Best Gear

7 Best Lenses for Canon EOS 80D

canon-eos-80d-best-lenses-dslr-tips
In order to get the best lenses for the Canon 80D, we looked at everything Canon has to offer and selected the very best choices based on image quality, price and usefulness.

When it comes to image quality, your camera is important, but it’s the lenses (and your skills) that make the difference between an average shot and a professional-like shot regardless of what it is you’re photographing.

It’s a combination of everything; sharpness, colors, contrast, depth of field and focal length. You’ve already got the Canon 80D, an amazing semi-professional DSLR, now it’s time to invest into building a lens system (even if just one).

The lenses we’ve selected are not only super affordable, but are just as good for professionals and complete amateurs.

Best prime lenses we covered:
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Best zoom lenses we covered:
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM

You automatically support us if you order anything through our Amazon links, and we highly recommend them because of their low prices, fast delivery and top support, especially when it comes to camera equipment.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

canon-ef-50mm-1.8-stm-lens

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is the best-selling lens from Canon, which already says a lot. It’s affordable, compact and delivers high quality images.

What makes it so special?

First, the f/1.8 aperture is extremely big and lets in a ton of light, which means you will be able to shoot at night and not get blurry shots. This is great for indoor photography, as well as shooting without a flash which can often make your shots look bad.

Another reason why f/1.8 is so good is because it allows you to completely blur the background, making your subject stand out (called shallow depth of field). It’s the easiest and quickest way to make your shots look professional.

It focuses quickly and silently (it’s not as quiet as many more expensive lenses though), and is great for video focusing thanks to the STM, which stands for a Stepping Motor. Since the Canon 80D has Dual Pixel AF technology, this combination is great for recording serious videos.

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 is simply the best you can get for the money. Bokeh, colors and image quality are great for the price.

Who is this lens good for? Everyone. The 50mm focal length is truly good for almost all types of photography, from food, portrait, street, product, low light, animal, to sports and travel photography.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

canon-efs-24mm-2.8-lens

The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM might look weird compared to other lenses, but there’s a name for this style; we call them “pancake” lenses due to their short and compact design.

While it looks like a lot of it is missing, that’s not the case with its performance. Great colors, sharpness and quality, and fast auto focus. It’s a lot of wider than the 50mm above and comes with a slightly smaller aperture (f/2.8), but that’s still considered big.

It’s a perfect match for all APS-C cameras (which the 80D is) since it allows you to travel light. It features both STM and FTM (Full Time Manual focus) so you can focus manually despite having the lens set to AF, which can save a few seconds.

If you’re into landscape photography or just want something wide but can’t spend too much, or are looking for a great gift, this is it.

Who is this lens for? It’s great for landscape shooters, club/indoor photographers and street/travel photographers.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

canon-ef-85mm-1.8-lens

How to describe the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM? Beautiful colors, razor sharp images, superb quality, creamy bokeh and most importantly, affordable! For less than $400 (at Amazon) you get one of the sharpest prime lenses Canon has ever made.

Featuring an Ultra Sonic Motor, it’ll quickly focus on your subject even in darker conditions. With f/1.8 and 85mm focal length, you can’t even imagine what kind of amazing photographs you’ll be able to take!

Where this lens truly shines at is portrait, wedding and concert photography.

Often shoot in low light? At f/1.8 you’ll be able to get crisp shots without having to raise your ISO speed to extreme sensitivities, although the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is good at handling those speeds.

Who is this lens for? Portrait, concert, street, animal and even sport photographers. If you’ve never used anything but your kit lens, you’ll be blown away by what the 85mm f/1.8 can do. Hands down my favorite prime lens for price/performance, I’ve been using it for years and love it.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Best Zoom Lenses for Canon 80D

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

canon-efs-10-18mm-is-stm-lens

If you’re looking for a good and affordable wide angle lens, get the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. It’s an excellent choice for landscape, architecture or real estate photography.

It replaces the older and more expensive 10-22mm. The 10-18mm comes with Image Stabilization up to 4 stops, an STM motor for silent and accurate auto focus (this applies to videos as well) and the same high image quality. You do lose 4mm on the telephoto end, but these improvements are worth it (plus, you’re paying less).

The Image Stabilization is perfect for those who plan on shooting at night or generally without a tripod, as you can shoot with speeds you otherwise couldn’t. With wide angle lenses you can also expect to have most of your shots quite sharp because of the small depth of field (something that naturally comes with a wide field of view, despite the aperture size).

Who is this lens for? At such wide angles, you see the whole world differently, which is why I think every photographer should own a wideangle lens! It’s great for landscape, traveling, architecture, real estate, clubs/indoor and group shots.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

canon-efs-55-250mm-is-stm-telephoto

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is your best choice for the 80D if you want to photograph wildlife, sports or things that are quite far away without breaking the bank.

