Like Wallet-Friendly Glass? See Our Updated List of Affordable Lenses

Affordable lenses have come a long way in terms of optics and build quality, and now, more than ever, cheap and affordable doesn’t mean bad.

There was a time when buying affordable lenses meant that you gave something up. You either purchased an affordable lens that had excellent optics and questionable build quality, or you got a cheap lens that was built like a tank but suffered in the optics department. All of that has now changed, though. These days you can get lenses that cost well under $1,000, and quite a few under $500 that absolutely redefine that affordable lenses mean. We’ve just updated our affordable lens list to include new offerings from both first and third-party manufacturers so that you can see all of the great deals out there in one easy to find location. For more details about the update, head on past the break.

We originally put this list together way back in 2010, and we have been updating the list pretty regularly. Over the last two years, though, the amount of affordable lenses on the market has skyrocketed, and this is no bad thing. While companies like Sigma and Tamron have been focusing on some more premium lenses, they have also pushed out some new affordable lenses that are well built and that feature excellent optics at very nice price points. Still, they aren’t the only ones who have been breaking the affordable lens mold.

affordable lenses
The IRIX 150mm f2.8 dragonfly macro lens is an absolute bargain!

As you go through the affordable lenses list, you will see new, affordable lenses from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Olympus. You will also see fully fleshed out sections that include offerings from manufacturers like Lensbaby, Rokinon/Samyang, and IRIX too. Times have certainly changed in the lens marketplace, and thanks to new competition, prices are just becoming even more competitive.

If you’re in the market for some new glass and you do not want to break the bank but still want glass that can do an outstanding job, you really need to check out our updated list of affordable lenses. Remember, long gone are the days that cheap and affordable means bad, so pull up a chair, check out all of the great glass that’s not available for your chosen platform and build up your lens library on the cheap.