Choosing DSLR Canon Lenses
Canon DSLR cameras have interchangeable lens mounts suitable for EOS Canon lenses. This system uses a bayonet coupling to fasten the lens to a camera, and electronic contacts for transmitting information to control lens aperture and focus.
How Sensor Size Affects Canon Lenses
Canon’s DSLRs have two sensor sizes: full frame and APS-C. Earlier Canon 1D DSLRs used an APS-H sensor, many of which are still in use.
A full-frame camera has a sensor that’s equivalent to the 35mm film used in film SLRs. An APS-C camera’s sensor is smaller, and has a crop factor of 1.6 when compared to full-frame DSLRs such as the 5D or 6D. This means that a standard 50mm lens has an apparent focal length of 80mm when fitted to an APS-C camera. The APS-H sensor has a crop factor of 1.3, so a 50mm lens fitted to an APS-H sensor camera is equivalent to a 65mm lens.
Canon Prime Lenses Verses Zoom Lenses
A prime lens has a fixed focal length. Canon prime lenses have excellent optics, and their less complex design means they can have a wide maximum aperture. Canon zoom lenses are extremely flexible, and their wide focal range makes them popular, as they eliminate the need to change lenses constantly.
Canon DSLR Lenses
Canon’s full-frame DSLRs use EF lenses. APS-C cameras with smaller sensors use EF-S lenses. Because the lens mount for these cameras is identical, EF lenses work on APS-C cameras. However, EF-S lenses aren’t suitable for use on full-frame Canon cameras. Their image circle is too small, and because the lenses protrude further into the camera body, there’s risk of mirror damage. The professional range of L series Canon lenses have superior optical quality, are more robust, and have better weather sealing. EF lenses work on Canon mirrorless cameras if used with other Canon camera accessories such as the Canon EF-M adapter.
Canon EF lenses generally use an ultrasonic focusing motor (USM), known for its speed, power, and accuracy. Many EF-S lenses have a stepper focusing motor (STM), which is quieter while providing smoother focus control that’s ideal for video recording.
Which Canon Camera Lenses to Use
As you develop your photographic skills, you’ll want to extend your capabilities beyond those provided by standard kit lenses. Canon telephoto lenses are great for wildlife and sports events. Macro lenses allow you to take close-up photos of small objects, insects, and flowers. When taking macro photos, it’s a good idea to use a tripod and Canon remote controls and cords to minimize unwanted movement. Canon portrait lenses have wide apertures which help you control the depth of field, while wide-angle lenses are popular for landscapes and cityscapes. Canon cameras have good battery life, but video and live view consume a lot of power, so it’s a good idea to extend recording time with spare canon batteries and power accessories.
Explore the full range of Canon EOS SLR lenses and accessories at B&H Photo and Video.