Here is a list of our best lenses for the new Canon SL2, an exciting and affordable DSLR. It’s got a 24 megapixel sensor and a much better AF system for video, including a 5-axis electronic stabilization, which is why all of our lenses are excellent for photography as well as recording videos.
Because the Canon SL2 is the most compact DSLR on the market, we naturally stayed away from enormous lenses. What we looked for was great image quality, affordable price and something you can easily carry around, whether you’re shooting a sports match, a wedding or just traveling.
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
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. Your Canon SL2 is already small and light, and it will stay that way with the 50mm f/1.8.
It’s amazing for low light photography because the maximum f/1.8 gathers a ton of light, meaning you’ll be able to shoot at night without getting so many blurred images.
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.
Auto focus is quick, silent and accurate thanks to STM (Stepping Motor), which is also a plus for videographers because you won’t have any noise from auto focusing in your videos.
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.
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is a “pancake” like lens because of its looks. It’s light, super short and simple to carry around (you’ll forget you have it with you).
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.
Because of its wider angle, it’s also great for landscape scenarios and street photography, where you want to capture a lot in your scene.
Who is this lens for? It’s great for landscape shooters, club/indoor photographers and street/travel photographers. Best combination to travel light with the SL2.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
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.
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.
Best Zoom Lenses for Canon SL2
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
Released in 2014, the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is an amazing choice for anyone looking to do landscape, architecture or real estate photography.
Replacing the older and much more expensive 10-22mm version, 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.
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.
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.
Canon EF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM serves as an excellent replacement for the kit 18-55mm. It gives you 80mm longer reach at the telephoto end, same aperture sizes, much better image quality and improved build quality.
Thanks to the STM technology, you can also record videos without having any noise from the actual focusing. The Canon SL2 features Dual Pixel AF which makes it an ideal compact camera for recording serious videos in Full HD at 60fps.
Who is this lens for? Anyone who likes using a single lens (like the 18-55mm) but wants much more zoom and improved image quality. From 18 to 135mm is where 99% of photography happens.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is your best choice for the Canon SL2 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.
Then there’s the Image Stabilization system which helps you up to 3.5 stops, but this works only for subjects that are still.
It’s sharp from 55 to 250mm and also comes with STM like the rest of the lenses we covered. Great quality, colors and sharpness, this is definitely a steal for such a low price.
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.
4 More Recommended Lenses for Canon SL2
If you already own a few of the lenses we recommend or simply want something different, with similar prices, check out these 4 lenses we really like.
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX II – It’s affordable and allows you to shoot at f/2.8 throughout the whole zoom range. With great image and build quality, this is excellent for landscape and low light situations (clubs, parties, birthdays).
Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM – If you want a lot more zoom than what the Canon 18-135mm offers, for almost the same price, this Sigma rocks!
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DG HSM – Sharper and cheaper than Canon’s more expensive 35mm version.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM – Best macro lens for product and animal photography (not limited to that of course).