Welcome to our in-depth exploration of Canon APS-C lenses! If you’re a photography enthusiast, you probably know that the lens you choose can make a world of difference in the quality of your shots. In this blog post, we’re going to delve into the world of Canon APS-C lenses, understanding their significance, and why choosing the right one is paramount to your photography journey.
Canon’s APS-C lenses are designed to cater specifically to cameras with APS-C-sized sensors. These lenses are versatile and compatible with a wide range of Canon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, making them a popular choice among photographers of all levels.
APS-C lenses are known for their compact and lightweight design, which makes them great for on-the-go shooting. They offer a fantastic balance between portability and image quality. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these lenses provide a plethora of creative options.
The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with a comprehensive guide to Canon APS-C lenses. We want to help you understand the various options available, their features, and how to choose the perfect lens for your needs.
Understanding Canon APS-C Lenses
What Are APS-C Lenses?
If you’re a Canon camera owner, you’ve likely heard about APS-C lenses, but what exactly are they? APS-C stands for “Advanced Photo System type-C,” and it refers to the size of the camera’s image sensor. APS-C sensors are smaller than full-frame sensors but larger than micro four-thirds sensors. So, APS-C lenses are designed to match the size of these sensors, ensuring they provide optimal performance.
These lenses are specifically engineered to cover the APS-C sensor area, which results in several advantages. Firstly, they tend to be more compact and lightweight than their full-frame counterparts, making them ideal for photographers on the move. Secondly, they are often more affordable, which can be a significant benefit for enthusiasts and beginners. Lastly, APS-C lenses still deliver excellent image quality, making them a versatile choice for various photography styles.
Benefits of Using Canon APS-C Lenses
Now that we’ve established what APS-C lenses are let’s delve into the advantages they offer to photographers:
- Portability: APS-C lenses are known for their compact size and reduced weight compared to full-frame lenses. This makes them perfect for travel and outdoor photography, as they won’t weigh you down.
- Affordability: Budget-conscious photographers will appreciate that APS-C lenses are often more wallet-friendly than their full-frame counterparts. You can get high-quality glass without breaking the bank.
- Versatility: Canon APS-C lenses are incredibly versatile. They can handle a wide range of photography styles, from landscapes to portraits to macro. This adaptability is a significant asset for those exploring various genres.
- Crop Factor: APS-C lenses have a crop factor, which means that their effective focal length is multiplied by the crop factor when used on an APS-C camera. For example, a 50mm lens on an APS-C camera with a crop factor of 1.6x will have an effective focal length of 80mm. This can be beneficial for photographers who need more reach, such as wildlife and sports photographers.
- Image Quality: While APS-C sensors are smaller than full-frame sensors, they still produce impressive image quality. Canon APS-C lenses are designed to deliver sharp and vibrant images, making them suitable for both amateurs and professionals.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing an APS-C lens
When choosing an APS-C lens, it is important to consider the type of photography you want to do. If you are not sure what type of lens you need, it is a good idea to start with a standard zoom lens. Standard zoom lenses are versatile and can be used for a wide range of genres of photography.
Once you have a better understanding of the type of photography you want to do, you can start to add more specialized lenses to your collection. For example, if you are interested in wildlife photography, you may want to consider a telephoto lens. If you are interested in portrait photography, you may want to consider a prime lens with a wide aperture.
When selecting a Canon APS-C lens, there are several key features to keep in mind to ensure it meets your specific needs:
Ensure the lens is compatible with your Canon camera model. Different Canon cameras may have different mounts, for example, Canon EF-S lenses are compatible with Canon EF and RF cameras, but only with the use of an adapter. The Canon EF-EOS R adapter allows EF-S lenses to be used on RF-mount cameras, but it will reduce the field of view by 1.6x due to the crop factor of APS-C sensors.
On the other hand, Canon RF-S lenses are only compatible with Canon RF-mount cameras. They are not compatible with Canon EF cameras. so double-check compatibility before purchasing.
The following figures summarize the Canon lens compatibility with different Canon camera systems:
Determine what type of photography you’ll be primarily engaged in. A lens with a shorter focal length (e.g., 18-55mm) is excellent for general use, while longer focal lengths (e.g., 50mm or 85mm) are ideal for portraits.
The aperture (measured in f-stops) determines how much light the lens can capture and the depth of field. A lower f-number (e.g., f/1.8) is great for low light and achieving that beautiful background blur (bokeh).
Some Canon APS-C lenses come with image stabilization, which can be valuable for reducing blur in handheld shots, especially in low-light conditions.
