You must be looking for the best cheap lenses for Canon if you own a Canon camera. We also believe you don’t want to spend a fortune on a camera lens? We are going to unveil some of the most affordable yet excellent canon lenses for you in this article.
We will divide the article into the following main sections for your convenience.
- Different types of lenses for Canon
- Canon Lens Buying Guide
- 10 best affordable Canon lenses
- Frequently asked questions
Canon is one of the biggest digital camera brands in the world. Canon cameras offer fantastic image quality in addition to some other brilliant features. They are also superior to every other brand when it comes to low-light performance, more autofocus points, flash control, and high-quality APS-C sensors.
The advantages of Canon cameras are boundless. You can even increase the range of your Canon camera by purchasing a Canon lens. Similarly, some of the best budget canon lenses are available for less than $300 which is a pure bargain. And make no mistake. These lenses include everything from macros to simple primes, all-in-one superzooms, range extenders, and portable options.
Different Types of Lenses for Canon
You must figure out what kind of lens you need when you search for a new camera lens in the market. The following are some of the most popular lenses to get for your Canon camera.
1. A Better Standard Zoom
All the Canon cameras come with their own lenses. Commonly referred to as kit lenses, they are perfect for getting started. But, it is advisable to buy a better standard zoom camera for a wider maximum aperture, image quality, and longer zoom range.
2. Ultra-wide Zoom
Ultra-wide zoom lenses are particularly popular among travel and street photographers. They are a necessity if you want to capture sweeping vistas, small interior spaces, and narrow streets and squeeze them into image frames.
3. Telephoto Zoom
If you want to buy the best canon lens for sports, you must consider a telephoto zoom lens. They are most suitable for wildlife and sports photography, especially when you have to capture the shots from a distance.
4. Macro Lenses
You need a macro lens if you want to capture the small objects in the tiniest of details. A macro lens enables you to get as close to small subjects as possible. Therefore, they are the favorite lenses of nature photographers.
5. Portrait Lenses
A portrait lens should be your choice if you favor capturing people rather than animals and bugs. Portraits lenses provide you with enough background blur and working distance to capture flattering features.
Canon Lens Buying Guide
You need to make sure you get the right camera that meets your budget and photography requirements as well as fits your camera as well. The following is a brief guide about purchasing the best cheap lenses for Canon cameras.
1. Camera compatibility
First and foremost, the lens you buy should be compatible with your camera model. You can divide Canon cameras into three categories that are EOS mirrorless cameras, EOS DSLRs, and newer EOS R systems.
Remember that you cannot mount lenses made for EOS DSLRs on EOS mirrorless cameras without using an adapter. Therefore, you should choose a compatible lens for EOS M cameras most of the time.
Even DSLR cameras have two different types of mounts. APS-Cs are relatively cheaper models that use EF-S mounts. On the other hand, full-frame DSLRs are more expensive and use the EF mount.
Similarly, there is a separate RF lens mount for Canon EOS R cameras.
2. Focal length
The focal length is an important consideration. Just keep in mind that the lens offers greater zoom if the focal length is higher. The focal length is the number that comes before mm in the lens name. Different focal lengths have different applications. For example, the larger focal length is ideal for portraits as well as wildlife and street photography. Smaller focal lengths, on the other hand, are perfect for capturing panoramas and landscape photography.
3. Aperture Size
Aperture is the hole in a camera that lets the light inside the camera. The aperture size is measured in f-stops and it is usually denoted in f/1.4, f/1.8, f/2, and f/4. All lens manufacturers including Canon describes their lenses by the largest aperture. The greater the number after the slash (/), the larger the aperture is. Large apertures are suitable for taking photos in situations of fast movement and low light. Larger apertures help you take both foreground and background in focus and thus, they are ideal for landscape photography.
4. Always Read Reviews
Once, you have decided which type of lens you need, you must read the reviews of actual models you are considering. You must pay special attention to things like how sharp the image is, the performance of the lens in low-light situations, the autofocus speed, and the lens’s weight.
Last but not least, price is an important factor when it comes to buying the best cheap lenses for Canon. The price of a camera lens can range from $100 to $3000. You need to get one that is within your budget. You can find many good lenses for Canon under $300 with the utmost ease.
10 Best Affordable Canon Lenses
The following are the 10 best cheap lenses for Canon you can buy in 2020. Our experts have compiled this list after a lot of research, checking thousands of customer reviews, and adding their own input. All of these lenses provide superior quality at an extremely low price, compared to more expensive Canon lenses. More importantly, they can be a valuable addition to your photography Kit. Or, you can also give a pleasant surprise to a Canon user who also has a special place in your heart.
