Top 10 Best Canon Lenses In 2020 Review

Welcome to the world of photography. A confusing basket of choice for; camera bodies (brands and capabilities), lenses (general/specialized), and accessories. After deciding which camera brand and body that you will work with, it is time to choose two or three lenses that will cover a range of capabilities.

Most photographers start with a short telephoto, long telephoto, and a fixed lens. And we would like to introduce you to some of the best Canon lenses that are used by those just beginning in photography as well as by the professionals.

Best Canon Lenses

What do all the abbreviations mean???

Before reviewing the lenses, it is essential to understand the abbreviations that you will come across while researching. Each company has its own set, so all of our lens reviews will be listed with regard to their meaning and not to the brand.

DC – designed for APS-C DSLR camera bodies.

DN – designed for compact system camera bodies.

DG – designed for full-frame camera systems.

OS/VC/IS/VR – optical stabilization

HSM/USM – ultrasonic autofocus motor

UD – ultra-low dispersion glass elements

STM – Step motor autofocus for shooting video

The Abbreviations, DC/DN/DG, are obviously very important so that you don’t buy a lens that isn’t going to work with your particular camera body. All others are specific to the build and capabilities of the lens.

Is there a difference?

Beyond the mechanics, the major difference between lens brands is in the glass and coatings used on the glass. This is also the reason that you see huge price differences for lenses that seem to be the same in appearance and function.

Canon lenses are some of the best pieces of glass on the market. They are in the same quality range as Zeiss and Hoya. There are two lines of production from Canon; the Red-Line or L-Series and the EF- Series lenses.

What are we going to look at?

Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon APS-C Digital SLR Cameras

Canon EF- Series lenses are of high quality and often used by professionals and photography enthusiasts alike. These lenses are priced according to their function and complexity, so they go from moderate to very high.

But, not to worry, as there are third-party lens producers such as Tamron and Sigma that produce quality lenses that range the entire price spectrum. Many lenses from these two companies are of great value for the enthusiast and well worth a look. So, we will include some of them in this review of Best Lenses for Canon Cameras.

Best Canon Lenses In 2020 – Top 10 Rated Reviews


1 Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 Sports DG OS HSM for Canon Mount – Best Value for the Money Canon Lens

We’ll start with one of the three lenses in Sigma’s Art line, which is made to rival the big brand competitors. The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 Sports is a workhorse in the world of photography and capable of shooting everything from portraits, landscapes, editorial, sports, as well as various other challenges. And this large f2.8 aperture Sigma lens is built to take the punishment of constant and daily use.

The optics consist of 24 elements in 22 groups. Ten of the elements are low-dispersion and greatly reduce chromatic aberrations and improve clarity and color accuracy. The front and back lenses are coated in a Super Multi-Layer Coating to push away dust and moisture as well as reduce ghosting and flare from strong lighting conditions.

Quick as a flash…

The lens comes with an ultra-sonic motor that is great for fast autofocus and Intelligent OS with Updated Image Stabilization Algorithm Manual Override (MO). This allows for quick adjustments and fast manual take-over.

The magnesium alloy body of the lens barrel has several seals and is coated with a water and oil-repellent coating. This prevents smudges and fingerprints from sticking to the barrel and moisture and dust from getting inside the barrel.

Easy fitting…

The barrel has a fixed rotating tripod collar that has a removable Arca-type foot for compatibility with many different tripod or monopod heads.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 70-200mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f2.8 – 22.
  • Min. Focal distance: 3.94’/1.2m.
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF.
  • Optics: 24 elements in 22 groups; Incorporates nine FLD and one SLD low-dispersion glass element.
  • Dimensions: 3.71 x 7.99”/94.2 x 202.9mm.
  • Weight: 3.97lb/1.8kg.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom LensSigma 70-200mm F2.8 Sports DG OS HSM for Canon Mount

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Great design and build quality.
  • Fast, F2.8 for the focal range.
  • Intelligent OS + OM.
  • Great value for money.

Cons

  • A heavy lens.
  • May not work 100% with camera focusing systems.
  • Expensive for the Sigma brand.

