Get the perfect shot with these top DSLR Lenses For Your Camera
There are so many different types of camera lenses and factors to consider, so you really need to do your research before diving into a lens purchase. To get started, it’s important to figure out which lenses are compatible with which cameras, as well as what style of shooting is ideal for each one.
Typically, the most important lens specification to know is the focal length, which is represented in millimeters. A single number (e.g. 28 mm) indicates a fixed focal length or “prime” lens, while a range (e.g. 70-300mm) indicates a zoom lens. For an idea on what that means, remember that the human eye is said to have the equivalent focal range of about 30-50 mm on a full frame camera.
Still, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the variety and complexity of digital camera lenses. But if you feel you know enough to dive in, here’s a beginner’s list of the best lenses for DSLR cameras.
01 Canon EF50MM F/1.8 STM DSLR Lenses for Canon Camera
For folks looking for an affordable, versatile Canon prime lens, your best bet is probably Canon’s EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. It’s compatible with full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras, and features a 50mm focal length with a maximum aperture of f/1.8. It’s got an effective focal length of 80 mm on APS-C cameras and 50mm on full-frame cameras. It’s also got a stepping motor for smooth, silent autofocus for stills or video. All these specs make it an ideal tool for anything from portraits to nighttime photography, but, as we mentioned in the intro, it’s best if you already know what style of shooter you are. Lenses are very game-specific, and this prime lens from Canon is no different.
02 Nikon AF-S 85mm F/1.8G Prime DSLR Lenses for Nikon Camera
The AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Lens from Nikon is a fast, compact FX-format prime medium telephoto lens. Though optimized for FX-format DSLR cameras, the lens is equally adept at serving any Nikon DX-format DSLR. The combination of its mid-range telephoto design and a fast f/1.8 aperture make it an excellent option for shooting both still images and HD video in low light scenarios. Available light shooters will love the wide-open effect when shooting intimate portraits; in-focus subjects will stay sharp, while distracting backgrounds will melt into a pleasing soft blur. When mounted on a DX-format DSLR, this 85mm prime delivers an apparent focal length of approximately 127mm
03 Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Telephoto Zoom
If you’re a Nikon shooter in the market for a similarly versatile but affordable prime DSLR lenses, check out the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. It’s got more or less the same specs and features as the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM at a slightly higher price point. It can be used for anything from portraits to action photography—you just have to have a Nikon DSLR camera (ideally an FX model). It’s fast, compact and a solid option for beginners and intermediate DSLR photographers. Images come out sharp and detailed, even in low light, and the build itself is sturdy with few signs of breaking or aging. Keep in mind, though, that this lens has a minimum focus distance of about 1.48 ft, meaning you can’t get too close to your subjects. For that, you’ll need a macro lens.
04 TSigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Zoom DSLR Lenses Ultra Wide
Macro zoom DSLR lenses are among the most versatile of DSLR lens, with a wide range typically around 40-200mm. At 70-300mm, this Tamron lens is ideal for handheld shooting, particularly nature, wildlife, sports, and portraits. Like any macro lens, images will come back sharp and highly focused—almost too focused, if there is such a thing. Tiny, close-up images of insects and flowers are also possible, although, depending on the size of the subject, you may not be able to capture its entirety within focus. More distant subjects, however, will be highly focused and richly detailed through the zoom range. In the normal setting, the lens has a minimum focus distance of 59 inches, but with the macro mode engaged that distance shrinks to 37.4 inches. This makes it a versatile lens for a variety of purposes. With versions available for most Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax and Konica Minolta DSLRs, this Tamron is a powerful option for avid photographers on a budget.
05 Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Fixed Wideangle Prime Lens for Canon Digital SLR Camera (Black)
Sigma is widely regarded as one of the top DSLR lenses manufacturers in the industry, and is actually the largest independent lens manufacturer in the world. They are trusted to produce sturdy, dependable lenses for a variety of cameras and shooting purposes, and this ultra-wide angle lens is no different. With a focal range of just 10-20mm, you know it will deliver a huge depth of field, helping to capture entire buildings, large rooms and other colossal subjects. They are mostly intended for shooting architecture, subject-heavy landscapes and interiors. It offers quick focusing, precision settings, a sturdy build and bright and beautiful color reproduction. Versions of this lens can be attached to Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony DSLR cameras.
Editorial by Tim Boyle LiweWire
If you’re an avid, seasoned photographer in the market for a mid- to high-end, wide-angle Canon lens, you’ll definitely want to check out this one. As the primary competitor to Nikon’s 28mm option, this Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 lens is a high-precision wide-angle lens for serious shooters. It’s compatible with Canon EF DSLRs only, and allows for a broad viewing angle and large depth of field. This brings large areas into focus and makes an excellent tool for shooting architecture and landscapes, with sharp, high-contrast images. It’s lightweight, compact, and sturdily built—not just one of the best Canon wide angle lenses, but one of the best in the category.
If you’re a Nikon shooter in the market for a similarly versatile but affordable prime lens, check out the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. It’s got more or less the same specs and features as the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM at a slightly higher price point. It can be used for anything from portraits to action photography—you just have to have a Nikon DSLR camera (ideally an FX model). It’s fast, compact and a solid option for beginners and intermediate DSLR photographers. Images come out sharp and detailed, even in low light, and the build itself is sturdy with few signs of breaking or aging. Keep in mind, though, that this lens has a minimum focus distance of about 1.48 ft, meaning you can’t get too close to your subjects. For that, you’ll need a macro lens.