Canon is one of the top-tier camera manufacturers. They make some of the world's best cameras. However, even the best digital camera still needs a good set of lenses. If you have a Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera, you know just how important the right Canon lenses are for getting the job done. There are many Canon lenses out there, even some third party ones that will help you capture all sorts of different shots. There are so many lenses that it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best for expanding your photography kit. Don't worry! We're here to help. These are the best Canon lenses that will help you build your kit to be as versatile as possible.
Known as the "Nifty Fifty," the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens is one of the best Canon lenses you can buy after getting your camera. It's a prime lens (no zoom) with a wide aperture that delivers beautiful portrait shots with amazing bokeh. Plus, it's excellent at low-light photography, and it's one of the cheapest lenses you can get. It delivers incredible value for any Canon camera user.
A good zoom lens
A good telephoto lens is a must-have in your Canon arsenal, and the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens is perfect for action shots where you can't get close to the action. It has a superb autofocus system that is super speedy, making it ideal for snapping those fast-paced sports or other fast movements.
If you need a telephoto lens that gets you really close to the action, the focal length of Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM should do the trick. It delivers very sharp images, and even though it's a bit on the heavy side, it's perfect for catching subjects that are really far away.
If you want to get up close and personal, you'll want a macro lens, and the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is the one for you. It has built-in LED lights that light you get really close to your subject without losing too much light, and it even has some image stabilization, which will help keep the camera shake from your hands from affecting the photo.
Ultimate Portrait Lens
If you shoot many portraits, there's nothing better than the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM. Its wide aperture does wonders for getting that amazing background blur you want in portrait shots, and the 4-stop stabilizer in the lens is fantastic at making sure every photo is as sharp and crisp as possible.
Wide-Angle for Canon Mirrorless
Canon's mirrorless cameras don't always get the same love and attention that their DSLRs do, but the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM is a fantastic wide-angle lens for their mirrorless system. It has super-fast and reliable autofocus that makes snapping pictures a breeze, and it's incredibly light and compact, so you don't have to add a bunch of weight to your camera when you're carrying it around.
Know your mounts
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Before you buy a camera lens, you're going to want to make sure it fits your camera. Canon lenses are made to work with cameras with different mounts known as EF-S, EF, and EF-M. Each mount will only work with certain Canon cameras — here's a quick breakdown of all of them:
- Canon EF-S lenses: These lenses are designed to fit Canon DSLRs that use the APS-C sensor. For the most part, these are a lot of the Canon DSLRs you know and love.
- Canon EF lenses: These are made for Canon's full-frame DSLRs but can also be used with cameras that have APS-C sensors. If you have a Canon DSLR, chances are it should work with an EF lens.
- Canon EF-M lenses: These lenses are designed for Canon's EOS M series of mirrorless cameras. You won't be able to use these lenses on a Canon DSLR.
One of the biggest advantages digital cameras have over iPhones is the ability to switch lenses. Every Canon photographer knows that the right Canon lenses can make your photography kit so much more versatile than just using one lens.
If you're buying your first lens, it's impossible to go wrong with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens (opens in new tab). It's affordable, useful for portraits and low-light photography, and compact and lights, making it a great lens to carry with you everywhere.
While the price tag on the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM (opens in new tab) may shock you, if you're a professional photographer looking for that perfect portrait lens, you won't find any better. The 4-stop stabilizer in the lens delivers incredibly sharp and crisp photos every time you pull the shutter.
Having a good telephoto lens in your camera bag will allow you to take so many more types of photos. The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens (opens in new tab) is fast and reliable and will let you get a little closer when you're shotting from a distance — important for nature shots.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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