Please note, these are great kit upgrades, not necessarily the best lenses available.
Canon 50mm F/1.8 STM
Canon’s updated nifty 50mm, the 50mm f/1.8, is a no-brainer upgrade for Canon shooters looking to go beyond their 18-55mm kit lens. The lens is fast to focus, quiet, and offers low-light and bokeh abilities that the kit lens can’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Oh, and it is also incredibly affordable at only $125 or so.
Canon 35mm F/2 IS
Canon’s 35mm F/2 IS is a great lens, and while you do pay a little premium for having image stabilization built into it, this is one of Canon’s best brand name upgrades over the 18-55mm kit lens. Its fast to focus, looks slick, and offers a solid image quality. You can’t go wrong with this choice.
Canon 16-35mm F/2.8L III
If you are looking for a solid lens that gets you a little wider than your kit lens, while offering superior image quality and a constant aperture, than the Canon 16-35mm F/2.8L III is a great option for you. It is expensive (there is a cheaper F/4 version for those more concerned about the price than the aperture.) and heavy, but this is a killer choice if you have the money.
Canon 24-70mm F/4
A great option, if you are not in need of an F/2.8 aperture throughout the range, is a 24-70mm F/4. Canon’s is a perfect option for upgrading your kit beyond the kit lens. You can always opt for the larger, heavier, and more expensive F/2.8 version if you like, but for most people we feel like the F/4 is more than enough lens.
Tamron 35mm F/1.8
If you don’t mind going to a third party brand, we really love what Tamron has done with their 35mm F/1.8. Just like the Canon we mentioned above, it offers image stabilization, but it also features an incredibly close focusing distance, making it almost a macro lens in terms of being close to your subject. It also offers a slightly wider aperture than the Canon F/2 lens.