So, here is our list of the best budget lenses for Canon.
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L Zoom
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens: The Best Camera Lens for Canon
- Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens: Best Travel Lens for Canon
- Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 STM: Best Budget Wide Angle Lens for Canon
- Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6: Among Best Budget Lenses for Canon
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM: Best Affordable Canon Lens
- Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens: One of the Best Canon Lenses for Video
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L Zoom Lens: Among Best Cheap Canon Lenses
- Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro STM: One of the Best Budget Lenses
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II: Best Canon Lens for Taking Stills
- Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM: One of the Best Third-Party Lenses for Canon
Now, we will compare the pros and cons of each of these lenses one by one.
1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens: The Best Camera Lens for Canon
Available for just $100, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a reasonable option if you are looking for good sharpness. This lens is a successor of Canon’s old “Nifty Fifty” 50 f/1.8 II lens which was a very popular introductory prime lens despite its poor built-quality. The 50 mm f/1.8 STM offers some good improvements on features and built quality.
This latest version has also kept features like excellent optical qualities, compact proportions, and low prices that were the hallmark of its predecessor. For example, it features a sturdy metal lens mount, a seven-blade diaphragm and a wide focusing ring.
The camera also features a “Smooth Transition for Motion’ stepping motor as indicated by the STM suffix. The STM motor allows silent focusing for recording videos and smooth and fast focusing for stills. The lens helps you quickly focus on your subjects while shooting an image or video. That is why it is a perfect lens for action photographers. It enables you to capture beautiful pictures even if you have to react suddenly and take a photo with super-fast speed.
Similarly, the lens can easily keep ghosting and flaring at bay thanks to Super Spectra Coating on the elements.
The lens also lets in more than 8 times the amount of light thanks to the f/1.8 aperture lens which is pretty wide.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a winner when it comes to cheap Canon lenses that also offer sharp brightness, near-silent focusing, and high quality at an extremely low price. The lens is lightweight and compact and should easily win over many fans.
2. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens: Best Travel Lens for Canon
Canon EF-S 22mm f/2.8 STM lens is the lightest and slimmest of all the EF-S lenses by Canon. The lens delivers a soft and sumptuous background by using 7 blades of a circular aperture. It is a compact and lightweight pancake lens that is easy to carry. As such, it is the best travel lens for Canon. EF-S 22mm is compatible with APS-C DSLRs as well as non-full frame EOS digital SLRs cameras. However, the angle of view is similar to the 38mm lens you often find on a full-frame cameras.
The lens is an ideal choice for street and travel photography as its field of view is the same as that of a human eye. It also offers advanced autofocus and superior optics, making it a versatile lens. It ensures excellent color balance by providing exceptional out-of-focus details through a 7 blade circular aperture. Similarly, the lens enables silent and smooth focus tracking as it also comes with STM technology.
The minimum focusing distance is just 16cm which is impressive. As a result, you can get close and personal with your subject to take some really beautiful photographs. The maximum aperture of f/2.8 is also pretty generous, making it the best budget wide-angle lens for Canon.
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens is an affordable Canon lens with plenty of applications. Weighing only 125g, it is a must-have for every traveler photographer, amateur or professional.
3. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM: Best Budget Wide Angle Lens for Canon
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens is one Canon lens that offers exceptional quality at a very reasonable price. Available for around $220, the lens offers cutting edge performance and optical brilliance. It is a compact lens but still manages to provide an ultra-wide angle of view. Canon has designed this lens especially for EOS cameras with APS-C sensors. However, you can use it with other cameras as well.
Canon EF-S 10-18mm is the lens if you are looking to take high-resolution and high-contrast images. Furthermore, it keeps the glare and aberration to the minimum. Just like all Canon lenses, it is a versatile lens with many applications. Some of these applications include still photography, travel photography, everyday photos, and even videography.
However, the lens is particularly suited to interiors, architecture, and landscapes because of a good focal length of 16-29mm. it is a wide-angle lens that also features STM technology like all the other recent releases by Canon. You can also capture amazing photographs at slow shutter speed thanks to a four-stop image stabilization system. The only major drawback is that the lens is incompatible with full-frame cameras.
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is among the best cheap lenses for Canon cameras. It allows you to take beautiful photos in all kinds of locations and situations. On top of that, the lens offers reasonable distortion, low CA, and exceptional sharpness for less than $300.
4. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom: Among Best Budget Lenses for Canon
If you are looking for a low priced yet a versatile lens, you must go for Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lens. The lens features much talked about optical image stabilizer technology by Canon. Similarly, it is very easy to use as it is compact and lightweight.
The lens delivers a focal length of from 88 to 400 mm resulting in a high zoom ratio. It lacks the four-stop image stabilization system. However, it employs an image stabilization technique that ensures four stops faster shutter speed than that of similar lenses. You can capture amazing low-light and long-distance shots with this particular lens as well.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm is a great option if you are an action photographer. However, it also helps you take excellent portrait photos with blurred background. Similarly, much of the lens’s zoom range offers outstanding sharpness which you expect from more expensive lenses. It is also the best budget telephoto lens for Canon as an image stabilization system keeps photos sharp during the telephoto zoom as well.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II serves multiple applications. It is a lightweight, easy to use, and extremely cheap lens which everyone can afford. It is one of the best cheap lenses for Canon in the market.
5. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM: Best Affordable Canon Lens
Although you could buy the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens, the latest version of Canon’s EF 50mm series yet Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is still a very powerful lens. It is not only a good deal in terms of price but f/1.4 is a reasonably wide aperture as well. What makes this lens an attractive choice is its weight, size, and price.
When it comes to building quality, the lens is very sturdy and compact just like the f/1.8 version. However, f/1.4 performs much better in low-light conditions. Similarly, the depth of field created by this lens is shallower because it has a larger maximum aperture. But, you will get extraordinary brightness even at maximum aperture.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 is one of the best canon lenses for suppressing astigmatic differences. In fact, it eliminates astigmatism as it features new Gaussian optics. Not to mention, the STM motor will always deliver fast and accurate focusing. The lens also offers full-time manual focus override. This is a fantastic feature that helps you make precise adjustments manually.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is a lightweight and compact telephoto lens that you can take everywhere. Thanks to standard 50mm focal length, it is ideal for day to day shooting as well.
6. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens: One of the Best Canon Lenses for Video
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is perhaps the lightest lens on this list. It is only 22.8mm deep and thus, does not increase your camera size or weight. Being one of the best cheap lenses for Canon, this pancake lens does not make you spend a lot of fortune as well.
The best thing about Canon EF 40mm is that is compatible with both APS-C DSLRs and all the full-frame cameras by Canon. It has an effective focal length of 64mm when you mount it on the DSLRs. The focal length is standard, to be honest. However, you can use it for all kinds of applications ranging from landscapes to reportage and many more.
The lens delivers shallow depth of field through f/2.8 wide aperture. Similarly, STM technology results in silent, quick and smooth focusing, especially in the case of movie recording. As such, it can also be regarded as one of the best Canon lenses for video.
When it comes to image quality and performance, the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens is much better than some of the lenses that cost much more. Therefore, it is among the best affordable canon lenses. Everyone can add it to their photography kit. The lens is small in size and lightweight and has decent built quality.
7. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L Zoom Lens: Among Best Cheap Canon Lenses
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L is a zoom lens belonging to the L series of Canon lenses. It is lesser and therefore, less expensive lens than its extremely popular f/2.8 version. As you can guess, f/4L has a larger aperture than f/2.8. However, it should not be a deal-breaker. The f/4 wide aperture offers nearly equal quality without adding as much weight as f/2.8.
The lighter and the faster aperture also means you will have excellent results right from the lens to the photo’s edge. It may come as a surprise to you that many professional photographers are switching to the f/4L version after using Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 version for years. This is because the earlier version is much lighter and cost-effective compared to the latter.
Novice photographers who have never used professional lenses before should go for Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L. This particular lens offers significant benefits over heavier professional lenses such as f/2.8L. For example, the f/2.8L version costs $2500 whereas the f/4l version is available only for around $400. Therefore, the f/4L easily becomes one of the best cheap lenses for Canon as well.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 lens is the Canon’s most popular beginner-friendly professional lens from their L series. The lens also has image stabilization technology in addition to excellent image quality, fast AF and professional-grade build- quality.
8. Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro STM: One of the Best Budget Lenses
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro STM is a recently released Canon lens. It features a stepping motor autofocus system. Similarly, the lens also comes with an electronically coupled focus ring. It is an ideal choice for close up shooting thanks to the hybrid image stabilization technique. Inherited from Canon’s 100mm L-series lenses, the image stabilization system can control vibrations and correct x-y shift.
