Canon Camera Lenses
Canon camera lenses are some of the best on the market. A range that encompasses affordable lenses for beginners and incredibly sharp lenses for professionals, the Canon lens stable is an incredible achievement with decades of history to it.
If you’re looking for a lens for a Canon EOS system, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a DSLR user or someone who prefers Canon mirrorless systems, it’s important to get the right lenses for the kind of photography or videography you have in mind.
Let’s run through the main categories of Canon lenses to help you find the right lens for your Canon camera!
The Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM Lens is a worthy success to the well-received MK I. Featuring a newly redesigned optical system for excellent sharpness; rotating zoom design; an improved minimum focusing distance of 0.98m; and a 3-mode Image Stabiliser, this solid, super-telephoto lens will perform to the highest of standards in a variety of photographic genres. This includes sport, wildlife, travel, and portraiture. When working with APS-C sized image sensors the lens delivers angles of view that are equivalent to a 160-640mm on a full-frame camera. Furthermore, the lens is weather sealed, offers compact dimensions and is relatively lightweight so that it can be taken anywhere.
The all-purpose Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens is a fast aperture zoom suitable for all areas of photography, which features an optical system that includes 2 ultra-low dispersion (UD) and super UD aspheric elements to minimise colour aberration and ensure exceptional sharpness. f/2.8 aperture and USM (Ultrasonic Motor) allows for fast, low light shooting and near-silent focusing.
Time and time again Canon has shown their mastery of optics with stunning lenses, and this RF 100-500mm is no different. Designed specifically for use with the Canon R series, such as the Canon R5 and Canon R6, this lens is aimed at both enthusiasts and professionals alike. The compact super-telephoto zoom lens effortlessly captures wonderfully detailed and colour-rich images and video footage. ...
With a versatile zoom range of 24-105mm, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens is suitable for a wide variety of photographic applications, such as portraits, travel, and wildlife. Featuring 17 lens elements in 12 groups, 10 aperture diaphragm blades, and a dust- and moisture-resistant construction, the Canon 24-105mm f4L IS II USM lens boasts high-quality images and edge-to-edge sharpness.
The highly versatile Canon RF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens offers photographers and filmmakers an ideal balance between performance, portability and image quality. The zoom covers wide-angle, standard and telephoto focal lengths, whilst its 5-stop Image Stabiliser (IS) preserves sharpness in low light.
The Canon 17-40mm f/4 USM is an affordable L-series ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that's ideal for both film and digital SLRs. This EF lens focuses as close as 0.28m. It has a constant f/4 maximum aperture, and offers the choice of screw-in 77mm filters or a holder in the rear of the lens for up to 3 gel filters. The 17-40mm f4L also features a wear-resistant construction.
Introducing the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. It is the first macro lens in the EOS line-up to feature image stabilisation, which makes it easy to capture amazing close-up shots without the need for a tripod. This is particular useful as I means you can go out, see the subject and photograph straight away before it hops or flies away! Thanks to its 9-blade circular aperture, you'll be able to create some beautiful background bokeh. Its solid L-Series construction is made up of 15 lens elements in 12 groups and even more impressively, the lens is water- and dust-resistant. This is a must-have lens for anyone who wants to explore macro photography.
The Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS Lens is a high-performance zoom lens with Image Stabilisation (IS), and an inbuilt Ultrasonic Motor (USM), which provides fast, near-silent focusing. This lens consists of 2 Ultra-Low Dispersion (UD) and 2 aspherical elements to deliver superb image quality. A 9-bladed aperture diaphragm provides out of focus areas with an attractive, soft blur.
The Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM lens is the successor to the incredibly popular 50mm f1.8 II. Extremely compact and lightweight (160g), the lens features an improved optical design and stepping motor (STM) technology. Its wide f/1.8 maximum aperture and standard 50mm focal length makes it ideal for a wide variety of photographic genres, including travel, portraiture, and everyday creative snapshots.
With an effective focal length range of approximately 16-35mm in 35mm format, the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM is a remarkable lens with outstanding image. Creative photographers can use this lens to get extremely close to subjects, exaggerating the difference in size between a near object and its background to create excellent separation between subject and background. Designed specifically for digital photography, the Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 lens has specially shaped lens elements and Super Spectra coatings to suppress ghosting and flare. An exclusive optional lens hood can further reduce the incidence of flare. The EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM is for use with Canon DSLRs with an APS-C sensor, and is not suitable for full frame.
The Canon EF 85mm f1.8 USM lens is a highly practical and creative medium telephoto lens. It features a bright, fast constant maximum aperture of f1.8, which delivers beautiful background blur and makes it ideal for shooting in low-light conditions. Its optical construction consists of 9 elements in 7 groups, with Super Spectra coatings to reduce ghosting and flare and produce sharp, clear images.
