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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses

Here are the Canon EF and EF-S lenses we've put to the test and recommend as good buys for your Canon camera.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses:

Canon EF and EF-S Lenses

In only a couple of years, it might seem that we have all switched to mirrorless cameras, but in fact, the DSLR is still in regular use by photographers who have amassed an impressive array of fine lenses over decades of use. DSLRs are still on sale and lenses are still there to be considered. We have a close look here at the Canon EF (full frame) and EF-S (APS-C crop frame) marque lenses that we have reviewed, along with the best of the third-party optics that have also passed through our rigorous test procedures. Full Frame lenses can be used on APS-C bodies but may be bulky compared to native APS-C designs. The APS-C lenses can also be used on Full Frame cameras, but in a cropped mode to avoid vignetting.

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Best Canon EF Full Frame Lenses

Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS III
Overall Rating

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS III

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM is a great lens that handles well, had a fantastic f/2.8 aperture and is teeming with features. If you need it and can afford it, then Canon users have an incredible 400mm option to consider. Highly Recommended.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM
Overall Rating

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

A well-crafted photographic tool that does its job flawlessly is always a pleasure to use, and this lens can be fairly described as just that. Fair enough, we lose a little of the ability to throw backgrounds out of focus by sacrificing the usual f/2.8 aperture, but we gain portability, a lower cost and there is really very little sacrifice in terms of narrow depth of field. The f/4 70-200mm lenses, in general, look an attractive proposition and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM is a particularly good example.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM
Overall Rating

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is another fine lens and one that delivers the goods efficiently. A very fine photographic tool that would be a pleasure to own. There is very little about this lens that isn't resoundingly positive. However, weight and price. Do we need f/2.8 as opposed to f/4? These are the critical factors and of course, my own resolution of them may be very different to the next photographer's. In terms of performance, both lenses are equally superb.

In conclusion though, if you need its specification, then you will not be disappointed by a really great lens. Highly recommended.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro
Overall Rating

Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro

The Canon range of tilt and shift lenses is unique and impressive, and without a doubt, if there is a commercial need for what they offer then they will be purchased for that purpose and the price will be acceptable. The fact that it is a macro lens, as well as a tilt and shift lens, is a very powerful combination.

The Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro is a beautiful lens and has the potential to produce beautiful and unique results, but for an amateur purchase, we would need deep pockets. However, for some, it might be a possibility and it would be a very desirable lens to own.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro
Overall Rating

Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro

Some lenses gel straight away, others grow on us and this one grows on us very quickly as the possibilities of mixing a 90mm lens with macro and tilt and shift start to fire the imagination.

This is a specialised optic that would be delightful to own, but at the price level will probably be for professional photographers with particular applications clear in their minds. It will be a workhorse and it will earn money.

In the general marketplace it is expensive, but if it's affordable then it will not disappoint. Canon are to be congratulated for producing such a wide range of specialist tilt/shift lenses that break new ground and push back the boundaries of creativity.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM
Overall Rating

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

Gorgeous and expensive, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens is that aforementioned thing of beauty. There is no doubt that it performs superbly and produces exceptional images, efficiently and with outstanding ergonomics.

There are definite cost choices in that Canon offer a very low priced f/1.8 version, or, looking at the opposite argument, for only just under £200 more the f/1.2 comes into view.

Many may find it surprising that there has been a hole in the Canon range for this f/1.4 lens, which is certainly the classic offering for most other marques. It could be the perfect compromise between cost and speed, but in the end the choice will be a very personal one. What is quite certain is that the new Canon lens will not disappoint.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro
Overall Rating

Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro

It has bulk, it has the features. It has a high price, it has the features. In other words, another of those situations where the feature set and quality are not in question but the price will limit the market to those who really need this as a working tool. It would be very nice indeed to own, but it does need to pay its way, as well as needing a high degree of photographic skill to get the best out of its potential.

Given the need and the cash, the photographer will certainly not be disappointed in the results from the Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro lens.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
Overall Rating

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

Canon has produced a lens that provides a high level of performance in a fairly compact and relatively inexpensive form. Unless we are able to stretch to the more expensive zooms in the range, this is a very good compromise between cost and performance. The lens is a very good, solid performer and gives very satisfactory sharp, vibrant images. It is also a pleasure to use.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 IS II USM
Overall Rating

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

The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 IS II USM is a pleasure to use, is reliable and is capable of some very fine results. It is not perfect, but, as always, knowing what the design parameters are helps us to see whether or not those imperfections fit in with our requirements as photographers. We have here a well-made, solid performer with excellent central sharpness, low flare, pleasant bokeh and a focal length range that is extremely versatile. The edges are not as sharp, although are actually very good at wider to middle apertures until we get to the very longest setting.

