5 Best Camera Lenses of 2023
Written by Brandon Russell
Updated December 6, 2022
Buying a high-quality camera lens is a critical step on your journey as a photographer. Not only can using the right lens unlock new creative possibilities, but it can help you grow as an artist. When searching for a lens, the build quality, focal length, and aperture are critical considerations, and can significantly affect everything from picture quality to contrast to color rendering.
Before purchasing a lens, you must consider what you plan to photograph. If you plan to take portraits, prime lenses are a good option, while a wide-angle lens is great for landscapes. There are also excellent one-size-fits-all lenses if you plan to shoot a bit of everything. Whether you want to take pictures of wildlife, landscapes, or people, our list features a range of the best camera lenses for various scenarios.
The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.
Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II
Sony’s FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM is an excellent choice if you need a zoom lens for nature or sports photography. The variable focal length means you can reach subjects that are far away while still being wide enough for closer subjects. The lens features four XD linear AF motors for fast autofocus and optical image stabilization so that images will look sharp without a tripod.
Despite its larger size, the lens is one of the lightest in its class at 2.3 pounds—29 percent lighter than the previous version—so it’s not too burdensome to carry around.
The Sony FE 70-200mm also features a fast f/2.8 lens aperture, making it an excellent option for low-light photography and for getting a shallow depth of field. For videographers, the lens can “de-click” the aperture for smooth operation and an iris lock, so the exposure doesn’t change while recording. As part of Sony’s G Master line, the lens promises the best build quality, weather sealing, and optical performance, making it a good fit for its excellent range of mirrorless full-frame cameras.
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II
Although it isn’t cheap, several reviews say Sony’s FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II is worth every penny—and may be the only lens you’ll ever need. The standard zoom makes it a versatile option you can use in a variety of situations, offering the best optical performance in its class. Thanks to its compact size, it’s a perfect option for hybrid creators who shoot both still images and video.
The lens is lightweight, at 1.5 pounds, and measures 4.7 by 3.5 inches, so it’s easy to take on camping trips. And it features the same premium build quality that’s standard across Sony’s G Master line.
Compared to the previous model, the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II offers quicker autofocus and on-barrel controls, including an aperture ring to control depth of field while filming. The lens also features a zoom tension toggle, so you can be much more precise with your zoom shots. This lens is one of the most versatile and should be in every hybrid shooter’s kit.
Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8
Photographers who take pictures of landscapes, astronomy, or real estate will love the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM. The focal length is suited for getting as much of the scene into the frame as possible, and its f/2.8 aperture is fast enough to shoot in low light.
The wide-angle lens also offers five stops of image stabilization, which helps to reduce blur when shooting handheld. If you own the full-frame Canon EOS R5 or EOS R6, you can get an effective seven stops of stabilization combined with this lens.
In addition to excellent optical quality, the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM features a simple two-button design that makes operation easy. One of the buttons is a stabilizer switch, which some people like to turn off when shooting on a tripod. The lens is also compact—so it’s easy to carry around the backcountry—with a build that offers dust and weather resistance.
Reviewers have called this the best wide-angle zoom lens in Canon’s lineup, so we feel confident recommending it to everyone from wedding photographers to vloggers.
Canon RF 50mm f/1.8
Beginner photographers and those on a budget will find the Canon RF 50mm 1.8 STM an excellent starter lens. As part of the “nifty fifty” club, this prime lens offers a focal length that many consider the sweet spot for everyday use, and it produces nice bokeh thanks to the f/1. 8 aperture. Many people are drawn to the 50mm focal length because it’s the closest you can get to the human eye, representing the world more faithfully in pictures.
At just 0.35 pounds, the Canon RF 50mm 1.8 STM is lightweight, and its compact size makes it easy to maneuver and transport. The lens also offers helpful features like a control ring that you can configure to adjust everything from exposure settings to aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation. For the price, reviewers say the wide aperture, optical quality, and size are excellent for casual use and street photography. However, some experts have noted that the autofocus, while fast, can be a tad noisy.
Canon RF 100mm f/2. 8 L Macro
A macro lens is an excellent tool because it lets creators get a more detailed look at their subject. This one features a tight focal length of 100mm, making it an ideal portrait lens, and it offers a minimum focus distance of 10.2 inches, so you can get up close and personal with everything from bugs to jewelry.
The Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM also includes a Spherical Aberration (SA) control ring, giving you greater artistic control over the shape and character of background blur. This feature is handy for altering the look of a light source that’s out of focus, also known as “bokeh balls.” Similar to other Canon options on our list, this lens features up to five stops of optical image stabilization and a fast autofocus system, which is critical when taking pictures of subjects up close.
