Canon EOS Lenses | The Best Canon EOS Lenses

What is a Canon EOS Lens?

Canon first introduced EOS in 1987. It stands for Electro-Optical System, and it is a kind of electro-communication system between the camera and the lens. When first produced, it was for 35mm film cameras, but now it is used to reference digital SLR cameras.

Canon EOS Lenses refers to those lenses that are made to attach to a Canon EOS camera. They include lenses made by Canon or any third party manufacturer that makes lenses that work on Canon digital SLR cameras. Manufacturers that produce Canon EOS lenses include Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, and LensBaby.

The designation of the Canon Corp for Canon EOS lenses is actually Canon EF Lenses. In this case, the EF stands for Electronic Focus. You may also see lenses with a designation of Canon EF-S. This refers to lenses specifically made for use on Canon digital cameras that are manufactured with APS-C sensors.

Canon EOS digital SLR Sensors

Briefly, there are three types of digital SLR sensors. Professional grade Canon EOS cameras have what is know as a “full frame” sensor. Full Frame cameras are known for their excellent build quality and great photographic quality.
The next best digital SLR has a smaller sensor with a designation of APS-H. This is also a high quality, well built camera. It just has a sensor that has a small multiplication factor of 1.3. This means that an image taken at 50mm will actually appear as if it was taken with a 65mm lens at full frame.

Finally, there is the APS-C sensor. This is the sensor in the entry level and mid-level digital SLR cameras in the Canon EOS lineup. The multiplication factor (sometimes also called a “crop factor”) is 1.6 in the APS-C sensor. That means that a photo taken with a 50mm lens will appear as if it was taken with a 80mm lens.

This technical stuff is pretty important, but what you need to know is which type of sensor you have in your Canon EOS camera so you will know if the lens you are considering will fit on the camera. If you have a camera with an APS-C sensor, any EF or EF-S lens will be compatible. However, if you have a Full Frame sensor or and APS-H sensor, only EF lenses will work. Actually, Canon has designed the hight end digital SLR cameras in such a way that you will not be able to put an EF-S lens on a full frame camera.

Which Canon EOS Cameras take EF-S Lenses?

This group of digital SLRs includes the entire Canon EOS Digital Rebel Line. It also includes the Canon EOS 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, and 7D.

Which Canon EOS Lenses are right for me?

When you are looking for a Canon EOS lenses, you want the very best lens that you can possibly afford. Because, after all, the lens is the most important part of the camera.

With that in mind, you will find an extremely short list of Canon EOS lenses below. These are lenses that camera owners and camera experts consider to be the very best. You can see that the ratings listed are all very high. Choose one of these Canon EOS lenses and you will not have to suffer from buyer’s remorse. (These lenses are the BEST that Canon has to offer. If you want to view a more affordable group of lenses, go to the Canon Beginners’ Lens page.)

Canon EOS Lenses by Canon with Prime Focal Length

Canon EOS Lenses – Prime Lenses FM Rating
(10.0 is best)
Price
Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USMRetaining the impressive optical performance and large aperture of the original Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L lens, this revamped medium telephoto lens employs a ring-type Ultra Sonic Motor (USM), high-speed CPU, and optimized algorithms to achieve an autofocus speed that’s approximately 1.8x faster than the original. This high-speed autofocus system combines with the circular aperture to create a shallow depth of field that brings attention to the subject and blurs the background, an ideal effect for portraits and weddings. In addition, the lens’s floating optical system includes an aspherical lens element that suppresses aberrations and produces an excellent imaging performance.

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9.5 $1869
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM The fastest 135mm telephoto lens in its class, the Canon EF 135mm f/2L lens is ideal for indoor sports photography and portraits with background blur. Although the lens offers complete automatic focusing capabilities thanks to its Ultra Sonic Motor (USM), you can still take advantage of its manual focus function even when the camera is in AF mode. The lens also offers two UD glass elements that help minimize chromatic aberrations, giving your images outstanding sharpness and color. Other details include a 3-foot close focusing distance, an 18-degree diagonal angle of view, and a 72mm filter size. The lens–which is compatible with EF 1.4x II and 2x II extenders–carries a one-year warranty.