The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS Lens is Canon's first 35mm prime lens to feature an Image Stabiliser, USM (Ultra Sonic Motor) technology, and is ideal for landscape, portrait, and travel photography. The EF 35mm prime lens with a 4-stop Image Stabilizer and f/2 maximum aperture makes it ideal for low-light photography too.
Canon Camera Lenses
Canon lens mounts
Different Canon lenses will have different “mounts” – referring to the type of camera they will fit onto.
Canon EF / Canon EF-S lenses
These are the lenses that fit Canon’s DSLRs. It’s the same lens mount as was established on the firm’s film SLRs, meaning that a Canon EF lens you bought yesterday will fit onto a Canon camera that’s been in your cupboard since the 1970s! It’s an incredible system.
Canon EF lenses will fit all Canon DSLRs, including both full-frame models and APS-C format cameras, which have smaller sensors. Bear in mind that if you’re using an APS-C camera, the effective focal length of the lens will be about 1.5x the focal length given on the box – this is called the “crop factor”. So a 50mm lens will behave like a 75mm lens.
Some lenses are designated EF-S – these will only work on the APS-C models, and aren’t compatible with full-frame cameras.
Canon RF lenses
Canon RF lenses are designed for Canon’s newer EOS R full-frame mirrorless system. They use a more sophisticated 12-pin system to provide faster communication between camera and lens. This enables features like faster autofocus.
Canon EF-M lenses
Canon EF-M lenses are made for Canon’s EOS M series of APS-C mirrorless cameras. Compact and versatile, they’re great for photographers or videographers who like to travel light.
Types of Canon lenses
There are lots of different types of lenses, and it can get confusing for the newcomer! Here we’ll run through the main categories of Canon photography lens lens you can expect to encounter – just bear in mind that these are not fixed, and some crossover between them is not uncommon.
Prime vs zoom lenses
All lenses fit into one of two categories – primes and zooms. The difference is simple: prime lenses have a single fixed focal length, such as 50mm or 35mm, and zoom lenses offer a range of focal lengths, say between 24-70mm.
Why would anyone choose a prime lens? Because the fact that they don’t include a zoom mechanism allows prime lenses to be constructed with superior optics, improving image quality. The rule of thumb to remember is this: if you want quality, get a prime, if you want versatility, get a zoom.
This term refers to lenses with a focal length of between about 10mm and 35mm. Wide-angle lenses fit a huge amount into a frame, providing an exaggerated perspective that is fantastic for shooting landscapes and architecture. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens is a fantastic, affordable wide-angle zoom for APS-C DSLRs.
Standard lenses provide a slightly longer focal length, and a more naturalistic perspective than a wide-angle. A focal length of about 50mm is considered to be roughly the field of view of the human eye – this is why 50mm primes are so popular for general-purpose shooting, and why they’ve earned the nickname “nifty-fifty”.
Many reportage and documentary photographers like to use standard zoom lenses as it leaves them well-covered for most eventualities. Canon professional lenses Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens tend to be very popular among such photographers as a “do-it-all” lens. In this case, it also benefits from a professional-grade image stabiliser. This allows for the use of slower shutter speeds, without image blur caused by camera shake.
Telephoto lenses have a longer focal length – anything above about 85mm is considered telephoto. Short telephotos like 85mm tend to be great for portraits, especially if they have a wide aperture that allows them to create images with a sharp subject and a background in soft focus.
Big Canon lenses with a longer telephoto zoom range like the Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1L IS USM Lens tend to be used for sports or wildlife, where it’s not physically possible to get close to a subject.
Fish eye lenses are essentially ultra-wide angle lenses, which provide a hugely exaggerated perspective for creative effects and a unique look. The Canon EF 8-15mm f4 L USM Fisheye Lens can produce circular images for a true fisheye perspective.
A macro lens is built for close-up photography, allowing for close-focusing and the enlarging of very tiny subjects. The Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens is a perfect choice for images of insects, tiny plants and other great macro subjects. These Canon specialty lenses are ideal if you have a very specific style of photography in mind.
Frequently asked questions
- Can Canon lenses fit on Sony cameras?
Not natively, as it’s a physically different lens mount. However, it is possible to buy mount adapters that allow Canon glass to be used on Sony bodies – the Sigma MC-11 Mount Converter is one of the most popular. Be aware that some features of the lens such as autofocus or image stabilisation will likely not work.
- Which are Canon cameras’ professional lenses?
While there are loads of Canon lenses suitable for professionals, anything designated “L” is a sure bet.
- Which Canon lenses have image stabilisation?
You can tell by the full name of the lens – if it has the letters “IS” or “OIS” in the name, then image stabilisation is on board!
- Do all Canon lenses fit all Canon bodies?
No – you need to make sure you get the correct lens for the correct mount, or an adapter that allows you to swap between them. Refer to the guide above for which lenses fit which cameras.