Canon Community Canon Community
 


Reply
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎07-18-2016

The Best Lens

Obviously there is no ''best lens'', but I wanna ask you- What is the best lens, in your opinion, for each photography style ?

I want at least ONE llens you think is the best for: Landscape, portrait, macro, street, nature, wildlife, event, aerial, sports and night.

 

As always, thanks in advance !

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,931
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: The Best Lens

So immediately we have to ask... which camera model do you have (specifically it makes a difference if it's an APS-C sensor camera vs. a crop-sensor camera.)

 

Without a doubt, regardless of model, owning an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II should be on your wish-list if you don't already own this lens.  It's versatile for sports, nature, wildlife, portraits, etc.  About the only area where I wouldn't use it is 'landscape' or 'macro'.

 

My 70-200 is actually the lens that "lives" on the camera, but then I'm usually shooting outside and this lens is used more than any other lens I own (I own 9 different L series lenses and the fact that I gravitate to this lens should tell you how much I like it.)

 

If I'm shooting indoors, or close subjects outdoors then I probably flip to my 24-70mm f/2.8L (I still own the original.. I never upgraded to the version II.)

 

For macro, I use the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM.  It's extremely versatile and it has the best image stabilization system of any macro on the market.

 

Landscape becomes a tough subject.  As a generalization, most photographers tend to pick wide-angle lenses (at least moderately wide-angle).  If you need to "look around" to take in the scenery... then you probably want a lens with a wide field of view.  If you use a long focal length lens it's a bit like looking through a soda straw while trying to appreciate the Grand Canyon... you're missing most of what's there.  There are always exceptiosn to this, which is why I refer to this as a "generalization".

 

Another generalization about landscape which is different than many other types of photography is that usually "everything" in the scene is the "subject".  That means you usually do want good focus on "everything".  Short focal length lenses naturally produce broader depth of field.  Also focusing at a distance also increases depth of field.  So these two factors generally contribut having more in focus.  But if you're hard-core... then nothing beats a tilt-shift lens.  The Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 would be hard to beat.  You're getting a wide-angle.  You're getting staggeringly good optics (this lens has some of the best corner-to-corner performance of any lens there is).  AND... you can "tilt" the lens to swing the focal plane onto your subject plane.  Tilt-shift lenses are tricky to learn and strictly manual focus only.  They are also not cheap.

 

For wildlife photography during the day, the Canon lens would probably be the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.  But there are those who prefer the Sigma or Tamron 150-600mm lenses.  Sigma makes two versions of it, Tamron makes one.  I do own the Canon but do not own the Sigma or Tamron.  But reviews seem to gush on about the quality and performance of the Canon.  Even with a 1.4x teleconverter, the Canon is still reported to outperform the Sigma and Tamron's native focal length range without a teleconverter.

 

I have no experience with aerial photography so I'll leave that topic alone.

 

For "night" photography this REALLY depends on what you're shooting.  For "milky way" type photography (night-scapes with the stars) then generally you want a very low focal length lens with an extremely low focal ratio.  This allows you take a longer exposure with a camera mounted on a tripod before the rotation of the Earth causes the stars to appear to elongate and smear.

 

I did not mention lenses dedicated to "portraits".  A lot of photographers will actually use that same 70-200mm as their portrait lens (it is that good).  However, some prefer the 85mm f/1.2L or 85mm f/1.8.  A major difference in these two lenses (besides the fact that one is an "L" lens and costs considerably more than the other) is the speed of the focus motor.  The f/1.2L is slow to focus.  So if you're setting up your shots, it's fantastic.  But if your'e shooting in a hurry (candids) then you're going to miss a lot of shots due to the slow focus motor (the f/1.8 would be the better choice for candids.)  I have rented the 85mm f/1.2L (and loved it) but the lens I own is the EF 135mm f/2L USM.  That lens is a cream-machine... able to produce bokeh so intense, so rich, so creamy... that you get diabetes just looking at the photos.  :-)

 

But I asked about the camera "body" because the "angle of view" you get using an 85mm on an APS-C crop-frame body is roughly the same that you get using the 135mm on a full-frame body.  If you used the 135mm on an APS-C crop-frame body then you'll have to have a fairly good distance between camera and subject (it wouldn't be a good choice for "indoor" photography unless you're in a very large room so you can put some distance between you and your subject.)

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,787
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: The Best Lens

[ Edited ]

This is easy.  It really has nothing to do with which camera model you have.  Doesn't matter if it is a cropper and H or a FF.

These are my most favorite lenses of all time and I consider them the "best" there is. That is exactly why I have them.  It has taken me 50 years to come to this bag but it is the best I have ever had.

 

Best there is ..........Smiley Very Happy

 

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Lens

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon

 

Runners up ..........Smiley Happy

 

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens for Canon

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for Canon

Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens for Canon

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon / Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Canon.  Your choice as either is good and so very close.

 

One point I consider is price vs performance. It is a big reason I didn't include any of the very expensive white teles that Canon makes.  Most of us can not even consider the purchase of one.  I do own one a 600mil and it is nothing short of amazing.