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What are the best camera lenses to buy in 2023?
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Choosing the best camera lenses becomes easier when you’ve been taking pictures for a while and you know what you’re interested in, but if you’re just starting out, the sheer number of different lenses, brands and types can be bewildering, so that’s where this guide can help!
We reckon choosing the best lens usually boils down to three things:
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1. Getting an idea of the things you like to shoot
2. Discovering the different lens types and what they do
3. Finding out what lenses are available for your camera
This is the approach that makes most sense to us, and we hope it will for you too. We’ve broken down this guide into sections, so you can either jump to the section that you want or read the whole article. We’ll keep it brief!
So stick with us as we explain everything you need to know about lenses, and give you links to loads of lens buying guides which will help you find the perfect lens for your next photographic adventure.
What do you like to shoot?
This is a good starting point for choosing lenses because it helps you work out which types of lenses are going to be most useful.
(Image credit: Piola666/Getty Images)
Travel photography is really popular, and we think the best lenses for travel photography come in two types: superzoom lenses, which are like standard zooms but with a longer focal range for more distant subjects, and wide-angle lenses which help you get great interior shots or capture big landmarks from up close. You might also be interested in one of the best 35mm lenses for street photography.
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
Landscapes are another popular subject for photography, and for this we’d recommend a similar set of lenses to those you’d use for travel. An ultra-wideangle lens is especially useful for capturing big, scenic vistas. Very often, however, the details of a scene can be just as fascinating, and zooming in with a standard zoom lens can be very effective. You can even use a telephoto lens for more distant subject, and what works really well here is that this has the effect of compressing perspective and making the background much bigger and more imposing. This works especially well with mountains!
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
Lots of people get into photography because of passion for sports and wildlife, and what you need is a telephoto lens, because you’ll usually be some way away from your subjects. A regular telephoto will be fine for pets, domestic animals, motorsports and many other kinds of sport, but for wildlife, bird and aviation photography it’s likely you’ll need the extra magnification of a supertelephoto lens, such as a 100-400mm lens or even a 150-600mm lens.
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
If you like taking pictures of people, you’ll probably have heard about ‘portrait lenses’. These have two properties that make them ideal for people shots. First, they have a slightly longer focal length for a modest telephoto effect. This means you stand a little further away, and this avoids any unflattering wideangle distortion from standing too close. Second, ‘portrait’ lenses have a wide maximum aperture which can be used to create very shallow depth of field – so that your subject’s fact is sharp but the background is blurred.
(Image credit: Future)
Night sky photography has really taken off. If you want to photograph the moon, planets or celestial objects like nebulae, then you’re into more specialized territory with telescope adaptors, equatorial mounts and more – what we’re talking about here is wide-angle views of the night sky capturing whole constellations, perhaps even the Milky Way and elusive phenomenae like the aurora borealis. The best lenses for astrophotography will offer this wider enough angle of view and a fast maximum aperture so that you can use short exposure times to reduce the natural movement of stars across the sky.
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
Or, you are fascinated by details, tiny objects like insects or microscopic textures and patterns, you need a lens that can focus much closer than normal – a ‘macro lens’. The definition of a macro lens is one that can reproduce a tiny object at life size on the camera sensor, so an insect might almost fill the whole frame. Regular lenses just don’t focus close enough to do this.
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Of course, you may well be shorting video rather than stills – and although the same lenses can be used to suit your subject, filmmaking has its specific needs. If you are vlogging, for instance, you are usually filming yourself close to the camera so there are some specific things to watch out when picking the best lens for vlogging.
For filmmaking, then you may well be looking for the best cine lenses, which are designed to offer very precise manual focusing control and other benefits that suit the cinema camera user.
Basic lens jargon
(Image credit: Sony)
When you’re choosing a lens, you’re faced with a lot of jargon, and very often the first thing you’ll encounter is lens types, for example ‘telephoto lenses’, ‘macro lenses’, ‘ultra-wide lenses’ and more.
It’s useful to explain two bits of jargon straight away: focal length and maximum aperture.
First, the focal length. This is quoted in millimetres (‘mm’). Basically, it tells you the lens’s angle of view or ‘magnification’ (it’s the same thing, really). The shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of view. The longer the focal length, the greater the magnification. Photographers use the focal length to split lenses up into different categories. It gets more complicated when you have cameras with different sensor sizes, so very often we talk about ‘effective’ focal lengths for these, just to keep the comparisons the same.