Top Canon APS-C Lenses
A- Best APS-C Lenses for Canon EOS Cameras (DSLR)
The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens, manufactured by Canon, is specifically designed for EF-S-mount DSLRs and is equivalent to a 16-28.8mm lens. The lens employs a four-group zoom design, along with one ultra-low dispersion element, one aspherical element, and one large-diameter element, to maintain high optical quality while reducing the overall size.
This results in sharp, clear imagery that is free from chromatic and spherical aberrations. To further enhance image quality, a Super Spectra coating has been applied to suppress flare and ghosting, thereby increasing contrast and color neutrality.
The lens is suitable for both photo and video applications, as it features an STM stepping AF motor that enables quick and near-silent autofocus performance, along with full-time manual focus override. Additionally, a four-stop-effective Image Stabilizer system is also featured, which minimizes the appearance of camera shake, resulting in sharper handheld shooting.
The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens manufactured by Canon combines a focal length range equivalent to 27.2-88mm with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8. This design is enhanced by a sophisticated optical layout that incorporates Ultra-Low Dispersion glass and aspherical elements. These elements effectively reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations, resulting in improved clarity and sharpness throughout the entire zoom range.
Additionally, a Super Spectra coating is applied to individual elements to minimize flare and ghosting, thereby increasing contrast when shooting in bright environments.
In addition to its optical features, this 17-55mm lens is equipped with an advanced three-stop effective Image Stabilizer system, which effectively reduces the appearance of camera shake.
Furthermore, the lens is designed with a ring-type USM (Ultrasonic Motor) that enables quick, quiet, and accurate autofocus performance. It also allows for full-time manual focus override, providing users with greater control and flexibility in focusing.
The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is a zoom lens designed for Canon APS-C DSLRs, providing an equivalent focal length range of 88-400mm. This lens incorporates an Ultra-Low Dispersion element, which effectively reduces color fringing and chromatic aberrations, resulting in improved clarity and color accuracy throughout the entire zoom range.
To further enhance image quality, a Super Spectra coating is applied to minimize flare and ghosting, thereby increasing contrast when shooting in bright lighting conditions.
The lens is suitable for both photography and videography, as it utilizes an STM stepping AF motor for fast and nearly silent autofocus performance, with the ability to manually override focus at any time.
Additionally, the lens features a four-stop-effective Image Stabilizer system, effectively reducing the impact of camera shake and enabling sharper handheld shooting.
The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens has been specifically designed for APS-C-format Canon EF-mount DSLRs, providing a focal length range equivalent to 16-38.4mm. The lens boasts an advanced optical design, incorporating two low-dispersion elements and two aspherical elements to effectively suppress both chromatic and spherical aberrations, resulting in exceptional clarity, sharpness, and color accuracy.
Additionally, a BBAR coating has been applied to minimize surface reflections, flare, and ghosting, thereby enhancing contrast in strong lighting conditions.
Furthermore, the lens features a four-stop-effective Vibration Compensation (VC) system, which effectively reduces the appearance of camera shake when shooting handheld. The HLD autofocus motor is also noteworthy, providing smooth, quiet, and rapid focusing performance, making it suitable for both video and stills applications.
The lens is also characterized by a moisture-resistant physical construction, and it has a fluorine coating on the front element to protect against dust, dirt, and smudging.
The Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM lens, designed for Canon EF-mount, belongs to the Contemporary series and is known for its compact and lightweight design. Its wide aperture range of f/2.8-4, combined with the zoom range from wide-angle to short-telephoto, makes it an excellent choice for travel and everyday use.
The optical design incorporates low dispersion and aspherical elements to effectively control color fringing and distortion, resulting in high clarity and sharpness. Furthermore, a Super Multi-Layer Coating is applied to reduce flare and surface reflections, enhancing contrast in bright lighting conditions.
This lens also offers a maximum magnification of 1:2.8 and a minimum focusing distance of 8.7 inches, making it suitable for close-up photography.
In terms of functionality, the lens features a Hyper Sonic Motor for fast, quiet, and precise autofocus performance, with the added benefit of full-time manual focus override.
An Optical Stabilizer is also included to minimize the effects of camera shake, ensuring sharper images when shooting handheld.
Additionally, the 17-70mm f/2.8-4 lens boasts a rounded seven-blade diaphragm, resulting in smooth and pleasing bokeh quality. It is also compatible with the optional USB Dock, allowing for fine-tuning of focusing characteristics and firmware updates.
B- Best APS-C Lenses for Canon APS-C Mirrorless RF Mount Cameras
The Canon RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM Lens is highly suitable for sports and wildlife photography. It is specifically designed for APS-C-format EOS R-series mirrorless cameras, offering a focal length range equivalent to 88-336mm.
