Recommended Lenses for Canon Cameras

Following is a list of recommended lenses for Canon Cameras. Canon currently offers 2 types of mounts: EF and EF-S. EF lenses will work on any Canon EOS Digital or Film camera. They are designed for the Full Frame sensors but also work great on the APS-C and APS-H bodies as well. When purchasing a lens, don’t forget a clear filter to protect your glass, a Polarizing filter, and for non “L” series lenses, a lens shade and a case. The “Buy Online” links will take you to where you can purchase the lens directly from them and I only include links that are eligible for Amazon Prime, which includes free standard shipping as well.

Ultrawide Zoom Lenses

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4-5.6 IS STM ($299)

canon10-18stm-000This lens is a rare example of getting more than you paid for in terms of optical quality! Typically, Ultrawide zoom lenses are both big and expensive, but the EF-S 10-18mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens breaks both those barriers with a 67mm filter thread and a $299 retail price. The build quality is not bad, but it does have a plastic mount. Normally I am not a fan of plastic on the mount, but since this lens is so small and inexpensive I am willing to overlook the plastic on this lens. As this lens is an EF-S model, it is only compatible with Canon APS-C cameras such as the Canon Rebel series, the 20D-70D and the 7D/7DII cameras. It will not mount at all on a full frame or older film camera. 67mm Filter Size Buy Online

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

canon17-40f4l-000This lens has long been considered a bargain. “L” build and image quality at an affordable $799 retail. Because it is an “EF” model, this lens works on both full frame/Film bodies and APS-C crop factor cameras. On a full-frame/film body this lens gives you a sweeping 104-degrees angle of view, and because it is an “L” you get great build quality, a lens hood and a case included! If you are using it on an APS-C body it gives you a great standard zoom lens range that if you ever upgrade to full frame or pick up a used film body works as well. One of the best features of this lens is the constant f/4 aperture throughout the zoom range. 77mm Filter size Buy Online

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Standard Zoom Lenses

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Canon EF 28-135mm f.3.5-5.6 IS USM

canon28-135-000This lens is a bit of a surprise. Originally over $500, this lens has seen recent price cuts to $369, putting it in the “Kit Lens” price league, but this lens is a step above with it’s great range, image stabilization and slightly better build quality. The image quality is also pretty good. This lens was sold as a kit lens option with the 50D, but this lens is a little awkward on a crop body since the 28mm setting is not very wide on those bodies, but if you have a full frame DSLR or a film camera it is a great lens, especially at the new lower price! 72mm Filter size Buy Online

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Telephoto Zoom Lenses

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

canon55-250-000This is a great lens for your crop factor Canon cameras. It is small and lightweight, features Image Stabilization, STM focusing and is inexpensive at $299 (cheaper when you buy it with a qualifying DSLR body typically). Because it is an EF-S lens it will only mount on Canon APS-C bodies such as the Rebel series, but it is an awesome companion to the smaller bodies. It does have a plastic mount, but that is forgiveable due to the light weight and price point. 58mm Filter size Buy Online

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8LII IS USM

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VC USD

tamron70-300-000The Tamron is my go-to pick for the 70-300 class of lens due to its excellent image stabilization and better price than the genuine manufacturers. Throw in the silent and fast autofocus and you have a great lens and a great value! Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony “A” mounts for $449. Note: The Sony “A” mount does not have image stabilization since the camera bodies have it built in. 62mm filter size Buy Online

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Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6LII IS USM

Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC USD

tamron150-600-000This lens from Tamron is the first budget priced super telephoto lens to feature image stabilization and a fast/silent ultrasonic focus drive. This lens gives great image quality and 600mm for $1069. When it first started shipping Tamron could not build them fast enough for the demand and it was on backorder for several months. Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony A mount. Note: The sony A mount does not feature image stabilization as the camera bodies have this feature built into them. 95mm filter size Buy Online

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Superzoom Lenses

Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VC USD

tamron16-300-000This lens from Tamron covers a whopping 18x zoom range for APS-C cameras. Starting at a quite wide 16mm and going all the way to 300mm in a single lens is quite an accomplishment. Keeping it as small and light as Tamron almost defies physics. Throw in super close focusing, ultra-fast and silent autofocus and image stabilization and you have the ultimate one-lens-wonder that is great for taking on your next vacation. Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony A mount. Note: The Sony A mount does note feature image stabilization as the camera bodies have this feature built into them. 67mm filter size Buy Online

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tamron16-300-001tamron16-300-002tamron16-300-003Cuising on Main Street

Standard Prime Lenses

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

canon40mm-000This lens is my favorite lens on my Canon 6D. This lens is what is known in the industry as a pancake lens. Pancake lenses are very short and light. With this lens on my 6d I have a fantastic street shooter combo that is stealthy and the fast and quiet STM focusing helps to keep it that way. When mounted on an APS-C camera the lens is a moderate telephoto. The f/2.8 aperture ensures that this lens can shoot well even when the light isn’t great or help to isolate your subject from your backgrounds. 52mm filter size Buy Online

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

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Portrait Lenses

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Macro Lenses

Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Canon MP-E65mm f/2.8

I list this lens mostly because of the unique nature of it. The MP-E65 lens is the only macro lens to offer a 5:1 reproduction ratio. This means that you can fill the frame with head of a wasp. Be warned, however, that this lens is not an easy one to use! But it is very fun! The lens does not even have a “focus” ring. to focus the lens you set the desired reproduction ratio and then move the camera forward and backward until your subject is in sharp focus. A macro focusing rail helps to make this easier.

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