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The Best Canon SLR Lenses of 2018


The Best Canon SLR Lenses of 2018

Regardless of whether you're looking to step up from the kit lens that shipped with your Rebel, or are looking for a premium lens for your 1D X, we've got you covered with reviews of the best lenses for Canon SLRs.

First Name in Cameras

Canon SLRs are some of the most recognizable in the world. You see them on the sidelines of NFL games, around the necks of seemingly every tourist, and in retail displays far and wide. And while seasoned pros who know their cameras inside and out are well aware of what lenses are needed to get the job done, photographers who bought a Rebel bundled with an 18-55mm have good reason to seek out a better lens.

The zoom that's included with an entry-level camera is usually the weakest link in the chain as far as image quality goes. It's designed to be inexpensive enough to manufacture to be included at a modest premium. The narrow f/3.5-5.6 variable aperture isn't the best choice for shooting in dim light, and there's visible distortion throughout the zoom range. These aren't issues that are unique to Canon—most starter lenses leave a lot of room for improvement. Your new SLR deserves a better lens.

Thankfully, with a Canon camera you have dozens of options as far as lenses go. You can go for name-brand Canon lenses—some of those are the best in the business—or you can opt for a third-party option, some of which are just as good as Canon glass, often for less money.

We've highlighted 10 our favorites here. First-time SLR owners looking for a similar, but better, zoom lens can think about a Sigma 18-35mm or 17-70mm zoom, both of which are designed to cover the APS-C image sensor found in Rebel models. And creative pros should give unique lenses like the 85mm f/1.2 and 100-400mm a look.

Remember, if you have a full-frame model like the 6D, you can't use an APS-C lens with an EF-S designation. But owners of Rebel models can use both EF-S and EF lenses, as well as their third-party equivalents. Our favorite APS-C only zooms are actually a pair from Sigma, the 18-35mm f/1.8 and the 17-70mm f/2.8-4. But if you're eyeing an eventual upgrade to a full-frame system, consider skipping over EF-S lenses entirely.

If you're in the market for a new SLR body you can peruse the Best SLRs we've tested. And all of the cameras and lenses we've reviewed can be found in our Digital Cameras Product Guide.

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