Overall Best Canon lens for the money

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by david israel, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Regardless of cost, in your opinion what is the best Canon lens for the "buck/best value" out there?
    Just thought it would be fun to see what other photographers out there thought?
    Thanks again,
  2. For me its the 50mm f1.4 sharp at f2.8 quick focus good bokeh and very cheap. For its performance it should be L but build quality reflects the price.
  3. 50f/1.8(I)
  4. For the money it has to be the 50mm f/1.8. For just about $80 you get one of the sharpest lenses in Canon's line-up. My example is very good at f1.8 and excellent at f2.8 and above. How can you beat an $80 lens that has excellent optical qualities? Yes, the build is crap, it is plastic made, in your hands it feels like the worst lens on the planet, but once on your camera, it shines. Best value of any lens out there!
  5. EF 50/1.8
  6. Depends. The easy answer is the 50mm f/1.8 for price:IQ ratio. However, if you're shooting, say, wildlife or macro or landscapes or sports, the 50mm f/1.8 is of very limited use and thus little 'value'. I think this is a rather silly question because it will depend on the user and the expected product. This is similar to several other open ended questions you (and others) have asked recently. Figure out what you want to shoot, and read lots of reviews and tutorials or photography theory books, and you'll figure out what might be the best value for you.
  7. I would have to agree that the best price/performance lens is the 50/1.8, which I do not own.
  8. Normally, I'd be one chiming in with "best for what purpose?" However, there may be some other candidates such as the 35mm f/2 or the 28mm f/2.8, but the winner just has to be that "plastic fantastic," the "nifty fifty," otherwise known as the EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II.
  9. Since 1990 I've owned 3 copies of the EF 50 1.8 and was never happy with its performance. On the other hand, the EF 35 2.0 and EF 50 2.5 CM have been among my oft used optics since the early 90s and, although a little more expensive, are far more useful and better optically and mechanically. They get mah bang fo' buck vote.
  10. candidiates would be...
    35mm 2.0
    50mm 1.8
    85mm 1.8
    100mm 2.8 macro
    200mm 2.8 L (best L lens for the money?)
    400mm 5.6 L
  11. I keep seeing 50mm 1.8 which I also own. I just bought and have been satisfied so far but have not taken enough shots to vote my best value yet. I am a big fan of my Canon 100/f 2.8 USM Macro. It was more expensive for me compared to my other lenses, but so far my best shots have been taken with that. It's also a great portrait lens as well...
  12. The best lens for short money has got to be the 50/1.8, for a little more money the 35/2.0 (don't have one myself). For a little more money the 85/1.8 (don't have this one either) or the 100/2.0. For a little more money the 200/2.8 (again don't have this one). Then you start getting into the range where some of the L-zooms are the better value for their flexibility. Of course this list only relates to Canon lenses, there are some thrid party lenses that people think quite highly of but that I can't speak for specifically.
  13. A good, used copy of the 28-70/2.8L and the 50/1.8.
  14. Canon 24-70 f2.8
  15. how much money? It's all relative...
  16. Puppy Face - is your 50/2.5 sharp in the corners on ff camera (not extreme corners) when you shoot, say, from the 4 meters distance at f/2.5 - f/4? Does it focus well at this distance? I really like this lens so maybe I should get another copy as mine doesn't behave well except macro or really short distances.
  17. Canon EF 28 - 105mm 3.5 - 4.5 USM II when used on a film body.
  18. The new Canon Kit lens 18-55mm with IS. You get 38 different focal lengths for $158.53 (That's approx. $4.17 per lens). And it is sharp sharp sharp
  19. The best for the money IMO is my 70-200 2.8L. I bought it in 1996 for about a thousand dollars. I guess present value of those dollars is abou 1500. That is about 14 years I have owned it. Over that time it has been dropped hard on concrete, fallen in the mud, actively shot candids at a few hundred weddings, done several different sports for a paper, and never missed a picture. It still looks new and performs as well as the day I bought. If you did a cost per picture ratio the lens would be in a small fraction of a penny. I have used it more than any other lens having owned several different lenses in the 24-135 range over this same period of time. So for overall value over relatively heavy use it, in my mind, amortizes better than any other lens I have owned. And it is a top level performer IQ wise.
  20. 70-200 4.0L IS - is an amazing lens - Light, fast, super sharp and amazing at all Appertures.... for an expensive lens would be the 50 1.4 - super sharp fast focus and very little difference from its L sibling the 50 1.2 except in weight and the sweet red stripe.
  21. 70-200 f4 L, 18-55 EFS IS, 50 f1.8
  22. Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro. Excellently sharp. Fantastic color/contrast. If used for portraiture or candid/street, then the macro work is "free". Excellent bang for the buck and covers a range of different types of photography.
