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Overview of Canon Lenses

Last updated 2010-01-13 - Send Feedback
Related: Canon, Canon lenses
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This section covers Canon-brand lenses. You can search this site for more information on lenses of all kinds.

Canon’s lens line

Canon’s lens line is broad and deep, and with lens adapters, many other brands such as Nikon, Leica R, Olympus and Contax can be used on Canon EOS.

The “L” lenses

Canon’s “L” line is designed for professionals: high quality build, more advanced and higher performing optics, which is not to say that non-L lenses are inferior; many are excellent. But in general, if you can afford it, you’ll want “L glass”, the stuff with the red ring at the end of the lens barrel.

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EF vs EF-S lenses

The EF designation means that a lens is designed for a full-frame 36 X 24mm sensor.

The EF-S designation means that a lens is designed for a smaller cropped sensor, 22.3mm wide.

Recommended lenses

See my list of recommended Canon gear and lenses, as well as the gear pages.

Learn more about Canon lenses

For in-depth reviews of lenses that fit Canon cameras (Nikon and others), subscribe to Diglloyd’s Advanced Photography (DAP).

DAP is not just about lenses, it’s about cameras and technique and making better images, written to be approachable by beginner’s, but valuable to professionals. New material is constantly being added, so subscribe now!

Learn more about Zeiss ZE lenses for Canon

You can read an overview and mini reviews here. For in-depth coverage to the Zeiss ZE line, see Guide to Zeiss ZF/ZF.2/ZE Lenses.

The Guide has numerous examples at much higher resolution, along with actual-pixels crops for each and every lens, in most cases several pages of examples per lens. New material is regularly added added to the Guide, so subscribe now!


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