10 Best Lenses for Canon Rebel T3i (600D) (Updated for 2021)

Michael Sand
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Canon officially replaced the T2i (550D) in January 2010 with the T3i (600D). The T3i edition has 2 important changes:

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM LensBest OverallCanon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM LensBudget PickCanon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR LensUpgrade PickCanon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens

1. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens

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Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Excellent performance
  • Fast autofocus and quiet shooting performance
  • High quality lens that is perfect for those shooting in the streets
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Accepts filters
  • Low cost
  • Image-stabilized
  • Distortion-free
  • 7-blade circular aperture

This lens is the go-to for street photography with the Canon Rebel T3i, and is mainly valued because of its great balance between the cost of the lens and the performance.

It is also excellent in close quarters and when moving around. Its fast autofocus and quiet shooting performance allow you to work all day without any problem.

The image quality it produces, especially with a wide open aperture of f/2.8, is simply breathtaking. Since it can also focus very close at 9.5 inches, it is great for shooting in the streets where you get to meet with interesting people.

2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

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Pros:

  • A great way to learn the basics of DSLR photography
  • Relatively small and lightweight
  • Great low-light capabilities
  • It doesn’t require a high cost camera body to operate
  • Relatively inexpensive next to most other lenses

Cons:

  • Shorter than most
  • The focus is not controlled manually
  • Limited zoom capabilities
  • The 50mm focal length requires less light to expose an image to the sensor.
  • Without some practice, it can be a little difficult to master this lens

Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 STM is small, lightweight, and versatile. It’s designed for cameras with an APS-C-sized sensor and isn’t compatible with full frame cameras. It works well with both digital and analog SLR cameras.

It’s a great lens for indoor and nighttime photography, because it allows the photographer to use slower shutter speeds than what would be possible when using a larger aperture lens. The lens itself is small, so it can fit in a coat pocket for shooting on the go.

3. Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II SLR Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II SLR Lens

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Takes good photos
  • Good autofocus
  • Great for short focal length, giving you the ability to get in close to subjects
  • Lightweight
  • Easy operation

Cons:

  • No image stabilization
  • Short focal length
  • Must be paired with an APS-C lens to realize the full potential of Canon T3i

While this lens may lack image stabilization, it is an amazing value for the cost. The 18-55mm focal pairing is ideal for the APS-C sensor of your Canon Rebel T3i, giving you a wide enough angle for dioramas, portraits, and other subjects.

The autofocus is reliable, quick, and reliable, easily lock onto a subject, and tracking shots are equally as good. The lens is extremely lightweight and works with the camera’s autofocus mechanism, making it a great in-camera pairing. With its short focal length and high optical quality, the lens can be paired with a Canon teleconverter, allowing for an effective focal length of 29-88mm, which is great for wide-angle shots.

4. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

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Pros:

  • Includes Image Stabilization that can come in handy in low-light situations
  • Super lightweight at just 4.2 oz
  • Oddly enough, still cheaper than many lenses that have similar focal ranges
  • Wide ranges of sharpness
  • Comes with an attractive price-point

Cons:

  • May not give you the sharpness that you’re used to on your existing lenses
  • Equivalent focal range of 15-27mm makes it less useful for distant subjects than longer focal range options

Our top choice is the Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM. This lens includes an Image Stabilizer (IS) that you won’t need to lug around a tripod with your DSLR. However, the biggest reason why this lens is our top pick is the fact that most lenses with such a wide range lack any noticeable sharpness when compared to other options.

This lens actually outperforms expectations on nearly all fronts while still maintaining the much-coveted wide angle focal range.

5. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization USM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization USM Lens

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Pros:

  • Low price
  • Image Stabilization
  • Zoom range is very versatile.

The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens is a wide-aperture telephoto zoom lens specifically designed to properly deliver high quality photos and videos for APS-C-sized sensor EOS SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras.

This lens' 18-135mm focal length range (35mm equivalent: 27-216mm) is may be a little exaggerated, but it's actually very useable. The lens' 58mm filter size makes it compatible with many of the most popular lens accessories on the market.

This is Canon's first Image Stabilization lens, which is another notable feature of the lens and makes it quite useful. Overall, it is a very nice lens.

6. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens

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Pros:

  • Super lightweight
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Excellent autofocus system
  • Highly affordable
  • Fast f1.8-2.8 lens

Cons:

  • Caution required with autofocus when using close-up
  • Exterior plastic of mount has a slight tendency to pit/chip

If you are looking for an 85 mm lens that is fast and affordable, Canon’s EF 85mm f1.8 USM is your best bet. It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around.

The lens features a wide aperture of f1.8-2.8 and close-focusing distance of 45 inches, which makes it convenient for shooting both in clinical and low-light situations. However, it is the quality of the lenses that really make this lens a heavyweight. Thanks to its Outstanding image quality it offers uniform sharpness and clarity throughout the image field. This makes it great for close-ups, portraits and street photography, which is your go-to lens for a Rebel T3i.

7. Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens

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Pros:

  • Exceptional wide-angle coverage of 127„
  • Great for travel, family use, and outdoor use
  • Sharp optics even at 10mm

This Full-Frame lens from Canon is built to give wide-angle photos without any problems during those extreme landscape shots.

