Many photographers consider the lens to be the most important part of the camera–indeed, the lens determines how sharp your pictures will be and how much background blur you’ll have.

In a way, the lens often determines the amount of noise you’ll have in your image, because a faster lens gathers more light, allowing the camera to use a lower ISO. For example, switching from an f/5.6 lens to an f/2.8 lens would allow you to use ISO 200 instead of ISO 800, reducing the visible noise in your pictures by 400%. That’s about twice the improvement you’d see if you upgraded your camera body from an APS-C camera to a full-frame camera.

We test lenses rigorously in the real-world for different photographic scenarios, using scientific methodologies. To remain ubiased, we’ve never accepted money or free gear from any camera or lens manufacturer.

PhotoNameSummaryPrice Editor Rating
PhotoNameSummaryPrice Editor Rating
Canon 70-200 f/2.8

Maybe the greatest lens ever made.... Read review

$1700 to $2100Rated 5 stars
Canon 500mm f/4

Too expensive for most, but if you have the budget, a great wildlife lens.... Read review

$6000 to $12000Rated 5 stars
Canon 400mm f/5.6

Pro quality sports and wildlife shots for about $1,000, this lens is good enough to pull Nikon users... Read review

$950 to $1250Rated 5 stars
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art

A perfect, but expensive, normal prime lens... but how often do you need a 50mm?... Read review

$750 to $850Rated 5 stars
Sigma 100-300mm f/2.8

Sigma's big sports lens is fast, sharp, and heavy, but suffers from severe focus breathing at close ... Read review

$3000 to $3600Rated 4.5 stars
Nikon 24-70 f/2.8

The event photographer and landscape photographer's workhorse, it's versatile and incredibly sharp... Read review

$1500 to $1900Rated 4.5 stars
Canon 100-400 II

Sharp, versatile, and better than the 150-600s (even at 600mm).... Read review

$2200 to $2200Rated 4.5 stars
Sigma 24-105 f/4

A fantastic upgrade to the Canon and Nikon full-frame kit lenses, the Sigma is a fa better performer... Read review

$750 to $900Rated 4.5 stars
Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD

A very good portrait lens that matches the image quality but lacks the build quality of the Canon & ... Read review

$850 to $1200Rated 4 stars
Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 DI VC

A sharp portrait lens that suffers from focus breathing.... Read review

$950 to $1500Rated 4 stars

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