If you own the 18-55mm kit lens or are also planning on buying the 50mm prime above, this telephoto lens continues right where they both stop, so you’re covered on all ends!

First of all, it’s not heavy (13.2oz/375g) like the majority of telephoto lenses, meaning you won’t be tired after shooting with it for hours. It obviously doesn’t come with the best build design but then again, it feels solid and well-built.

It’s also got Image Stabilization that helps up to 3.5 stops so you can shoot with 1/30 instead of 1/250 and still except solid results with no blur. Like the rest of Canon’s new lenses, it features STM for good video performance.

Who is this lens for?  Anyone who feels their current lens just doesn’t get them close enough. Length wise, it’s great for races, outdoor sports (indoors you’ll have to increase your ISO speed), pets and wild animals, but 250mm might still be a bit short for serious bird photography.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

canon-ef-70-200mm-f2.8l-usm

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM is the most affordable 70-200mm telephoto zoom from Canon (out of 4 versions, ranging from $600 to $2,000). This one comes without Image Stabilization, meaning you’ll have to bump up the ISO speed when photographing in low light situations. On the bright side, that makes it the lightest lens of those 4.

For any outdoor situation, it will be perfect. It’s one of the sharpest Canon’s zoom lenses, even when used at f/4, let alone when stopped down. Ring USM results in very fast and accurate auto focusing, and it also features Full Time Manual focus.

If you need Image Stabilization, check out the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM here. It offers just as good image quality and good build quality, but is heavier and costs a little bit over $1,000.

Who is this lens for? Sports, portraits, anything outdoor, animals (200mm is too short for serious wildlife), landscape, traveling (although not as light as many other lenses). It’s also good for indoor action, but only with ISO above 1,600/3,200.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM sigma-18-35mm-1.8-zoom-lens

A couple of years ago, large apertures were only possible on prime lenses, but Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM changed that in 2013. You’re looking at an optically superb, wide-to-standard large aperture lens that could save you a lot of money and weight (1 zoom with f/1.8 instead of 3 primes with f/1.8).

Not familiar with Sigma’s terms? The lens features HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), which means the lens is very quick and accurate at focusing. You can also expect beautiful background blur thanks to 9 diaphragm blades, especially when wide open.

Besides amazing quality in still photography, the lens is perfect for videos as well, thanks to its smooth focus and zoom rings. There’s absolutely no focusing issues for stills or videos on the Canon 80D, it behaves like the rest of Canon’s lenses.

It weighs 1.79 pounds (810 grams) and is quite long, meaning your neck will probably get tired after a couple of hours of shooting. If you want ‘pancake’ like lenses (24mm f/2.8 STM) and something super light, the Sigma 18-35mm is not for you. However, in a way, it’s like 3 x f/1.8 lenses in one so it’s just something you have to live with.

Who is this lens for? Anyone who shoots around the 18-35mm range but wants to stick with 1, high quality lens that offers f/1.8. That includes street, night, sky, club and indoor photography, but it’s just as good for traveling if you’re okay with carrying it for such long periods.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

5 More Recommended Lenses for Canon 80D

canon-70-200mm-2.8

Looking for some more lenses, or perhaps already own a few that we recommend? Here are our top picks if you’re willing to spend a bit more to get even better image quality.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM – An excellent walk-around lens that covers the lengths most of us use on a daily basis. With excellent image quality, a large f/2.8 aperture and USM focusing, you’re ready to shoot in any situation.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM – For weddings, sports, animals, portraits, it’s the perfect choice. It’s sharper than many prime lenses, features an f/2.8 aperture and is blazingly fast at auto focusing. Perfect companion for the Canon 80D.

Sigma 150-600mm f/4.5-6.3 USM – If you’re into wildlife/action photography and want something that reaches 600mm without emptying your wallet, check out the Sigma monster zoom.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM – Perfect for product and animal photography.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM – Razor sharp and simply one of the best lenses out there from any company.

Canon Lens Terms Explained

canon-ef-lens-explanation

EF – A lens with EF mount will fit on all Canon DSLR cameras.

EF-S – This mount is designed for cameras that use an APS-C sized sensor, just like the 80D and all entry-level models. They’re often lighter and have a wider focal length to make them useful for landscape photographers (because of the 1.6x crop). They can not be mounted on full frame Canon cameras.

USM – Ultra Sonic Motor, super fast and silent way of focusing, found in Canon’s more expensive lenses.

STM – Stepping Motor, first introduced in an EF lens in 2014. While it’s also quick at focusing, its main advantage is for video because it doesn’t make any sounds while auto focusing. If you’re into video recording and often use the sound recorded from you camera’s microphone, an STM lens won’t mess with your audio. For detailed information about EF technology, check out this article.

IS – Stands for Image Stabilization, a helpful feature when shooting static objects with slow shutter speeds. For example, taking a picture indoors at 1/30 is most likely going to be blurry, especially if you’re not totally still. Having IS enabled on your lens can help you up to 4 stops with most lenses, meaning the same picture taken indoors would look much sharper.

