Best lens for beginners canon – Buying guide

Are you looking for lenses for your Canon camera that will adequately meet your needs? There are various types of lenses on the market that you can use on your Canon camera to capture those perfect shots.

As a beginner, you’ve just bought your first camera and are on your path to being a great photographer. Canon is the leading and most popular camera brand in the world with more sales in cameras and lens than any other brand. It’s no wonder that it’s a popular brand for even beginners. For a beginner, it’s not easy to get the correct and best lens for your camera. The market contains a lot of lenses depending on the type of camera you have. Let’s help you choose the best lens for your Canon camera.

Best lens for beginners canon – A Comparison table

Product name
Zoom range
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Canon EF 24-70mm
f3.5 - 5.6
18 - 55mm
Canon EF-S 60mm
Canon EF 85mm
Canon EF-S 55-250mm
f4.0 - 5.6
55 - 250mm
Canon EF 50mm

Best lens for beginners canon review

Canon EF 24-70mm – Affordable lens excellent for beginners

This lens is one of the best Canon zoom lenses commonly considered as a general purpose lens making it the most popular lens among new Canon photographers.

Key features

  • High-quality build
  • Fast Autofocus speed with precision
  • 18 to 55mm focal length
  • Autofocus adjustment with manual focus option
  • Gear-driven focus adjustment
  • Wide f3.5 to f5.6 aperture
  • 58mm filter size
  • Weather sealing

As a beginner, you can’t jump into the deep end when it comes to lenses. This is a great starter lens for a photographer costing less than $200 making it worth trying it. The lens is standard and has a zoom ranging between 18 and 55mm. Though initially designed for DLSR cameras, the Canon EF 24-70mm is compatible with APSC-C models. The lens offers a 3x zooming ratio from telephoto to wide angle. At the minimum 18mm focal length, you can capture great wide-angle shots like seascapes, with the closest focusing distance standing at 0.45m. The lens features a diagonal angle of view and uses Canon’s optical image stabilizer technology to allow for sharp shots at shutter speeds of up to 4 stops. Canon EF 24-70mm is lightweight at 7.1 ounces.


  • Affordable & suitable for starters
  • Versatile and suitable on most cameras


  • Moderate telephoto shooting mode
  • The build is not sturdy enough for some shooting styles


This lens is general purpose making it very popular among beginners. It’s also affordable and offers versatility.

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Canon EF-S 60mm – This is a great lens for some macro photography

This is the first real macro lens in the Canon EF-S series and has more to offer than what meets the human eye. It’s ideal for a beginner looking to venture into macro photography.

Key features

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Comes with high contrast, image quality, and corner-to-corner resolution
  • Has a full-time manual focus override
  • 35mm focal length format

The Canon EF-S 60mm lens is a telephoto lens that features an f2.8 aperture for SLR EOS cameras and works only on Canon cameras with APS-C sensors such as t4i, 60D, 7D, and others. It has a diameter of 2.9 inches and measures 2.8 inches long with a weight of 11.8 ounces. The focal length is 60mm with the closest focusing distance being 0.65 ft. The floating optical system can focus down to a life-size magnification of 1:1. Its 25° angle of view is equivalent to a 96mm lens on a 35mm camera. For autofocusing, the lens comes with a silent & powerful ring-type USM (ultra-sonic monitor). This lens has the ability to unearth a lot of details undetected by the eye and give perspective to extremely small subjects like an insect on a flower.


  • Great picture quality
  • Quality build and durable
  • Sharp lens for portrait and macro


  • Not zoomable


Despite it not having a long zoom range, its compactness and focusing distance compensate for this. The lens is good for someone interested in carrying out some macro photography.

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Canon EF 85mm – Produces excellent head shots & portraits

If I was to choose an EOS portrait lens for a beginner, this is the one would go with any day. It does a great job any day when it comes to portraits and shots.

Key features

  • Focal length of 85mm
  • Produces beautiful background blur on shots

For beginners looking to take quality ¾ length portraits, very small family shots, and head shots, the Canon EF 85mm lens comes highly recommended. It gives you a natural angle view equivalent to a 135mm lens on a full frame sensor at 85mm with the closest focusing distance at 2.8 ft. It quickly brings the subject into focus and is ideal for natural images and portraits. The lens produces desirable and very beautiful bokeh which is the background blur behind subjects. This telephoto zoom lens is packed with an f1.8 aperture suitable for SLR cameras and effective in low light as well as shallow depth of field focus control. In terms of measurements, the lens has a 3-inch diameter and length of 2.8 inches. The USM offers a quiet, smooth, and fast AFT action. Since the front group of lens doesn’t rotate when focusing, you can use the special filter effects & polarize effectively.


  • Beautiful background blur
  • Budget-friendly


  • The lens is not zoomable
  • Not ideal for shooting larger groups


I really like the natural angle view and the background blur. More importantly, the lens is beginner-friendly when it comes to portraits and shots.

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Canon EF-S 55-250mm – Ideal for taking wildlife images

Imagine a lens on your camera that allows you not to miss a shot when taking pictures of wild animals despite not being close to them.