2 Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM, Black (212954) for Canon

Next, in our Best Canon Lenses review, we have another of the three lenses in Sigma’s Art line that are made to rival the big brands. The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Black is a wide-angle zoom lens that is built to have control over depth of field and work in available lighting conditions.

Versatile and practical…

These ultra-wide and fast lenses are often used at their lower focal lengths for architectural, landscape, and editorial photography.

As with most zoom lenses in this category, issues arise when working at its highest focal length. Corners break apart, and vignetting occurs, so you must compensate with your metering and cropping.

Crystal clear…

The optics consist of 17 elements in 11 groups. The six low dispersion lenses greatly reduce chromatic aberrations and improve clarity and color accuracy. There is also an aspherical element that works to keep lines straight with little to no distortion.

The front and back lenses are coated in a Super Multi-Layer Coating to push away dust and moisture as well as reduce ghosting and flare from various lighting conditions.

Rapid Autofocus…

The lens comes with an ultra-sonic motor that is great for fast autofocus, which can be taken over manually. It also comes with a petal-shaped hood to protect against flare.

The magnesium alloy body of the lens barrel has several seals and is coated with a water and oil-repellent coating. This prevents smudges and fingerprints from sticking to the barrel and moisture and dust from getting inside.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 14 – 24mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f2.8 – 22.
  • Min. Focal distance: 9.45”/0.24m
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF.
  • Optics: 17 elements in 11 groups; Incorporates one aspherical, three SLD, and three FLD elements.
  • Dimensions: 3.78x 5.31”/96 x 135mm.
  • Weight: 2.54lb/1.15kg.

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM, Black (212954) for Canon

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Excellent at lower focal lengths.
  • Comes with a petaled lens hood.
  • Great value for money.

Cons

  • Vignetting at the highest focal length.
  • Expensive for Sigma Brand.

3 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM Lens, Black – Best Canon Lens for Video

The Canon EF-M 11-22mm IS STM lens is a specialized lens that only works on an EF-M mount. It is an ultra-wide-angle that provides the 35mm equivalent focal length of 18-35mm for the EOS – M Series of mirrorless cameras. A great lens for working with wide shots in close quarters, landscape, and architecture.

The lens features continuous autofocus with a built-in STM stepping AF motor. The STM stepping motor provides smooth, near-silent performance, which is essential to video recording. Other features of the lens are an Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) that compensates for up to 3 stops of camera shake and Dynamic Image Stabilization, which corrects for motion while recording video.

Parfocal…

In addition to IS/DIS, the Canon EF-M 11-22mm is nearly parfocal. This means that as you change focal lengths, the image stays in relatively good focus. This is incredibly beneficial when recording video.

The optics consist of 12 elements in 9 groups. The two UD elements ensure reduced chromatic aberrations and improved clarity and color accuracy. There are two aspherical elements that work to keep lines straight with little to no distortion. Also, the lenses are coated in a Super Spectra Coating to push away dust and moisture as well as reduce the effects of ghosting and flare under various lighting conditions.

Robust quality…

The lens body is made of engineering-grade composites. It is built to be lighter, stronger, and less sensitive to expansion or contraction due to temperature fluctuations.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 11 – 22mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f4/5.6 – 22/32.
  • Min. Focal distance: 5.91”/0.15m.
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF-M.
  • Optics: 12 elements in 9 groups; Incorporates two aspherical and two UD elements.
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 2.29”/60.9 x 58.2mm.
  • Weight: 7.76oz/220g.

Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM Lens, Black

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • IS/DIS stabilization.
  • STM.
  • Great for video.

Cons

  • Vignetting at the highest focal length.
  • Only usable on EF-M mounts

4 Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens

The Canon EF-M 55-200mmf/4.5-6.3 IS STM is another specialized lens that only works on the EF – M mount. It is again a workhorse that provides the 35mm equivalent focal length of 88-320mm for EOS -M Series Cameras. And is excellent for portraits and landscapes at the low end, close-ups, and sports action and detail at the higher end.

The lens features continuous autofocus with a built-in STM stepping AF motor. This provides smooth, near-silent performance, and is excellent for when you are shooting video. Another feature is an Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) that compensates for up to 3 stops of camera shake. When shooting video, the Dynamic Image Stabilizer (DIS) automatically kicks in to compensate for a wide range of camera movement.

