Reading
blue-triangle-element

Articles

PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
All Articles
blue-triangle-element

Latest

A girl using a Nikon camera with external flash

Check out our step-by-step guide on learning how to use external flash on Nikon to improve the exposure of real estate photos.

COMMUNITY
blue-triangle-element

Forum

The PFRE Community Forum is an online resource for discussing the art and business of Real Estate and Interior Photography.
Join The Discussion
blue-triangle-element

Latest

View Now
Contest
blue-triangle-element

OVERVIEW

For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

Contest Rules
blue-triangle-element

CURRENT CONTESTS

View / Submit
blue-triangle-element

PAST CONTESTS

View Archive
Resources
blue-triangle-element

Resources

PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.
blue-triangle-element

Conference News

No items found

Best Lens for Canon [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 14/07/2021

Even a high-quality Canon camera may fail to achieve the results you desire. But when you pair it with the best lens for Canon, the results are spectacular. In this review, we detail the features and specifications of various Canon lenses and what makes them a good option.

Our Top Canon Lens Reviews

Equipping yourself with the best lens for Canon will help you shoot stunning landscapes and portraits, whether they are distant subjects or in low light. Below, we review our best picks of Canon lenses.

Brand
Best Overall
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L
Best for the Money
Canon 90mm f/2.8L
Best Cheap Pick
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L
Product
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens, Black (2959C002)
Canon 90mm f/2.8L Macro - Tilt-Shift DSLR Lens
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon...
Lens Type
Standard
Macro
Telephoto
Maximum Focal Length
50 mm
90 mm
100 mm
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L
Product
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens, Black (2959C002)
Lens Type
Standard
Maximum Focal Length
50 mm
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Canon 90mm f/2.8L
Product
Canon 90mm f/2.8L Macro - Tilt-Shift DSLR Lens
Lens Type
Macro
Maximum Focal Length
90 mm
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L
Product
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon...
Lens Type
Telephoto
Maximum Focal Length
100 mm
Rating
Price

Best Overall Lens for Canon: Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L is a versatile focal length prime that performs exceptionally well in poor lighting situations. With a maximum wide aperture of f/1.2, it benefits the application of selective focus and shallow depth of field techniques. 

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens, Black (2959C002)

The optical construction features an aspherical and UD element to eliminate the spherical and chromatic aberrations, enhancing the image's sharpness and clarity. Also, it's equipped with a 10-blade aperture diaphragm which helps produce an appealing bokeh quality. 

Like the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L, it comes with Ultrasonic Motor, which helps realize a smooth and fast autofocus performance, making the focusing effortless. 

The construction is weather-resistant, making it ideal for harsh conditions such as moist and dusty places. However, it's the heaviest on our list, weighing 2.09 pounds, making it unsuitable for shooting for an extended time.

Pros

  • Its performance is impressive in poor lighting situations
  • The aperture allows excellent use of the shallow depth of field techniques
  • The diaphragm blades produce the best bokeh quality on our list

Cons

  • It's the heaviest on our list, making it unsuitable for extended time shooting
  • It lacks an image stabilization mechanism.
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens, Black (2959C002)
  • Fixed focal length, Lens with high image quality and bright f/1.2 aperture for the EOS R system
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.31 ft. /0.40M
  • A control ring for direct setting changes

Best Canon Lens for the Money: Canon 90mm f/2.8L

The Canon 90mm f/2.8L is a short telephoto that is exceptional due to its perspective control and closes the focusing distance. As a tilt-shift lens, it excels in tabletop photography and capturing products. 

Canon 90mm f/2.8L Macro - Tilt-Shift DSLR Lens

It allows around 10 degrees of tilt, approximately 12mm composition, and perspective shift. Unlike the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8, it comes with a maximum magnification of 0.5x and 1.3 inches minimum focusing distance, enhancing the shallow depth of field control even when shooting close-up subjects. 

It comes with a tilt knob and a tilt-lock functionality, which facilitates the lens's stability when shooting scenes. The nine-blade aperture diaphragm helps in producing a better bokeh quality than Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L, making it impressive when using the selective focus technique. 

However, it weighs 2.02 pounds which is not ideal for an extended period of shooting.

Pros

  • The tilt functionality facilitates stable shooting of scenes
  • It's is ideal for selective focus technique
  • Unlike the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8, it is suitable for shooting close up subjects

Cons

  • It is heavy for an extended period of use
  • Unlike the Canon 90mm f/2.8L, it has a big minimum focusing distance
Canon 90mm f/2.8L Macro - Tilt-Shift DSLR Lens
  • High-performance L-series Lens.
  • Large f/2.8 Maximum Aperture.
  • UD Lens Element Helps Reduce Chromatic Aberration.

Best Cheap Lens for Canon: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L

The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L is a short telephoto that features a unique design for close-up shooting, making it ideal for mid-range shots and portraits. 

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon...

In particular, this lens is a prime macro lens that achieves a life-size magnification of 1:1 with a focusing distance of at least 11.8 inches. 

Unlike the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L, it comes with an image stabilizer function that helps to reduce the camera shake effect by around two stops in life-size magnification. Also, the stabilization can reach four stops when shooting at a lower magnification, further enhancing the image's sharpness. 

Like the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L, it comes with an ultrasonic autofocusing motor which facilitates an accurate and fast focusing experience. It weighs 1.38 pounds, lightweight enough to carry around.

Pros

  • The image stabilizer function reduces the camera shake effect
  • Like the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L, it has a fast focusing performance
  • The weight is ideal for an extended shooting period and carrying

Cons

  • The autofocus hunts when shooting in low-light condition
  • The application of selective focus techniques is less appealing than in the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon...
  • 100 millimeter focal length and 1:2.8 maximum aperture. The EF1.4X II; EF2X II extenders cannot be...
  • Lens construction consists of 15 elements in 12 groups
  • 23.4-Degree diagonal angle of view

Best Sturdy Lens for Canon: Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L

The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L comes with a complex optical construction that blends a wide maximum aperture of f/1.4 and a desirable wide-angle focal length. It features two low dispersion elements in its optical construction, which helps to eliminate color fringing, optical distortions, and aberrations. 

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Wide Angle Lens -...

Besides, the elements come with Subwavelength Coating geared to minimize ghosting and flare, facilitating color neutrality and better contrast even when shooting in bright lights. Although not impressive like the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L, the eight-blade aperture diaphragm facilitates a good quality bokeh. 

The construction is high-quality with weather sealing, making it suitable for use in trying circumstances such as shooting in moist and dusty places. It weighs 1.43 pounds, which, although heavier than the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L, you can carry in a camera bag.

Pros

  • It has a moisture resistance seal, making it ideal for trying situations
  • The field of view is broader than that of the Canon 90mm f/2.8L

Cons

  • The bokeh quality is not appealing like that of the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L,
  • It weighs 0.05 pounds more than the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8, limiting its portability.
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Wide Angle Lens -...
  • Lens not zoomable
  • Minimum focus Distance is 0.8ft
  • Focal Length -24 mm

Best Wide Angle Lens for Canon: Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L

The Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L is a prime wide-angle ideal for nature, interior, and landscape photography applications. 

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra-Wide Angle Fixed...

Although not impressive like the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L, it comes with a maximum wide aperture of f/.8, which makes it perform well even in low-light shooting, making it suitable for astrophotography. 

The optical construction consists of two elements and two low dispersion elements geared towards eliminating both chromatic and spherical aberrations, realizing improved color accuracy, clarity, and image sharpness. 

Also, these elements come with a Super Spectra coating which helps reduce the ghosting and flare for enhanced color fidelity and contrast, especially when working in backlit situations. 

Unlike the Canon 90mm f/2.8L, it weighs 1.42 pounds which is lightweight enough for shooting for an extended time without the wrists hurting.

