Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Canon has always been a leading brand in the world of photography, as they are always looking to develop technologies and launch products that aim to help photographers take stunning photographs, so it's no wonder that professional photographers are looking for the best Canon lenses on the market.

Most Canon cameras come with a standard lens that while it may be good for taking professional photographs, it won't allow you to take specialised shots, such as high zoom shots or macro shots for amazing close up shots. That's why in this guide we'll help you buy the best Canon lenses on the market.

Here we set out to research which Canon lenses are the most competitive, to find out which features are the most sought after, paying close attention to buyer opinions and reviews, we also looked at the most common prices and the best places to buy Canon lenses.




Summary

  • A Canon lens is a lens made especially for the cameras produced by the same company. These lenses are built to fit into special camera body mounts, in order to make full use of all the technologies and features of the camera.
  • There are different types of lenses, which are aimed at different photographic needs. In addition to standard lenses, there are interesting macro lenses for taking amazing close-up pictures, large wide-angle lenses that help to take professional panoramic pictures, among others.
  • You should always think about the type of pictures you would like to take, and depending on this you should choose a lens. For example, if you need to take pictures from a distance, such as birds or sportsmen in stadiums buy a telephoto lens, if you will be taking pictures at weddings and events a more powerful standard lens would be good.

The Best Canon Lens: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Here we will tell you the basic information about Canon lenses so that you have a better understanding of these products, then we will tell you what the different types of lenses are and what they are used for, followed by the best places to buy Canon lenses and the prices at which you can buy them.

Telephoto lenses are the largest and heaviest lenses, so try to protect them in bags. (Photo: rido / 123rf.com)

What is a Canon lens and what are its advantages?

A Canon lens is a lens (also called an objective) created especially for use on cameras made by the same brand. These lenses have special attachments that fit into the body mounts, which allows them to take full advantage of all the technology that these cameras offer, such as image stabilisation or autofocus.

The great thing about using lenses and bodies from the same brand is that they will work the way they were intended. Many lenses from independent companies cannot utilise all the features of Canon cameras due to possible incompatibilities, which is minimised when using specialised lenses.

Advantages
  • Excellent quality
  • Wide variety of types
  • Models for every budget
  • Long life
  • Interchangeable
  • Fit many Canon cameras
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Poor compatibility with other brands
  • Require a lot of care

Canon zoom, macro, standard, wide-angle and telephoto lenses - what should you look out for?

The main advantage of DSLR cameras is that you can interchange lenses according to your needs, which is really useful when you consider that there are a variety of different types of lenses, which help you to take certain shots with better quality, so here we will tell you about the different types of Canon lenses.

Zoom: They are among the most marketed lenses as many Canon cameras are usually sold with a zoom lens installed. They can be considered as in the middle of telephoto and standard lenses, as they have a certain level of zoom but do not reach the distances taken by telephoto lenses.

Macro: These are lenses that allow you to take pictures of very close lenses, so they are preferred for taking amazing shots of plants, flowers, small animals, objects and interesting textures. They are sought after by those who like to take very detailed pictures of small things or for close-up shots of great quality.

Standard: These lenses earned their name because interchangeable lens cameras were originally sold with one of these lenses. They are cameras designed to provide images similar to those seen by the human eye, providing very detailed images but no zoom. They are perfect for portraits.

Wide Ang le: Known as Wide Angle. These cameras are capable of taking larger pictures than those taken with standard lenses, which means they can capture more of the scene. They are used to take pictures of large scenery, panoramas and interiors. Fisheye lenses fall into this category.

Telephoto: They have a high magnification capability, so they are used to take pictures of very distant targets. They have a really big size and are heavy. They are ideal lenses for taking pictures of wild animals, conferences and events, or for sports games.

Zoom Macro Standard Wide Angle Telephoto
Highlighted features Very versatile Focus well on very close subjects Angle of image similar to the human eye Capture more things Large magnification capabilities
Effect on photography Reduced image quality Sharp images, small field of view Allow more light to enter Enlarge perceived distance between foreground and background Subjects photographed appear closer together
Variations Super Zoom Different focal lengths Different focal lengths Super wide angle, Fisheye Small, Medium and Super telephoto
Recommended for Casual photography Photographing animals, plants and small objects Professional portraits Panoramic photos Concert, event and nature photos

Buying criteria: Factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of Canon lenses

Buying a Canon lens can be difficult if you don't know what to look for, or worse, what each of the features that make Canon lenses most appealing mean. To help you take the best pictures, in this section we'll help you learn the most important buying factors.

  • Focal length
  • Photos
  • Image stabilisation
  • Fixed and zoom lenses

Focal Length

The focal length on a lens is what separates the optical centre of the lens from the focus to the focal point. This is what determines what type of lens it will be, as well as the best uses for it. It also influences other things such as how easy it will be to move the lens away from the background, or how much light will enter the lens.

This also defines how much of an image can be captured and how much magnification (zoom) it is capable of. Generally, the shorter the focal length the larger the image but the smaller the zoom, and the longer the focal length the better the zoom the lens will have. The focal length is always given in mm.

Camera type Wide Angle Standard Macro Zoom and Telephoto
Focal length 8 to 35mm 50 to 85mm 60 to 150mm 85 to 300m

Photos

It's always a good idea to make a list of the things you'd like to take photos of, so you know what you need to buy. The zoom lens that came with your camera when you bought it may be good for casual photography, but it won't be good for very specialised professional photography.

  • Casual photography: This is the kind of photography you would do with a high-end smartphone camera, or with your camera's factory lens. You can shoot with standard 35 to 85mm focal length lenses, but also with zoom lenses with focal lengths from 85 to 135mm.
  • Panoramas, buildings and interiors: For this type of photography you will need Canon wide-angle lenses. For panoramas you will need 8 to 24mm focal length lenses, for interiors and buildings you will want a 24 to 35mm focal length lens.
  • Distant lenses: If you plan to use your camera to photograph football matches, bird watching or nature, you will need telephoto lenses. For sports you will need telephoto lenses with a focal length of 135 to 300mm, but if you want to photograph things from far away you will need telephoto lenses with a focal length longer than 300mm.
  • Close-up lenses: For this you will need a macro lens, as these are the only lenses capable of taking sharp pictures of small objects, as well as being able to get close enough to see the smallest details.

Image stabilisation

When you are taking pictures you may make small movements that can spoil the image without even realising it. This is very noticeable in slow exposure photography, such as taking pictures of roads or the night sky.

To avoid these problems you need lenses with image stabilisation. Lenses with image stabilisation will give you sharper pictures than normal lenses, allowing you to take quality pictures in places with unstable terrain as well as in low light conditions. Always buy lenses with this technology as it will help you take more professional images.

Fixed and Zoom Lenses

If you are used to taking pictures with your smartphone, you may find it a little difficult to adjust to the idea that not all lenses have a zoom lens. The option of being able to zoom in will always be appealing and versatile, but there are reasons to opt for a fixed lens.

Fixed lens: They are cheaper than zoom lenses and tend to have better image quality, and can also be used in poor lighting conditions with less loss of quality. They may not have the versatility of zoom lenses, but they do provide better image quality.

Zoom Lens: A Canon zoom lens will allow you to take pictures of close-up targets. They are a little more expensive, bigger and heavier than fixed lenses, but the amount of uses these lenses bring is unmatched. If you are a beginner you will like to have zoom lenses to get a better idea of the different focal lengths.

(Featured image photo: jahet / 123rf.com)

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