• Have a look at this: Cheat sheet: Focal lengths
Second, the maximum aperture tells you the lens’s light-gathering power. A smaller number means a wider aperture – the smaller the number the more light you get, which is a big advantage for many kinds of photography. A wide maximum aperture will let you use a faster shutter speed, which is very important for low light and action photography, and give you more pronounced background blur to help your subject stand out for portrait shots, for example.
• More info: What is aperture on a camera?
Standard or ‘kit’ lenses
(Image credit: Fujifilm)
Every photographer needs a standard zoom lens for everyday all-round photography. Most cameras are sold with an inexpensive ‘kit’ lens, but some can be bought ‘body only’ for people who already have a lens or want to choose a better quality lens separately. Kit lenses typically have a 3-5x zoom range that goes from a wideangle view to a mild telephoto effect, but an even longer zoom range can be useful when you need extra versatility – as in travel photography, for example. Cheaper lenses have a variable maximum aperture (it goes down when you zoom in) but more expensive ones have a fixed maximum aperture that doesn’t change. The best standard zoom lenses offer better quality, a faster aperture or a longer zoom range. For maximum zoom range you can get a superzoom lens. These are big and heavy and the quality isn’t always great, but they can make some of the best lenses for travel.
Telephotos and ‘super-telephotos’
(Image credit: Sigma)
A telephoto is usually the first choice for anyone buying their first extra lens. They let you zoom in on distant subjects and are ideal for sports or wildlife photography. As with standard lenses, cheaper lenses have a variable maximum aperture, and it’s the price you pay for low cost and light weight. The best telephoto lenses aimed at pro or enthusiast photographers might go for a heavier and more expensive 70-200mm lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture.
‘Super-telephoto’ lenses have a much longer range and are amongst the best lenses for bird photography, for example. Have a look out our guides to the best 100-400mm lenses and the best 150-600mm lenses for more information and examples.
(Image credit: Future)
If you’re interested in travel and landscape photography, an ultra-wideangle could prove much more useful than a telephoto. They offer a much wider angle of view than a regular standard zoom and they are great for interior shots, wide landscapes and tall buildings. An ultra-wideangle zoom will give you a little more flexibility, but it’s also possible to get ultra-wideangle prime lenses – these may give you a wider maximum aperture, better edge to edge image sharpness and less distortion.
You may also encounter fisheye lenses. These are a special case! Fisheye lenses capture an even wider angle of view than ultra-wideangle lenses, but give up on attempting to render straight lines as straight. As a result, you get a very strong curved distortion effect near the edges of the frame that’s all part of the characteristic ‘fisheye’ effect. These are pretty specialized lenses and not for everyone.
Zooms vs primes
That was a pretty quick tour of three main lens types, but there are a whole lot more, especially when you start to include prime lenses.
We all know what a zoom lens is. You turn a ring on the lens to change the magnification and this makes zoom lenses very versatile because you can change the framing of the picture without having to change your position. The flexibility of zoom lenses means they’re the most popular type, and the ‘zoom range’ – the magnification range, in other words, is another selling point.
So called ‘prime lenses’ don’t zoom. They have a fixed focal length and a fixed angle of view. This makes them more restrictive in one sense, but prime lenses have some advantages of their own – and they are actually making a bit of a comeback. Prime lenses are smaller and lighter than zooms, they usually have a wider maximum aperture and hence light-gathering ability, and it’s possible to make more specialized lenses for close up ‘macro’ photography and ‘fast’ (wide aperture) ‘portrait’ lenses. Ultra-wideangle prime lenses typically have less distortion than zooms too.
Here are some examples of useful prime lenses.
(Image credit: Sony)
Portrait lenses are really popular. These are prime lenses with a focal length of 85mm or thereabouts which have a maximum aperture of f/1.8, f/1.4 or even f/1.2. The longer focal length means you stand further back and this makes faces looking more natural. The wide maximum aperture produces very shallow depth of field so that you can throw the background completely out of focus.
(Image credit: Tamron)
Macro lenses are made for ultra close up photography. These are invariably prime lenses – you don’t need a zoom here because you change the size of the subject simply by moving closer or further away. A prime lens also gives the best quality for detailed subjects at ultra-close distances. Macro lenses come in different focal lengths – generally, a longer focal length is better because it means you don’t have to get quite so close to your subject and perhaps scare it away or cover it with your own shadow.
(Image credit: Canon)
Tilt shift lenses (or ‘perspective control’ lenses) are a special case! They are used mainly by commercial and architectural photographers. They have complex adjustments which enable you to shift the lens vertically or horizontally relative to the camera and this can be used to capture tall buildings, for example, without having to tilt the camera and introduce converging verticals. The tilt movement is used to control the plane of sharp focus with nearby objects – it’s especially useful where your subject is on an angled plane rather than perpendicular to the camera. Tilt-shift lenses are expensive and complex to use, so they are rather specialized.