So, a tad on the pricey side, but a rewarding lens that could be a very useful travelling companion.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM
Overall Rating

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM

We have weather sealing, outstanding performance, solid construction and a very high price. We lose IS, but that may be more acceptable in wide angle lenses. Really the question is not so much is the lens worth the price, it quite probably is, but whether or not our budget can justify the large margin between it and the alternatives.

If that equation can be satisfied for the individual photographer, then certainly the lens will not disappoint.

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Best Canon Third Party Full Frame Lenses

Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Irix 45mm f/1.4 Dragonfly
Overall Rating

Irix 45mm f/1.4 Dragonfly

When we moved from compact 35mm cameras to SLRs the standard focal length tended to increase from 45mm to 50mm, 55mm or even 58mm. The longer the focal length, the easier the lens designer's problems were, as they have to use retro focus designs that gave room for the flipping mirror. Now lens design has moved on considerably, aided by computers but also by the availability of more exotic glass.

It is a personal choice of course, but I ask would we use a 45mm lens as opposed to a 50mm one? Some may feel it is too close to 50mm, some may feel that the extra field of view is advantageous, and for each individual photographer that answer could be very different. There is a subtle difference between 45mm and 50mm and if anyone did feel that their 50mm lens was just a tad constricting, then the Irix 45mm could well be the answer. It is a lovely lens to use and gives lovely results, in fact, to be fair it gives startlingly lovely results.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly
Overall Rating

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly

There is no doubt that there will be many photographers who will be delighted by the arrival of the Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro lens. The greater reach of 150mm will be welcomed and indeed is highly sought after already as photographers search for legendary long macro lenses from the days of film.

Manual focus can often be the method of choice for macro work, depending upon the techniques needed, but at least can be regarded as a little impediment. This is an excellent addition to the options available, especially perhaps for Pentax users who have had no option at all before this.

A specialised lens to some degree, but one that can be Highly Recommended.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Irix 11mm f/4 Firefly
Overall Rating

Irix 11mm f/4 Firefly

What an exciting lens the Irix 11mm f/4 Firefly is. It opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities in a well-made, well-designed package that delivers the image quality. It will not be for everybody, perhaps because of the ultra-wide style of the images, or maybe because of difficulties using the manual focus system, but if the lens appeals to the individual photographer's creativity then it will be a rewarding experience.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Meike 85mm f/1.8
Overall Rating

Meike 85mm f/1.8

The lens is no trouble to use, it does the job, maybe not with the smooth finesse of more expensive optics, but in a workmanlike and efficient way. At the price, who could complain. For anyone wanting an inexpensive 85mm f/1.8 lens this must be one of the strongest contenders.

Handling being fine, the real bonus is that the optical performance is excellent. Even the edge softness wide open can be seen as an advantage for dreamy portraits, although some may see it as a drawback. Creatively, the lens has lots of potential.

In summary, a fine lens that's very easy to like, at a price where there's little to lose.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Meike 85mm f/2.8 Macro
Overall Rating

Meike 85mm f/2.8 Macro

As a general purpose short telephoto for portraits, landscapes, etc., it may be that the loss of AF will be an inconvenience. However, in the arena of macro shooting, this lens comes into its own, being what it is clearly designed for. Very often MF is the method of choice for macro shooting anyway. All the accuracy of the focusing is concentrated in the macro range and the image snaps clearly into focus in the viewfinder or on the monitor screen.

The Meike 85mm f/2.8 Macro lens is a well made, well-priced lens that will do the job efficiently and to an excellent standard.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Samyang MF 14mm f/2.8 MK2
Overall Rating

Samyang MF 14mm f/2.8 MK2

The Samyang MF 14mm f/2.8 MK2 can be tough to focus using an optical viewfinder but is saved by extensive depth of field, and excellent and accurate focus if using Live View. The lens is weather-sealed, which is almost a requirement these days, and gives impressive optical performance in terms of sharpness in particular.

The end results are fantastic and using the hyperfocal distance technique there is almost no need to focus, which goes some way to offset any difficulty finding the focus point. It's a great lens overall, but some may find the handling a bit on the slow side. In summary, the Samyang MF 14mm f/2.8 MK2 offers fantastic value, impressive performance and is Highly Recommended.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Samyang MF 85mm f/1.4 MK2
Overall Rating

Samyang MF 85mm f/1.4 MK2

There is much to like about any 85mm f/1.4 lens and the Samyang ticks almost all of the boxes. The only caveat is for those who might prefer an AF lens, and then Samyang have an offering for just a couple of hundred pounds more should it be preferred.

However, the new Samyang MF 85mm f/1.4 MK2 lens also delivers a splendid overall performance and it is basically just a lovely lens. On the basis of its performance, its ease of use and its very modest price tag it has to be an Editor's Choice.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE
Overall Rating

Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE

The Samyang AF 85mm f/1.4 FE is a lovely lens to use, from the moment we look at the images on the screen or through the viewfinder. Selective depth of field makes manual focusing a breeze, subjects sing out against a beautifully diffused background. The Samyang is also gloriously smooth in operation, totally unobtrusive and a real photographer's lens, where the camera becomes an extension of the photographer and does not intrude on the subject. The price is also very attractive, so Samyang fully deserves the accolade of Editor's Choice.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2
Overall Rating

Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2

There is very little difference in brightness between a f/1.4 and f/1.2 lens. The wider aperture also means more difficulty in focusing, but only because the point of focus is so fine. In reality, if used carefully with magnifying aids then it is highly accurate. The lens is also very bulky and very heavy, certainly quite huge compared to a conventional 50mm f/1.4.

However, the price is reasonable and the standard is very high, so there are clear benefits for those for whom the difference is significant. In any event, the performance is exemplary.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF
Overall Rating

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 EF

Samyang has consistently produced some excellent lenses for many years and now join the mainstream of AF lenses with equally powerful offerings.

The new AF 14mm f/2.8 EF takes us a step further. Hitherto, all the AF lenses have concentrated on the Sony A series, but now we see the first autofocus DSLR lens, for Canon. It performs well, produced superb images and is a real alternative at a very attractive price.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Samyang Premium MF 85mm f/1.2
Overall Rating

Samyang Premium MF 85mm f/1.2

Samyang have here a great lens. Superb performance, substantially less cost than the one alternative or most of the f/1.4 alternatives and, provided we are happy with manual focusing, a really viable option.

Of course, the question of whether or not the f/1.2 aperture offers much advantage over f/1.4 is another matter and then it depends on the type of shooting we do and what we want. However, in this case the quality is so good that the brighter aperture equally well offers no disadvantage and Samyang are offering us a very attractive lens at a very attractive price.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Samyang Premium MF 14mm f/2.4
Overall Rating

Samyang Premium MF 14mm f/2.4

The Samyang 14mm f/2.4 lens proves itself to be a high-class performer and also a very exciting lens to use. Manual focusing lends itself to use on a tripod with critical focusing, and when this is done the sharpness of the results can be stunning.

The alternative technique of setting a reasonably small aperture, say f/8, and using depth of field to ensure sharpness throughout, can be very liberating and also yields excellent results. Whatever the technique chosen, this is a versatile lens delivering high-class results.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Sigma AF 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Overall Rating

Sigma AF 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

There is a lot to love about a fine 28mm lens that has such a fast, bright maximum aperture, for all sorts of shooting applications. The Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens handles well, focuses precisely and produces superb results. The price seems to fairly reflect the quality that is on offer, and what is on offer is a very desirable lens that could well become a favourite for many wide-angle photographers.

An Editor's Choice award for another fine example of the lens makers' art.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport
Overall Rating

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport

There are quite a few 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses, none of them exactly cheap. For those who want a lower cost or a lighter lens, there are the f/4 versions, but many photographers will seek the reduced depth of field that a fast, bright f/2.8 aperture has to offer.

In terms of quality, we rarely see a zoom lens that offers such an evenly fantastic performance as this new Sigma, and at a basically very reasonable price. Without a doubt, the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM S is a lens of choice, and therefore, without doubt, is awarded an Editor's Choice.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art
Overall Rating

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art

Sigma has provided a well-made, solid macro lens that delivers very impressive image quality. It operates flawlessly, albeit it with slightly slower than average AF, but proves an excellent overall match for the Canon EOS 5DS R.

