7 Best Travel Lenses for Canon Cameras (Updated for 2021)

Michael Sand
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You should probably be using a lens hood on every lens you own — unless you’re taking photos where there is plenty of light and you are not using a telephoto lens. Hoods are especially important on telephoto lenses because the light coming from behind the lens (that is, the sun) can easily be reflected forward at a 90° angle by the front glass of the lens.

These rays of light can illuminate your front lens element, causing an unsightly haze on your photos.

There are six different Canon camera bodies that can accommodate 62mm filter threads, three of which are full-frame bodies.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a wide-angle lens on Canon EOS.

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM LensBest OverallCanon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom LensBudget PickCanon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
Tokina ATXAF247FXC 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro FX LensUpgrade PickTokina ATXAF247FXC 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

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This lens is one of the best deals in photography. Extremely versatile, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens is perfect for portraits, studio photography, low light photography, real estate photography, food photography, and street photography.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens has a 50mm focal length; because of the crop factor of the sensor this focal length is the same as an 80mm focal length – ideal for portraits. If you have a Canon APS-C (crop sensor camera) you can shoot portraits with this lens.

Featuring Canon’s remarkable Auto Focus (STM) technology the lens does not get your camera’s focus motor all riled up, and it will focus silently and accurately, a perfect lens for public events – weddings, birthdays, parties, or any other event that requires discretion.

2. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent Image Quality
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Rotating front element
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Not for Low Light Conditions If you are photographing birds, nature, sports, and wildlife, the importance of getting the right lens cannot over emphasized.

My hands-down favorite is the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens. This lens gives you astounding results in one of the best possible price ranges.

The fantastic mid-range telephoto zoom is great for capturing wildlife, sports, and nature. As it’s an EF-S lens, it’s great for APS-C bodies, but still compatible with full frame such as a 5D or 1D bodies.

The lens offers great performance at the price. It’s sharp and lightweight. It’s brilliant at getting you close-ups with nice bokeh effects.

3. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

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Pros:

  • Stunning, high-quality images – great for portraits and landscapes
  • Great range of focal length
  • Image stabilization
  • Lightweight

The 24-105mm f/4 L IS has been a cornerstone Lens for Canon since its release in 2004. In a nutshell, it’s an excellent all-around Lens that gives you an extensive range of focal length, from wide angle to standard telephoto. The go-to Portrait Lens that’s perfect for everything from landscapes to group portraits.

For me this is the ultimate all purpose lens. As you may expect, the longer you zoom in to a subject, the more you will notice the background blur or bokeh. This Lens has a maximum aperture of f/4, which means it is excellent for slower shutter speeds. This is perfect for indoor shots where light isn’t abundant, or shots of moving subjects in lower light.

This Lens was given an overall rating of 4.5/5 stars with over 2,100 reviews on Amazon. The only complaints received were about a lack of Image Stabilization and a bit of pincushion distortion at 24mm.

4. Canon 2562A002 EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon 2562A002 EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Standard Zoom
  • IS Image Stabilizer
  • Near-silent auto focusing motor
  • Light weight
  • Same functionality and focal length as discontinued EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS

The Canon 2562A002 – EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras is a normal zoom lens and is the standard kit lens that came bundled with the Digital Rebel XSi and 20D SLRs.

This lens features USM (Ultrasonic Motor) in autofocus and FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing and features an image stabilization function for shake-free imagery.

EF Lenses all have a 52mm filter thread and are compatible only with Canon EOS DSLR cameras with APS-C image sensors.

5. Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Zoom Lens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Zoom Lens

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Pros:

  • Good reputation amongst its users
  • Comes with an image stabilizer – making it a great lens for DSLR videographers
  • Rated as one of the best travel lenses for Canon users
  • Decent price

(Canon EF)

6. Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens

Our rating: 6 / 10

Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 AF II DG HSM Lens

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Featuring a hyper-wide of 12-24 mm, this Sigma lens is a must-have for any landscape, architecture, and interior photographer. The lens performs great both indoors and outdoors.

This lens is ideal for photographers who want to start shooting landscapes. The images are full of sharp detail and vibrant colors.

If you want to freeze fast-moving action, the lens is then equally fantastic. It performs equally well in low light conditions of dawn and dusk when the light is soft and beautiful. The images come out beautifully clear.

7. Tokina ATXAF247FXC 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens

Our rating: 5 / 10

Tokina ATXAF247FXC 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens

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Pros:

  • Lenses have been tested and designed to meet the requirements for professional use
  • Features a special coating on the front and rear layers, while the fourth layer has been optimized allowing the transmission of light to reduce flare
  • Reduces dioptric aberrations
  • Vibration Compensation is also available in this lens
  • Sculpted specifically for use with APS-C sized cameras while larger cameras can be used with a crop factor
  • Allows for incredible image quality with Nano-Crystal coating

Cons:

  • The lens is rather expensive
  • There have been reports of some quality control issues
  • Lens does not have water/dust resistance

If you are looking for a new set of lenses for your camera this one deserves to be on the top of your list. This lenses has been relabeled and replaces the Tokina AT-X AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 SD-IF Lens.

This lens is designed for use on APS-C sized cameras and can even be used on larger cameras through the use of a crop factor. It is primarily used for everyday use or for the photo enthusiast.

This lens has been designed specifically for use with APS-C sized cameras and can even be used on larger cameras through the use of a crop factor. It is primarily used for everyday use or for the photo enthusiast.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best Canon lens for travel photography?

When looking for your first step into the world of travel photography, you'll likely want to start with a great wide-angle lens. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens is the best Canon wide-angle lens for most travelers and new buyers. It has a constant aperture of f/4.5–5.6, which is reasonably fast for a wide-angle zoom lens.

The lens is packed with excellent technology that will make everything from landscapes to portraits to low-light shots easier to take. The Vibration Compensation, Image Stabilization, and Ultrasonic Motor will help to bring your images into focus during handheld shooting. The instant manual focus override button will allow you to quickly switch from autofocus to manual focus to override any inconsistencies.

What is the best all around lens for Canon?

For many Canon shooters, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is the ideal choice. With a stabilized zoom lens, you can get wide-angle to telephoto range for both photo and video without any significant image stabilization issues. Then again, your choice of lens and camera depends largely on your shooting requirements. If you photograph kids, pets, or sports, you need a more flexible zoom than one that is relatively limited up front. If you don’t mind manual focus, your options are even broader. This best lens for Canon EF-S camera list comprises the most popular choices from pro photographers as well as the most popular consumer choices.

Which camera brand has the best lenses?

There are many excellent brands for camera lenses, but at the end of the day, most manufacturers offer comparable performance. However, each manufacturer does tend to excel with some specific lens models. When selecting the camera that is best for your needs, it’s important to examine the specific lens options included with the camera body. We’ve included some camera brands below that have great lens options.

Canon – Canon produces high quality lenses for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. While most entry-level DSLRs come with the kit lens, the manufacturer has some excellent high-end options as well. Like other manufacturers, Canon uses its own proprietary image stabilization system, providing excellent optics at a great price.

What is the most versatile lens for Canon?

As I’ve taken more and more travel photography tours, I’ve found that lenses perform much differently depending on the environment you’re shooting in. Many photographers come up with all kinds of elaborate plans for a specific set of photography conditions, but what if the circumstances change?

For example, you might plan to shoot a wedding on a sunny day with your Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens, but then you end up taking pictures indoors with only ambient light from a skylight. What do you do then?

The point being, you need to have the gear to cover all the bases. This is why for me, it always comes down to the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM because of its versatility. It’s fast and is adaptable to nearly any situation that I can encounter while traveling.

Conclusion

With so many choices out there, choosing the best travel lens for you can be a little confusing. So to make things easy, this article lists the top 7 travel lenses for Canon cameras. If these are the exact lenses you want to buy, we recommend Amazon since their prices are seldom beaten.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM LensBest OverallCanon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom LensBudget PickCanon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
Tokina ATXAF247FXC 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro FX LensUpgrade PickTokina ATXAF247FXC 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens