Under $600: These Canon EF Mount Lenses Are Stellar

These EF Mount Canon lenses may be cheap, but don’t let the prices fool you.

One of the great things about the Canon platform is here are dozens of EF Mount lenses that are incredibly affordable; they’re solid performers too. If you have recently joined team Canon, or have been using their cameras for a while and need to expand your lens collection, but need to do it on the cheap, these EF Mount Canon lenses might be what you’re looking for. Join us after the break to see nine of our favorite lenses for Canon cameras that cost under $600. You’re probably thinking that lenses under $600 can’t be all that special, but you’d be wrong to think that. There are some top performers in this price range that will really amaze you. Sure, they may not feature weather sealing, or have the nicest feeling materials, but when it comes to image quality, you’ll be blown away. Let’s take a look at these ‘bang for your buck’ EF mount Canon lenses that will help you produce some quality images.

 

IRIX 11mm F4 Blackstone (Canon EF Mount)

 

canon lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Weather sealing
  • Sharp image quality
  • Depth of field scale
  • Click at the Infinity setting
  • Metal build

Cons

  • Using the blacklight on the lettering is cool, but glow in the dark would be much better

Buy now ($595): Amazon

 

Canon 28mm F2.8 IS (Canon EF)

 

canon lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • IS at a wide focal length can make shooting much easier
  • Very compact lens
  • Sharp

Cons

  • A slower aperture than we’d really like

Buy now ($469): Amazon

 

Pro Tip: As mentioned in the opening statement, these lenses are fantastic, but not all of them are weather sealed. If you plan on shooting in inclement weather with some of these lenses, you may need to take extra precautions. Fortunately, you can get your hands on very affordable weather proof lens and camera covers. Simply slip the cover over your gear, and you will be able to take on mother nature while you are out and about. It’s always smart to keep some of these in your camera bag.

 

Canon 35mm F2 IS (Canon EF)

 

canon lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent build quality; it feels better than the L version
  • The addition of IS is a nice touch
  • Fast aperture
  • Fairly compact size
  • Excellent image quality
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Perhaps the absolute best lens for every wedding photographer on a budget

Cons

  • A tad more pricey than we’d like it to be

Buy now ($549): Amazon

 

Canon EF 40mm F2.8 STM (Canon EF Mount)

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Tiny physical size
  • Accurate AF
  • MFD under 12″
  • Very, very good image quality
  • Better AF during live-view (on STM friendly cameras like the T4i)
  • Highly Flare Resistant
  • Inexpensive!

Cons

  • Electronic AF motor means camera has to be powered on to retract lens
  • Slight lag when manually focusing
  • Not quite as fast as Canon’s USM lenses
  • Manual focusing ring is tiny (though this is unavoidable given the size of the lens)

Buy now ($179): Amazon

 

Canon 50mm F1.8 STM (Canon EF)

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Very sharp image quality when only slightly stopped down
  • Better image quality when shot wide open than previous versions
  • Nice bokeh
  • Small size
  • Silent focusing and manual focusing is much more simple
  • Better build quality

Cons

  • For those of you who care about this a lot, purple fringing is still a problem

Buy now ($125): Amazon

 

Universal Lens Caps

Pro Tip: One accessory that always comes with a new lens is of course the humble lens cap. They sure are easy to lose though. Fortunately, you can get some pretty great universal lens caps that are super affordable. These universal lens caps will not only stop your lenses from becoming scratched, they’ll also completely protect them from the elements when the lens is not in use. You can also color code them so you know exactly what lens is being protected. If you lose your lens caps frequently, you should check these out.

 

Canon 85mm F1.8 Lens (EF Mount)

 

canon lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • One of Canon’s fastest focusing lenses
  • Great overall sharpness
  • Really pleasing bokeh
  • Nice color rendition

Cons

  • Relatively small MF/AF switch
  • Small amounts of purple fringing

Buy now ($349): Amazon

 

Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD (Canon EF)

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Fast autofocus
  • Nice bokeh
  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • I’m not sure I quite understand the need for a variable aperture, wide angle zoom when in reality the depth of field changes will give you the same amount of bokeh

Buy now ($599): Amazon

 

Tamron 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD (Canon EF)

 

canon lenses

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Nice build
  • Small
  • Image stabilization that is very good
  • Good colors
  • Pretty good image quality, but we’ve seen better from Tamron

Cons

  • Autofocus can be wonky

Buy now ($599): Amazon