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A native lens is not always enough for a professional photographer, although many do not use even half of its capabilities. Buying additional devices is quite expensive, so photographers often buy only one lens to change and stop there. A good lens is needed not only for bringing objects closer. He is responsible for the quality, sharpness, stabilization – in other words, almost everything. But if you have a Canon camera, this does not mean that you can attach any lens you like to it. In this case, only Canon will do.

First of all, you need to decide on genre preferences. For portraits, fixed focal length lenses are considered the best, for insects, macro lenses, and for wildlife or sporting events, telephoto lenses are considered the best. For each type of shooting, Canon produces dozens of models: from budget options for $ 200-300, to expensive professional optics costing more than $ 10,000.

The Best Standard Fixed FR Lenses for Canon Cameras

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

The price remains affordable for amateurs, but the quality of the optics is enough for shooting portraits with a professional camera. Compared to Canon’s cheap fifty dollars, the EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM lens looks solid. Weighty design – 290 grams – creates a pleasant first impression. And it’s not deceptive.

The classic portrait lens gives a sharp picture and spectacular background blur. Beautiful bokeh comes from the eight-bladed aperture. The lens is one of the fastest, it is pleasant to work with it without a flash even in dimly lit rooms. But users note that opening aperture 1.4 is actually non-working. Chromatic aberrations come out, image quality drops. The lens is suitable for both crop and full-frame cameras. But on budget DSLRs, the possibilities of optics will not be fully revealed, the best shooting option is a half-length portrait. Full-length portraits, landscapes will not look so advantageous, but it is possible to achieve a good result.

The ultrasonic autofocus motor is fast and quiet, but the autofocus often misses. The disadvantages of the lens include the unreliability of the design: the plastic manual focus ring requires delicate handling.

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

The indisputable advantage of the lens is its versatility. Looking at the technical specifications, professionals may wrinkle their noses – “neither this nor that”, but among amateurs, the Canon EF 40 mm f / 2.8 STM lens claims to be the best. It does not fall under the usual classifications: it is not a portrait yet, but it is not fully wide-angle either. A slight distortion of space with such viewing characteristics is inevitable, but it is not striking. At the same time, a focal length smaller than that of fifty dollars allows the photographer to turn around in small rooms, as well as shoot landscapes and portraits on the street.

Experts and consumers note the high build quality, which is uncharacteristic of inexpensive fix models. Metal bayonet ring, high-quality plastic with rubber inserts. The lightness and compactness of the lens helps when traveling. Pictures leave a good impression. Smooth color transitions, a little goes into pastel colors. Tough autofocus.

With a maximum aperture of 2.8, you should not count on spectacular bokeh, but blurring the background is pleasing to the eye. Owners of SLR cameras note that in terms of bokeh, the lens is not inferior to a budget fifty dollars with an aperture of 1.8. But in dimly lit rooms, they are not so comfortable photographing. Without a flash, it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve a decent result when using light from a window in the back of the room. The loud noise of the motor spoils the sound. The manufacturer promises smooth STM focusing, the lens is adapted for video shooting.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

A super-fast fix in all its glory will reveal itself in the twilight. Now your pictures in museums, salons and designer rooms will acquire a previously indescribable atmosphere. The technique very accurately and confidently conveys color shades, contrast and details. This lens is an indispensable tool for complex scenes at dusk, for working with chiaroscuro, volume, plasticity, multiple light sources and other highly artistic experiments.

From positive and negative opinions, we highlight the brightest. This Canon product is praised for sharpness in the frame, careful color accuracy, reliable micro-contrast in the shadows – portraits in the dark are especially good, skin tones are transferred amazingly. There are also disadvantages: a heavy lens block, slow focusing and a very shallow depth of field. But all the shortcomings are ready to be forgiven for the rare quality of optics to transmit volume in digital form, and even critics agree with this.