(Image credit: Lomography)
Retro ‘art’ lenses, as made by Lensbaby and Lomo and many others have becoome extremely popular. Modern lenses are designed to be as sharp as possible, distortion free and with even brightness across the whole frame. That’s good from a technical standpoint, but it does mean they have lost the ‘character’ of old lenses and the way they render images. Companies like Lomography and Lensbaby are experimenting with the re-introduction of older lens designs to recreate this softer, less perfect but some might say more characterful looks. Lomography has brought back an old Petzval lens design with ‘swirly’ bokeh and Lensbaby makes the excellent Lensbaby Trio – three lenses with three different ‘looks’ on a rotating turret.
What camera do you have?
When you know what you want to shoot and you’ve worked out which lenses you need, there is one more hurdle – you need to make sure you can get this lens in a version that fits your camera. In other words, you have to know about lens mounts and lens compatibility.
More lens guides
Every camera maker uses its own bespoke lens mount (with a couple of exceptions). Even here there may be complications, because camera makers often have more than one range of cameras, and these may have different mounts and sensor sizes to consider.
Things are simpler if you only ever buy lenses from your camera’s maker, but there are lots of really good independent lens makers out there now, including Tamron, Sigma, Samyang and Laowa, and if you want to use one of these lenses you have to make sure first that it’s available in a mount to fit your camera and, second, that you order the right one!
So here’s a run-down on the lens mounts and brands on the market right now and the things you need to know about each one.
(Image credit: Canon)
Canon makes DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and they use different lens mounts. Canon full frame DSLRs use the Canon EF mount, while the amateur-orientated APS-C Canon DSLRs use the slightly different Canon EF-S mount. You can use full frame EF lenses on the smaller EF-S cameras, but not the other way round. EF-S lenses are designed solely for the smaller format cameras.
There’s less crossover with the mirrorless Canons. The amateur-oriented Canon EOS M cameras use a Canon EF-M mount that’s different to the Canon RF mount used on Canon’s EOS R full frame cameras. There’s little or no crossover here, though both cameras can use Canon DSLR lenses via an adapter.
• Best Canon lenses
• Best Canon RF lenses
• Best Canon EF-M lenses
(Image credit: Nikon)
Like Canon, Nikon makes both DSLR and mirrorless cameras and in both APS-C and full frame sizes, though the situation is a little less complicated. Nikon DSLRs use the well established Nikon F mount and you can use the same lenses on both APS-C (DX format) Nikon cameras and full frame (FX format) models. The only restriction is that smaller format DX lenses can only be used in a lower resolution ‘crop’ mode on full frame Nikon DSLRs.
For its mirrorless cameras Nikon has introduced a new Nikon Z mount, but it’s the same on both its APS-C format models (the Nikon Z50 and Nikon Z fc) and its two full frame mirrorless cameras (the Nikon Z5, Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II). As with Nikon DSLRs, you can use the same lenses on both, but smaller format DX Nikon Z lenses will be in ‘crop’ mode on the full frame bodies. You can get a Nikon FTZ adapter to use regular Nikon DSLR lenses on these cameras.
• Best Nikon lenses
• Best Nikon Z lenses
(Image credit: Sony)
Sony’s mirrorless cameras split into APS-C and full frame models. These use a lens mount that’s physically the same, but referred to as ‘E-mount’ on the APS-C cameras and ‘FE’ on the full frame models. You can use the same lenses on both cameras, but E-mount lenses will be used in ‘crop’ mode when fitted to a full frame camera.
• Best Sony lenses
• Best lenses for Sony A6000 and family
(Image credit: Fujifilm)
The Fujifilm camera system is a lot simpler. It makes APS-C format X-mount mirrorless cameras and medium format G-mount cameras. There’s no crossover between the X-mount lenses and medium format lenses, so the lens choices are simple.
• Best Fujifilm X-mount lenses
• Best Fujifilm GF lenses
(Image credit: Olympus)
Olympus cameras use a smaller Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensor size and lens mount across its range of interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. All the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses fit all the cameras. What’s more, it’s the same mount and system as Panasonic G-series cameras, so you can use Panasonic MFT lenses on Olympus cameras and vice versa, albeit with some occasional autofocus or image stabilization limitations.
• Best Micro Four Thirds lenses
• Best Olympus lenses
(Image credit: Panasonic)
Up until recently, Panasonic exclusively used the same MFT system as Olympus for its Lumix G mirrorless cameras. More recently, however, it has introduced a new Lumix S full frame mirrorless camera system which has adopted the L-mount lens mount originally developed by Leica but now supported jointly by the L-mount Alliance (Panasonic, Leica, Sigma). Panasonic still makes its smaller G-series cameras, but these and the new Lumix S cameras are now two separate systems with no crossover in lens mounts.
