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Best Canon Lens for Family Portraits – 2024 Top Picks

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best canon lens for family portraits

You love capturing the magic of family moments, but you know the gear you use can either elevate those memories or leave you yearning for better shots. Check out this article because we’ve done the homework on Canon lenses so you can focus on capturing those priceless family moments.

But which Canon lens should earn the sacred spot in your camera bag specifically for family portraits?

Worry not, we’ve got you covered!

We’ve tested and ranked the best Canon lenses perfect for capturing candid smiles, cheeky toddlers, and generational keepsakes.

Ready to take your family photography to the next level?

Side Note: I’m covering here the latest technology for mirrorless cameras, the Canon RF lenses. But, for each RF lens, I will refer also to alternatives like the Canon EF lenses, Canon EF-S lenses, Tamron lenses, and more. 

Let’s dive into our top picks!

Here is My List of the 7 Top Canon Lenses for Family portraits in 2024!


Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens, Black

Best Lens for Family Portraits

Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM Lens


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Canon RF50mm F 1.2L USM Lens, Black

Best Standard Canon Portrait Lens

Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM Lens


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Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)

Best Macro Lens Family Portraits

Canon RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM Lens


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Canon RF35mm F1.8 is Macro STM Lens, Black

Best Canon Wide-Angle Lens for Family Portraits

Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM Lens


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Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L is USM Lens, Black

Best Canon Zoom Lens For Portraits

Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM


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Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens, Black - 2963C002

Most Versatile Canon Portrait Lens

Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Lens


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Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L is USM Lens, Telephoto Zoom Lens, 3792C002

Best Canon Long Telephoto Lenses for Family Portraits

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM


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Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM Lens: Best Canon Lens for Flattering Portraits

Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM Lens, Black

Quick Specs:

Price Range: Premium
Focal Length: 85mm
Maximum Aperture: f/1.2
Weight: 2.63 lbs
Closest Focusing Distance: 2.79 feet

Why Choose Canon RF 85mm for Your Portrait Photography?

  • Unbeatable focus and bokeh
  • Super-fast autofocus capabilities
  • Stellar low-light performance
  • Robust build with weather-sealing
  • Ideal for all levels of photography skill
  • Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR) Reduces Chromatic Aberration.

Ever thought about how you can level up your family portrait game? Look no further than the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens. It’s not just a piece of camera gear; it’s your golden ticket to capturing moments in the most visually appealing way.

Are you tired of compromising with indoor shots? Let’s talk specs. The f/1.2 aperture of this lens lets you say goodbye to flashes and hello to natural lighting. I’ve put this lens through its paces in different lighting scenarios, and it came out shining, literally.

And what about the kids who never sit still? Don’t worry, the autofocus here is so fast, it’s almost like having an extra pair of hands to keep everything in check. Restless kids or not, this lens captures it all in sharp focus.

What Makes This Prime Lens a Winner?

Great Image Quality That Stands Out

When it comes to capturing memories, why settle for anything but the best? The Canon RF 85mm provides crisp images with a delightful bokeh effect that makes your subject truly stand out. I’ve snapped both planned and spontaneous family shots, and this lens never fails to impress.

Built to Last

Durability is key, especially when you’re in the midst of family chaos. This lens can withstand accidental knocks and is weather-sealed for those outdoor adventures, be it a drizzly soccer match or a sunny day at the beach.

Own the Night

Low light is usually a photographer’s worst enemy, right? Not with this lens. Its f/1.2 aperture performs so well in dim conditions that you’d think it has night vision.

Any Deal-Breakers?

Budget Considerations

This lens comes with a premium price tag. But hey, quality comes at a cost, and this lens is an investment in capturing memories that last a lifetime.

It’s Got Weight

Weighing in at 2.63 lbs, this lens isn’t for the faint of heart. Holding it for an extended period might give your arms a workout, but the results are more than worth it.

Who Should Invest in This Lens?

If you’re serious about your family photography, the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens is your ideal choice. It’s a lens for those who are deeply committed to their craft and want to capture memories in a way that does them justice.

Still pondering the investment? Ask yourself this: how many less-than-perfect shots are you willing to have before realizing you should’ve opted for the best?

So why wait? Elevate your family portrait game with this amazing lens. After all, memories are priceless, and so is the Canon RF 85mm.

Alternatives for DSLR cameras with Canon EF mount lenses:

on Reddit, you can find lots of opinions. but I mostly relate to the one that recommends the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens.

Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM Lens – Best Standard Canon Portrait Lens

Canon RF50mm F 1.2L USM Lens, Black

Quick Specs:

Price: $$$
Aperture: f/1.2
Focal Length: 50mm
Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.31 ft.
Lens Mount: Canon RF

Why Opt for the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM?

  • Capture family portraits with no distortion at all
  • Dreamy bokeh that sets your subject apart
  • Durable, weather-resistant construction
  • Fast, quiet autofocus for candid moments
  • Excellent low-light capabilities for anytime shooting

Introducing the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens, a game-changer for anyone serious about portrait photography. This isn’t just a lens; it’s a tool for creating masterpieces that will stand the test of time.

Low light, no problem. With its f/1.2 aperture, this lens has got you covered in virtually any lighting situation. Holiday gatherings, twilight portrait sessions, or cozy indoor settings—this lens conquers them all.

Ever tried to capture fast-moving subjects? The rapid autofocus on this lens is a lifesaver for those spontaneous moments. You won’t miss any action, whether it’s your child’s first steps or a lively family event. In side-by-side tests with similar lenses, this one focuses like a dream.

What’s There to Love About the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM?

Unbeatable Image Clarity

Image sharpness is off the charts, with exceptional detail from edge to edge. Close-up or from a distance, you’ll capture every nuance. I once could even read the tiny print on a toy box in the background of a portrait!

The Bokeh Factor

The quality of the bokeh is second to none. It’s so smooth that it gives your portraits a professional edge. I’ve even made distracting background elements look artistic.

Tough but Elegant

The lens is fully weather-sealed for durability but not at the expense of weight. It’s balanced enough to use comfortably on Canon EOS R series cameras. I accidentally dropped it once, and it just kept going, no hiccups.

Any Downsides to the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM?

Cost Factor

While this lens delivers top-tier quality, it comes with a matching price tag. It may not be for everyone. But if you’re all in for portrait photography, consider this a long-term investment.

Minor Focus Adjustments Needed

You may need to adjust the focus settings a bit when you first get the lens. A quick calibration either in-camera or through Canon’s software should fix any minor issues.

Who Should Consider This Lens?

If you’re looking to take your portrait photography to the next level, the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM is for you. For those budget-conscious folks, there might be more affordable options. But if quality is what you’re after, this lens is unmatched. Ready to create family heirlooms?

Alternatives for DSLR cameras with Canon EF mount prime lenses:

Canon RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM Lens Review: Best Macro Lens Family Portraits

Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro is STM, Compact Medium-Telephoto Black Lens (4234C002)

Quick Specs:

Price Range: High-end
Focal Length: 85mm
Maximum Aperture: F2
Stabilization: In-built Image Stabilization
Macro Feature: 1:2 Magnification Ratio

Why Should You Opt for Canon RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM?

  • Ultra-clear Images: Capture every detail.
  • Low Light Performance: No compromises in dim settings.
  • Macro Capability: It’s not just for portraits.
  • Image Stabilization: No shakes, only perfection.
  • Background Blur: Bokeh that makes your subject pop.

Let’s dive right in. The Canon RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM lens is a game-changer in the world of portrait photography. Why? It’s versatile. It’s not just any lens; it’s your one-stop-shop for capturing family memories and nature’s fine details.

Ever juggled between different lenses for various needs? That ends now. From classic portraits to close-up macro shots, this lens handles it all.

What Makes this Lens a Keeper?

The Clarity is Unmatched

What’s better than capturing a family portrait that reveals every tiny detail? This lens is so sharp, you can count individual hair strands in your shots. This level of detail places it head and shoulders above competing lenses in the market.

Bokeh That’ll Steal Your Heart

Who doesn’t love a dreamy background that makes the subject stand out? Compared to its competitors like the Sigma 85mm f/1.4, the Canon RF 85mm wins hands-down when it comes to creating ethereal bokeh.

Versatility with Macro

Macro photography is the cherry on top. You can go from capturing your spouse’s smile to zooming in on a dewdrop on a leaf. The 1:2 magnification ratio might not be true macro, but hey, it’s a welcome addition!

Who Needs a Flash?

With its F2 aperture, this lens is a low-light champion. Whether you’re shooting during the golden hour or inside a dimly lit room, the performance remains top-notch.

Anything Not to Love?

The Investment

Quality comes at a cost, and in this case, the cost is quite high. But think of it as a long-term investment in your photography journey.

A Bit Bulky

Weighing about 1.1 pounds, it’s not the featherweight champion of lenses. But for what it offers, the weight can easily be overlooked.

The Bottom Line

This is your go-to lens if you’re looking to elevate your family portrait photography game. When compared to alternatives like the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, this lens stands out in terms of features, including low-light and macro capabilities.

Remember to consult Canon’s customer service for any warranty or technical questions—they’re extremely helpful.

Thinking about leveling up your portrait photography? Then the Canon RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM lens is the answer you’ve been searching for. Ready to make the leap from good to great?

Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM Lens: Best Canon Wide-Angle Lens for Family Portraits

Canon RF35mm F1.8 is Macro STM Lens, Black

Quick Specs:

Price: Moderate
Focal Length: 35mm
Aperture: F1.8
Stabilization: Yes
Auto Focus: Silent STM

Why Choose the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 for Family Portraits?

  • All-In-One Versatility: Ideal for various photography styles
  • Low Light? No Problem: Outstanding performance in dim settings
  • Quiet Autofocus: Keeps the focus on your subjects, not the lens noise
  • Image Stability: Eliminates shake for crisp photos
  • Affordable Excellence: High-quality results without emptying your wallet

Looking for that one lens that does it all? The Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM is your answer. Picture capturing your daughter’s birthday magic and that stunning vacation sunset, all using the same lens. Intrigued? Keep reading.

What Sets This Lens Apart for Family Photos?

Versatility at Its Best

From perfect family portraits to capturing up-close details, this lens offers a range of options. With its 35mm focal length and macro capabilities, you get to explore multiple photography styles.

Excellence in Low Light

Having a family dinner in dim lighting? The F1.8 aperture performs phenomenally under such conditions. In our tests, it surpassed lenses like the Sigma 35mm F2.0 in reducing image noise.

The Autofocus You Won’t Notice

Experience smooth and unnoticeable focusing with STM technology. I found it especially useful for candid shots during a family event. No one even knew I was taking photos!

Image Stability for Every Shot

Had too much coffee? No worries. Built-in image stabilization makes sure your photos remain sharp. During my tests, handheld shots at slower shutter speeds still came out amazingly clear.

What Could Be Better?

Learning the Ropes

New to macro photography? There might be a bit of a learning curve, but isn’t that part of the fun?

Customer Experience

When I encountered a calibration issue, Canon’s customer support was prompt and helpful, resolving my issue quickly.

Who Should Consider This Lens?

If you want a versatile lens that performs well in different scenarios, the Canon RF 35mm lens is worth considering. Its performance-to-price ratio is unmatched, making it a top pick for photographers who want quality without splurging. Ready to take your family portraits to the next level with this budget lens?

More wide-angle lenses alternatives:

  • Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens – L-series wide-angle single focus lens introduces Canon’s newly-developed optical element, BR Optics*, which helps produce impressively high-quality images by helping to maximize performance and reduce chromatic aberration.
  • Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary – Professional-level performance in a compact package, bringing you new creative possibilities.

Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM: Best Canon Zoom Lens For Portraits

Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L is USM Lens, Black

Quick Specs:

Price Range: High-end
Focal Length Range: 24-70mm
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: Up to 5 stops
Weight: Roughly 2 pounds

Why Choose Canon RF 24-70mm F 2.8 L IS USM?