Pros

  • The performance in low-light is appealing, making it ideal for astrophotography
  • Its elements significantly suppress distortions to enhance image sharpness
  • Unlike the Canon 90mm f/2.8L, it's lightweight and won't hurt your wrists

Cons

  • Despite this weight, it is not portable like the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L
  • Its performance in low-light is not impressive like Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra-Wide Angle Fixed...
  • Lens construction is 14 elements in 11 groups
  • Focal length is 14mm, maximum aperture is 1:2.8 and has gel filter holder at rear of lens
  • Closest focusing distance is 7.9 inches

Features to Consider on a Canon Lens

With a wide range of options in the market, you might be confused about which lens will pair well with your Canon camera. Below, we outline the various attributes you should consider in a Canon lens. Also, the below table gives you an overview of their varying features.

Product Diaphragm Blades Minimum Focus Distance (Inches) Weight (Pounds)
Canon RF 50mm f/1.21015.722.09
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8811.81.38
Canon EF 24mm f/1.489.841.43
Canon 90mm f/2.8815.362.02
Canon EF 14mm f/2.867.871.42

Build and Quality

Lenses vary widely in terms of build quality, and you can determine the difference simply by lifting two lenses at the same time and feeling their weight. 

For example, you take Canon 50mm lens f/1.2 and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8, there is a considerable difference between them in terms of materials used and weight. 

Close up of three Canon camera lenses

Apparently, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 contains much more plastic than Canon 50mm f/1.2, which is particularly noticeable in the region of mounting, an area where metallic materials are necessary as it is where the lens rubs the camera.

Many lens manufacturers offer a variety of lenses of varying quality. For example, the Canon series has several lenses called "L-series" lenses. You can notice them, for they are marked by a red ring at the end. 

L-series lenses are known as professional or luxury quality lenses, which use high-quality optical and glass elements. They are generally heavy, sturdy built, fast enough, and take great pictures.

Image Stabilization

Many Canon lenses have some kind of image stabilizer to combat camera shake.

Camera shakes are the slight movements that occur when the shutter is opened. It has a greater effect when shooting at low speed, when using a longer focal length lens or when you are shooting handheld.

Different types of lenses and cameras have different types of image stabilization, but most DSLR lenses have small gyroscopic sensors that correct camera shake. 

The mechanisms are hard to understand, but you'll find that the Canon lenses that have image stabilization, such as Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L, enable you to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds than when you're not using them.

Besides, the image stabilizer helps prevent camera shake, and it is essential in low light conditions without freezing your subjects.

Maximum Aperture

The maximum lens aperture determines how much you can magnify the lens light allowance. Wide apertures make shooting in low light easier and help distinguish the subject from the background elements.

The maximum aperture is usually listed in the lens name. The easiest way of finding out the aperture is to check the figure after the f element or f/ in the lens's name. 

Three Canon camera lenses

For instance, the maximum aperture of the Canon 50mm f/1.2L is f/1.2, making it ideal for backlit conditions shooting.

Autofocus

Autofocus performance varies widely from lens to lens, and a significant difference can be made between an excellent shot of a social occasion or a sporting event and a disappointing shooting experience.

Modern DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are still relatively new, and there is a subtle interaction between the focus motor and the optical design, which eventually affects the performance. 

However, ultrasonic ring-type motors like the one used by Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L are excellent for focusing mirrorless and DSLR cameras, especially when you need a smooth autofocusing experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Camera Lens Go Bad?

A camera lens can go bad in several years or decades, depending on the build quality and the conditions of use. Typically, high-quality lenses that are weather-resistant such as Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L, may last for several decades.

Does the Autofocus Motor Produce Noise?

Typically, every autofocus motor produces some noise when in operation. However, the amount of noise depends on the type of motor. For instance, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L ultrasonic motor is almost silent. 

Conclusion

Different Canon lenses come with varying features, capabilities, and quality, and the best one will depend on your photography goals. Although the lens's performance depends on the shooting conditions, any of the lenses from the above list will perfectly pair with your Canon camera for the best results.

magnifiercrossmenucross-circle