• Best Micro Four Thirds lenses
• Best L-mount lenses
(Image credit: Pentax)
Pentax makes DSLRs with both APS-C and full frame sensors. These use a modern adaptation of Pentax’s long-running Pentax K mount and while you can use the same lenses on both APS-C and full frame cameras, some are designed solely for the smaller APS-C format and are not really suitable for the full frame cameras.
Pentax also makes the 645Z medium format camera. This has a larger Pentax 645-mount that’s specific to this camera.
• Best Pentax lenses
In some circumstances you can get lens adaptors for fitting one lens type on to a body of another type or brand. There are restrictions and limitations to be aware of.
• In some instances, a camera maker like Canon or Nikon may make adapters to mount their older lenses on a newer body and will all the autofocus and other features enabled. Basically, it means you can use older DSLR lenses on newer mirrorless cameras.
• Most lens adaptors, however, are ‘dumb’. Physically, you can mount a huge number of different lenses on different bodies with the right physical adapter, but you will lose autofocus and exposure (aperture) control, so typically this is used for lenses which have manual focus and manual aperture control rings – as most ‘classic’ camera lenses do.
So how do you know if a lens can be ‘adapted’. It’s all down to the ‘flange’ distance, or the distance between the lens mount and the camera sensor. There needs to be some space for inserting the adaptor, so the general rule is that you should be able to get an adapter to fit an DSLR lens (longer flange distance) on to a mirrorless camera (shorter flange distance), but not the other way around.
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Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW’s Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com
Best Lenses for Street Photography
Best Lenses for Street Photography – Canon Ireland
Travel photographer Joel Santos talks about his favorite street photography lenses and explains why he chose them.
Photographer Joel Santos has traveled the world photographing people and their daily lives. The Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM is one of his favorite street photography lenses because of its fast aperture, it can shoot effectively even in low light. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 15mm, 1/40 sec, f/2.8 and ISO640. © Joel Santos
Street photography is not for the faint of heart. After all, this is where photographers encounter the unpredictable events of real life. Unique moments and unexpected drama of situations seem to require the photographer to have a sixth sense and the gift of clairvoyance, because such moments will not happen again.
To work faster and stay creative, you need to develop skills, intuition and the ability to work with equipment, in particular with lenses. “Lenses really make a big difference,” says street, travel, portrait and landscape photographer Joel Santos, “because it’s the lenses that determine how you capture your surroundings.”
Joel thinks it’s important to accept the unpredictability of the genre and just react accordingly. “Usually street photography is more spontaneous – photographers only observe people, and do not ask them to stand in the right position. I try to understand what is happening around me and respond to it. At the same time, a story begins to form in my head. Therefore, it can be said that street photography imposes fewer restrictions and allows you to just go with the flow.”
What are the best lenses for street photography? Photographers regularly argue over which lenses should be used – versatile and more affordable zoom lenses, or prime lenses that offer faster apertures and are therefore more effective in low light. Street photographers, both beginners and more experienced, try to choose equipment that best suits their personal preferences and needs. Joel, for example, uses both types of lenses—and for his own reasons.
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Register your equipment and get access to free expert advice, equipment maintenance, exciting events and special offers – join the Canon Professional Services program.
In this article, Joel talks about his favorite Canon lenses for street photography and how they work, while Mark Burnhill, Canon Europe’s Lead Product Specialist, shares his professional knowledge of the features that make each of the presented models the ideal option within the genre, and will offer a number of other options for purchase.
People post a limitless amount of content on social media, and Joel wants to make his content look unique. “You need to have some communication skills to be in the right place and photograph spontaneous moments – this way you can create images that will be very difficult to imitate on social networks, where they like to copy successful shots.” Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens at 35mm, 1/20 sec, f/8 and ISO400. © Joel Santos
1. Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM
For street photography Joel prefers to use an all purpose zoom lens as he rarely gets the chance to change lenses. At wide-angle, he prefers the RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens, which has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which makes it more effective in low light and provides a shallow depth of field where the in-focus area quickly fades into blur and the main subject stands out more clearly from others. Joel notes that the image stabilization on this lens allows him to shoot at slower shutter speeds and create shots where the street is clear and the traffic moving along it is presented as blurry lanes.
