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These are the next lenses you should buy for your new APS-C Canon DSLR

Published Dec 31, 2018 | dpreview staff

Best lenses for Canon APS-C DSLRs

For each of the categories below the winner is the lens we find to offer the best combination of quality and value. In most cases, we’ve also provided a more budget-friendly option, as well as a choice for those with more to spend.

Here at DPReview we use a lot of lenses, but we can’t test every single product on the market. So if we’ve excluded your favorite lens, or if you disagree with any of our selections, please let us know in the comments.


Best kit lens replacement (standard zoom)

Standard (kit) zooms are just what they sound like – versatile, general-purpose lenses that start with a fairly wide angle of view and allow you to zoom in to a focal length traditionally used for portraits.

Our pick: Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM

The Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM gives much greater reach at the long end of its zoom. The Nano USM motor also gives fast, quiet autofocus for live view and video work.

Also consider:

Budget option:
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

The Sigma 17-70mm gives a noticeably wider and longer coverage than the standard kit zoom and offers a wider aperture, particularly at the long end of the zoom. It’s also quite the bargain.

Money no object:
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art

The 18-35mm only covers a limited zoom range but it gives more creative flexibility in terms of low light image quality and depth-of-field that you’d usually only get from a single focal length ‘prime’ lens.

Check prices | More info

Check prices | More info

Best prime / single focal length lens

Prime lenses are just a single focal length; removing the complexity of a zoom often allows for these lenses to be smaller, lighter and sharper, while letting more light through and being more useful in dimly lit situations.

Our pick: Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art

The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC gives a slightly zoomed-in view of the world that you’d get with a 48mm lens on a full-frame camera. This is a pretty flexible focal length to have (neither too wide nor excessively long) but what makes it valuable is a huge F1.4 maximum aperture. This gives the option for some shallow depth-of-field shooting and ability to take photos in much lower light than your kit lens can.

Also consider:

Best value:
Canon EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM

Unlike most prime lenses, the 24mm F2.8 doesn’t offer a super-bright maximum aperture. What it does offer is a flexible focal length in a tiny package, making it easier to take everywhere.

Check prices | More info


Best wide-angle zoom lens

Wide-angle lenses are often useful for taking photos of interiors, landscapes and architecture.

Our pick: Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM

The Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 offers a wide to very-wide field-of-view, making it ideal for a range of photography. The constant F3.5 maximum aperture lets in plenty of light for this type of lens and solid optical design helps maximize image quality.

Also consider:


Best telephoto zoom lens

Telephoto lenses start out being fairly zoomed-in, and allow you to zoom in further so you can fill your frame with more distant subjects.

Our pick: Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 IS II USM

Canon’s 70-300mm zoom provides an impressive amount of telephoto ‘reach’ without becoming ungainly. Its F4-5.6 maximum aperture range is reasonably bright, and Canon’s Image Stabilization is invaluable for avoiding hand shake when shooting at long focal lengths.

Also consider:


Best macro lens

Macro lenses allow you to focus very close to small subjects, which is very handy for photographing flowers or bugs.

Our pick: Tamron SP AF 60mm F2 Di II LD IF Macro

The Tamron 60mm F2 Macro is a much-loved lens for close-up work. The 60mm focal length gives a decent working distance for a wide range of subject types and the F2 maximum aperture gives you plenty of light to work with, especially on the occasions you want a shallower depth-of-field.

Also consider:


Best travel zoom lens

Travel zooms are like your kit zoom lens but taken to the extreme. You still start out with a fairly wide field of view, but you can zoom in almost as much as many telephoto lenses. This is convenient, but these lenses tend to let less light through them, so aren’t as useful in dimly lit situations, and they may not always give you the sharpest results.

Our pick: Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM

The 18-135mm is a great travel lens. The 18-135mm focal length range is highly flexible without making the lens too big or inducing too many compromises in image quality. The fast, quiet ‘Nano USM’ motor means it’s as good for shooting video as it is for bringing back photos from your travels.

Also consider:


Don’t agree with our choices? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!