There is something wonderful and meaningful about capturing a candid moment for what it is. In a candid portrait, you showcase real moments and real connections between individuals without them being aware that they are being photographed. To capture candids effectively, one needs to have the right camera setup with them.
Since moments occur spontaneously, you need a camera lens that can be as quick as possible by taking a picture before your subject changes positions. Keeping all of this in mind, here are our suggestions for the best lenses for candid portraits.
The first lens on our list of lenses for candid portraits is Tamron’s SP 24-70mm f/2.8. This lens is a highly functional, high quality, high-speed standard zoom lens. To ensure stability while capturing pictures by reducing shaking, it consists of Tamron’s propriety VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization.
This lens is known for its high sharpness, and it also has excellent color composition. The colors produced by this lens are very vibrant and life-like, and hence, would be liked by many photographers out there.
The product has an SP (Super Performance) series lens, which ensures that you make full use of the specialized glass elements in its lens layout. It also places top priority to image quality and includes three LD elements and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) glasses.
Additionally, for instant silent autofocusing, it has the USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), which is known for its high accuracy as well. The USD also allows instant manual override even when the focus mode switch is in the AF position. Focusing takes place internally, which means that the length of the lens remains constant.
Chromatic aberrations, usually seen as blue or blue fringes, are also controlled significantly with this lens. This lens can capture the finest details of one’s images in the way all photographers have always desired.
The Nikon NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8 ED VR is known for its fantastic image quality and sharpness. Images taken with this lens consist of virtually no distortion.
The focal length of this lens is 24 to 70 millimeters. The lens has speed, consistency, durability, and control alongside vibration reduction image stabilization technology, which is fitting for portrait photographers. The Nikon full-frame high-resolution DSLR allows this lens to reach all-new levels of clarity and sharpness.
The f/2.8 constant aperture allows for rapid shutter speeds to freeze fast action, meaning that you can quickly photograph moments that end up catching their eye.
The Nikon NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8 ED VR consists of rapid autofocus, allowing you to ensure that they can capture candid moments. The colors captured by this lens are also extremely vivid and true to life, hence, making its results very realistic and lively at the same time.
The lens has optical precision to the edge of the frame, which means that photographs consist of a balance of sharpness and soft blur effects, are virtually free of flare, coma, ghosting, chromatic or spherical aberration, even at the edge of the frame.
The Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 FE G Master is considered to be one of the best lenses for candid portraits out there. Its ED and Super ED glass elements provide profoundly vivid and realistic texture and detail.
Its original Nano AR Coating technology reduces flare and ghosting. Both of these features result in lifelike, high quality, and natural images. Furthermore, two aspherical elements and a highly precise XA element leads to reduced aberration, and hence, maximized resolution.
Moreover, the lens also has a Nano AR Coating allowing for accurate light transmission leading to improved quality, contrast, and clarity. The constant f/2.8 aperture maintains depth and exposure of the field regardless of the focal range you decide to zoom to.
The lens also makes it easy to achieve a bokeh effect thanks to the circular aperture blades used in this lens, making it perfectly fitting for portrait photographs.
Lastly, the Direct Drive SSM (DDSSM) allows for quiet and precise focusing. It can position the large, heavy optical assemblies required by large-aperture lenses with pinpoint precision, assisting both manual focus as well as autofocus. The Manual focus response is also natural and intuitive.
The Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO is exceptionally sharp throughout the entire zoom range. There is also very little corner softness in the photographs captured by this lens.
Chromatic aberrations, vignetting and distortions are all very-well controlled, with distortions being almost non-existent. Vignetting is significantly controlled throughout the entire aperture range and at all focal lengths too. Additionally, the lens is very fast to auto-focus. The electrical AF system takes less than a second to rack from minimum to infinity focus.
Being paired with a lens construction where only two cemented lenses are moved for the adjustment of focus, the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Zuiko PRO focuses quietly, smoothly, and quickly. Manual focusing is also an option on this lens, both as full manual focus alongside full-time manual focus override while AF is enabled.
Thie Nikon NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4 produces impressively sharp images. Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat reduces ghosting and flaring to a great extent for excellent image clarity, and the nine-blade rounded aperture produces a pleasing and soft blur characteristic within photographs.
This lens can shoot crisp candid shots at dimly-lit locations such as restaurants, nightclubs, and wedding receptions without the blue. It can also capture pin-sharp portraits with significant detail and vibrant color reproduction.
They also consist of a Silent Wave Motor – this allows for high-speed autofocus that’s both extremely quiet and accurate at the same time. Additionally, it has an internal focus providing autofocus without changing the length of the lens, retaining working distance through the focus range.
The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM uses a ring-type USM, optimized algorithms, and a high-speed CPU to achieve an autofocus speed around 1.8x faster than the original. The high-speed AF and circular aperture allow for the creation of a shallow depth-of-field that brings attention to the subject and ends up blurring the background, which makes it one of the better lenses for candid portraits.
Furthermore, the floating optical system, which consists of an aspherical lens element, suppresses aberrations and hence ensures that the resulting image is excellent. You can capture portraits in low-light conditions, and the lens exquisitely sharp.
The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM’s manual focus operation is also highly smooth and precise. With this lens, you can’t discern any elements that fall just a few inches in front of, or behind the subject, ensuring that the bokeh it produces is compelling.
The Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master is one of the top lenses for candid portraits. It’s Super Sonic Wave Motor allows for quiet, fast, and precise focusing. It has high-speed data processing, which provides the instantaneous feedback required for perfect autofocus precision.
The Nano AR technology also leads to the minimization of flare and ghosting, allowing for lifelike detail in photographs. ED and Super ED glass elements remove chromic aberrations as a potential element in pictures.
The Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master has the option of letting individuals instantly switch between manual and autofocus through an AM/FM switch on its side. This allows for quick and easy operation, making it perfect for photos aiming to capture candid moments.
Choosing Lenses for Candid Portraits
There are numerous options out there for you to choose from when it comes to choosing lenses for candid portraits. You can choose a lens from many different companies, namely Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Olympus.
We’ve listed some of the best options for you above. So, it’s time to start digging and begin your search. Find the perfect lens for you so that you can start capturing some incredible photographs.