 

I didn't include any brand-N lenses either although I own several.  Again either the Canon lens is better or the price vs performance is way off.  Plus a couple of the off brand lenses are either equal to or better than brand-N's own.

 

If you want me to include a prime lens that is the best buy for a super tele, the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens is it.  This lens has no peers and everybody should have one.  There is nothing not to like.  It is the best price vs performance lens made, period.  Otherwise I avoid primes because of the limited use compared to the current zooms.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,415
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: The Best Lens


ebiggs1 wrote:

This is easy.  It really has nothing to do with which camera model you have.  Doesn't matter if it is a cropper and H or a FF.

These are my most favorite lenses of all time and I consider them the "best" there is. That is exactly why I have them.  It has taken me 50 years to come to this bag but it is the best I have ever had.

 

Best there is ..........Smiley Very Happy

 

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Lens

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon

 

Runners up ..........Smiley Happy

 

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens for Canon

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for Canon

Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens for Canon

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon / Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Canon.  Your choice as either is good and so very close.

 

One point I consider is price vs performance. It is a big reason I didn't include any of the very expensive white teles that Canon makes.  Most of us can not even consider the purchase of one.  I do own one a 600mil and it is nothing short of amazing.

 

I didn't include any brand-N lenses either although I own several.  Again either the Canon lens is better or the price vs performance is way off.  Plus a couple of the off brand lenses are either equal to or better than brand-N's own.

 

If you want me to include a prime lens that is the best buy for a super tele, the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens is it.  This lens has no peers and everybody should have one.  There is nothing not to like.  It is the best price vs performance lens made, period.  Otherwise I avoid primes because of the limited use compared to the current zooms.


Don't any of the 16-35's belong on your "Best there is" list? You've got a hole there, and I'd think one of them would be good enough to fill it. Especially since the only lens below 24mm on the list is a fisheye.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,875
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: The Best Lens

[ Edited ]

RobertTheFat wrote:

Don't any of the 16-35's belong on your "Best there is" list? You've got a hole there, and I'd think one of them would be good enough to fill it. Especially since the only lens below 24mm on the list is a fisheye.


I thought the same thing.  I also prefer to have some overlap in the ranges of my zoom lenses, so that I don't get "stuck in between clubs", so to speak.  

 

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

 

Typically, I will carry a camera wherever I go, and I will carry the 16-35mm and the 70-200mm mounted on two camera bodies, one FF body and one crop body.  I will usually bring one additional lens, typically the 100-400mm when I am shooting landscapes and cityscapes.  If I expect to shoot people, then the spare lens will be the 24-105mm.  I may also carry a super wide angle 14mm for use on the crop body.

 

If I want to travel lighter, I will carry just the 16-35mm, or the 24-105mm, mounted on a FF body, and no spare lenses.  Most of the time I am not shooting action photos.  When I do expect to shoot action photos, then I will carry drop the 24-105, and add a Sigma 150-600mm f/4.5-6.3mm DG OS HSM Contemporary.  I will typically carry the 70-200mm on a FF, and the 100-400mm on a crop body.  When I do use the 150-600mm, it means carrying just one camera body and a tripod.  I almost always carry a tripod.

 

I rarely leave the house without a super wide angle lens, typically the 16-35mm.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,787
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: The Best Lens

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA

 

"Don't any of the 16-35's belong on your "Best there is" list?"

 

Oh, absolutely, Robert.  What a unforgivable omission.  Smiley Embarassed  The updated and corrected list is.

 

Best there is ..........Smiley Very Happy

 

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Lens

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon

 

As a matter of fact my "short" bag is,

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

 

My full bag is the list at the top.  Smiley Wink

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎09-13-2014

Re: The Best Lens

Just purchased
EF 16-35mm f2.8L III USM
I highly recommend it, I still have the series II, probably going to sell it, most that own a 5DsR utilize the 16-35, I actually prefer it over the 24-70, but that's just me.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎07-18-2016

Re: The Best Lens

Well, I currently own the 70D, but gonna upgrade to the 5D mark II or III. Just gotta get a nice deal. Thanks for all the replies, gonna learn a whole lot from this!
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,415
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: The Best Lens


idanidan123 wrote:
Well, I currently own the 70D, but gonna upgrade to the 5D mark II or III. Just gotta get a nice deal. Thanks for all the replies, gonna learn a whole lot from this!

I'm with you on the 5D3 (a very good buy right now, even new), but I'd be hard pressed to see the 5D2 as a significant upgrade from the 70D. Doesn't the 70D have a much more sophisticated AF system?

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,787
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: The Best Lens

IMHO, I would take 5D Mk II over a 70D everytime.  Not even a doubt.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
powered by Lithium

LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Twitter WATCH US on YouTube CONNECT WITH US on Linkedin WATCH US on Vimeo FOLLOW US on Instagram SHOP CANON at the Canon Online Store
© Canon U.S.A., Inc.   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy Statement