BestConsumerReviews is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we earn a small affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more

Best DSLR Lens

DSLR Lens 5

DSLR Lens Reviews

Having an DSLR camera gives you the ability to take better quality images and provides a level of clarity and zoom range not found in the point and shoot cameras. Add a specialized telephoto lens and you will take your photography sessions to a whole new level. Theses lenses will provide top quality images from distances that you were unable to capture before. Whether you are wanting to photograph fast moving sports action from the sidelines or wildlife from a safe distance, these telephoto lenses will provide the right equipment to get the job done. While there are many aftermarket products we have selected the best telephoto lenses that will enable you to take the quality images that before now was only a wish.

Most Popular DSLR Lens

Canon EF 100mm

5/5 Product Rating

The Canon-100mm-Macro-Digital-Camera lens comes with Canons image stabilization. This provides a motion free images with little noise. This stabilization will compensate for any movement in the camera or movement by the subject and still product a clear image. This lens is Canons first mid telephoto macro lens to have the image stabilization feature. The Canon-100mm-Macro-Digital-Camera comes with a focal length and maximum aperture of 100mm 1:2.8 and has an auto focus that keeps images clear and in focus even when the subject is moving. The USM focus system operates automatically and adjusts as the lens zooms in and out for a clear image of the subject. Manual focus is also an option. This is a great lens when shooting macro photography. The filter size is 67mm. The lens will fit Canon SLR cameras. There are 15 elements in the lens construction.

  • Image Stabilization
  • 100mm Aperture and focal length
  • USM inner focusing system
  • 67mm filter
  • 15 elements in the lens construction

Best Overall DSLR Lens

Sigma

4.8/5 Product Rating

The Sigma-50-500mm-4-5-6-3-Telephoto-Nikon is an ultra-telephoto lens. It is built to fit Nikon full frame SLR cameras. It comes with a 10X high zoom ration. The Sigma OS system allows you to take pictures in low light conditions even if the camera in held rather than placed on a tripod. HSM technology provides an auto focus that is high speed and can adjust to action shots. The four SLD glass elements allow for the best color correction and clear images for the entire range of zoom. This lens is a perfect lens for landscape and nature photographer. It will allow you to capture wildlife from a safe distance while still capturing clear images of your subjects. This lens allows you to zoom in close for close up pictures and well as capture distances, all with top quality clear images. There is no need to constantly change lenses depending on the setting because the range on this lens is 50-500mm allowing you to capture all of your photography needs with one universal lens.

  • 50 – 500 mm lens
  • 10X high zoom ration
  • Great in low light settings or action shots
  • SLD color correction for clear crisp images
  • 3 Year warranty


Best Budget DSLR Lens

Canon EF-S 55-250mm

4.7/5 Product Rating

The Canon-55-250mm-4-0-5-6-Telephoto-Digital has a zoom range of 55 – 250mm. The F stop range is F/4-5.6. The lens construction contains 12 elements. One of the elements is the UD-glass. This element provides chromatic aberration correction and improves the quality of the images at all points in the zoom range. The Canon-55-250mm-4-0-5-6-Telephoto-Digital lens is gear driven and provides a focus adjustment that will keep your images clear and crisp. It contains APS-C image sensors to capture true to color pictures. This lens will help you capture low light and long distance shots. The lens has a high zoom ratio which allows the lens to capture images meeting the quality of an 88-400mm lens without the higher cost of the larger zoom lens. It has an image stabilizer which provides a stiller shot even if there is movement of the subject or light camera shake. The Canon-55-250mm-4-0-5-6-Telephoto-Digital lens comes with a 1 year warranty.

  • 55-250 mm lens
  • UD-glass for image clarity throughout the zoom range
  • Focus adjustment
  • Great in Low light and distance shots
  • 1 Year warranty

DSLR Lens Buying Guide

DSLR Lens 8

DSLR cameras provide wonderful opportunities for photographers to grow and become better at the art of photography. The ability to change lenses allows you to get a variety of different effects. The addition of just one new lens can change the way you view photography forever. There are several different types of lenses available and with such an assortment it can be difficult to know where to start. This guide is designed to help you narrow down your selection process by describing the DSLR lenses available and what they can help you to achieve in your photography.

Determining Your Goals and Needs

The first step is to establish what kind of pictures you want to take. What effects would you like to get from the photos that you can’t with your current lens? Do you need something that will help you to take wider angle shots, or perhaps focus better close up? Do you want to get more shots of distant objects or things in motion? Would you like to experiment with different kinds of lighting for interesting effects? By figuring out precisely what you want to accomplish, you’ll get a better idea of what kind of lens or lenses that you need to purchase.

Specifications to Look For In a DSLR Camera

Most manufacturers use their own lens mounts which means that not just any lens will work with the camera necessarily or the model. Lenses are not generally interchangeable from one camera to another, except in rare instances. There are a few companies out there who have produced lenses that are specified to work with certain camera brands. In addition, it is possible to find adapters that will help some lenses fit onto certain cameras, but this can be a hassle so in most cases, it’s best to stick with compatible lenses that are tried and true for the camera. This narrows down the search to brands that are compatible.