Mike points out that when this L-series lens is attached to an EOS R System camera with IBIS, the 5-stop effect is just the tip of the iceberg. “The IBIS system on the EOS R cameras is great at canceling out certain types of movement, while the lens stabilizer is better at compensating for other types of movement. Both systems have their own particular advantages. Accordingly, the lens and camera work together to compensate for more different vibrations and deliver sharper images.”
Canon RF 15-35mm F2.
8L IS USM
Canon’s fastest ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with Nano USM motor, 5-stop image stabilization and sharpness with three aspherical and two ultra-low dispersion (UD) elements.
2. Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM
Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM is also an ideal lens for street photographers – extremely versatile 10x zoom, op tic stabilizer With a 5-stop effect and a weight of just 750g, it’s a great choice for those who want to work without changing lenses.
“It’s a versatile super zoom lens that’s also quite compact,” explains Mike. “It is comparable in size to the RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM while still offering telephoto focal lengths.”
“This model effectively implements the fast camera-to-lens interaction that is one of the key benefits of the RF mount at the heart of the EOS R System. This means that digital optimizer data can be stored in the lens and transferred between the lens and the camera so that the camera can instantly correct any image distortion using software functions. We can say that this allows you to get better images even with an inexpensive lens.”
Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM
A portable and versatile 10x zoom lens for the EOS R system, ideal for everything from wide-angle landscapes to close-up portraits, as well as sports and wildlife nature.
Joel says his favorite lens is the Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM. “Do you know the saying “Everything is taken, nothing succeeds”? So this lens does absolutely everything,” he says. “It delivers clarity at all focal lengths, allowing you to capture landscapes at 28mm and portraits at 70mm.” Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens at 28mm, 1/30 sec, f/2 and ISO25600. © Joel Santos
3. Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM
Joel’s favorite lens is the RF 28-70mm F2L USM, which he compares to an arsenal of prime lenses. “This is a true flagship from Canon; he’s incredibly good,” he says. — This is an expensive model, but it is worth it. This is my most favorite lens.
For street photography, I need a lens that performs well in all conditions, and this is the only model that does the job perfectly at both wide angle and telephoto.”
The high performance of this lens allows Joel not to change lenses while shooting. He also notes that the f/2 aperture helps him work regardless of lighting conditions. “That’s twice as much light as f/2.8 models. You know how big the difference is.”
Mike agrees. To create a zoom lens that is comparable to prime lenses, you need to refer to the principles of building the EOS R system around the RF mount – an effect made possible by a wide diameter and a short rear distance, that is, the distance from the mount to the image sensor. This allowed us to optimally place the large rear optical components right next to the image sensor for minimal loss of light transmission to the sensor through the lens.”
Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM
The RF 28-70mm F2L USM delivers the image quality of a prime lens, with a large f/2 maximum aperture for creative shooting.
Joel’s extensive travel experience allows him to view street photography beyond the traditional interpretation of the genre. He says: “There are many different things on the planet. For many, the office is a desert, and the entrance to the house is an ice cave. And for someone, a park or a garden is a pasture for cattle. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/50 sec, f/1.2 and ISO6400. © Joel Santos
4. Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
Photographers always love fast 50mm lenses. Clarity and sharpness are very important, but Joel says the RF version delivers the right results across the frame.
“The RF 50mm F1.2L USM is a photographer’s magician, offering absolutely fantastic aperture and a shallow depth of field to emphasize the subject,” he says. – This is a model where f / 1.2 is not just a number, but the current shooting mode. This allows you to shoot in minimal light and completely separate the subject from the background. ”
Mike says that the RF 50mm F1.2L USM’s ability to adjust sharpness across the frame is due to simple physical principles. “Because the wide mount and lens elements are closer to the image sensor, the need for light refraction to reach the corners of the frame is lower,” he says. – Image sensors are quite “finicky” to the angle at which light hits them. If the light is refracted towards the corners, a vignetting effect will result. A large cluster of elements closer to the center means that the light enters through the lens to the sensor in a straight line. In this way, aberrations are prevented.”
Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
A 50mm f/1.2 prime lens that delivers superb sharpness for outstanding results even in low light.
The RF 50mm F1.8 STM offers the same benefits in a compact and lightweight body, great for street photography, spontaneous portraits and video. Ejiro Dafe, London-based photographer and creative director, says the lens is so light and discreet that it can capture shots that a larger lens wouldn’t, and the 50mm focal length gives images a natural perspective. It is also one of the most affordable lenses in the RF line.
5. Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM
A lot has been said about 35mm lenses. Not only are they more portable and lighter, but they are also much less noticeable. “I shoot with the RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM to gain people’s trust, because with it people don’t perceive me as a professional photographer,” Joel said. “With him, I’m just an ordinary guy who decided to shoot on the street.”
