Photos By Rikki » SF Bay Area | Freelance Photographer

Canon’s Top 10 Best Lenses for 2013



A lot of people have been asking me about lenses and what they need to buy that would be essential for their style of photography. The answer? It depends. There are a lot of factors that contribute to people buying certain types of lenses but before you buy them, here are some pointers.

Disclaimer: I’m sorry for the Nikon folks. It’s nothing against Nikon but I just know much about the brand to speak about it.

Don’t just read about it, put it on:

Before making a purchase, it’s obvious that you need to do your homework first and read up on a particular lens. If you can, stop by your local camera store and ask them if you can try it out. Bring your camera body and don’t rely on theirs. You might have a different sensor than what they have available to test out. Bring your CF or SD card and take a few shots. If you can afford it, rent it! There are numerous camera shops out there that rent their gear. Rent it. try it out for a few days and really give it a test run. This might just sway your decision once you’ve actually had the time to really test it out. BorrowLenses is a great local company here in the San Francisco Bay Area. They even have multiple locations/affiliates. Go check them out!

Which glass?

If you ask me, I’m a bit biased for the Canon L glass. They are sharp and really built well. However, it does comes at a price and a steep one at that. However, you are guaranteed that it’ll be the best performing lens your money can ever buy. And the best part is that you can always resell them with little devaluation.

Have you also thought about what kind of lens you wanted to get? If you’re confused about the different types of lenses, here’s a good article from a few years back.

There are other companies out there as well that produce great lenses. Sigma and Tamron make exceptional lenses too but it really depends on what you prefer and what your budget can afford. My advice? Save your money and don’t settle for less. Save those dollars and buy the lens you really wanted to get.

And the list:

These lenses received the highest votes by owners and therefore most consider them to be the consumers’ top 10 lenses for Canon dSLRs. While i haven’t tried all of these lenses, I will give you my best thoughts about the ones that I did have a chance to test.

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

I own this lens and I love it! On my 5D Mark III, this wide angle lens is pretty sweet. Barrel distortion is almost non-existent. The image is sharp as a tack. This is definitely my go to image for wide landscape shots.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

I love the “nifty fifty”! I bought this lens a while ago and loved it. For around $100, you can’t go wrong with the lens. It’s sharp even though the lens is of plastic construction. If you’re on a budget, then this might be a good starter lens for you. The f1.8 is pretty sweet for this little lens.

Sadly, I don’t own this lens anymore. It was replaced by it’s much more bigger and robust brother – the 50mm f1.2L. This is now the lens that is always on my camera, my everyday go-to lens.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM

One of my very first L glass, I still have it in my gear bag. Even though Canon had already released the Mark II version of this lens, it’s still really good and takes extremely sharp photos.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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

I had this lens as part of a kit I bought when I upgraded to a 40D. I used it traveling but soon realized the f4 was not fast enough for my type of photography. I soon sold this and upgraded to the 24-70mm f2.8L.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM

This is the newest lens in my gear bag. I used to own the 100mm f2.8 and it was awesome but this L version is extremely sharp as with most L glass.

Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM

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

I have the Mark I version and it’s served me very well over the years. I use it quite a bit specially during engagement sessions. The bokeh wide open is awesome on a lens with this focal range.

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

I hope this list helped you out if you were in the market for a new lens. Like I said, it really all depends on your style of shooting. Choose carefully and make sure you try them out first. Good luck and keep on clicking that shutter!


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