- 9 Photographers Share Their Go-To Lenses
“Which is the best lens for me?”
This is one of the most common questions we get asked, and the honest answer is that the 'best lens' comes down to so many different factors. Your style, your conditions, your subject are constantly changing.
That said, there are some lenses that photographers tend to reach for that are above and beyond any others. So, we reached out to our community to ask which is their go-to lens, and what it is that keeps them going back for more.
I love the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens. I started with the first IS model which I bought from a friend and love it because it's light, very sharp, achieves beautiful bokeh and internal zoom. I recently upgraded to the Mark II after reading reviews, plus I realised that my older lens was suffering from too much sand and a little fungus. I love wildlife and wave photography but my business is in pet photography, and action shots are my specialty. The EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II finds focus lightning fast and the images are just so crisp and bright. I do lust over the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens but was concerned about the weight.
Learn more about the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
My passion is aviation photography, especially military and warbirds, but I will sometimes do landscape and other action photography like motor racing.The EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens suits me as far as for reach and weight balance. I have it permanently attached to my Canon EOS 7D Mark II. I used to have a love affair with the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens, but I've moved to the EF 100-400mm for greater reach. Using this combo I have no issues with cropping, clarity and capturing the shots I'm after. I regularly take it to air shows both within Australia and overseas. I love the build quality. I had no issues climbing the hills of Wales to photograph military aircraft and at one stage it rolled a small way down a hill. I picked it up, did a couple of test shots and it worked fine. I've also fallen on it (my arm came off second best), tested the setup and it worked fine without any issues.
Learn more about the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I mainly use the RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM Lens if I want to travel 'light' and still want to take different styles of photography. I've taken lots of food shots with it, I've taken it out in the city at night and just out and about with the family. The EOS R is a wonderful camera and together with the RF 35mm I can take photos of my family indoors and outdoors. The macro capability allows me to capture some nice food photography, the IS allows me to shoot the city lights at night without tripod, and being a fast lens (f/1.8) it makes it all the more versatile for most types of photography.
Learn more about RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM Lens
My go-to lens is the EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM because it has the perfect focal length for travel photography. I can use it on the street, or for zooming into far away scenes such as landscapes and animals. It’s super light and I can take my whole EF-M lens range with me whenever I’m on the road and it won’t weigh me down. It also has 8.3x zoom and the 4 stop image stabilizer means that when I’m taking a picture of a faraway scene, there’s little to no camera shake - perfect for capturing nighttime scenes!
Learn more about the EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens
I love the nifty fifty because it's light, easy on the wallet and well, flawless. I like to keep things minimal and simple. I use it for everything; portraits, waves, landscapes and shots from ocean level. It suits me perfectly, especially when paired with my EOS 7D Mark II. Leave it on your camera for a week, move around and the sweet spot will show itself. You'll end up with a bunch of shots to be pleased with and you'll learn from it either way.
Learn more about the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
I love using the EF 100mm f2.8 IS USM macro lens for shooting close-ups of flowers and water drops. Being 100mm I can get in really tight to my subjects which is crucial to my style of photography. The Focus limiter switch is an amazing function because I'm not spending time with the autofocus trying to find things past my subject.
My favourite thing about the lens is how sharp it is and the beautiful bokeh and depth it gives my images. Another great feature of this lens is being weather sealed because I'm using water a lot I don't need to worry if moisture gets on the lens. I chose this lens for the build quality and the image stabilisation. I rarely use a tripod when shooting macro so I can try lots of compositions, so the image stabilisation is essential for me.
Learn more about the EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM Macro Lens
One of my favourite things about being a photographer is working from anywhere - carrying my whole kit and office on my back! This also means I'm super picky about the tools I have stashed back there. I only have two lenses: the 24-70mm 2.8 (I have the original release and it's still going strong) and the trusty 50mm 1.8. The versatility of the 24-70mm is one of my favourite things, especially for documenting people interacting with food (which is a lot of what I do). I have to be quick, shooting across the table to capture a portrait moment, get that tight detail shot of food textures, and then turn around and shoot the venue wide for context as well. The 24-70mm lives on my EOS 5D Mark IV—I love it.
Learn more about our latest EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
I use my EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens exclusively for landscapes and seascapes as it is sharp, clear and needs next to nil lens adjustments in post production. The focus is quick and works extremely well with Nisi ND filters. I looked at Tamron and Sigma but the extra investment in a Canon lens was well worth it.
Learn more about the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens is typically my go-to lens for general portrait photography, such as at a social function. The built-in IS really helps to capture some evening wide-angle setting shots when I can make use of available night lighting, allowing me to carefully shoot as slow as about 1/20 hand-held without excessive camera shake. It is also very versatile for travelling, as quite often I encounter a variety of shooting situations where I need to get up-close during times that I am unable to get closer physically while still being able to capture those beautiful wide angle shots at 24mm. The physical size of the lens compared to the focal range, therefore, lends itself as an excellent professional grade travel lens. Its also impressively sharp, especially between f/6.3 - f/8. This range also means you don't have to carry multiple lenses in your bag when used for travel.
Learn more about the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
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