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Looking for a cheap Canon lens? Let’s examine your options!
If you’re a new or seasoned photographer, you probably have figured out that it’s NOT cheap to build your lens arsenal. In fact, it’s really easy to find yourself overwhelmed with all of the choices you have and what is absolutely necessary. Do you need that extra f-stop capability? Not necessarily! Let’s look at your options when it comes to cheap Canon lenses, from cheaper to the more expensive. Whatever your budget, sit down and decide WHAT you need in a lens. What are you photographing? Do you want something wide, or a longer focal length for those intimate moments? Here are our top choices for versatile and cheap Canon lenses.
Cheap Canon Lenses Under $600!
Canon 50mm f/1.8 ($125)
This ‘Nifty Fifty’ is a great choice when it comes to versatility in portraits, and scores high on Amazon reviews. Many photographers love the 50mm for many reasons, as it provides a great focal length, it’s great for action shots and even night photography. It’s known for the quick ability to focus and can also capture great movies. Of all the cheap Canon lenses, the 50mm f/1.8 is a GREAT first option for new photographers, along with the seasoned professional. This lens was created in 1990 and is STILL going strong. It’s also the perfect first lens for a kit upgrade!
Pros: Sharp, portable/light, GREAT value for the price.
Cons: The focus ring isn’t great for moving subjects, bokeh is not as noticeable, and reported problems with lens flare.
Why should you buy? This lens is the most affordable for the quality it provides!
Canon 24mm f/2.8 ($129)
Canon’s 24mm “pancake” lens is a great choice if you are looking for a wider focal length while keeping your costs low! This is a pretty versatile lens, great for landscape shots and can even be used as a portrait lens. It’s light and compact, which makes it an even better addition to your lens arsenal. Most reviews of the Canon 24mm are stellar, with a few commenting that this lens could be a tad soft of some focal points. It fits in almost any small pocket and is a great option when hitting the great outdoors!
Pros: Great wide angle, portable, and versatile!
Cons: Can’t get low than 2.8 in aperture (meaning little compression), lacks image stabilization, reported manual focusing issues, and has slight distortion.
Why should you buy? The Canon 24mm is GREAT if you want to throw a light lens in your bag and get great photos! This lens keeps it simple and clean!
For more on why everyone needs a prime lens, read on here.
Canon 50mm f/1.4 ($350)
This lens is one of our top picks for portrait photographers. It’s sharp, fast, and provides that bokeh that we all love, with great depth of field options. For the price, it really delivers on everything that is important to taking a great photo. The Amazon reviews are pretty great, too, and there are more than 1500+. It’s a great choice for smaller spaces, like a standard room or narrow street, also a top choice for photographing indoors and in low light situations.
Pros: Great for low light photography, no problems with chromatic aberration or distortion, and fast.
Cons: More expensive, not as sharp wide open (at f/1.4), not great for macro shots.
Why should you buy? If you’re more serious about your photography, this is our top pick! It may cost a bit more, but it will provide more compression great sharpness we’re all after!
If you can’t decide between the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and Canon 50mm f/1.8, let us help you decide!
Canon 85mm f/1.8 ($350)
MANY portrait photographers swear by this lens, as it’s a reliable choice for those great close-ups and creamy blur! It’s crisp, clean and an overall top pick by professional photographers world-wide. For the price, you can’t beat the 85mm’s value! It’s also great for low light situations! Read more about why everyone needs an 85mm lens, here!
Pros: Great bokeh/compression, ideal for portrait photography, and fast optics.
Cons: Not as sharp wide open at f/1.8, slight vignetting, and slight issues with chromatic aberration.
Why should you buy? This is an amazing option for portrait photographers that love compression!
Sigma Art 30mm f/1.4 ($500)
This prime lens is a great choice if you are after a wide angle lens with quality focusing capabilities and versatility. This lens is great for street photography, landscapes, and artistic photography with minimal distortion. Sigma is well know for it’s sharp focus and amazing bokeh. Some have said there are small issues with some chromatic aberration, but nothing major. Overall, this is a very solid lens for the price.
Pros: Wide angle for versatility, fast focus, good for indoors and low light situations.
Cons: Chromatic aberration and edge softness at wide apertures, loud focusing motor, reported front focusing issues.
Why should you buy? Sigma continues to impress with incredibly sharp lenses and incredible compression.
Canon 70-200mm f/4.0 ($600)
This Canon zoom lens is a go-to for MANY portrait and wedding photographers. It’s great for sports photography, along with grabbing those intimates moments. One of the few pitfalls of this lens is that it’s HEAVY. If that’s not an issue, this telephoto lens may be a great choice without breaking the bank.
Pros: Provides sharp images wide open at f/4, great color and bokeh, and great versatility due to zoom focal options.
Cons: Heavy, no weather sealing, reported focusing issues, and not great in low light situations.
Why should you buy? The 70-200mm is perfect for those that need versatility in focal length while provide sharp images!
There are more reasons to own a great telephoto lens in this in-depth tutorial!
While there are many choices when it comes to cheap Canon lenses, each of these seven choices really provide the most bang for your buck. They all have stellar reviews, and can deliver professional photos without the crazy cost of buying a high-end lens for $2,000! Something to keep in mind is that nothing replaces your education. A camera body, lens, or cool filter isn’t going to create those incredible photos, YOU ARE. So keep plugging along and don’t fall into the trap of spending more on equipment before mastering what you already have!