How Lenses Work To Provide Different Effects

Lenses alter the images that are projected onto the imaging sensor of the camera. This can give you a variety of different effects, but it is important for you to understand which lenses will do what. There are a series of numbers that are located on the side of the lens barrel. This information is helpful for seasoned photographers with an understanding of what the numbers mean and how it is translated into effect upon the photos.

In conjunction with understanding the numbers expressed, the terms maximum aperture, focal length and format type need to be understood as the numbers relate directly to them. Focal length is described in millimeters or (mm). The higher number indicates a larger zoom and lower number means that the lens is useful for making wider shots.

Lenses with two numbers, for example 24-80 means that the lens is a zoom lens with the capacity for zooming in to any point within that range. A single number means that the lens is a prime lens which does not have a zoom capacity. In order to achieve a different distance effect you will have to physically move forwards or backwards.

The size of the sensor housed within the camera also affects the effects that are obtained through the lens. Full frame cameras provide the expected results, however; those with smaller sensors may give a smaller image view, depending upon the size of the sensor and the cropping effect that is produced. There are several manufacturers that give a 35 mm format on lenses that are designed for cameras that have smaller sensors.

The maximum aperture is the maximum light that can be gathered by the lens. The larger max apertures in lenses (which will have lower numbers) gather the most light. For example, a F2.8 lens will gather less light than a F1.8 lens. Lower numbers mean more light and these are the most suitable for shots in low light situations. They can produce shallow depth of field which means that a portion of the image is sharp and the rest may be blurred for special effects that bring the main image forward as the focal point. Many zoom lenses have a variable max aperture that is affected by the focal length. Higher zoom expressions result in higher aperture and less light allowed in.

The format refers to the size of the image that is covered by the image sensor. This is one of the reasons why it is best to use lenses that are manufactured by the same companies as this factor is taken into consideration with camera specific lenses. You may be able to use an adapter to make the lens fit onto the lens mount, however; the difference in positioning made by use of an adapter can skew the results that you get from the lens.

DSLR Lens 9

Different Types of DSLR Lenses

Ultra wide angle lenses

The focal length of these lenses are under 24 mm which allows them to take in a wider view.

Pros and cons of Ultra wide angle lenses

  • More scenery can be taken into the view for shooting, which is a plus, when you want to use the effect for creativity
  • The cons are that this type of lens can also cause distortions in straight lines producing curvatures.
  • Using rectilinear ultra wide lenses helps to curb the distortion to a degree.

Wide angle lenses

These lenses come in two different types which respectively are zooms and primes. They may have variable or fixed max aperture.

Pros and cons of wide angle lenses

  • Wide angle lenses offer a focal length range of 24 to 35 mm for the zooms
  • They are excellent for taking shots that include larger areas of background and foreground surrounding an image.
  • Although the distortion factor is less than with ultra wide lenses, there is still enough that may interfere with the quality of the photograph if this type of artistic creativity is not desired in the final result.
  • Taking shots too close to the subject can also result in distortion.

Normal/standard lenses

These are usually included with the camera. Most come with a standard zoom lens with an average range of 35 to 70 mm. A 50mm prime in a 35 mm format is considered to be a normal or standard lens. These lenses provide for shots that are in between wide angle lenses and telephoto with regard to the characteristics of the images that are produced. The apertures tend to be faster in these lenses allowing for shallow depth of field for low light photography. These lenses are the most versatile and are popular for most photography needs.

Telephoto lenses

These lenses have a focal length over 70mm which focuses on a narrow field of view when compared with other lenses. They have the ability to bring objects in the distance closer. They are a good choice for photographing wildlife, portraits and other pictures that are taken at a distance.

Pros and cons of Telephoto lenses

  • Telephoto lenses provide for more detailed shots.
  • They work well for taking distant photographs.
  • But the downside for them is that they are bulkier and heavier than most other lenses.

Superzoom lenses

These versatile lenses provide the functions of both wide angle and telephoto. They are popular for photographers who have the need to spontaneously switch from telephoto to wide angle but may not necessarily have the time to switch lenses.

Pros and cons of superzoom lenses

  • Superzooms are more convenient.
  • They are popular with tourists who will encounter a variety of photo opportunities and perhaps will not have time to change the lenses to maximize the effects.
  • The downside to superzooms is that the maximum apertures are slower and variable and the quality of the images does not measure up to those taken with dedicated lenses.

Macro lenses

These lenses have a focal length between 40 and 200 mm. They are used for shots that require being extremely close up.

Pros and cons of Macro lenses

  • Macro lenses provide small depth of field when used for close up shots which is a plus for isolating small objects as focal points.
  • The image quality is sharp and clear.
  • They work well for portrait work and any situation that requires a close perspective.
  • The downside for macro lenses are that they lack the versatility of some of the other lenses and are dedicated for the close up specialty shots.