The 70mm focal length is a good compromise for full-frame bodies. For APS-C cameras the “35mm format equivalent” would be 112mm for Canon. This means that a 50mm macro might be a better choice for APS-C if the user wanted a similar field of view to the one this lens offers in full frame.

However, in summary, the new Sigma lens offers all the right things in terms of handling and quality and is well worth considering as an alternative to the more common focal lengths.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art
Overall Rating

Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

The Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art is a really sharp lens, with excellent handling and beautiful bokeh, which makes a powerful mix. Although many photographers have felt that 135mm was slightly too long for a short portrait telephoto, perhaps looking at 100mm instead, with this Sigma the close focusing seems to be a game changer. Whereas the 135mm often stopped short at 4 feet or so, at just over 3 feet this new lens makes the tight head shot absolutely possible and probably tips the balance. Coupled with a truly splendid performance, Sigma has a winner, without a doubt.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art
Overall Rating

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

This is a very attractive proposition for full frame users. A reasonable cost, a sound general performance, gorgeous bokeh and the potential for portrait shooting, low distortion, in fact, a variety of positive aspects that make for a quality end result. It's a pity the weather resistance isn't a bit stronger and the weaker performance at 70mm will not suit everyone, but even this may well delight others as the portrait and perhaps flower study potential is very real. Overall, recommended.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Sigma AF 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary
Overall Rating

Sigma AF 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

Very long lenses have always been more expensive, with the affordable telephotos ending around 300mm. That extra 400mm is very valuable for wildlife and sports and we have here from Sigma such a lens, but one that is much more reasonably priced.

The features cost is in lens speed, so cameras with good high ISO performance are the order of the day. Other advantages are a more compact and lighter optic, still quite large but nowhere near the bulk of some of the alternatives.

Performance is sound, giving excellent sharpness and lovely bokeh at an excellent price.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Overall Rating

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is a high-class, highly competent design that performs confidently and efficiently. It is of the modern breed of 85mm lenses, sharp from open aperture, as opposed to older designs that were intended to be softer wide open for the purposes of flattering portraits. This new lens is sharp throughout, although not cruelly over-sharp, so subjects should be pleased enough.

It is also delightful to use, the only omissions being vibration reduction and weather sealing, but the performance itself is not in question.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD
Overall Rating

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD

The performance is excellent, the handling is excellent and this puts the Tamron on a par with the best alternative 35mm f/1.4 lenses, and, it must be said, at an attractive price. Yes, it is still expensive, but that is the price we have to pay for such high quality.

The only question is whether or not the photographer finds 35mm to be the right focal length on full frame. For some it may fall between being truly wide angle and being long enough for more flattering portraits. For others it will be the perfect standard lens, perhaps especially for those involved with classic street photography or small group portraits.

If the specification is right though, then this lens hits the spot and yet again Tamron have that coveted accolade and another Editor's Choice. Is this Tamron's best ever lens? Frankly, there have been quite a few that could vie for that position, but one thing is certain, that the new Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD lens is right at the top of Tamron's game.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD
Overall Rating

Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD

The Tamron 35-150mm f/2.8-4 Di VC OSD is another great lens from Tamron. It handles beautifully and delivers the goods in terms of quality. The 150mm length is long enough to be useful, but not so long that it increases the bulk of the lens too much. There's a lot to like about the design engineers' decisions and they have provided a lens that is a clear photographer's lens and also a clear Editor's Choice.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD
Overall Rating

Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD

There are a few things missing, such as Vibration Reduction and full-time manual focus, but the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD is a very impressive lens in terms of performance. When we see that the price is also very reasonable it becomes an attractive proposition indeed. If the features and specification suit, then the lens can definitely be Highly Recommended.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD
Overall Rating

Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD

Some lenses are impossible to dislike, and this is certainly one of them. It is compact and light compared to the f/2.8 lenses, performance is excellent and gives beautifully crisp images, handling is superb and the price very attractive. The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD is a lens for any Canon or Nikon user to put very high on their list and an Editor's Choice.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD
Overall Rating

Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

The lens is very easy and satisfying to use and the price is certainly attractive. The optical performance is actually excellent overall, the sharpness only falling off at very small apertures. Of course, one of the unavoidable facts of optics is that at longer focal lengths those small apertures soon becomes very small indeed and very susceptible to diffraction effects. Bearing in mind though that high shutter speeds will likely be needed for wildlife and sports it is hardly a major issue.

Processed through Photoshop, with a bit of judicious sharpening where needed, the end results are crisp and very impressive.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
Overall Rating

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2

The Tamron lens performs very well and has a well-balanced set of properties. It is well-priced against similar lenses and definitely worth looking at. Images are sharp, well detailed and show smooth bokeh. Resistance to flare is excellent.

In summary, an excellent general-purpose zoom lens that's highly recommended.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
Overall Rating

Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2

The Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens is on the same level playing field as lenses costing up to twice as much, punching far above its weight. It may not have the same silky smoothness in operation as its more expensive competition, but it delivers the goods, making no compromise on image quality.

Add to that the amazing VC system and moisture and dust resistance and Tamron have a definite winner on their hands.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tokina Opera 50mm f/1.4 FF
Overall Rating

Tokina Opera 50mm f/1.4 FF

All the things that made the Pentax version of this design an Editor's Choice apply just as well to the Tokina Opera version, bringing some fine qualities into the domain of Canon and Nikon users. There is no doubt that the competition amongst these types of high-quality lenses is fierce, but Tokina is delivering close to the best quality available at a very competitive price. Another Editor's Choice.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Venus Laowa 14mm F/4 Zero-D DSLR
Overall Rating

Venus Laowa 14mm F/4 Zero-D DSLR

The Laowa 14mm f/4 Zero-D lens has some remarkable properties. It is very sharp indeed, outstandingly so at the centre, and its low distortion and virtually banished CA are highly commendable. The biggest drawbacks are a high susceptibility to flare and for some, the manual focusing of an ultra-wide f/4 lens may prove more difficult.

The answer to the focusing issue lies in using the depth of field markings and zone focusing, or by using a tripod and spending some time getting that point of focus right. The flare issue is harder to avoid when shooting against the light, but is not an issue in normal, less demanding lighting conditions. It is of course possible that the flare properties of the lens could be used in a creative way.

In conclusion, apart from the flare, the lens is well worth serious consideration and is capable of outstanding results. As a result, it can quite positively be 'Recommended'.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: ZEISS Otus Apo-Sonnar 100mm f/1.4 T*
Overall Rating

ZEISS Otus Apo-Sonnar 100mm f/1.4 T*

It is actually quite surprising how few fast 100mm lenses there are, especially considering the popularity of the 100mm macro lenses. For those who find 85mm too short and yet 135mm too long and unwieldy, the 100mm lens has always been an excellent focal length. There have been many 100mm lenses in the past, mostly f/2.8 designs that were light and compact.

The new Zeiss lens is definitely not light or compact, but it is uncompromisingly excellent in performance. It is also most definitely not a cheap option, but then again if we want traditional metal and glass construction of the highest order, then that is what it costs.

This is also the sort of lens design that raises standards, as the difference between a shot that hits the spot and one that nearly does becomes very obvious. Zeiss claims the lens offers a “medium format look” and it does have a certain quality, a certain look that lifts it beyond the norm. It will not suit every photographer, but those whose way of working it does suit will love it.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4
Overall Rating

Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4

As always, there will be a price to pay for excellence. None of the 24/25mm f/1.4 bright lenses are cheap, but they do represent the cost of high-quality optics. The Milvus represents a variation, sacrificing the AF and pulling no punches in weight or bulk, just delivering solid engineering and optical quality.

Manual focus does become more difficult the wider we go and this may well not be for everybody, but there are others who will revel in the sheer tactile joy of handling a precision, traditional-style lens.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4
Overall Rating

Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4

The Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 lens is a bright, high-quality optic with smooth bokeh and a very well-balanced set of properties. It handles beautifully and is a pleasure to use. It exudes a feeling of quality. It is very likely that it will last for many years before needing any attention. The manual focus is utterly smooth and the point of focus is very easy to achieve.

There is a high price to pay for this, so some hard decisions need to be made. Paying £1699 for a 35mm lens, even an f/1.4 model, is a very high cost and needs to be assessed alongside the amount of use that it might be put to. But for those who want that indefinable something from a lens and are able to meet the cost, then there may be a much clearer choice, especially if 35mm is a focal length that is favoured.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8 Distagon T*
Overall Rating

Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

The temptation may well be there to go for the wider 15mm lens at the same price, or one of the alternative 15mm offerings. However, the Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8 does offer a smaller, lighter lens that is easier to focus and handle and may even be more universally useful. It is not a lower-cost option. The optical performance is virtually the same.

This leaves the lens as a very tempting option that could be a superb travel and landscape companion.

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Best Canon EF And EF-S Lenses: Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD
Overall Rating

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens is an excellent lens that can be highly recommended. It is designed with the centre of the field very much in mind, so depending on use, it should be possible to enjoy the outstanding sharpness when the main subject is fairly centrally placed. However, it is still possible to have excellent edge sharpness if the aperture used is chosen with that in mind.

It is an attractive optic, not only for its sharpness and other optical qualities but also for its smart new design ethos, matching nicely with other new Tamron lenses. Add the moisture resistance and a price competitive with its peers and we have a very useful general purpose wide angle zoom capable of very satisfactory results.

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Comments

NeilSchofield Avatar
Probably sums up why I shoot Canon, glass has the class Wink just wish I could afford the 400mm DO
StrayCat Avatar
StrayCat 19 19.1k 3 Canada
Hard to improve on your work Neil.Smile
JackAllTog Avatar
A interesting list - but is number 11 not bested by the later mk2 model - http://www.canon.co.uk/lenses/ef-24-105mm-f-4l-is-ii-usm-lens/

Is there a similar list for EOS camera's - regardless of lens manufacturer?
joshwa Avatar
aksoyk Avatar
Well, in the 9th row, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L II IS lens is listed.
In my opinion, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L II IS lens must be listed instead. Wink
I had used it for a few days and it is really amazing to have f/2.8 at 400mm focal length! Smile
JohnMacLeanPhotography  Avatar
Why arenít you showing the improved Mark II versions on some of these?
joshwa Avatar
Hi John,

If you're talking about the 24-105mm f/4, then the mark II version didn't score as high a rating as the first version of this lens. https://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-ef-24-105mm-f-4-is-ii-usm-lens-review--30572

Thanks
Josh
JohnMacLeanPhotography  Avatar
Josh,

What about the 35mm f/1.4L Mark II?
joshwa Avatar
Hi John,

The review of the 35mm f/1.4L Mark II can be found here:
https://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-ef-35mm-f-1-4l-ii-usm-lens-review-28614

It didn't score are high overall, due to the price compared to the original.
Thanks
Josh
JohnMacLeanPhotography  Avatar
I rented the 35mm f/1.4L Mark II a couple years ago for a wedding after looking at the test results compared to the previous version on the-digital-picture.com

Iím most concerned with final IQ, and this lens seemed to be the best available for Canon by a long shot. I was extremely pleased with the wide open results, when the AF nailed focus. Iíd not hesitate to buy it if I had the need to use it more often, but I rarely shoot weddings and low light events, so renting makes more sense.
CapturetheBliss Avatar

I have several questions about this list.

Why is the Canon 50 mm f /2 not included on this list?
Why are the f4 versions of the version ii lenses represented over the f 1/2/4/8?
The wider open and faster shutter speed does make a difference and if at all possible will not purchase a 4L and above if I can afford it. Too frequently I regularly find circumstance where I need the extra specs.

Scott
Patlezinc Avatar

Quote:Hi John,

The review of the 35mm f/1.4L Mark II can be found here:
https://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon-ef-35mm-f-1-4l-ii-usm-lens-review-28614

It didn't score are high overall, due to the price compared to the original.
Thanks
Josh


Hi Josh.
Wondering if your 35 L ii copy was ok. It is one of the best lense ever ((many other websites claim that too). I own it myself and it is really an impressive lense, especially at 1.4
Strange it is not in the top 18 (price is a thing but quality is exceptional).
GazzaG2003 Avatar
I have 4 out of the 20 and looking to add a 5th which is also in the list.
Nigeyboy Avatar
Nigeyboy 15 1.1k United Kingdom
Bit of a shame that all but two of these are L lenses. I dream of being able to afford L glass, but budget won't allow it. I put an EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 on the credit card, and that was pushing things!!

Not all us photographers can afford stuff like this - how about a round up of best budget Canon glass?
NikitaMorris Avatar

Quote:Not all us photographers can afford stuff like this - how about a round up of best budget Canon glass?


We can do that Smile
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