Popular DSLR Camera Lenses 2016-12-29T23:25:22+00:00

Popular Canon Lenses

What makes a lens more expensive

Looking at the chart below, you’ll notice a wide range of prices when it comes to camera lenses. Some cost just a couple hundred dollars, while others are a couple thousand. There are two main qualities that determine the price of a lens.

EF versus EF-S

The DSLR camera body you chose is either designated as full-frame or an APS-C (also known as crop sensor). This difference determines what types of lenses can be paired with your camera. An EF lens is designed to work with both full frame and APS-C Canon DSLRs. On the other hand, an EF-S lens can only function with an APS-C camera. Generally, full-frame cameras are more expensive, as are EF lenses.

Constant versus Variable Aperture Lens

Every lens name consists of the focal range it covers, as well as an aperture or f-stop value, denoted as f/#. If a lens’ f-stop is a range of numbers (for example, 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6), the lens has a variable aperture. This means that the aperture will change depending on the zoomed focal length. If the f-stop on the lens is a single number (for example, 70-200mm f/2.8), it has a constant aperture that stays the same even as you zoom in and out. For beginners, a variable aperture lens is fine. However, upgrading to a constant aperture lens will help you shoot better in low light situations. Also, constant aperture lenses are usually built sturdier and cost more than their variable aperture counterparts.


A lens’ aperture will also determine its price. The higher the aperture, the more expensive the lens. Keep in mind that a high aperture actually means a smaller f-stop number. So a 50mm f/1.2 lens has a higher aperture and price point than a 50mm f/2.0 lens.

Image Stabilization (IS)

Also known as Vibration Reduction (VR) in Nikon terms, Image Stabilization (IS) is a feature added to select lenses to help replace a tripod to take sharp photos. With an IS lens, you can shoot hand-held in low light situations and still pull off a focused shot. Thus, IS will add to the price of a lens, compared to a non-IS lens.

“L” Lens Designation

Canon awards the “L” title to a select line of professional lenses. Although not officially confirmed, many sources say that the “L” stands for “Luxury.” Indeed, a Canon L lens will be superbly built as it is the cream of the crop. Most Canon L lenses focus fast and are weather resistant. They are also priced higher than a non-L lens.

First or Second Generation

If there is an extra number attached to a lens, such as the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II, this means it is the newest version of a lens. Being newer, the second generation is always more expensive than the original, although it may have better features.

LensMSRPApertureLens TypeZoom or Prime
Canon 24-105mm f/f IS II$1099.00FixedMid-RangeZoom
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS$550.00FixedWide-AnglePrime
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro $599.99FixedMediumPrime - Macro
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro$1399.00FixedMediumPrime - Macro
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III$2199.00FixedWide-AngleZoom
Canon 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye$1249.00FixedFisheyeZoom
Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5$599.99VariableUltra Wide-AngleZoom
Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS$999.00FixedUltra Wide-AngleZoom
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II$549.99VariableTelephoto Zoom
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS$299.99VariableTelephoto Zoom
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II$1899.00FixedTelephotoZoom
Canon EF-100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS$1699.00VariableTelephotoZoom

Popular Nikon Lenses

  1. Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G
  2. Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6
  3. Nikon AF FX 50mm f/1.8G
  4. Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
  5. Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6
  6. Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
  7. Nikon AF FX 85mm f/1.8G
  8. Nikon AF-S DX 18-140mm
  9. Nikon AF-S FX 28-300mm
  10. Nikon AF-S 105mm Macro

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