DSLR Camera Flashes

DSLR Lens 10

DSLR cameras are popular camera types, but they are different than the traditional units that call for special developing of the film. The digital age has brought us this user friendly device that allows for faster acquisition of the images and videos through direct downloading and printing without waiting for the development of film.

If you are a DSLR user, you may be wondering how you can upgrade your camera to improve the quality of our photographs. One of the more important aspects of photography is the lighting and the addition of a new flash can make a tremendous difference. Although most cameras come standard with a flash included, they do not all produce the amount of light, nor supply controls for the light that will give the best effects. This guide is prepared to provide you with useful information that will help you to know what to look for when changing the flash option for your DSLR camera.

Determine the type of photographs to be taken

The first step is always to know what kind of pictures you want to take, after fully understanding what you how you want your pictures to turn out, then finding the DSLR camera flash for your needs shouldn’t be too difficult.

Types of Flashes for DSLR Cameras

There are two different types of DSLR flashes that range from larger floor units to small attachable units that attach to the camera.

On Camera Flash That Attaches to the Camera

Built in flashes have a tendency to provide most of the illumination on one side of the subject which can wash out the subtle color hues in some areas and leave other areas too dark to obtain a high quality shot. In addition to this, the on camera flashes tend to be weaker than what may be needed and not provide adequate lighting to capture the true essence of the subject.

External on Camera Flashes

They are operated by battery packs and affix to the top of the camera via the hot shoe in models that offer this option. They are convenient for carrying to different locations as they are generally not bulky and will fit into the camera bag with the rest of the gear and equipment. The benefits of using an on camera flash is that certain models allow for better controls of the intensity of the flash and the light that is produced can be altered for different effects. The angles in which the light is distributed can also be adjusted. They are definitely a step above the built in flashes that come stock in most DSLR cameras.

The drawbacks of on flash cameras is that they can make the camera much heavier and although they do provide many additional benefits for differences in lighting effects, there are limitations to what can be accomplished with the fixed model.

DSLR Lens 4

Floor flash units

Floor flash units do not attach to the camera. They are more versatile than the affixed camera units because they can be moved for more variety in the distributions of light. In addition to providing a flash option, many of them can be adjusted for continuous lighting, which increases their value in providing additional enhancement options for varied lighting effects.

The floor flash units are designed for use in studio work. The lighting produced by floor flashes tends to be much softer than the camera mounted flashes and there is less of a tendency for fine details of the subject to become distorted. Multiple flashes can be arranged in different positions for yet more creative photography work and experimentation with the lighting. It is the best choice for portrait work.

The major drawback to this type of flash is that they tend to produce more heat and they require the use of additional accessories to position them correctly. They are not recommended for traveling to remote locations as they tend to be bulkier than the camera mounted models. This is not to say that the smaller floor lights will not work for travel, but that they are more difficult to transport.

In weighing the pros and cons of floor flashes, the control over the amount of light and the angles at which it is maneuverable makes it a superior choice when weight and portability is not an issue.

Accessories Available For Floor Flash Units

This type of DSLR flash unit also provides for the use of a wide array of accessories that can further enhance the quality of photographs taken. Softboxes can be used to reflect the light for unique effects, boom stands used with the softboxes can bring the light from different angles such as from the top down, the bottom up or side to side. These are just a few examples of the accessories which can be added to the floor flash units, making them more versatile and expandable than the on camera mounted flashes.

DSLR Lens 6

What to Look For In DSLR Camera Flashes

With so many different DSLR flashes on the market the choices can seem overwhelming, but the best place to start is generally with the flashes that are produced by the same manufacturer as the camera. You may find just what you’re looking for in the offerings that they provide. If you are still not satisfied, make sure that the flash you select is compatible with the hotshoe on top of the camera, if you go with the on camera type.

If you go with the floor flash type, then base your choices upon the size of the area you will be working in and the amount of light that you estimate you will need. If you are fairly inexperienced in working with lighting effects then it is recommended that you start out small and work your way up as you begin to master lighting techniques. Begin with a unit that will provide more options for achieving new and different types of effects as this will keep the art of photography exciting and rewarding for you.

Conclusion

Selecting the best DSLR lens can seem to be a daunting task, but forearmed with a small amount of helpful information can take the guess work out of knowing which lenses will best meet your needs. By determining what kind of photos you want to take, you’ll know what type of lens will be required to get the effects that you want. Keeping your choice in line with lenses that are made specifically for your camera brand and model narrows the field more significantly. The addition of one versatile lens can change the way that you see photography by opening up a range of fun and exciting options. camera

The addition of a new DSLR flash, whether mounted on the camera or in the form of a floor flash model will bring exciting new possibilities to your photography techniques. By following the tips and recommendations given in this guide, you’ll have a better sense of what it is that you’re looking for. Starting out small and working your way up is the best decision if you are still experimenting with lighting. This will help you avoid frustration and give you room to grow.

Back to Top