Color accuracy…

The optics consist of 17 elements in 12 groups. Of the elements, one is aspherical, and one is ultra-low dispersion (UD). These help to reduce aberrations and improve clarity and color accuracy. The front and back lenses are again coated with a Super Spectra Coating that pushes away dust and moisture, and it will help in reducing ghosting and flare under various lighting conditions.

The body is an engineering-grade composite material. This makes it stronger, lighter, and less sensitive to changes in temperature and allows the barrel to move smoothly and protect the lenses, rings, and motors.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 55 – 200mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f4/6.3 – 22/32.
  • Min. Focal distance: 3.28’/1m.
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF-M.
  • Optics: 17 elements in 11 groups; Incorporates one aspherical and one UD elements.
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.41”/60.9 x 86.5mm.
  • Weight: 9.17oz/260g.

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Pros

  • IS/DIS stabilization.
  • STM.

Cons

  • Only usable on EF-M mounts
  • Slow for fast action shots at the higher focal lengths.

5 Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens – Best Budget Canon Lens

The Canon EF 70-300 IS USM lens is a versatile telephoto zoom that is built for full-frame EF-mount DSLRs. It can also be mounted on APS-C camera body models giving the lens an equivalent focal length of 112-480mm.

This is a great lens for the photography enthusiast who enjoys portraiture and photographing nature or sporting events. Budget-friendly, it allows people to play around, test the waters, and learn before making a big-money purchase. However, many people find that this particular lens is better than what they expect and more than capable of covering their requirements.

Handheld shooting…

The lens features a micro- ultrasonic motor for quick and quiet automatic focus. While, the image stabilization has a range of 3 stops which allows for handheld shooting, even at 300mm.

The optics consist of 15 elements in 10 groups, and there is one ultra-low dispersion element to improve clarity and color accuracy. The front and back lenses are coated in Super Spectra Coating to repel dust and moisture. The coating also helps reduce ghosting and flare caused by various lighting conditions.

Built to last…

The body is a high-impact engineering-grade composite material. It is stronger, lighter, and less sensitive to changes in temperature. This allows the barrel to move smoothly and protect the lenses, rings, and motors.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 70 – 300mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f4/5.6 – 32/45.
  • Min. Focal distance: 4.92’/1.5m.
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF.
  • Optics: 15 elements in 10 groups; Incorporates one UD element.
  • Dimensions: 3.01 x 5.62”/76.5 x 142.8mm.
  • Weight: 1.39lb/630g.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Image stabilization (IS).
  • Fast and Accurate autofocus.
  • Very light and easy to handhold.
  • Budget-friendly.

Cons

  • Produces soft images at its maximum focal length.
  • No built-in tripod collar.

6 Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon

A competitor to Sigma, the Tamron 10-24mm super-wide zoom lens, is built for APS-C format Canon EF-mount DSLRs giving an equivalent focal length of 16-38.4mm. It is an excellent tool for shooting in confined wide spaces, getting a large group portrait, landscapes, and architecture. Therefore, it is a lens you might find in any photography enthusiast’s travel case.

The lens is comprised of 16 elements in 11 groups featuring a pair of aspherical elements, one extra-low dispersion element, and one low dispersion element. These help to reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations and improve clarity, sharpness, and color fidelity.

Coated for improved contrast…

A BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coating is applied to improve contrast and help reduce ghosting and flare due to lighting conditions. There is also a fluorine coating to protect against dust and moisture.

The HLD autofocus motor is both smooth and quiet. Its quick focusing performance is well suited for still and video applications. In addition, there is the image stabilization system (VC), which compensates up to 4 stops to minimize movement when shooting handheld.

Rugged and dependable…

The barrel is composed of advanced polycarbonate material with high dimensional stability. It is built to be strong and withstand the rigors of daily use.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 10-24mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f 3.5/4.5 – 22/29.
  • Min. Focal distance: 9.4”’/23.88cm.
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF-M.
  • Optics: 16 elements in 11 groups; Incorporates two aspherical and two low dispersion elements.
  • Dimensions: 3.29 x 3.3”/83.57 x 83.82mm.
  • Weight: 15.5oz/439g.

Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II VC HLD Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros

  • Image stabilization (VC) up to 4 stops.
  • Very light and easy to handhold.

Cons

  • Cost.
  • Some complaints about autofocus jumping.

7 Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom Lens – Best Traveler’s Lens for Canon Cameras

Known as the traveler’s lens, the Canon EF-S 15-85mm might be the perfect piece of kit for those that don’t want to fuss around carrying equipment. Mount it to the camera and feel satisfied that you will be able to photograph most everything the way that you choose.

Having an equivalent focal length range of 24 – 136mm, this lens covers all but the most specialized shots. It is lightweight, so it is comfortable to carry for extended periods of time and allows for handheld shooting.

Precise, quick, and quiet…

The lens features a ring-type ultrasonic motor paired with the internal focusing system. This delivers precise, fast, and quiet autofocus performance and reliability. There is also a full-time manual focus override.

The lens comes with an Optical Image Stabilizer, which helps minimize camera shake by up to 4 stops. This is a great addition for when doing handheld or low-light shooting.

Improved clarity…

The optics consist of 17 elements in 12 groups. Of the elements, three are aspherical, and one is ultra-low dispersion (UD). These help to reduce aberrations and improve clarity and color accuracy. The front and back lenses are coated in a Super Spectra Coating to push away dust and moisture, and as with the majority of Canon lenses, it also helps to reduce ghosting and flare from various lighting conditions.

The body is an engineering-grade composite material and is stronger, lighter, and less sensitive to changes in temperature. This allows the barrel to move smoothly and protect the lenses, rings, and motors.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 15-85mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f3.5/5.6 – 22/36
  • Min. Focal distance:1.15’/35cm.
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF-S.
  • Optics: 17 elements in 12 groups; Incorporates three aspherical and one UD elements.
  • Dimensions: 3.21 x 3.44”/81.53 x 87.38mm
  • Weight: 1.27 lb/575g.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom Lens

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Sharp throughout the focal range

Cons

  • Lens hood not included.
  • USM becomes more audible over time.

8 Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Canon

Next, in our reviews of the Best Canon Lenses, we have the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM. This is a wide-angle to portrait range zoom lens in Sigma’s Art Line Series, that has been made to rival the bigger brands.

A very fast lens with an f2.8 aperture throughout the focal range. It is a versatile lens made for everyday shooting and offers greater control over depth of field.

Zero distortion…

The optics consist of 19 elements in 14 groups. There are three low dispersion lenses to reduce chromatic aberrations and improve clarity and color accuracy. Also, four aspherical elements that work to keep lines straight with little to no distortion. The front and back lenses are coated in a Super Multi-Layer Coating to push away dust and moisture as well as reduce ghosting and flare from various lighting conditions.

The lens comes with an ultra-sonic motor that is great for fast autofocus, which can be taken over manually. Also, with Optical Stabilization (OS) that has a range of 4 stops and makes for better handheld shooting.

Come rain, come shine…

The magnesium alloy body of the lens barrel has several seals and is coated with a water and oil-repellent coating. This prevents smudges and fingerprints from sticking to the barrel and moisture and dust from getting inside the barrel.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 24-70mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f2.8 – 22.
  • Min. Focal distance:1.21’/37cm
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF.
  • Optics: 19 elements in 14 groups; Incorporates four aspherical and three SLD elements.
  • Dimensions: 3.46 x 4.24”/88 x 107.6mm.
  • Weight: 2.24lb/1020g.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Canon

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Fast throughout the focal range.
  • HSM/OS
  • Great value for the money.

Cons

  • Soft in the corners.
  • Expensive for the Sigma brand.

9 Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM Lens – Most Versatile Affordable Canon Lens

The Sigma 18-300mm DC Macro OS HSM lens is a flexible, all-in-one zoom lens. It is a wide-angle to a super-telephoto lens with macro capabilities and has a 1:3 magnification at a focal distance of 1.3. It is part of Sigma’s Global Vision Series and designed to strike a balance between performance and convenience.

A nice lens for the photography enthusiast who has an interest in shooting a variety of subjects. It is light in weight, making it easy to shoot handheld and comfortable to carry.

