What is the Best Canon Beginner Lens?

Webmaster April 2, 2010 4
What is the Best Canon Beginner Lens?

One of the first questions you might ask yourself when you purchase your first Canon SLR camera is what the best lens is for beginners. That is not an easy question to answer because it depends on several factors, but in this article we will provide you with a good guide that will hopefully make your choice a little easier.

General Shooting

The first thing to decide on is what type of photos you are most interested in. If you are just looking for a versatile walkabout lens that caters for general shooting, then the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS are without a doubt the best choices available.

If these lenses are out of your budget, then the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS is also a very popular choice, but keep in mind that this lens will not work on a full frame camera if you upgrade one day. Another lens you should definitely consider is the popular Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens - this lens is very affordable and delivers extremely good photos.

Zoom Lenses

If you are interested in wildlife or sports photography, then a good zoom lens could be the best beginner choice for you. The most popular zoom lens today is arguably the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, but due to its cost this lens is usually out of reach for beginners. Other more affordable options are the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM and the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS, which has been one of the best selling lenses on Amazon for a long time.

Macro Lenses

Macro photography is a very popular field and especially popular among beginner SLR photographers. If taking close-up pictures is what you are interested in then a good macro lens should be one of the first things you buy and there is no better choice than the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. The quality of this lens for macro photos is virtually unbeatable and it’s also a great choice for portraits. We won’t even mention other options here, because this is by far the best macro lens for beginners.

Wide Area Lenses

If you want to shoot landscape photos then a good wide area lens is the way to go.  The most popular wide area lens is arguably the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II Lens, but if you are looking for something a little cheaper then the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens is also a great choice.


It is very important to spend some time deciding which of the above applications you are most interested in to ensure that you end up with the right tools for the job. The EF-S lenses mentioned above offer an affordable alternative to the more expensive EF lenses, but keep in mind that these lenses will not work on full frame cameras like the Canon 5D if you ever decide to upgrade.

In many cases it would be worth spending some extra money to ensure that you have a lens that will work with any future camera you might buy. If you are not sure which of the applications above you are most interested in, then the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM is probably the best lens to start with.


  1. Lorraine March 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm -

    I am getting my first SLR Canon in 2 weeks and am researching things I will be able to do with it – this was a great source of info.

  2. Sid March 28, 2012 at 3:21 am -

    Great info. It has definitely helped me choose the right macro lens

  3. Sid March 28, 2012 at 3:28 am -

    Great info. My confusion in first macro lens was cleared. Thanks a lot

  4. Jay April 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm -

    great set of suggestions… I have a 24-105 2.8 L, and a 70-200 2.8L. Since I have the 24-105, instead of getting the 28-70L, I am considering the 16-35 2.8L. and planning to take the 16-35L for normal travels, etc… Is this a good strategy? I will be looking primarily to take family photos, and pics of places/people when I travel.

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