“However, it is very bright and clear. And image stabilization allows you to engage in macro photography, among other things. This lens is technically excellent, but also ideal for first contact with people.”
Mike says the macro capabilities are made possible by the innovative design of the RF mount. “This design allows the lens elements to be closer to the image sensor, making macro mode easier to implement,” he says. “Both the RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM and the RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM offer a 1:2 macro zoom, which is pretty good for macro on a wide-angle lens. ”
If you’re looking for wide-angle prime lenses, take a look at the RF 16mm F2.8 STM. It is a compact and lightweight lens ideal for street scenes, vlogging and content creation. “Such a wide field of view will allow you to shoot from a short distance,” says Mike. — Other 16mm lenses can distort the edges of the frame, but this model does not “round” the frame and yet remains very compact. Moreover, this lens can be called quite budget.
Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM
Wide-angle, fast f/1.8 prime lens with macro capabilities.
6. Canon RF 600mm F11 IS STM and Canon RF 800mm F11 IS STM
Surprisingly, Joel also works with a pair of super telephoto lenses thanks to the modern optical design of the RF 600mm F11 IS STM and RF 800mm F11 IS STM is significantly lighter than its counterparts from the EF line and is the most convenient in storage and transportation.
“My job also involves long, tiring walks with lots of equipment,” says Joel. “So most of the time I leave my 100-400mm lens at home because it’s too heavy. However, both of these lenses, despite having a focal length of well over 400mm, weigh less and allow me to take pictures that were previously unavailable. It’s just incredible.”
Mike reiterates that the benefits of fast communication between RF lenses and EOS R System cameras are made possible by the RF mount. “This means you can feed digital lens optimizer data to the camera in real time based on focus, zoom and aperture position,” he says. The camera will respond by preventing lens aberrations from appearing in the frame. The ability to correct errors with electronic systems allows you to create lenses that will not consist entirely of advantages. This ensures their lower cost while maintaining high image quality.”
Canon RF 600mm F11 IS USM
The 600mm super telephoto full frame lens is lightweight and powerful, ideal for capturing distant subjects in great detail.
Street photography is characterized by high pace and special demands. Photographers note that this is not only a genre of special difficulties, but also unique opportunities to capture fleeting moments in people’s lives. The main thing is to capture the drama of events as they unfold, which requires the right equipment. “You have to work fast,” says Joel, “because moments like this will never happen again.”
By Mark Alexander
Telling stories through print
Travel photographer Joel Santos shares how print images can make a story stand out, attract new clients, and make you a more accomplished photographer.
Tips for Taking Photos with a 50mm Lens
Ejiro Dafe talks about how working with only a 50mm lens helps him explore new creative horizons. Find out how he achieved success with the Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM lens.
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Lenses for Nikon D850 Camera
As you know, Nikon D850 is equipped with a massive 45 MP sensor, so you need better lenses to harness the power of the megapixel monster. The next big reason you should get high quality lenses is in the camera’s leading AF system (Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System). The Nikon D850 uses the same processing engine as the Nikon D5. The camera shoots continuously at 7 frames per second up to 51 consecutive 14-bit lossless.
Best Standard Camera Lenses Nikon D850
The Nikon 24-70mm f/2. 8E VR is one of the most expensive lenses Nikon has ever made, not only an expensive lens but also a classic leading optic, constant aperture of F2.8 throughout the zoom range and 4.0 vibration stop. The lens captures super-sharp images at a constant F2.8 aperture, you get super creamy background blur, and CA and angular distortion are well controlled by Nikon’s most professional camera.
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens : The Sigma ART series lens is one of the best lenses for the Nikon D850 camera. Not only does the best lens cost you double ($2,396.95 vs. $1,299.00) compared to a standard Nikon zoom lens. Because of the standard focal length, it covers all your needs from wide-angle shots to portraits.
The lens uses 3 SLDs and 4 Aspherical Elements to reduce color fringing and chromatic aberration to the maximum extent. The Sigma’s MTF graph is on par with the Nikon 24-70mm lens, the Sigma ART 24-70 also features a Hyper Sonic AF motor, manual override and built-in image stabilization. We highly recommend this lens if you are looking for superior image quality at an affordable price.
Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is a new version of Tamron’s standard lens, the price of the lens is even less than the standard Sigma lens. The lens has excellent optics inside, but the angular sharpness of this lens is not as good as Nikon’s. The lens covers an excellent range and is a decent option for semi-pros looking for a budget lens for the Nikon D850.
|Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR
|Nikon 35mm f/1.4G
|Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
|Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
|Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
|Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
The best portrait lenses for Nikon D850
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1. 4G Lens is a great tool for portraits and low light work. The autofocus speed of the lens is amazingly fast and accurate. It produces super sharp images and creamy background blur. The price is reasonable and doesn’t burn your pocket. A highly recommended standard portrait lens.