  23. I always liked the 135 f2.8 SF, bargain for its buck, 70 200f4 can be another cheap gem along with 35 f2 :)
  24. All L grade lenses under 1500$
  25. Although my earlier post was a "me-too" for the 50/1.8, my more thoughtful answer would be quite different.
    Bang for the buck does not always have to mean a quantifiable formula that has a single finite answer. Rather, it could be the lens that gives the user the ability to get the images desired that could quite simply not be obtainable in any other way. That definition of bang for the buck opens the door to many more interesting answers.
    For me, the answer to the question under that definition of the constraints would have to be the EF 300/2.8L.
  26. it


    fifty one four
  27. 50/1.8. Nothing else comes close in a value sense.
  28. After the "fast 50's", the 70-200mm f4L (non-IS).
  29. I agree about the 50/1.8--compared to the cost of the rest of the EF lenses, it's practically free.
    But here's a suggestion no one's offered yet: the 135 f/2 L. Yeah, it's expensive---but it may actually produce the best images in the entire line (for both sharpess and bokeh), and it's cheaper than the rest of the L primes (except the 200 f/2.8, I guess, which someone else already mentioned).
  30. 85mm 1.8. I've forgotten what I paid for it, but it was peanuts when contrasted with other options. These days I use it mostly for portrait work with my 5D.
  31. "Regardless of cost" and "best value?" aren't these questions somewhat of a contradiction?
  32. 50mm f1.8 ..... no question
  33. 50mm f1.8 ..... no question
    well, maybe the 85mm f1.8....:)
  34. This is easy! It is EFS 18-55 3,5-5,6 IS for APS-sensor cameras. It is temting to vote for the 50/1,8 since it is sharp and fast, but that is not enough to outweight the usefulness of a zoom.
    That is why canon sell kits with its budget zoom since more than two decades.
    If we are talking purely of IQ/price ratio, its another story but that was not in the original question.
  35. Hey Puppy, just curious,
    why have you owned 3 50mm 1.8 lenses, when you were never been happy with them and you have excellent alternatives like the 50mm 2.5 macro?
  36. I predict that the involving digital camera technologies will change the requirements to camera lenses. With super high ISO from 5D mark II and other coming models, you may not need fast lenses any more. The high ISO cameras allow you to shoot at low light withou compromising photo quality using a lens with f# around 5.6 or even 8. Based on that my list lenses are 18-55mm IS and 70-300mm IS which are priced reasonably and well suited for digital cameras.
  37. Anping Liu, I use fast lenses for a narrow dof most of the time. It makes you more creative when you have fast lenses.
  38. For me its the 24-70 2.8 L for a full format. I would not choose it for crop. it lives on my 5D and fits my style of photography. Best value as I would need lots of 3 primes to replace this. The quality is very very high, its sharp. Its good in low light and when need more I use my flash. If I had to live with one lens it would be this.
  39. It's nice to see all of the responses posted from everyone. I am amazed at how much useful information I was able to attain from just this one posting.
  40. Well, here in Canada, I checked the other day at Henry's and the price for the Canon 50 mm f1.8 is $139.00....well, that's our Canadian dollar for ya! The salesman I was talking to said it was a "great portrait lens" since it wasn't that sharp. I was thinking of buying it for sports but now have second thoughts...yes, I know it's cheap but "not sharp" Is it worth it?
  41. I'd have to go with the 50mm f1.8.
  42. I agree with the 50/1.8 being the best bang for the buck.
    But it is NOT my most used lens, and it is not currently in my day bag.
    The lens I simply feel I must use at every possible opportunity is the 85/1.8. Awesome lens. No regrets buying it. The 35/2 is my least used lens. . unfortuantely.
    The 28-135/IS, when purchased in a kit for an incremental $200 has got to be a huge value that someone would use everyday.
  43. Either the 50 f/1.8 or the 70-200 f/4 non IS. The 70-200 is a wonderful lens used for <$500.
  44. Long range tele would be my 400mm f5.6L, super sharp and relatively cheap to the 400mm f2.8 big brother
  45. i cannot argue with people prefering 50/1.8. I have used it, but can`t get out of it pictures that would make me leap with joy. on the other hand my 85L is magic and the pics I can get with it make me think it`s worth it. my experience is limited though. i might find a cheaper magic wand one day:)
  46. I think a nice L zoom would be very good value (cost, performance and convenience) compared to the high cost of buying a bunch of prime lenses to cover the same focal lengths.
  47. 70-200 f/4 L
    This lens is clearly a lure... :)
  48. Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM AutoFocus Wide Angle Telephoto Zoom Lens for general purpose always on camera
    1. 50 f/1.4
    2. 17-40 f/4.0L
  49. 100 2.8 macro.
    Not so cheap but very usable in lots of shooting opportunities.