Key features

  • Maximum of 250mm focal range
  • Maximum aperture of 4 to 5.6 fps
  • Diagonal angle view of 27 to 6 degrees with APS-C image sensors

For a starter who’s into animal bird watching, you need a lens that when combined with your Canon camera can allow you to document them in their natural habitat without interference. The Canon EF-S with a focal range of between 55 and 250mm has the power to capture these subjects and magnify them to an ideal size on your sensor. With this lens, you get the angle of view and magnification equivalent to 88-400mm lens on a full frame camera. The stabilizer effect creates an equivalent shutter faster than a lens without. To create an excellent image quality, the lens comes with a UD-glass lens element for correcting chromatic aberrations.


  • The 55-250mm focal range
  • Powerful angle of view
  • Image stabilization technology
  • Long battery life


  • Poor depth of field when zooming


This lens is very powerful making it great for clear long-range shots. For a beginner looking to establish themselves in natural shots, this is the lens for your Canon camera.

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Canon EF 50mm

Don’t let the little aperture and little focal range fool you, this lens carries great power that can meet most casual and professional photographer’s needs.

Key features

  • 1.4 fps maximum aperture
  • 46 degrees angle of view
  • High-refraction lens elements

This is the only EF system lens to offer an extra-small USM while at the same time offering a full-time manual focusing option. The lens is 2 inches long, has a 2.9-inch diameter, and weighs 102 ounces. The lens combines new Gaussian optics and 2 high-refraction lens elements to suppress astigmatic differences and eliminate it. The f1.4 aperture is ideal for obtaining clear images in low light places and shallow depth of field. Focusing adjustment features a USM with an overall linear extension system. The filter size is 58mm and the close focusing distance stands at 1.5 feet which is enough for most beginner tasks. The HSM (Hypersonic Motor) guarantees high-speed and silent auto-focusing and full-time manual focusing to avoid alerting the subject.


  • The build is quality
  • Picture quality is top-notch even in low-lit situations
  • Precise shots
  • Durable


  • Some parts might not work when not in use for long


For a beginner that wants to keep things as simple and small as possible, then this non-zooming lens will do the trick. The lens can match the naked eye. It’s also affordable.

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Buying guide for the Best lens for beginners canon – What to look out for

Not a single lens works for every photographer as we all have our unique needs. So when shopping for lens, first check your requirements. The following are some of the factors to consider when looking for lens for your camera.

Zoom vs prime lens

There are two main types of lens – prime and zoom. The difference between the two lenses is significant and cuts across the size & weight, versatility, portability, image quality, speed, and price. Prime lens is smaller & lighter compared to zoom lens that is bulky and large. Prime lens has a fixed focal length and requires extra lenses with varying focal lengths to shoot from various ranges. On the other hand, the zoom length just has a single lens that does all that. When it comes to image quality, prime lens produce sharper & crisp photos compared to zoom lens that only offers a standard quality. Despite this, zoom lenses are more expensive than a prime lens.

A prime lens is ideal if you want to have more brightness in your shots and also be able to easily tweak & current shooting errors. However, if your main is to get as close as possible to your subject, then a zoom lens will do the trick.

Focal length

This is the distance from the center of the lens to the sensor when the subject is in focus and is measured in millimeters. Now, the lower the number, the wider the shot. Likewise, the higher this number is, then the longer the camera zoom. If you would like to fit more into the frame, then go for a wide-angle focal length including 14mm, 24mm, 28mm, up to 35 mm. Alternatively, if you want to be as close as possible to the subject, then a telephoto lens will do the trick. The lens’ focal length is usually between 50 and 100mm. In the end, make sure to get a lens with an f2.8 aperture for enough light to pass through.


This is how much light can enter your camera and is denoted by the letter (f) followed by some corresponding numbers. In full, it’s known as an f-stop. For example, when shooting in low light, a small aperture number such as f1.2 will allow more light to come into the lens. This means that the lens’s opening is wider.


Not all lens is compatible with any camera regardless of the brand or type. Analog cameras use film for recording while digital ones use a sensor. On DSLR cameras, the sensors are bigger than those on a point-and-shoot camera. So, DLSR images are clearer and more real. There are 2 types of sensors – charge-couple device (CCD) and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS). CMOS is larger and hence captures more light producing high-quality images. This difference not only affects the image quality, but also affects the camera’s structure and overall performance. So ensure that you buy a compatible lens for your camera.


This factor solely depends on you after looking at the other factors to help you determine whether or not to buy. Note that some brands will be more expensive than others. To help you narrow your scope, have a budget to guide you.


Having a good lens for your Canon camera can be the difference between a good shot and a bad one. Check your requirements first to know what type of lens you need, then ensure that you have a budget. Choose a lens that’s compatible with your Canon. So, what lens would I recommend? I found the Canon EF-S with a long zoom range, image stabilization, and a powerful angle of view. It also comes with a long battery life. For this reason, I would highly recommend it.


How can I use a DSLR lens on an EOM Canon camera?

You can use a DSLR lens on an EOM camera by using adapters.

Are there any other lenses apart from the camera brands ones?

Yes, there are independent lens makers such as Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, etc. These manufacturers deliver equally high-quality lenses at a cheaper price.

Philip Taylor believes in helping people achieve their dreams and has, therefore, gone to the lengths to make the subject of photography and cameras more digestible to individuals who are passionate about this line of career. He believes with the right mentorship and experience, novice photographers can turn into professional photographers, the excerpts on beginner cameras at Photo MD are, therefore, the perfect guide for individuals who are into photography, want to get their first cameras but have no idea what to look for. Philip is a father to two lovely boys, and when not working he loves to research and will, therefore, be found in the library.

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