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 those are types of photos that are most accessible through historical records.
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 could take family portraits.
With those ideas on my mind, I have come up with the solution – creating my buying guide which will help every photographer to get the best lens for family photography.
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 why 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.
The lens is not zoomable, but it intends to create close-up and macro shots. When it comes to capturing portraits, it goes without saying that the combination of a wide aperture and optical image stabilization does a great job in capturing shots with creamy bokeh with nice separations between the defocused backgrounds and the subject in focus. The overall sharpness is great and the amount of details the lens can preserve is sufficient to battle more expensive counterparts.
The focus system of the lens is quite fast and the focus doesn’t jam, nor does it miss shots. I tested the lens for low-key portraits under bad lighting and it did a phenomenal job in letting enough light inside the sensor to captivate great images. The design is solid and the only objection goes to the lack of zoom. However, with the usable focal length, it won’t be a big deal.
- Wide aperture
- Overall sharpness
- No zoom
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°, and a minimum focus distance of 1,48 feet, with a maximum magnification of 0,15x.
The given Canon 50mm f/1.2 doesn’t come with optical image stabilization, but it sports an incredibly wide aperture of an f/1.2 and the USM system for fast focus operations.
The bokeh effect is the main reason why these optics made the best lens for the family portraits list. It is creamy with smooth, yet clear separations between the subject and the background. The widest opening should be used with caution, since the depth of field of such magnitude could result in focusing 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 beautifully defocused background. The focus system is responsive and accurate and it 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 certain area. The overall image quality is outstanding, with no vignetting or ghosting issues, and the color transmission is equal to the tones of human skin in real life. If you are looking for the best lens for outdoor family portraits, the Canon 50mm f/1.2 is definitely the right choice for you.
- Wide aperture
- USM focus
- Bokeh effect
- Lack of OIS
The best lens for family portraits in the category of micro thirds is manufactured by Olympus. 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.
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 truly amazing, and it doesn’t compromise the overall sharpness of the subject you are focusing on. Moreover, you can capture quite dramatic and artistic-looking shots with the use of the widest aperture, to create a dreamy depth of field.
Another excellent thing is the autofocus, which does a great job in 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.
- Wide aperture
- Beautiful bokeh
- Fast focus
- No OIS
- Not weatherproof
Tamron is constructed with 10 elements in eight groups, along with 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, in combination 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 front element of the lens. It helps with preventing fingertips from and it repels water quite efficiently. The portrait shots this lens is capable of achieving are next to incredible.
I shot lots of portrait shots, even of multiple people at once at an f/2, and was very pleased with the overall sharpness and background blur. The lens is tack-sharp at an f/1.8, but I mainly used it an f/2, since it is most applicable for real-life scenarios.
Since this Tamron 45mm f/1.8 is compact and lightweight, it is a pleasure to shoot from hands, and optical image stabilization plays an important 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.
- Wide aperture
- Minimum focus distance
- Fluorine coating
- 45mm is not preferred by some photographers
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 an incredibly wide 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 due to fact that it takes amazing family portraits, even with multiple subjects crammed together. It provides a great level of sharpness while providing defocused backgrounds. The overall sharpness is extraordinary, especially when paired with a potent 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 does have flaws in terms of 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, the design seems robust and sturdy, although it lacks a weather-sealing option.
- Creamy bokeh
- Wide aperture
- Overall sharpness
- No OIS
- Focus hunt
If you want to create great photographic memories, it is paramount to purchase the best lens for family portraits. Since different photographers prefer different manufacturers and all the settings that follow it, the list I have outlined aims to cover all the basics one would need in the process of buying 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 in your search for the best lenses for family portraits. If you’re still not sure which lens to buy, check out this option.
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