This telephoto zoom lens boasts a sleek design and is capable of capturing close-up subjects with a minimum focusing distance of 2.3′.
In addition to its optical capabilities and extended reach, the lens is equipped with an Optical Image Stabilizer that effectively compensates for up to 4.5 stops of camera shake. This feature greatly enhances handheld shooting, allowing for sharper images even with slower shutter speeds.
Furthermore, the lens incorporates an STM stepping motor, which ensures rapid, seamless, and virtually silent autofocus performance. This makes it suitable for both still photography and video recording applications.
The Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens offers a versatile zoom range in a compact form, catering to the needs of Canon’s APS-C-format R Series mirrorless line.
This lens provides a wide-angle to short telephoto equivalent zoom range of 29-72mm. Its retractable design makes it highly suitable for everyday carry, allowing convenient storage in a bag.
Canon has paid meticulous attention to the optical design of this lens, incorporating two aspherical elements and the Super Spectra Coating to effectively minimize aberrations, ghosting, and flare.
To ensure sharp and clear imagery, an Optical Image Stabilizer is included, offering up to 4 stops of shake correction or up to 6 stops of Coordinated IS when used with a compatible camera body.
Furthermore, the lead screw-type STM AF system enables fast and accurate continuous focus, while maintaining smooth and silent operation for video recording purposes.
Satisfy all your photographic requirements with the Canon RF-S 18-150mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM Lens, a lightweight optic that offers versatility and convenience. Specifically designed to cater to Canon’s APS-C R Series mirrorless cameras, this lens provides an extensive zoom range of 29-240mm, encompassing wide-angle to telephoto perspectives.
The incorporation of UD elements and two aspherical elements ensures the production of high-quality imagery, free from aberrations. Furthermore, the Super Spectra Coating effectively minimizes ghosting and flaring.
This lens offers users the flexibility to choose between manual focus or a programmable setting, thanks to the inclusion of a customizable Control Ring.
The autofocus functionality operates smoothly and quietly, making it ideal for both still photography and videography, courtesy of the lead screw-type STM stepping AF motor. Additionally, the lens is equipped with an Optical Image Stabilizer, compensating for camera shake up to 4.5 stops. When paired with a compatible camera, the Coordinated IS feature extends the stabilization capability to an impressive 6.5 stops.
The Venus Optics Laowa 10mm f/4 Cookie Lens is a pancake wide-angle prime lens designed for use with APS-C-size image sensors, specifically for Canon RF-mount mirrorless cameras.
This lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 16mm and a broad 109.3° angle of view, making it an ideal choice for capturing architectural and landscape images, as well as everyday photography.
Moreover, the lens’s 4″ minimum focusing distance allows for wide-angle macro shots, while its five-blade aperture creates 10-point sun stars when shooting toward a bright light source.
With its ultra-wide perspective and compact size, this lens facilitates the capture of epic moments in everyday life and the exploration of the beauty of one’s surroundings.
Drawing inspiration from the legendary figure of Argus, a mythical giant renowned for his all-seeing vision, the Laowa 33mm f/0.95 CF APO Lens for Canon RF-mount camera bodies, crafted by Venus Optics, stands as an extraordinary standard-length lens with an impressive f/0.95 aperture, specifically designed for APS-C-format cameras.
This remarkable lens excels in low light photography, astrophotography, shallow depth of field portraits, and narrative videography, owing to its exceptionally fast aperture.
The lens’s apochromatic design incorporates a combination of advanced optical elements, including one extra-low dispersion element, one aspherical element, and three ultra-high refraction elements. This intricate arrangement ensures the production of sharp, clear images with minimal chromatic aberration, maintaining consistency across the entire frame.
In the realm of videography, this lens proves to be a dynamic tool, featuring a manual focus mechanism with an extended focus throw and minimal focus breathing, enabling precise control over focus adjustments.
Additionally, its step-less aperture ring facilitates seamless exposure transitions, enhancing the overall visual quality of video recordings.
Canon APS-C lenses are great for both new and experienced photographers. They are made to fit APS-C sensors and are affordable, versatile, and produce high-quality images.
These lenses are perfect for capturing landscapes, portraits, and macro photography. They come in different focal lengths and have various features to suit your style and needs.
When choosing a lens, consider factors like focal length, aperture, and compatibility with your camera model. Each lens has its own unique charm, and the choice depends on your creative vision.
Try out different Canon APS-C lenses and see your photography skills improve. With these lenses, you can capture beautiful moments and create lasting memories.
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The featured Photo by Alexandru G. Stavrica
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