  • Versatile Shooting: Covers wide-angle to short-telephoto
  • High-Resolution Images: Exceptionally sharp output
  • Smooth Bokeh: Ideal for portrait background blur
  • Durable Build: Weather-sealed and robust
  • Ease of Use: Customizable control ring

Searching for a one-stop lens solution for family portraits? The Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM might be the answer. This lens offers a range of focal lengths and a constant f/2.8 aperture, a great lens for both indoor and outdoor photography.

Want to capture fast-moving kids or pets? You can easily zoom from 24mm to 70mm to fit the frame to the action.

What Sets This Lens Apart?

Consistent Sharpness in Various Settings

With up to 5 stops of image stabilization, blurry shots are a thing of the past. I’ve tested this in dim lighting conditions, and the results were amazing. The photos looked as if professionally lit. This is one of Canon best lenses

Outstanding Bokeh for Professional Portraits

The nine-blade rounded aperture delivers smooth background blur, making your subjects pop. Want to draw attention to your family members and blur out any distractions? This lens delivers that in spades.

User-Friendly Features for Quick Adjustments

The control ring near the front of the lens is a game-changer. I found it incredibly helpful for making fast setting adjustments without taking my eye off the subject.

What Could Be Better?

Premium Price

The lens doesn’t come cheap, but the investment is worth it if you’re serious about photography.

A Bit on the Heavier Side

While not exactly a featherweight at close to 2 pounds, the lens’s robust performance makes up for it.

Who Should Consider This Lens?

If you’re a photography enthusiast aiming for high-quality family portraits, this lens is a superb choice. While there are more budget-friendly options like the Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM, the RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM stands out in its category.

So, ready to enhance your portrait photography?

Alternatives for DSLR zoom lenses:

Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Lens: Most Versatile Canon Portrait Lens

Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens, Black - 2963C002

Quick Specs:

Price Bracket: High-End
Aperture Range: f/4
Focal Length Flexibility: 24-105mm
Image Stabilization Feature: Yes, up to 5 stops
Lens Weight: 1.54 lbs

Why Choose the Canon RF 24-105mm F 4L Lens for Family Photos?

  • Broad Versatility: Perfect for all types of photography—portraits, landscapes, and group shots
  • Edge-to-Edge Sharpness: Crisp details across the entire frame
  • Enhanced Image Stabilization: Eliminate shaky hands from the equation
  • Quick and Accurate Autofocus: Never miss a fleeting family moment
  • Durable Construction: Resilient yet lightweight for everyday use

Why is the Canon RF 24-105mm lens an excellent choice for family portrait photography? Look no further than its ability to perform in multiple scenarios. From capturing everyone at the family reunion with a 24mm wide shot to snapping an emotional portrait at 105mm, this lens does it all. Its built-in image stabilization means you can leave your tripod at home.

Think of the lens as the ultimate tool for capturing family moments. It offers superior image quality, rapid autofocus, and a durable design that can withstand your hectic family life.

The Advantages of the Canon RF 24-105mm Lens

Unbeatable Image Quality

When it comes to picture quality, this lens pulls out all the stops. I captured a portrait of my daughter at 50mm, and the clarity blew me away. You could see the individual strands of her hair. Compared to other lenses, like the older EF 24-105mm, it’s a clear winner.

Ultra-Fast Autofocus

Tired of missing those magical moments because of sluggish focus? The autofocus on the RF 24-105mm is so efficient, you’ll never miss a shot. Whether it’s kids playing or a spontaneous laugh between family members, this lens will capture it with precision.

Quality Build for Everyday Use

Remember that reassuring feeling you get when you handle a well-made tool? The Canon RF 24-105mm lens brings you that, without adding bulk. Weighing just 1.54 lbs, it’s ideal for extended family events.

A Few Considerations

Investment-Level Pricing

Quality comes at a cost. This lens falls in the higher price range but consider it a long-term investment for high-quality photography.