The camera can block the ambient light because the minimum focus distance is only 3cm. However, the built-in “Macro Lite” LED compensates for this shortcoming. The LED has two brightness levels and allows you to use only the left or right side or both sides at the same time. The light is still not enough for serious close-up fans though. Therefore, you would require an aperture size of f/8 (ISO 200) and a shutter speed of 1/115 of a second, which is pretty slow, even at the full power.
Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro STM is one of the best affordable Canon lenses. It can meet the requirements of an average user. However, if you are a professional with a passion for close-up photos, you should look for a lens with a longer focal length.
9. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II: Best Canon Lens for Taking Stills
Canon EF 7-300 f/4-5.6 IS II is a professional grade yet affordable camera lens by Canon. The lens comes with an optional tripod, helping you to take steady shots by taking off the load. It also features weather seals which means you can use it in all kinds of weather.
Canon EF 7-300mm is one of the cheapest Canon lenses aimed at professional photographers. However, it is equally sharp as some of the more expensive pro-grade lenses. Similarly, it is much lighter in weight and available for half as much as its expensive counterparts.
Despite being cheap, it includes innovative features in the likes of the Nano USM Autofocus System. It is an incredibly clever system that enables you to quickly focus and track moving objects for taking stills. Besides, it also ensures a smooth focus transition when you are recording movies.
Another great feature of Canon EF 70-300mm is a neat LCD which shows things like focus distance, stabilization information, and focal length.
All in all, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II is the best camera lens for you if you want to capture high-quality pictures without breaking your budget.
10. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM: One of the Best Third Party Lenses for Canon
If you are looking for the best third party lenses for Canon, you should go for Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM. Compatible with APS-C Canon DSLRs, it is a superb lens for portrait photography. You get an effective focal length of 80mm when you mount the lens on an APS-C Canon camera. This is the ideal focal length for taking breathtaking portraits, to say the least.
Sigma 50mm is three times heavier than the Canon’s own EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. However, the Canon’s lens is relatively older and thus, Sigma 50mm is far superior in terms of image quality and overall performance.
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM offers highly advanced and high-tech features. Some of these features include three Special Low Dispersal (SLD) elements as well as an aspherical element. Similarly, the lens minimizes distortion, color fringing, and vignetting as well. In fact, they become unnoticeable when you mount the lens on an APS-C camera for capturing portraits. It is a full-frame compatible lens offering spectacular center-sharpness.
The lens also maintains a pleasing bokeh by keeping the aperture well-rounded through a 9 blade diaphragm. However, the camera lacks image stabilization which can put some people off.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which is the best wide angle lens for Canon?
The following are the best wide angle lenses for Canon.
- Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
- Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
- Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
- Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens
- Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon
2. What is the best Canon lens for beginners?
Here are the best Canon lenses for beginners.
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L Zoom Lens (best for novice professionals)
- Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens (best for street photography)
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens ( best for shooting portraits)
- Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens (best for landscape photography)
- Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II (best for portraits)
3. How can I get cheap camera lenses?
The best way to find cheap camera lenses is to read product reviews and compare different lenses on the internet. You can also buy used lenses on Amazon and eBay. These lenses are relatively new or rarely used but available for only half, two-third or even less of the price of the new lenses.
4. Which is better EF or EFS?
It depends upon your requirements and the type of camera you have. You can only mount Canon EF-S lenses on Canon APS-C DSLRs which are relatively older Canon cameras. Canon EF lenses, on the other hand, can mount on both APS-C DSLRs and full-frame cameras.
Canon’s EF-S mounts can only work with smaller sensors found in APS-C cameras. They will leave heavy vignetting if you try to mount them on full-frame cameras with larger sensors. This is because the lens produces a smaller image circle that cannot cover bigger sensors.
EF mounts, on the other hand, have a larger image circle because they were originally designed to work with 35mm film frames. You can use EF mounts on both APS-C DSLRs and full-frame cameras as they can cover larger sensors.
5. What is the sharpest Canon lens?
The following are some of the sharpest Canon lenses.
- EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM (zoom lens)
- EF 11-24mm f/4L USM (zoom lens)
- TS-E 17mm f/4L (wide-angle primes)
- TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II (wide-angle primes)
- EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM (telephoto primes)
With this, we conclude our list of the best cheap lenses for Canon cameras in 2020. We have tried to cover only the best lenses in their respective categories. However, you are more than welcome to suggest a good Canon lens in the comments section.