L – Canon’s L lenses are the best you can get (L stands for Luxury). Best optics, super fast focus, improved build design and better for difficult weather conditions (rain, dirt etc.).

Macro – Simply states that the lens has a 1:1 magnification (the size of an object in real life equals the size of it on a photograph). Ideal for taking pictures of smaller objects, but also good for portraits and casual photography.

Now you know that absolutely all Canon EF and EF-S lenses will fit and focus on your Canon 80D. If you’re interested in only prime lenses, make sure to read our list of best prime lenses for Canon 80D.

You can also take a look at the best selling lenses right now (updated every hour), or head over to our 10 most popular Canon lenses.

If you’re going to record videos and use the original audio, chances are a regular lens with USM is going to pick up the focusing noise. This is why Canon’s new STM (Stepping Motor) technology is awesome, as their lenses are quiet and there’s no focusing noise being picked up by the microphone.

More and more STM lenses are going to be released over the next few years, and the most popular ones for now are the Canon EF-S 18-135mm, Canon EF-S 10-18mm and Canon EF-S 55-250mm. The new kit 18-55mm included in the 80D bundle is also a great choice for starting out.

You shouldn’t worry about focus noise if you’re going to use an external microphone or music over your videos.

Best Canon 80D Accessories

Best Canon 80D Bundles and Deals

  • Daniel

    I want a telephoto lens, how does the 55-250mm compare to Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6? I’m willing to spend around $500 IF needed.

    • While the 70-300mm is 50mm longer, it may be too soft for some at ~250mm+, and the much cheaper 55-250mm is sharp throughout its whole range. It’s also got a Stepping Motor and is around $150 cheaper. Canon is also probably going to announce a new 70-300mm soon.

      The 75-300mm is one of the worst lenses I’ve ever owned, slow AF and somewhat acceptable sharpness. If you’re looking for a cheap telephoto zoom check out Sigma’s and Tamron’s 70-300mm lenses instead.

      In short, the 55-250mm is your best choice for the money.

  • CanonShooter

    50mm 1.8 or 85mm 1.8 for first lens?

    • Definitely the 50mm f/1.8 if you’re looking for the most affordable lens. The 85mm is more appropriate for portraits and shots where you want to be closer to your subject, whereas the 50mm is like a mix of everything and is a better overall lens.

      I’d only suggest the 85mm if most of your photography is in low light and you shoot concerts and portraits more than anything. It’s sharper and has amazing bokeh, but I’d always recommend the 50mm first.

      • Gokhale

        How do you say 85 mm is more appropriate for portraits where you would like to be closer to the subject. With larger focal length we have to move farther from the subject to accommodate same area of the subject.

        • What I meant was to get “closer” on the image itself and not physically, so if you’d like to really isolate your subject/or shoot their head only, a 85mm would be better.

          Hopefully that didn’t create any confusion.

          • Gokhale

            Yes I got it. You meant being farther from the subject you can take close ups. But guide me which is better using 70-80 mm for close ups or use 18-28 mm get close to the subject and take close ups.

          • The bigger the number, the better it is for close up. In this case, a 70-80mm lens would be much better for photographing your subject really close, without much distortion as well.

            You can also get really close with a lens in the 18-28mm length, but you need to be so close that it creates a lot of distortion, and if you do portraits it’ll make your subject look weird (wider than in real life).

            What also matters is the lens’ closest focusing distance (CFD). Some lenses won’t focus on anything closer than 30cm, while some won’t focus anything closer than 70cm, it differs. If that’s important to you, check for every lens specifically.

            Depending on what you want to shoot, macro lenses might be the best option as they really make your subject as big as it is in real life (1:1 ratio).

          • Gokhale

            Thank you for clarification. The only advantage of wide lenses I had been foreseeing was that the lenses are affordable with larger apertures say 1.8 or 2. Whereas affordable zoom lens starts from aperture of 3.5 and as you reach 70-80 it is 5.0.

          • You’re correct, those zooms with smaller aperture openings are cheaper. If their max aperture was bigger, they also have to be bigger and heavier, so we’re dealing with physical limitations now, and not because companies simply don’t want to make a big aperture. For example, the kit Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is small and light, but if it were an f/2.8 zoom, it would need to be much bigger and heavier.

            This is simply because lenses need to have more elements inside. Usually, the more elements there are, the worse the quality, unless you’re paying a lot of money. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM beats the Canon EF 18-55mm in quality, and is also lighter, smaller, and has a much bigger aperture making it great for low light and blurring the background.

            It’s up to you to decide; for better quality, bigger apertures and smaller size, most primes win. For versatility, traveling, or just generally being able to cover everything, a zoom is better. There are also exceptions (Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8, Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and plenty of other f/2.8 zooms), but these cost more than a prime at a similar focal length.

            Good luck!