Best Canon Lenses of 2019By Reviewed Staff, Updated January 02, 2019
While the camera industry isn't what it once was, Canon is still going strong in large part thanks to its enviable lineup of top-notch lenses. But while you can spend thousands of dollars on pro-grade Canon lenses, some of the company's best options start at right around $100. If you've been using the kit lens of a cheap zoom for awhile, it's easy and incredibly cost-effective to upgrade. Here are the best Canon lenses we've tested in our labs, no matter what your budget is.
Some quick things to keep in mind: All Canon lenses are considered "EF" lenses, after the name of Canon's proprietary lens mount that is used across all Canon DSLRs. Some lenses are designated "EF-S" however, and these are designed only to fit Canon DSLRs that have an APS-C sensor, such as the Rebel series, the Canon EOS 70D, or the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. You can tell if your DSLR is EF-S compatible if it has a white square on the lens mount in addition to the red dot. EF-S lenses do not work with full frame DSLRs, so avoid them if you plan to upgrade later.
Sigma's ART series lenses have quickly built a reputation for exemplary image quality, killer craftsmanship, and best-in-class value for the money. The 50mm f/1.4 is the pick of the litter, capable of astounding image quality, sharpness, and bokeh. It's a little bigger than other 50mm f/1.4 lenses, but it's available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs and goes toe-to-toe with any lens those companies have right now.
For any photographer looking to capture small objects, such as jewelry, bugs, or just fine details, you'll need a macro lens. If you're a Canon shooter, there's no better option than the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro. It's razor sharp, offers image stabilization, and it has a superb close focal distance that also works as a dandy portrait lens in a pinch. For less than $800, it's a terrific investment for Canon fanatics.
Where To Buy$749.00 Amazon Buy $749.00 Walmart Buy $799.00 Adorama Buy $749.00 Abt Buy
If you've bought into the Micro Four Thirds system (or are thinking about it), the 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron is as good as it gets. It's a telephoto portrait lens with creamy smooth bokeh and quality co-signed by Leica. It's a little big for a mirrorless lens, it's one of the best lenses we've ever tested and a must-own for any mirrorless shooter with the cash to burn.
Where To Buy$1,197.99 Amazon Buy $1,197.99 Walmart Buy $1,397.99 Adorama Buy $1,199.99 Best Buy Buy
If you're shooting a Nikon DSLR and you want a top-notch portrait lens, it's hard to do better than the AF-S 85mm f/1.8G. While the pricier f/1.4 has smoother bokeh and shallower depth of field, the f/1.8 arguably has better image quality, is cheaper, and is lighter. It's a perfect storm of portrait goodness that outperformed the 85mm f/1.4 in our lab tests, and at under $500 it won't break the bank, either.
Where To Buy$426.95 Amazon Buy $374.95 Walmart Buy $476.95 Adorama Buy $426.95 Abt Buy
Fujifilm is playing by its own rules these days, debuting pro-grade cameras and riding high from the popularity of its Instax instant film cams. But if you're invested in Fujifilm's X-series cameras, the 56mm f/1.2 lens is as good as it gets. With creamy smooth bokeh and a focal length perfect for portraits, this lens is ideal for professional photographers of all stripes. It's pricey, but man is it worth it.