Sigma 85mm F1.4 ART is one of the best lenses available for the Nikon D850 camera. the lens feels very solid in the hands and it is heavy. If you are talking about the optical performance of this lens, then it is unusable in its class, the lens has super creamy bokeh / out of focus image quality / background blur. The sharpness of this lens, even wide open, is just perfect. You will never regret your purchase once you have the lens in your hands. This lens has been awarded several websites around the world including the Digital Photography collection, we strongly recommend that you purchase this lens if you are concerned about taking portraits with your Nikon D850.
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1. 4 – The next lens we recommend to you is for those who love manual focus, and it’s a bit of a cool lens. This lens will cost you more than the lenses recommended above. As you already know, the name of the lens is Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2.
The lens has great optics inside it, but it doesn’t have the autofocus motor as well as the image stabilization of any Tamron lens on the list, so this lens really needs a tripod when you’re working on a book session or shooting a macro. the result of this is just great, but it also increases your error, keep your tripod ready while shooting with this lens.
Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD – The Tamron 85mm F1.8 lens is a budget lens, the lens produces sharp images and decent bokeh. The only lens on the list that has built-in image stabilization.
|Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
|Nikon 85mm f/1.4G
|Tamron SP 85mm f/1. 8 Di VC USD
|Nikon PC-E Micro-NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D Tilt-Shift
|Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
|Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4
|Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
Best Macro Lenses for Nikon D850
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED – This 105mm lens is ideal for micro and portraits. You get an excellent working distance. The optical design of this lens is excellent and the lens is very durable, but it is also a bit pricey. The sharpness of this lens is outstanding, producing supersonic images even when used at a wide aperture such as F2.8. The VR (Image Stabilization) of this lens is very effective and helps during handheld shooting. Highly recommend a macro lens for your FX camera.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens – If you’re looking for an affordable third party lens, then the Sigma is absolutely one of the best options available in front of you. The lens has a focal length of 105mm which gives you an excellent working range, the lens is solid and also the focusing speed of this lens is very fast. Finally, we also have effective optical image stabilization inside the lens, so you can use it in manual mode without any problems.
Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD The Tamron 90mm lens is an excellent lens for microimaging. The lens produces very sharp images even when used at wide apertures. The 90mm Tamron provides effective image stabilization inside (up to 3.5 stops for sharper handheld shooting), which helps a lot when shooting handheld images. There is almost no flare and chromatic aberration is virtually non-existent, even in the corners.
|Nikon 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Micro
|Tamron SP 90mm f/2. 8 Di VC USD Macro
|Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro
The best telephoto lens for Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 VR II is the flagship zoom lens, the lens gives amazing performance all the time and can be used for portraits, photojournalism, sports , wildlife and weddings. Sharpness, contrast, color reproduction, bokeh are all outstanding. This durable lens literally doesn’t need a tripod when VR is on. The autofocus speed of this lens is ultra-fast and quiet, optimized for video as well as target.
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM is a great choice. The lens is equipped with very good optics and an image stabilization system that works up to 4 stops. Like Nikon, the Sigma also offers a constant aperture of F2.8 throughout the zoom range. The Hypersonic Motor (HSM) ensures fast and quiet focusing. What else you can get is a Sigma usb dock to fine-tune AF performance for the lens and update lens firmware if needed.
Tamron 70-200mm VC USD G2 – the lens has high quality optics inside. The lens consists of one XLD element and five LD elements to suppress color fringing and chromatic aberration. Tamron claims that the lens’ optical image stabilization is effective up to 5 stops, allowing you to capture sharp images when shooting handheld images. The lens is equipped with an autofocus motor with a USD type ring for quiet and fast focusing.
|Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR
|Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
|Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
|Nikon AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR
|Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR
|Nikon 70-300mm f/4. 5-5.6G ED IF VR
|Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM
Best Telephoto lens for Nikon D850
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens 9The 0011 lens is amazingly sharp even at 400mm and also at 80mm, an ideal travel companion and a great tool for wildlife as well as sports photography. The bokeh of this lens is simply outstanding. The image stabilization inside this lens is very effective and works up to 5 stops. Amazing thing. A dedicated VR setting for tripods is also available. A highly recommended lens for your Nikon D850.
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens is the best Super-Telephoto Zoom lens, perfect balance of price and features. The Sigma 150-600mm lens covers a wide range. Two FLD and three SLD elements in its optical design reduce chromatic aberration and color fringing. Pictures are crisp and clear throughout the entire zoom range.