Improved color fidelity…

The optics consist of 17 elements in 13 groups. Within the groups lie three aspherical, one special low dispersion, and four low dispersion elements that reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations. Also, they help to improve clarity, sharpness, and color fidelity. The front and back lenses are coated in a Super Multi-Layer Coating to push away dust and moisture as well as reduce ghosting and flare from various lighting conditions.

The lens comes with an ultra-sonic motor that is great for fast autofocus, which can be taken over manually. Also, with Optical Stabilization (OS) that has a range of 4 stops and makes for better handheld or low-light shooting.

Smooth as silk…

The body of the lens is composed of Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material. It is stronger, lighter, and less sensitive to changes in temperature. This allows the barrel to move smoothly and protect the lenses, rings, and motors.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 18-300mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f 3.5/6.3 – 22
  • Min. Focal distance:1.28’/39cm
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF.
  • Optics: 17 elements in 13 groups; Incorporates three aspherical, one SLD, and four FLD elements.
  • Dimensions: 3.11 x 4”/79 x 101.5mm.
  • Weight: 1.29lb/585g

Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 Contemporary DC Macro OS HSM Lens

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Macro capabilities.
  • HSM/OS
  • Great value for the money.

Cons

  • Zoom may be stiff..
  • Manual movement of the focus ring is short.

10 Sigma 30mm F1.4 Contemporary DC DN Lens for Micro 4/3 – Best Canon Lens for Pets and Babies

The last of our Best Canon Lenses is the Sigma 30mm F1.4, which is a specialized lens for Micro 4/3 formatted cameras. The most common uses would be an in-studio video or portrait type stills of difficult to control subjects, such as a family pet or baby. It is part of Sigma’s Global Vision series of lenses and designed to bridge the gap between performance and convenience.

Also great for low-light conditions…

The wide-open aperture of f/1.4 allows for very controlled focus effects and the ability to work in low-light situations.

The optics consist of 9 elements in 7 groups using two aspherical and one high-refractive index elements, which reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations. Also, they help to improve clarity and sharpness. The front and back lenses are coated in a Super Multi-Layer Coating to push away dust and moisture as well as reduce ghosting and flare from various lighting conditions.

And for video…

This lens comes equipped with a stepping autofocus motor that is fast, accurate, and silent, making it ideal for video work.

The body of the lens is composed of Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material. It is stronger, lighter, and less sensitive to changes in temperature. This allows the barrel to move smoothly and protect the lenses, rings, and motors.

Specifications

  • Focal Length: 33mm.
  • Max/Min Aperture: f 1.4 -16
  • Min. Focal distance:11.81”/30cm
  • Lens Mount: Micro 4/3
  • Optics: 9 elements in 7 groups; Incorporates two aspherical and one high-refractive index elements.
  • Dimensions: 2.55 x 2.89”/64.8 x 73.3mm.
  • Weight: 9.35oz/265g

Sigma 30mm F1.4 Contemporary DC DN Lens for Micro 4/3

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Sharpness.
  • Fast step autofocus.

Cons

  • No image stabilization.
  • Manual movement of the focus ring is jumpy.

Looking For More Superb Camera Accessories?

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

If so, check out our Best Camera Backpack reviews, our Best Memory Card for Camera reviews, our Best Instant Camera reviews, our Best Monitor for Photo Editing review, and our reviews of the Best Tripod you can buy in 2020.

Or how about our Best Go Pro Camera reviews, our Best Mirrorless Cameras reviews, our Best Camera Phone reviews, our Best Camera Drones reviews, or our reviews of the Best Point and Shoot Cameras on the market.

So, What Are The Best Canon Lenses?

We looked at three different brands of lenses (Canon EF, Sigma, and Tamron) made for use on a Canon camera body. And we reviewed their specific and general uses, optic configurations, and body materials.

Of the lenses reviewed, the best Canon lens is the…

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Standard Zoom Lens

This is because of its range of focal lengths, specialized optical elements and image stabilization, superb autofocus, and weight. Also, it is a moderately priced lens within the ones we reviewed, making it excellent value for the money.

Happy lens buying!

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