What are the best Value Canon lenses?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 11,880
These. And why.

I am interpreting "best value" as meaning "best bang for the buck". That is, a broad low cost/high-performance ratio. With that criterion in mind, I am singling out several EF-S lenses for their extraordinary performance/cost ratio.

The Canon 55-250 EFS IS STM costs less than $300 new and about half that for grey/international/refurbs. This thing is terrific. It is remarkably small for such a long telephoto; the 18-135 STM exceeds it in both diameter and weight. It is equipped with both stabilization and Canon's fast and quiet stepping-motor (STM) design. Because of its small size and weight, it focuses blazing fast. I don't do a lot of sports, but I gave up using a 1DIV with a 100-400 L instead for a 7DII and 55-250/STM. It also pairs beautifully with the 70D. Optical quality is superb; I could nit-pick, but when a lens at this price (I bought mine on a Black Friday direct from Canon as a refurb for just $109) gives you this crazy level of performance, consider me pleased and amazed.

The Canon 10-18 EFS IS STM is another lens worthy of similar praise. Again, it's incredible what comes out of something so small, lightweight, and cheap.

The Canon 18-135 EFS IS STM sits in the same class of lenses, but its higher cost dissuades me from including it in the "best value" category here. That said, the focal range is enormous -- roughly 28-215 full-frame equivalent -- so the value could be there for someone wanting such a broad range in a single package.

The 18-55 "kit lens" is also surprisingly good insofar as optical performance and speed (especially with DPAF cameras), but I'll exclude it here because 1) it is the "kit" lens included with most of the APS-C cameras, and 2) it is thoroughly unspectacular in virtually every other way (limited focal range, small max apertures, etc). It does get kudos, however, for being the very cheapest of all of the EFS zooms.

 Michael Thomas Mitchell's gear list:Michael Thomas Mitchell's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark II Canon EOS 70D Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM
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