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9.9 $999
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Always a favorite of motor sports, wildlife and nature shooters, the relatively lightweight 500mm lens now adds Image Stabilization for an unbeatable package of handling and sharpness. Fluorite and UD-glass–a combination available from no other lens manufacturer–provide great performance, even with the EF 1.4x II or 2x II tele extender attached. It focuses down to less than 15 feet (4.5m), and offers the same weather-resistant design and incredible AF speed as its 300mm, 400mm and 600mm siblings.

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9.9 $6140

Canon EOS Lenses by Canon – Zoom Lenses

Canon EOS Lenses – Zoom Lenses FM Rating
(10.0 is best)
Price
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Designed to meet consumer demands for a fast EF-S zoom lens, the EF-S 17-55mm offers image quality on par with Canon’s highly regarded L-series lenses. The lens features a large circular aperture that produces a shallow depth of field, creating background blur that draws special attention to the photographic subject.

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9.0 $999
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Incorporating Canon’s second-generation Image Stabilization technology, this 70-200mm telephoto zoom responds in as little as 0.5 seconds while providing up to three stops of correction for camera shake. As a result, you can easily capture the far-off action of fast-paced sports or zoom in for an intimate portrait with a blurred background. The lens’s autofocus (AF) system, meanwhile, has been refined for better response time and tracking speed. And photographers will love the new eight-blade circular aperture, which offers a more pleasing out-of-focus image. Constructed to pro standards, the EF 70-200mm lens is highly dust- and moisture-resistant and carries a one-year warranty.

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10 $1899
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USMCapture the far-off action of fast-paced sports or zoom in for an intimate portrait with the Canon EF 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens. The L-series lens offers an Image Stabilizer that provides up to four stops of shake correction–a first for Canon IS lenses. The use of fluorite UD lens elements, meanwhile, produces an excellent optical performance in terms of resolution and contrast. Add in a sturdy housing with water- and dust-proof construction and you have a lens that’s both portable and high performing.

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9.1 $1130
Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM LensThe Ultimate all-purpose lens. Great for travel/vacation as well as every day use. A Canon “L” lens which means it will give you the highest optical performance in its class, plus the convenience of focusing as close as 2.3 feet over the entire zooming range. A powerful ring-type USM drive provides silent, high-speed autofocusing, plus the wide zooming range provides an easy, enjoyable picture-taking experience.

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9.0 $2420

Canon EOS Lenses by Canon for Macro

Canon EOS Lenses – Macro Lenses FM Rating
(10.0 is best)
Amazon Price
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM LensBring small things into full-sized view with the Canon EF 100mm macro USM lens. Macro lenses can uncover detail that would be impossible to detect by the eye and give new perspective to extremely minute subjects such as insects or the petals of a small flower, and this lens is no exception. The lens offers such features as a three-group floating system for exceptional close-up performance; a secondary diaphragm that blocks stray light at f/2.8, which increases contrast when shooting wide open; a ultra-sonic monitor (USM) that provides outstanding autofocusing speed at all focusing distances; a wide manual focusing ring with smooth action; and full-time manual focus even in AF mode.

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9.6 $519
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro LensA unique manual-focus lens designed exclusively for macro shooting, between life-size (1x) and 5x life-size – at its maximum magnification, you can fill a 35mm frame with a grain of rice. Compatible with the Macro Ring Lites and new Macro Twin Lite, it eliminates the need for awkward bellows accessories for many macro shooters. The optical system uses a floating system to preserve optical quality at different focusing distances, and features a UD-glass element.

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9.8 $949
Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USMCanon EF 180mm macro USM lens. Macro lenses can uncover detail that would be impossible to detect by the eye and give new perspective to extremely minute subjects such as insects or the petals of a small flower, and this lens is no exception. The 180mm lens offers such features as three UD glass elements and an internal floating system, which combine to minimize aberrations caused by changes in the focusing distance; an advanced ultra-sonic monitor (USM) for high-speed, quiet autofocusing; full-time mechanical manual focusing; and a focusing distance range of 1.57 feet to infinity.

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9.7 $1270

Canon EOS Lenses by Canon for Cheap

Canon EOS Lenses “on a Budget” FM Rating
(10.0 is best)
Price
Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USMThe Canon EF 28-105mm standard zoom lens retains the optical capability of Canon’s previous EF 28-105mm USM lens but with a refined exterior design. The lens is distinguished by a ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) drive that provides silent, high-speed autofocusing, along with full-time manual focusing. The 1.6-foot close-focusing distance, meanwhile, lets you take great close-up portraits and nature shots. A good match for the Canon EOS A2/A2e or ELAN 7 series cameras with built-in flashes, the EF 28-105mm lens is an excellent zoom lens for everyday use.

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8.4 $390
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Bring your photographic subjects closer with this Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Image Stabilizer Telephoto Zoom Lens. It is designed with Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer technology and is compact and light. This high zoom ratio lens is equivalent to a focal length of 88-400mm in the 35mm format (when used on Canon EOS cameras compatible with EF-S lenses). The image stabilizer effect is equivalent to a shutter speed about 4 stops faster than the same size lens without Image Stabilizer. In other words, if the slowest shutter speed you could formerly hold a 250mm lens steadily was 1/250th of a second, with Canon’s 4-stop stabilization correction, you could hand-hold at shutter speeds as slow as 1/15th of a second.

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9.0 $215
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 50mm lens–which offers a fast f/1.8 aperture–is an excellent lens for people who prefer a fixed focal length. Canon’s lightest EF lens at a mere 4.6 ounces, the lens boasts a traditional Gauss-type optical design that delivers a sharp performance even when wide open. As a result, the lens provides an image that’s extremely close to how your eye perceives a subject, making it excellent for portraits and images that require a natural depth of field. In addition, the lens focuses as close as 18 inches, helping you take extreme close-ups.

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9.0 $99

Canon EOS Lenses are those lenses that are compatible with Canon Digital SLR cameras. EOS is short for Electro-Optical System. The lenses are equipped with electronic sensors that allow interaction with the camera and the lens to provide accurate auto focus. Canon produces many of its own lenses which are accurately labeled EF lenses (for Electro-focus).

In addition to the Canon EF lenses for EOS digital cameras, there are several companies that manufacture lenses compatible with EOS electronics. Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina produce many Canon EOS lenses. Since EF is a term that is specific to the Canon brand, these third party lenses are not officially EF lenses, however, they do in fact work on Canon EOS digial cameras and can technically be called Canon EOS Lenses since they are purposely produced to interact with Canon EOS digital cameras.

These third party Canon EOS lenses are usually a more economical choice for photographers. And you may be surprised to know that many of these lenses are actually rated higher than Canon’s own products. Make sure you read check the ratings before buying any lens.

There are lots of photographers’ “watering holes” around the Internet. Places where photographers hang out and interact, giving their opinions on any and everything photography related. These websites are a great place to find out which Canon EOS lenses the experts and amateurs alike are using (or would like to be using).

The list of Canon EOS lenses on these pages is compiled using the ratings of experts at websites such as DPReview.com, Imaging-Resource.com, StevesDigicams.com, and BobAtkins.com, as well as the users’ ratings from the database at FredMiranda.com, BHPhoto.com and Amazon.com.

Please use the category list at the right to check the best Canon EOS lenses in the category of your choice.

Before you do that, though, here is a list of great places to buy your Canon EOS Lenses.

B & H PhotoAmazon.comAdorama

Reasons for buying from these Canon EOS lenses dealers?

  1. First: they are highly reliable (check with ResellersRatings.com)
  2. Second: you will get exactly what you want – unlike the local camera store, it’s always in stock
  3. Third: you will save money
  4. Finally, there is no high pressure “up-sell” after you place your order