With so many options available, the decision about what is the best lens to buy is something that comes up often. I feel really fortunate to have accumulated a pretty nice collection over the years of a mixture of six EF (for DSLR) and RF (for mirrorless) lenses.
This past few weeks, Canon Australia have kindly also loaned me an RF 100-500 4.5-7.1 lens to have a play – I mean Test! It’s a lens that has been on my wish list for a long time so was super keen to try it out.
When I thought about how to share with people what I thought, I felt like a good review would be to go through each individual lens and what I personally use it for. I also took the same image, with pretty much the same camera settings from the same spot, only changing lenses to demonstrate the different results.
Of course, all these lenses are the top of the range Canon glass so I’m not going to review the quality etc of the lens, as they are all epic.
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4
Retail price approximately $1,999This lens is great for creative wide angles or shooting in tight spaces. As you see from the sample images, this image gave a full scope of the space. It’s also a fun lens when you shoot at 8mm as it gives the fisheye effect.
Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8
Retail price approximately $3,899This is a great landscape lens. Gives a wide view and takes in the whole context of a scene without missing anything
First image at 15mm and second image at 35mm
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8
Retail price approximately $2,899
If you are going to buy just one lens, this is the one I would recommend. When I travel on holidays, and don’t want to take a bag full of gear, I take this. It’s wide enough for great landscapes, it has a reasonable zoom, and with the quality of cameras these days, you can always crop in a bit more if necessary. It’s also a great lens for portrait shooting with the low aperture.
First image at 24mm and second image at 70mm
Canon RF 50mm f/1.8
Retail price approximately $349
There’s a great reason they call this lens the “nifty fifty”. It’s reasonably priced and a great little lens for every day shooting. The fixed 50mm can be a bit limiting though.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8
Retail price approximately $1,399
Great lens for macro, but honestly, the reason I bought this particular lens was for portrait shooting. These lenses are designed to capture the smallest detail so they’re perfect for not only close up detailed shots, but also for faces.
Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8
Retail price approximately $4,199
I previously had the EF version of this lens and I absolutely love it. Again, it’s great for a variety of uses. It’s predominantly used for sports photography with it’s great focal lengths, but again, I also use this for portraits as well as landscapes. It’s zoom without being overkill.
First image at 70mm and second image at 200mm
Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1
Retail price approximately $4,999
This is the lens I have been wanting to try forever. And now I’ve had some time with it, I’m reluctant to return it. Totally completes my lens set. As much as I love the 70-200mm lens, there have been so many situations where it’s just not enough of a Zoom. I’ve mostly been using this lens for sports photography. I love that I can stand back and capture the action discreetly without people knowing I’m shooting (particularly useful when you are trying to take shots of reluctant children 🙈). I did try a few shots at lower shutter speed, and found the aperture could be a bit limiting, however the alternative is the EF 400mm f/2.8 at $16,999 or the EF 600mm f/4 at $18,399 so think I can deal with it. I did consider and extender, but to my knowledge there isn’t a Canon extender that works with the 70-200mm lens.
First image at 100mm and second image at 500mm
Pricing and information correct as at June 2021