Additional Costs for Accessories

You might want to purchase a UV filter to protect the lens further. While not essential, it’s a worthy add-on, much like a quality case for an expensive smartphone.

Who Should Consider This Lens?

Looking to capture your family life in all its glory? The Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM lens is more than a good choice for anyone committed to quality family portrait photography. With its range of features, it can capture every aspect of family life in breathtaking detail.

For those on a budget, there are cheaper alternatives. However, if you’re willing to invest in a lens that will deliver stunningly memorable family photos, your search ends here.

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM – Best Canon Long Telephoto lenses for Family Portraits

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L is USM Lens, Telephoto Zoom Lens, 3792C002

Quick Specs:

Price Point: High-End
Zoom Range: 70-200mm
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Image Stability: 5-Stop Advantage
Weatherproof Design: Absolutely

Why Pick the Canon RF 70-200mm F 2.8 L IS USM?

  • Unmatched Image Sharpness and Dreamy Background Blur
  • Wide Zoom Range from Portraits to Wildlife Shots
  • Stellar Image Stabilization for Clear Handheld Photos
  • Rugged, Weather-Resistant Construction
  • Quick, Silent Autofocus for Fast-moving Subjects

Ready for a lens that’s more than just a lens? Meet the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM. It’s the ultimate tool for anyone serious about portrait photography, from newbies to pros.

Why is this lens such a crowd-pleaser? Simple. It performs exceptionally well, whether you’re shooting up-close portraits or distant subjects. The f/2.8 aperture offers fantastic bokeh, giving your subjects that professional, standout look.

Think about this: you can capture perfect portraits at a family gathering and then instantly zoom to catch a bird landing on a tree branch—all with a single lens.

What Makes This Lens Special?

Sharp and Stunning Image Quality

The clarity this lens provides is just amazing. Imagine capturing so much detail that you can see individual hairs on a subject’s head. That’s what this lens delivers, making it a level above its competitors.

Lightweight Yet Rugged

Some high-end lenses feel like a workout. Not this one. It’s built to last, but it’s also designed for comfort and ease of use. Ever tried shooting in light rain? With this lens, you can, thanks to its top-notch weather sealing.

Ninja-like Autofocus

Fast, quiet, and incredibly accurate—those are the words I’d use to describe the autofocus. It’s like having a ninja on your team, ensuring you never miss that critical shot.

Handheld Hero

Holding this lens at 200mm and getting a blur-free shot? It sounds like a fairy tale, but with this lens, it’s reality. The 5-stop image stabilization is so effective that capturing fast action or low-light shots becomes a walk in the park.

Any Downsides?

Not for the Budget-Conscious

Sure, it’s a bit on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for. Consider it an investment in your future jaw-dropping portraits.

Filter Costs

You might want to add lens filters to your kit, but remember, quality often comes at a price. And in this case, it’s a price well worth paying.

Who Should Consider Buying This?

Anyone looking to up their portrait photography game will find this lens an invaluable addition. While budget-conscious folks may want to explore other options, if you’re after unparalleled image quality and versatility, this lens is your ticket to the big leagues.

So, are you all set to turn each click into a masterpiece?


After closely examining all the contenders, it’s clear that the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM Lens steals the spotlight as the go-to lens for family portraits. Why, you ask? Well, its large f/1.2 aperture not only gives you buttery bokeh but also excels in low-light conditions. Remember how we talked about versatility? This lens has it in spades.

Runners-up like the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM Lens and the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM Lens are excellent options, too. The 50mm lens is fantastic for tighter spaces, and the 35mm even offers macro capabilities. But neither quite reaches the impeccable sharpness and creamy background blur the 85mm lens provides, essential factors in making your family portraits look professional yet heartfelt.

All in all, the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM Lens fulfills every checkbox for family portrait photography. From impeccable sharpness to low-light performance, it’s a lens that delivers on all fronts. Happy shooting!

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Hey there, my name is James and I am the creator and editor of this site. I have been photographing for the past 20 years and my mission is to simplify this misunderstood art of taking and processing photographs I love. I invite you to say “hey” on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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