The Best Standard Variable FR Lenses for Canon Cameras

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

If you’re looking for versatile solutions, be sure to check out the standard zoom with professional performance. Versatility lies in the large selection of shooting scenes in which you get consistent quality and clarity of shots. Portrait, landscape, holiday, travel, video recording – nothing is impossible with Canon’s nimble L-series zoom. The lens is suitable for Canon full-frame cameras with EF-S mount, as well as cropped APS-C matrices.

The updated version marked “II” differs from the previous one in significant advantages:

  • improved resolution and sharpness in all parts of the image and throughout the zoom range;
  • enhanced stabilization at slow shutter speeds;
  • Glare and ghosting are eliminated thanks to Air Sphere Coating technology.

It’s no coincidence that TIPA, the global body of photographic press representatives, gave the model the lead in the standard zoom lens category in 2017.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Despite the affordable cost, the lens has a solid appearance and an impressive weight (480 grams). In terms of characteristics, it is similar to the whale lens, which is purchased with the camera, but wins due to the increased range of focal lengths – from wide-angle to telephoto lens. Of the advantages, owners of non-full-frame cameras note tenacious autofocus. You can’t expect much from a stabilizer in the lower price ranges, but it works.

What makes it even more versatile is its quiet STM motor, adapted to video shooting. The stepper motor focuses smoothly and quickly, without creaking sound and temporary loss of clarity.

The main drawback is low aperture, but for a budget lens this is predictable. The EF-S 18–135 mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM is a great option for the beginner photographer and offers the best value for money.

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

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

The narrow range made it possible to achieve high efficiency of the optics: sharp shots are obtained at all focal lengths. Unlike budget models, the Canon EF-S 17–55 mm f/2.8 IS US has a working 3-stage stabilizer. It is comfortable to shoot at short exposures without a tripod. The lens is bright, suitable for shooting indoors without a flash near the window.

Some amateur photographers note the effect of vignetting and distortion, but the “barrels” and “pillows” cannot be called pronounced. The only significant drawback for such an expensive glass is an unreliable case. With prolonged use, the weighty “trunk” loosens and begins to fall out under its own weight. But despite the shortcomings, this optics will be the best replacement for a whale lens for non-full-frame cameras.

The best telephoto lenses for Canon cameras

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM

Professionals find this aperture zoom lens fast, convenient and indispensable in difficult conditions. Indeed, this Canon can do a lot: it emphasizes the clarity of an object against a blurry background due to the maximum aperture of f / 2.8, it gives optimal contrast and resolution thanks to a fluorite and ultra-low dispersion optical element, with a minimum focusing distance of 1 m for a telephoto lens, it shoots almost everything – from landscapes to birds and animals to close-up scenes. And there are no complications with automatic and manual focus settings – they are fast and almost silent.

Comes with a lens hood to eliminate stray light and minimize unwanted reflections in the frame. Lens coating additionally helps to combat light halos in the photo. The soft protective cover with a zipper from the basic package is very handy when traveling – with it, the owner can easily clean the fluorine coating on the front and rear optics from dust and moisture. The disadvantages include not the highest aperture ratio, but the model turned out to be much more compact in comparison with the older ones. With its metal body, it weighs only 705g, while the same Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM weighs over 1.5kg.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Among professionals, this L-series lens has gained fame as one of the sharpest. The definition of “ringing sharpness” is just about him. Among other advantages: confidence-inspiring assembly, focusing speed, rich picture, soft and even bokeh. The lens does not give distortion and will be a godsend for portraitists who prefer to shoot in nature or deserted streets. You will have to move far away, so unnecessary people and objects should not get into the frame.

High aperture in alliance with a full-frame camera “pulls out” a picture at dusk or in a darkened room. The EF 135 mm f/2L USM is comfortable to work with even in concert shooting.

With excellent performance, professional optics have an adequate cost, this is the best price / quality ratio in the Canon telephoto line. According to photographers, glass has practically no flaws. The most demanding complain about the lack of a stabilizer, dust and moisture protection. The options are certainly convenient, but they are not decisive when choosing optics.

Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM

Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM

The Canon RF 24-240mm is a versatile 10x zoom for Canon EOS R and RP full-frame mirrorless cameras. Superzoom optics, as you know, is a kind of optical compromise for the sake of increasing the focal length. In this model, the minimum focusing distance of 50 mm turns the optics into a wide-angle, 78 cm into a telephoto lens. As a result, it can be used for a huge number of subjects, in particular, for travel-shooting. There is a performance hit at full zoom, the edges of the frame are noticeably softened, and the center of the image remains sharp and contrasty.

Other key product features include a Nano USM full-time manual focus motor and a five-stop high-performance optical Image Stabilizer. Considered Canon’s fastest and most innovative autofocus motor, the Nano-Ultrasonic AF Motor is just what you need to capture action-packed action and video with quiet, smooth focus changes. The built-in 5-stop IS has only been present in the L-series so far, so for a lens that doesn’t belong there and cuts the budget by almost half, this is a great feature.

Best Wide Angle Lenses for Canon Cameras

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

One of Canon’s most versatile wide-angle lenses. When shooting on a full-frame camera at short focal lengths, it becomes ultra wide-angle. At the same time, it remains possible to narrow the viewing angle to 40 millimeters and get a picture close to how the human eye sees it. On crops, the EF 17-40 mm f/4L USM will be an excellent replacement for a stock lens.

Professionals note the endurance of optics: with such a solid construction, protection against moisture and dust, it is not scary to damage equipment when shooting in difficult conditions. The advantages of the optics include fast, silent autofocus, color reproduction and wide-angle sharpness.

The only significant drawback is that the lens is dark, but on a full-frame camera this is compensated by ISO. But low aperture makes the price low: wide-angle is considered one of the most affordable and best in the L-series. Users note that at small focal lengths, chromatic aberrations and distortions come out in contrasting images, which can be easily corrected in a photo editor.

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM

Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM

Canon’s 35mm wide-angle lens is suitable for a variety of genres. Portrait shooting in the studio and on the street, close-ups with 1:2 macro zoom, multi-detailed landscapes – all this is within the power of a versatile device with a wide aperture of f1.8. Its main advantages are a compact body, a natural viewing angle, accurate reproduction of textures, atmospheric shots even in low light. Given the affordability, it is this lens that can be used as a standard lens for everyday shooting on the EOS R and RP cameras.

The mechanism with a Quiet STM stepper motor does not really affect the quality of the picture, but significantly increases the speed and noiselessness of focusing. So the RF 35mm is also one of the best choices for home filmmaking, with step-by-step autofocus delivering natural transitions to different subjects. It is worth noting the presence of Super Spectra protection – a multi-layer anti-reflective coating for lenses that provides precise light balance and high contrast, minimizes reflections and ghosting by absorbing light.

Canon EF-S 10–22 mm f/3.5–4.5 USM

Canon EF-S 10–22 mm f/3.5–4.5 USM

The lens is suitable for shooting large-scale landscapes and tight spaces, since almost the entire surrounding space fits into the frame. At the same time, distortions are inevitable: knowing this feature of wide-angles, professional photographers use it as a creative technique. It’s nice that chromatic aberration and dispersion are not so significant for a wide angle. The lens copes well with backlight. Distortions are present, but with the skillful construction of the composition, they are not striking. Sharpness can not be called ringing, but it is maintained even at the edges of the frame.

The Canon EF-S 10–22 mm f/3.5–4.5 USM has an excellent focusing distance of 24 cm, which makes it possible to emphasize foreground details. Thanks to the ultrasonic motor, autofocus is fast and quiet. The optics are distinguished by a reliable build quality comparable to professional lenses.

The price is close to the glass of the luxury series, but at the same time, the aperture does not inspire optimism. The optics are a bit dark for a non-full frame camera, but Canon’s best ultra-wide-angle lens is nowhere to be found in this segment.

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