In reality, the “best” lens for your Canon full-frame will depend on what you’re photographing, as well as, your expectations. However, I like to believe that there are all-around great lenses for various forms of photographing. This can be beneficial when you’re still trying to figure out what you want to focus on or whether you prefer to photograph any and everything.
Photography costs can add up quickly, so when choosing these lenses I thought about lens value, how useful these lenses would be in multiple photography situations, and price.
1. Canon EF 50mm 1.4 USM lens
The first lens on this is the Canon 50mm 1.4. Already labeled the “nifty fifty”, this truly is an all-around great lens for pretty much any type of photography. Admittedly, I don’t find the 50mm the best at shooting things like landscapes and real estate. That’s because it isn’t a wide-angle lens. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. With that said, there are so many other things that make this 50mm worth it, especially since you can purchase this lens for $349 right at B&H.
I chose the 1.4 vs the 1.8 or 1.2 for a few reasons. While you can purchase the 50mm 1.8 as low as $110, I don’t think it’s worth the investment if you can afford the 1.4 because I find that it’s hard to get subjects in focus at 1.8. This means shooting completely wide-open with this lens can be difficult (not to say it can’t be done). I personally find that this lens shoots best around 2.0. The 1.4 allows you a little more working room for those obsessed with a nice shallow depth of field.
The 1.2 will obviously give you the sharpest photographs wide open but it’s really not much of a difference compared to the 1.4 to pay $1,349.00 for it. Even if I could afford the 1.2, I’m not sure if I would even invest in it. I would really have to consider how often I’m shooting wide open for me to determine how valuable this lens would be for me.
2. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF
I chose the Sigma 35mm 1.4 because I definitely think this lens provides great versatility for photographers who want to shoot wide-angle but also want to get into portrait and fashion work. The 35mm lens is considered the very beginning of wide-angle, which means you can definitely create beautiful landscape photos but you can also take portraits that include some of the environment.
The Sigma is fast, great in low-light situations, and you can definitely create sharp photos with a shallow depth-of-field similar to the 50mm 1.4. Another great thing about Sigma’s lens is that it’s priced at $699 as compared to Canon’s version sitting at $1,699.00.
$700 dollars may have sounded like a lot after looking at Canon’s 50mm 1.4 but when you compare it to Canon’s 35mm, Sigma’s price point is actually very affordable.
3. Canon EF 24-105mm F/4 L IS USM
The Canon 24-105mm F/4 lens is the last on the list and the only zoom lens. Zoom lenses are always great because of the wide variety of things you’re able to shoot. While I’ll always have a love for prime lenses (and currently only use one prime lens) I definitely appreciate the convenience and creativity that zoom lenses bring.
The 24-105mm, in particular, interests me because this lens is not only great for travel purposes but this lens is also great for other things such as portraits, fashion, and street photography.
If you’re interested in a lot of different types of photography but can only afford one lens, this could be a good investment. You can get this lens for about $899. It’s not the cheapest lens available, in fact, it’s the most expensive lens on this small list. However, the price isn’t too steep that a little planning and budgeting couldn’t handle.
With that said, these are my 3 favorite lenses for Canon full-frame camera. Of course, this list is subjective. There are many lenses on the market that some people may find better suited for their photography needs. It’s a good idea to create a list of your wants, needs, and your indifferences, and let that list be the foundation of your research.