The Best Canon Bargain Lens

Want a lot of lens for a little price? The bargain lens page is for you.

A lens with no purpose in your kit is not a good value - and a waste of your money at any price. While not all of the lenses I include on this page have everything going for them, they all can have a purpose in your kit. And good image quality is a minimum requirement. An attractive price is of course another requirement.

These are the great value lenses - the Canon bargains.

 
The Best Canon Bargain Lenses

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens
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1. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Very Good Image Quality, Tiny Size, Feather Weight, Decent Build Quality, Incredible Price

I was very skeptical of this lens when it was introduced, but ... the 40 STM is the real deal. The image quality and performance of this lens are impressive for a lens costing even many times the price tag of this one. There are very few downsides - everyone can add this lens to their kit. I think it is the best bargain in Canon's lens lineup. Throw it in your pocket for a backup lens - or use it for a camera body cap.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens
Buy the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens

2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens

Sharp, Light, Small, Cheap

I'm sure that the 40 STM has put a big hurt on the sales of this lens, but the 50 f/1.8 II has been an introductory sharp lens for many a photographer.

This lens has poor build quality including a plastic lens mount (mine lens fell apart when a friend was using it), poor AF speed with plenty of noise, a terrible MF ring and poor bokeh - but it is sharp and at this price, it is disposable.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens
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3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM Lens

Excellent Value, Very Good Image Quality, Pro-Grade Build Quality, Fast AF

Welcome to the Canon L Lens Series - I'm sorry, but you can never go back.

The 70-200 f/4 L is a completely pro-grade lens with image quality, build quality and AF performance that will draw you into the L-Series forever. All of this comes at a price that is not far from consumer zoom lens pricing.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens
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4. Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens

Excellent Image Quality, Wide Focal Length Range, Great Value, Great Autofocus Speed & Accuracy, Image Stabilization

The APS-C format-only EF-S 15-85 has, aside from L-series treatment, most of what I'm looking for in a lens. Including great image quality. This lens shows up in more than one of my recommendations pages - and is one of my first choices when evaluating new DSLR cameras.

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM Lens
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5. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM Lens

Almost Canon's Best Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens

With the 17-40 L, you get as-good-as-Canon-zoom-lenses-get in this focal length range f/5.6 and narrower image quality for a modest price. The 17-40 L has the full L lens treatment including great weather-sealed build quality and fast AF.

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II Lens
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6. Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II Lens

Attractive Price, Sharp Image Quality, Wide f/2.8 Aperture, Compact Size

The APS-C format-only Tamron 17-50 non-VC has been a long time favorite due to the sharp image quality it delivers in a widely desired general purpose focal length range. The wide f/2.8 max aperture over the entire focal length range will not leave you wanting.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens
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7. Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens

Impressive Image Quality, Wide Apertures, Relatively Small Size/Light Weight

The 200 f/2.8 L II gives you a wide f/2.8 aperture in an impressively built lens with fast Ring USM AF. The image quality from this lens will impress. As will the price.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
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8. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

Small Size, Light Weight, Impressive f/2.8 Image Quality, Great Price

While you could buy a few EF 50mm f/1.8 lenses for the price of one EF 50 f/1.4, the f/1.4 version is still a very good deal. It is soft at f/1.4, but it is razor sharp at f/2.8 - which is still a rather wide aperture. The price, size and weight of this lens are all very attractive attributes. Build quality and AF speed are not - though it is much better than the f/1.8 in these regards.


Buy the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Rent the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

9. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

Good Image Quality, Wide aperture, Fast Ring USM AF, Nice Price

The Canon 85 f/1.8 is a nicely-priced, wide aperture compact prime lens with very good image quality and fast autofocus. It makes a great portrait or indoor sports lens. The price is right.

 
Visit the Canon Lenses page for more recommendations.

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