Canon Lens Recommendations

My Top 5 Recommended Canon Lenses Under $600

Earlier this month I posted my top 5 Nikon lenses and now it's Canon's turn! If you are wanting to add a few lenses to your arsenal and you shoot with a Canon DSLR, check out my recommendations below. Please note that both of these articles are geared towards those who own a cropped sensor (for Canon, an APS-C) camera; if you own a full-frame camera (such as the Canon 5D Mark iii), you should be well on your way to understanding lens selection and will be in a whole different budget ball-park. However, I do note that some of these are compatible for both camera bodies AND I give just a few options that are closer to the $1,000 range. 

For those of you just getting started or wanting to find better image quality, here's a few lenses that can help! 

Best Affordable Canon Lenses -

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 - Portrait/Fast Lens

    • If you're looking for a great affordable lens that can dramatically improve your photography, this is the one to start with. It's a no brainer at the price of only $125 on Amazon! I'm blown away at how great that price is; it is even $100 cheaper than the Nikon equivalent! With this prime lens (a lens that has a fixed-focal length or no zoom which means sharper images) you can get those beautiful blurry backgrounds or bokeh. If you've got a little more to spend and want to take it a step further towards great image quality and great performance in really low light settings, check out the 50mm f/1.4 for $349 on Amazon. Both of these lenses are compatible with Canon full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras. 

  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 - Portrait Lens

    • My good friend is a fantastic wedding and portrait photographer and this is her favorite lens. The extra focal length in the 85mm creates Bokeh that is absolutely beautiful. It is a great portrait lens! Once again, this is a fixed/prime lens and will offer sharp images with great quality. You'd be surprised at the image quality with this compared to your kit lens (if you have the 18-55mm lens)!  This lens is compatible with Canon full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras. Find this lens for $369 on Amazon

  • Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 - Everyday Lens

    • Okay if we were talking perfect lenses here, the next option of an 'all-around, every-day lens' might be the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L. BUT that lens costs FOUR TIMES the amount of this Tamron lens! The reviews about it are all over the place; it is a great lens, especially at the lower price. It's not as heavy and well-built as the Canon L lenses, but it is well made and the image quality is pretty dang close. To have a versatile lens that offers a good zoom range AND the ability to shoot in low light with that lovely f/2.8, that's a pretty happy thing. This one is worth looking into. Get it for $499 on Amazon. If you have the budget and want to find the next best 'walk-around' option, one of the greatest is the Canon 24-105mm f/4 L lens that goes for $999 on Amazon. Photographers love the reasonably fast aperture, a great focal length and very sharp images. 

  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L - Telephoto Zoom Lens

    • If you need more zoom than your everyday lens, this telephoto lens is a great buy. The f/2.8 version is $600+ more than this version, but the consistent aperture of f/4 even at it's maximum zoom is a good thing to have. The image quality of this L series lens is awesome; it yields sharp images, has fast focusing and is lighter than the more expensive versions. Keep in mind that this lens will be fantastic for well-lit settings such as outdoor sports where you can plan to use a fast shutter speed. Find it for $599 on Amazon. This lens is also compatible with both Canon full-frame and APS-C cameras. 

  • Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 - Wide Angle Lens

    • This lens is a great intro lens for wide-angle photographing (such as landscapes or interiors). It is also at a great price of $279 on Amazon. This lens will only work on an APS-C camera, not full-frame. At the top of our price line is another option, the incredible Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L wide angle lens ($999 on Amazon). Photographers rave that this lens boasts even greater image quality and sharpness than the 16-35mm f/2.8! If you're serious about landscapes or real estate images, this will give you a lot of bang for your buck. 

As always, be sure you consider your subject matter and then your budget to find out which lens is the next best choice for your camera bag. I hope these options can send you in the right direction for improving your photography! So much of it has to do with your lens. Don't forget that!