  50. The 85 1.8. It's relatively light, fast, and its sharpness at least equals that of my 24-105L IS.
    But, I love the 24-105. If I had to have just one lens, that'd be it. So far, it's both wide enough and long enough for almost all occasions (but, my child is only five and doesn't wander far from me or do big-time sports); it's light enough to carry all the time, and has IS for low light and unsteady hands. So, I consider it a good value.
  51. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
    This lens offers all you need in action photography with bonus in sharpness.
    Indoor sports, concerts, weddings and candid is where this lens will shine the most.
    I am amazed with this lens.
  52. Hey,
    You took my name. I am David Israel.
    100 f2.8 macro
  53. 50 /1.8 just bought it for 80 euros the price is a joke
  54. 50 /1.8 just bought it for 80 euros the price is a joke
  55. 24-70L, most useful lens on a full frame camera, good bokah, allows one to come within inches, excellent IQ, on a crop camera the 17-40L, a 50mm is too limiting to be of use in too many circumstances.
  56. It depends on body.
    For 5D, 24-105mm F4 L.
  57. Most people seem to be concerned with "quality for the buck." I think the most bang for the buck would be a lens that gives the photographer a good combination of price, focal lenght options, quality and aperture range (> than 5.6). The EF 50 f/1.8 is wonderful because it's cheap, good and goes all the way to 1.8, but it doesn't provide much on the focal lenght dept. The best bang for the buck would have to be a zoom. The 24-105 mm strikes me as a great combination of focal lenght range, aperture range and quality for a reasonable price.
  58. "I've owned 3 copies of the EF 50 1.8 and was never happy with its performance. On the other hand, the EF 35 2.0 and EF 50 2.5 CM have been among my oft used optics"
    I would have to go with the 50mm 1.8 for the price. This is the lens that came with my camera, but I unknowingly removed it as soon as the camera came out of the box and replaced it with a so-called better lens.
    I decided to use it one day and I was shocked by the sharpnes and contrast. Not sure about the EF 50 2.5, but my 35mm f2 is not as contraty as the 50mm f1.8. Also I dropped that lens once on a plush rug and the AF button popped out. Luckily I was able to glue it back with Crazy Glue.
  59. EF 50mm f/1.8. I you will never get a Canon lens with such a good price-value ratio even again.
  60. I have to say the 135 2.0; sure, it's not the cheapest good lens (I vote 50 1.4 for that) but the 135 was a revelation. It's less than 1K and I'd have paid significantly more for it. That's bang for the buck defined.
  61. "I predict that the involving digital camera technologies will change the requirements to camera lenses. With super high ISO from 5D mark II and other coming models, you may not need fast lenses any more"----------------------Maybe, but only if you want all the clutter in your house in perfect focus as your background for people photos. My vote for a prime would be the 50 1.8, I get so many nice photos with it. Also the 70-200 f4 non IS. I had one and sold it to buy 100-400 and now I miss it. It was incredible. Also the 18-55 IS is a great value. Best wishes!​
  62. OP: Oxymoron? You said regardless of cost, but asking for the most bang/buck lens?
  63. After thinking long & hard about this (all of 3 seconds, no less :)) I have to go with the 50 f/1.8
  64. The answer is entirely relative to the shooter and the subject, but clearly the EFS 18-55mm IS kit lens is a tremendous value for many shooters - certainly useful to and used by far more than use the 50mm f/1.8.
  65. Question doesn't make sense "regardless of cost - most bang for the buck" but the 70-200 f4 is my vote
  66. the "nifty fifty" (1.8)
  67. Quality for buck. well id say the 35 F2 is awesome as I use it quite a bit, but Honestly Id have to say the (300 2.8L IS USM) is it is the SHARPEST lens i have ever touched... My wallet regrets buying it but its my favorite and 2nd most used lens i have. to be able to get pictures of a football game at night and see the holes in the mesh on the jerseys is WOW, the colors WOW, the contrast WOW.... they could easily charge quite a bit more for the lens for how perfect it is its a bargan (far from a steal but still a great value)..
  68. Sigma 30/1.4 if it were a Canon, but since its not, the Canon 100/2 would be my pick. The 50/1.8 had its moments, but just not the focal length for me on 1.6x.
  69. The 85 1.8 isn't the cheapest lens, but IMO it's still the best bang for your buck. A skilled portrait photographer can make a living with this lens, I've seen it happen.
  70. I bought a 50mm mark I that was on a broken film eos on fleabay for about 80 shipped, good build, same optics as mark II. Also which is crazy but got a 70-210 canon 3.5 usm for under 110$ shipped, they have been recently going for nothing on ebay. I dont understand it, its focus is faster than 70-200 f4 L, colors and contrast are a step down, but incredible buy.

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