tack-sharp at an f/1.8, but I mainly used it as an f/2 since it most applies to real-life scenarios.

Since this Tamron 45mm f/1.8 is compact and lightweight, it is a pleasure to shoot from the hands, and optical image stabilization plays a vital role in providing necessary stability. The focus system is fast and responsive, and thanks to the incredible minimum focus distance, you can easily capture macro photos.

Pros

  • Wide aperture
  • Minimum focus distance
  • Lightweight
  • Fluorine coating

Cons

  •  45mm is not preferred by some photographers

Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 Lens

The overall sharpness is extraordinary, especially when paired with a potent camera and used at the widest opening.

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Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 is the best Fuji lens for family portraits and has the optical design of 11 elements in eight groups, along with seven diaphragm blades. It has an angle of view of 28.5° and a minimum focus distance of 2,3 feet.

The maximum magnification is 0,09x. Although the lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization, it sports a vast f/1.2 aperture that allows enough light to enter the sensor to capture great shots even under dim lighting.

The reason why I included it on the family portraits lenses list is that it takes incredible family portraits, even with multiple subjects crammed together. It provides an excellent level of sharpness while providing defocused backgrounds. The sensitivity is extraordinary, especially when paired with a full camera and used at the widest opening.

It is easily one of the lenses that could be used by any professional studio that specializes in portrait photography. Even at an f/2, it is capable of retaining an incredible sharpness. The focus system is solid, although it has flaws in hunting. In low-light situations, it does tend to get slow.

On the other hand, when the lighting is solid, the focus is quite responsive and accurate. The build is solid. It feels good in the hand, and the design seems robust and sturdy, although it lacks a weather-sealing option.

Pros

  • Creamy bokeh
  • Wide aperture
  • Overall sharpness
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No OIS
  • Focus hunt

Verdict

If you want to create incredible photographic memories, purchasing the best lens for family portraits is paramount. Since different photographers prefer different manufacturers and all the settings that follow them, the list I have outlined aims to cover all the basics one would need to buy a proper lens.

No matter what style you prefer, getting one of the lenses from the list will ensure that your family memories will live on.

I hope this article has helped you search for the best lenses for family portraits. Check out this option if you’re still unsure which lens to buy.

If you want to improve your photography skills, I recommend checking out our guides, the five best lenses for sports photography and the five best lenses for wildlife photography.

Disclaimer: "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases."

Stacy WItten

Stacy WItten

Owner, Writer & Photographer

Stacy Witten, owner and creative force behind LensesPro, delivers expertly crafted content with precision and professional insight. Her extensive background in writing and photography guarantees quality and trust in every review and tutorial.

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