One of the most notable features of this lens on the 10mm end is the huge 127-degree field of view! This feature makes it a great choice when you want to use your camera in creative ways. This combines with the great ultra-high resolution of this lens to create a great optical option for professionals and enthusiasts.

This lens comes with a price tag that is on the higher side, but no surprise considering it is a professional lens. Another interesting feature of this lens is that the f/1.8 is actually faster than the f/2.8, making it a great choice. As you can see in our chart, it found its ways on top because it does beat out the competition in several departments of usage…

8. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

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Pros:

  • Airy, creamy background blur
  • Very affordable i.e. THE best value
  • Smooth and fast autofocus
  • Ideal focal length for tight headshots, portraits, small products, tight crops, and full body-length action shots
  • Matches 50mm f/1.4 EF-S for full frame cameras
  • No need for a step-up ring with EF-S cameras
  • Great for macro shooting

Cons:

  • Focus is NOT super quiet
  • Focus is NOT super fast
  • Does not provide true 1:1 macro performance

In summary, the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM is the BEST value standard lens on the market. This solid metal lens delivers refined 45mm (full-frame) performance at an amazing price.

Featuring wide open f/1.4 viewing and superb low light performance, you can shoot in nearly any light with ease. It features the acclaimed floating element design of Canon L-series lenses, which maintains high image quality over the entire focusing range. It also has an extremely low dispersion element to virtually eliminate chromatic aberration, producing images with superior sharpness and clarity.

It has a 9-blade aperture for beautiful out-of-focus highlights, plus it is capable of shooting both still pictures and movies.

9. Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro Lens

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Pros:

  • Great zoom for the price
  • Tamron quality
  • Macro feature
  • Auto focus

The Tamron 16-300mm is an excellent super-zoom lens for your Canon 600D. The lens itself is very compact and portable. It is more of a carry around size, than a super telephoto lens.

Since the lens allows you to zoom in to 300mm, it really allows for the sort of flexibility that makes it suitable for a wide variety of subjects. The wide-angle start is also handy, and gives you great flexibility for indoor use, or where space is limited.

The lens also features Vibration Control, which is a really handy feature for a telephoto lens, particularly when taking close-up shots.

10. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Telephoto Zoom Lens International Version

Our rating: 6 / 10

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Telephoto Zoom Lens International Version

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Pros:

  • Remarkable image quality for the price
  • USM technology: Smooth and fast AF

Cons:

  • Minor chromatic aberration (red-blue fringing)
  • Vignetting: Performs much worse when stopped down

Reading the reviews, I’ve seen many users have much to say about Canon’s EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM. Despite its generally-affordable price, this lens performs exceptionally well in most aspects.

First and foremost, users appreciate its smooth and silent autofocus (USM) motor, and have given it positive feedback for its speed of focus and accuracy, which bodes well for photographing objects in motion – perfect for amateur and sports photographers.

In addition, this lens sports a Constant-sonic Motor (hence, the first IS in the name), which means it is also suitable for videography and recording of sound.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best lens for a Canon Rebel t3i?

There are a lot of lenses for beginners out there these days and a lot to think about before you make your purchase.

As a budding photographer starting out with another person's camera, you may not be able to afford to purchase a lens when you need one. The best alternative would be to rent a lens from a local camera store. This is an option that allows you to try different lenses to help you decide which one is best for you.

What is the best zoom lens for Canon Rebel?

Although the lens above does feature image stabilization (IS), it is important to note that this Canon lens is not compatible with the new Canon T6s / T6i / T7i. If you are looking for the same lens from Canon with IS technology, then check out the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS STM Lens which can be found on Amazon here.

If you want a better (and newer) zoom lens for your Canon Rebel T3i/ T4i/ T5i camera, then I would recommend the Tamron SP 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC Lens. Canon makes some really excellent lenses, but for zoom lenses they are a lot more expensive than the third party lenses. Having a great zoom lens to cover a multiple of focal lengths is really nice for a travel lens and I have found this one to be really great.

Is the Canon t3i the same as 600d?

The Canon Rebel t3i is the predecessor to the Canon 600d. The newer Rebel t6i takes a very similar form factor to the t3i and is also a great buy, but it’s more expensive. The current 600d is also a great deal and the only difference is that it has 7 megapixels instead of the 18 in the earlier two models. At the time of writing, the 600d is sold under a few different names depending on which camera store you visit. In our research, the Canon Rebel t6i ranked the highest of the Canon DSLR models available at the time of this writing.

What is the best all around Canon lens?

For those who want to take the greatest photos possible, the answer is a prime lens. The term “prime” refers to the lens being a fixed focal length, meaning it doesn’t zoom. The advantage of prime lenses is that they allow you to have a much larger aperture, meaning you can let in more light.

This benefit is great for photographing in low light and taking photos of fast-moving subjects. Not many lenses combine the desirable characteristics of compact size, high aperture, and low cost like the 50mm f/1.8. It packs the sharpness and low-light performance of a lens three times the price.

Conclusion

Choosing the right lens for your brand new Canon T3i (600D) is difficult since there are many to choose from, and it’s important to get it right the first time.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the features of Canon’s most widely-used lenses and show you how we picked our favorites.

We hope it helps you select the right lens for your situation and budget.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM LensBest OverallCanon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM LensBudget PickCanon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR LensUpgrade PickCanon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens