Let’s face it - photography is expensive. So why not save a few bucks without sacrificing quality? Though price is often indicative of a lens’s quality, there are exceptions to the rule. In fact, there are a host of lenses for Canon cameras that offer tons of features and excellent performance with a relatively low price. Heck, if you buy used Canon lenses, you can stretch your budget even further! Let’s examine three of the best budget Canon lenses you can get your hands on in 2019 that will serve as an upgrade to your trusty old 18-55mm kit lens.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
This trusty Nifty Fifty is an excellent purchase for Canon shooters because it offers top-notch performance without breaking the bank. Brand-new, these lenses are just $125.00, and used ones can be found for significantly less. Sure, you don’t get the same high-brow optics and features as you do with one of Canon’s L-series lenses, but that’s not to say that this lens can’t hold it’s own. Not only is it supremely versatile - use it for landscapes, portraits, and even video if you wish - but it’s also small, lightweight, surprisingly sharp, and has a big f/1.8 aperture. And since it’s an EF lens, it will work on both crop sensor and full frame cameras. That means if you upgrade to a full frame in the future, you won’t have to buy a new Nifty Fifty. Nice!
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
If landscape photography is your passion, then having a wider lens than a 50mm is a must. The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is a great choice. With an effective focal length of 38mm on a crop sensor camera, this lens operates more like a standard lens than a wide-angle. Yet, that 38mm effective focal length is still great for capturing sweeping views of landscapes in a single frame.
Since this lens has a 7-blade circular aperture, it creates great background blur - perfect for intimate landscape photos in which you highlight a foreground detail. In fact, this lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 0.5 feet, so you can get gorgeous close-ups of plants, rocks, and other landscape features. It also helps that this lens is super slim and lightweight - all the less bulk to carry around as you explore landscapes!
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 STM IS
Having a zoom lens in your kit with a wide focal range is a definite bonus. But many such zooms can be prohibitively expensive. Not the case with the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6!
Specially designed for use with a crop sensor camera, this lens has an effective focal length of 88-400mm. That’s plenty of reach for things like sports photography or wildlife photography, in which you can’t necessarily get up close to the subject. Now, this lens isn’t going to win any awards for being fast or sharp, but it does offer incredible reach, built-in image stabilization, and good color rendition. Sharpness is actually quite good in the middle of the frame, too (not so much in the corners). But, as a budget-friendly lens for a Canon camera, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more reasonable zoom with this much reach.