Best Canon lenses 2018: 10 top options for Canon APS-C DSLRs

by admin July 13, 2018 at 1:27 am

Apart from the EOS 7D Mark II, all current APS-C format Canon DSLRs are sold with the option of an included ‘kit’ zoom lens. In many cases, you can choose between Canon’s latest 18-55mm or 18-135mm lenses, both of which give solid performance and come complete with image stabilization and virtually silent STM (Stepping Motor) autofocus systems, ideal for both stills and video capture. But a basic standard zoom will only get you so far.

Even with the generous 1.6x focal length multiplier or ‘crop factor’ of Canon EOS APS-C format bodies, the 18-135mm kit lens comes up short in telephoto reach for shooting action sports and wildlife. And both kit lenses lack a seriously wide viewing angle for some landscape and interior shots. You might also need a tight depth of field to blur the background in portraiture and still life images, something the relatively narrow widest apertures of kit lenses struggle to deliver. Another popular lens option is a ‘macro’ optic for shooting extreme close-ups.

The biggest bonus of any interchangeable lens camera is that you can fit the ideal lens for the job at hand, from ultra-wide zoom to super-telephoto, and fast primes in between. In fact, sometimes full-frame-compatible lenses are a better option than dedicated APS-C format lenses.

Lens designations

It’s actually worth getting the designations of lenses clear at this point. Canon’s EF (Electro-Focus) lens mount dates back to 1987 and the 35mm film era. The EF-S variant was launched in 2003, to suit Canon DSLRs with smaller, APS-C image sensors. There are no issues using EF lenses on APS-C format cameras, but you can’t use an EF-S lens on a full-frame DSLR. The classifications used by Sigma are DC (APS-C) and DG (full-frame) and for Tamron it’s Di-II (APS-C) and Di (full-frame).

We’ve put all of the main contenders through their paces with rigorous lab testing and shooting in all manner of ‘real-world’ scenarios

If you’ve got a Canon camera, it might seem sensible to use Canon lenses. However, third-party lenses from the likes of Sigma and Tamron often give similar or even better performance than own-brand Canon lenses, and at more competitive prices.   

We’ve put all of the main contenders in the various categories through their paces with rigorous lab testing and shooting in all manner of ‘real-world’ scenarios. Based on the results, here’s our list of the 10 best lenses to buy for your Canon APS-C format body. We’ve included outright winners in each category, as well as best-value alternatives to suit a tighter budget. 

Wide-angle zoom: Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

A lens that lets you take a broader perspective

Type: Zoom | Sensor size: APS-C | Focal length: 10-24mm | Maximum aperture: f/3.5-4.5 | Image stabilizer: Yes | Weather seals: Yes | Minimum focus distance: 0.24m | Filter size: 77mm | Dimensions: 84 x 85mm | Weight: 440g

Good image quality and build

Optical stabilizer 

Not as solid as Canon 10-22mm 

Pricier than some competitors 

A major upgrade from Tamron’s original 10-24mm lens, the new ‘VC HLD’ edition adds image stabilization and a new autofocus system, which is quicker and quieter. Handling is also improved, because the focus ring no longer rotates during autofocus. The good-quality build includes weather seals and a keep-clean fluorine coating on the front element. Image quality benefits from good sharpness and contrast, along with well-contained distortions for an ultra-wide zoom lens, and fairly minimal color fringing. 

Great-value option: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM 

Not much more than a third of the price of the Tamron 10-24mm, this is a top-value buy. It matches the Tamron’s maximum viewing angle, includes image stabilization and has a compact, lightweight build that’s well matched to bodies like the EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D and EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D. 

Wide-angle prime: Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS

A wide prime to prove that autofocus isn’t everything

Type: Prime | Sensor size: APS-C | Focal length: 10mm | Maximum aperture: f/2.8 | Image stabilizer: No | Weather seals: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.24m | Filter size: None | Dimensions: 87 x 104mm | Weight: 580g

Good build quality

Fast aperture rating  

No autofocus

No image stabilization  

We’ve got so used to autofocus that a lens which you can only focus manually might sound like a retrograde step. However, the huge depth of field enabled by a lens with such a short focal length makes accurate focusing less critical. Better still, the Samyang’s distance scale enables you try traditional focusing methods for landscape and street photography, like setting the hyperfocal distance and ‘zone focusing’. Smart design and high-quality glass help to ensure good image quality, while nano-structure coatings help to keep ghosting and flare to a minimum. 

Great-value option: N/A

Wide-angle prime lenses for APS-C format cameras are practically non-existent. Canon does make an EF-S 24mm pancake lens but, taking the crop factor into account, it’s more ‘standard’ than ‘wide-angle’. 

Standard zoom: Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

It’s an oldie, but still very much a goodie

Type: Zoom | Sensor size: APS-C | Focal length: 17-55mm | Maximum aperture: f/2.8 | Image stabilizer: Yes | Weather seals: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.35m | Filter size: 77mm | Dimensions: 84 x 111mm | Weight: 645g

Fast, constant aperture 

Crisp image quality 

No weather seals

Lens hood sold separately  

Now more than a decade old, this was the first enthusiast/pro-grade EF-S standard zoom lens Canon produced. It’s still the best, and the only one to feature a fast and constant (meaning it’s available throughout the entire zoom range) f/2.8 aperture. It’s also the most expensive standard zoom for APS-C format Canon cameras, and has enthusiast-friendly features like ring-type ultrasonic autofocus and a focus distance scale beneath a viewing window. Even so, it’s not one of Canon’s L-series (Luxury) lenses, and has no weather seals. Frustratingly, as with the vast majority of non-L-series Canon lenses, you need to buy the lens hood separately. 

Great-value option: Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C 

Relatively compact and lightweight, this Sigma has a variable yet fairly fast aperture rating and delivers impressive image quality, at a bargain price. 

Standard prime: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM | A

A practically perfect focal length with a fast aperture rating

Type: Prime | Sensor size: APS-C | Focal length: 30mm | Maximum aperture: f/1.4 | Image stabilizer: No | Weather seals: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.3m | Filter size: 62mm | Dimensions: 74 x 63mm | Weight: 435g

Source link

more news from the blog

Add Comment