Best Budget Canon Lenses for 2024

Updated on February 28, 2024

Canon lenses are one of the most popular choices for photographers and videographers alike. They are known for their quality and reliability, but they can also come with a hefty price tag. However, there are budget-friendly options available for those who want to invest in a Canon lens without breaking the bank.

When it comes to choosing the best budget Canon lens, there are a few important factors to consider. One of the most critical things to pay attention to is the focal length. This determines how much of the scene the lens can capture and is essential for achieving the desired composition. The aperture is another important factor as it affects the amount of light that enters the lens and can impact the quality of the final image.

We spent hours researching and testing various budget Canon lenses to identify the ones that offer the best value for money. In this article, we’ll share our top picks and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Best Budget Canon Lenses

As photography enthusiasts, we know how important it is to have the right gear. However, we also understand that not everyone has the budget to splurge on high-end lenses. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best budget Canon lenses that won’t break the bank. These lenses may be affordable, but they still deliver excellent image quality and are perfect for beginners or those looking to expand their collection without spending a fortune. So without further ado, here are our top picks for the best budget Canon lenses.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens Lens Only

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens

If you're looking for a budget-friendly lens that delivers high-quality images, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens is an excellent option.

Pros:
  • This lens is incredibly lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around and use for extended periods of time.
  • The STM motor enables silent and smooth focus tracking, which is great for shooting videos.
  • The lens features optimized lens element placement and includes an aspheric element for high image quality from the center of the composition to the corners.
Cons:
  • The autofocus can be a bit slow, which may be frustrating for some users.
  • Some users have reported issues with ghosting and flare in certain lighting conditions.
  • The lens does not have image stabilization, which may be a dealbreaker for some users.
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

In our experience, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens is a great fixed-optical length lens that’s perfect for travel photography. The lens is incredibly lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around all day without any discomfort. The STM motor enables silent and smooth focus tracking, which is great for shooting videos.

However, the autofocus can be a bit slow, which may be frustrating for some users. Additionally, some users have reported issues with ghosting and flare in certain lighting conditions. Finally, the lens does not have image stabilization, which may be a dealbreaker for some users.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly lens that delivers high-quality images and is easy to carry around, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens is an excellent option.

BENOISON 85mm f1.8 Portrait Lens

Canon RF100-400mm F5.6-8 is USM Black Lens Only

Canon RF100-400mm F5.6-8 is USM Black

If you're looking for a versatile telephoto lens that offers excellent image quality and fast autofocus, the Canon RF100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM is an excellent choice.

Pros:
  • The lens is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry around for extended periods.
  • With a versatile zoom range of 100-400mm, this lens is perfect for wildlife, sports, travel, and more.
  • The optical image stabilizer provides up to 5.5 stops of shake correction, and up to 6 stops when paired with EOS R series cameras featuring In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS).
Cons:
  • The maximum aperture of f/8 at 400mm makes it challenging to use or even focus in low light conditions.
  • The lens is not as fast as similar lenses.
  • It needs plenty of light to produce sharp images.
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

We recently had the opportunity to test the Canon RF100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM, and we were impressed with its performance. The lens is incredibly lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around all day. The zoom range is versatile, allowing us to capture a wide range of subjects, from distant wildlife to fast-moving sports action.

The optical image stabilizer is also a standout feature, providing up to 5.5 stops of shake correction. This feature was particularly useful when shooting handheld in low light conditions, as it allowed us to capture sharp images without the need for a tripod.

One downside of the lens is its maximum aperture of f/8 at 400mm. This makes it challenging to use in low light conditions and can make it difficult to achieve a shallow depth of field. However, despite this limitation, we were still able to capture sharp and detailed images in a variety of lighting conditions.

Overall, we would highly recommend the Canon RF100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM to anyone looking for a versatile and high-quality telephoto lens. Its compact size, fast autofocus, and excellent image stabilization make it an excellent choice for a wide range of photography applications.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens Black

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens Black

If you're looking for a budget-friendly telephoto zoom lens, the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The lens is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around.
  • The zoom range is quite impressive, allowing you to capture distant subjects without having to move closer.
  • The lens produces sharp and vibrant images, especially when used in good lighting conditions.
Cons:
  • The autofocus can be a bit slow and noisy, which may be frustrating for some users.
  • The lens doesn't perform as well in low light situations, so you may need to use a tripod or increase your ISO settings.
  • The build quality isn't as sturdy as some of Canon's more expensive lenses, so you'll need to take good care of it.
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

In our experience, the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III is a solid choice for amateur photographers who want a decent telephoto zoom lens without breaking the bank. While it may not be the most advanced lens on the market, it still produces high-quality images and is easy to use.

One thing to keep in mind is that the autofocus can be a bit slow and noisy, so you may need to be patient when trying to capture fast-moving subjects. Additionally, the lens doesn’t perform as well in low light situations, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough light or use a tripod to avoid camera shake.

Overall, we think the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III is a great value for the price and would recommend it to anyone looking for a budget-friendly telephoto zoom lens.

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II SLR Lens White Box

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II SLR Lens White Box

If you're looking for a budget-friendly lens that doesn't compromise on quality, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II SLR Lens White Box is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • Versatile focal length range for capturing a variety of shots
  • High-quality construction with UD-glass and aspherical lenses
  • Fast and accurate focus adjustment with gear-driven mechanism
Cons:
  • Limited aperture range may not perform well in low light conditions
  • Plastic construction feels less durable than some other lenses
  • Some users report issues with image distortion at certain focal lengths
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

We’ve been using this lens for several months now, and overall we’re quite pleased with its performance. The focal length range is versatile enough to capture a variety of shots, from wide-angle landscapes to portraits with a shallow depth of field. The lens construction feels solid and well-made, with UD-glass and aspherical lenses that deliver sharp and clear images.

One area where this lens falls a bit short is in low light conditions, due to its limited aperture range. You may find yourself struggling to get the right exposure, especially in situations where you can’t use a flash. Additionally, the plastic construction of the lens feels less durable than some other lenses we’ve used in the past.

Another issue to be aware of is that some users have reported issues with image distortion at certain focal lengths. We haven’t personally experienced this problem, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re considering this lens.

Overall, we would recommend the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is II SLR Lens White Box to anyone looking for a budget-friendly option that still delivers solid performance. Just be aware of its limitations and potential issues, and you should be able to get some great shots with this lens.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best budget Canon lens, there are several factors to consider. Here are some important features to look for:

Aperture

The aperture of a lens determines how much light it can let in. A wider aperture (lower f-number) allows for better low light performance and more control over depth of field. However, wider apertures are generally more expensive. Consider your shooting needs and budget when choosing the aperture of your lens.

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens determines the field of view and magnification of the image. A shorter focal length (wide-angle lens) is ideal for landscapes and architecture, while a longer focal length (telephoto lens) is better for portraits and wildlife photography. Consider what type of photography you will be doing most often when choosing the focal length of your lens.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization helps to reduce camera shake and produce sharper images. This is especially important for longer focal lengths or when shooting in low light conditions. Look for lenses with built-in image stabilization or consider purchasing a camera body with image stabilization.

Compatibility

Ensure that the lens you choose is compatible with your Canon camera body. Some older lenses may not be compatible with newer camera models, so check compatibility before making a purchase.

Price

Budget lenses are a great way to get started with photography without breaking the bank. Consider your budget and shooting needs when choosing a lens. It’s important to remember that cheaper lenses may not have all the features of more expensive lenses, but they can still produce great images.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best budget Canon lens for your photography needs.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.