Acquiring lenses is the natural next step toward harnessing the power of your Canon. Your camera body likely came with a kit lens, probably the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 if you have an APS-C format body, or the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 if you have a full-frame body; either one is a sufficient everyday zoom lens for learning the ins and outs of your camera, but you’ll quickly outgrow it. If you want to shoot in lower light, with a wider viewpoint, or up closer, you’ll need to invest in new lenses. This guide will point you in the right direction for filling your camera bag with excellent glass that’s supremely affordable.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Blur the background on the cheap
A great everyday lens for all sorts of situations, this “thrifty fifty” is amazing in low light and can create lovely blurred backgrounds.
May be out of stock
*At the time of publishing, the price was $125.
If your budget allows for only a single lens, we think the compact Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 is the best starting point for most people. Wide-aperture prime lenses are a great way to achieve photos with a sharp subject and blurred background and they get great shots indoors or outdoors, day or night.
To take your photography to the next level, you’ll want to begin building your arsenal of lenses. We recommend starting with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L as your telephoto and, if you have an APS-C body, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 for a wide-angle option. If macro is your thing, start with the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP. Or for a kit lens upgrade for APS-C bodies, go with the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM.
One important note for anyone with a full-frame camera, such as Canon’s EOS 6D Mark II: Never mount an EF-S lens on your camera body. These lenses extend farther into the camera body than the EF lenses designed for your camera. If you try to use an EF-S lens on a full-frame body, you may damage your camera.
If you don’t shoot with a Canon camera but still want to invest in some great starter lenses, take a look at our lens guides for Nikon and Sony E-Mount bodies.