33 Most Popular DSLR Lenses Among Our Readers - Digital Photography School
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33 Most Popular DSLR Lenses Among Our Readers

Last week we released a list of the 10 most popular DSLRs judged according to what our readers have been buying on Amazon over the last 3 months*. Today we’re turning our attention to the most popular DSLR lenses.

As usual – Canon and Nikon lenses were by far the most popular so I’ve divided them into two lists and included 3 other lenses from other manufacturers that were purchased enough to get a mention.

Canon Lenses

1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

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2. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

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3. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras + Lens Cleaning Kit

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4. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

_images_I_41FER7HPR7L.jpg

5. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

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6. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

_images_I_41ECW2G8TWL.jpg

7. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

_images_I_41nW4a0AjAL.jpg

8. Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens

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9. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens

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10. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM 1-to-1 Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_819FZMQPWfL._AA1500_.jpg

Nikon Lenses

1. Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_51CnjgPJ+jL.jpg

2. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_71fojgW-K5L._AA1500_.jpg

3. Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR

_images_I_41BQhxfleTL.jpg

4. Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_915755T+e+L._AA1500_.jpg

5. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

_images_I_71NFmoXyeGL._AA1500_.jpg

6. Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DX-Format Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_41Evnjjp6mL.jpg

7. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens For Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_41lLtMR4hlL.jpg

8. Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_41lq816JqzL.jpg

9. Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

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10. Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

Other Lenses

Not many other brand lenses featured in the last quarter. The exceptions were:

1. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (also available for Nikon, Samsung and Sigma DSLRS)

_images_I_41lE6crotiL.jpg

2. Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras (also available for Nikon and Sony DSLRs)

_images_I_81sE17h2DXL._AA1500_.jpg

3. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SLD DG Macro Lens with built in motor for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

_images_I_71bTTzWv3hL._AA1500_.jpg

Also see our most popular Compact Camera Systems list.

*Note: these lists were compiled from reports supplied to us from Amazon.com where we are affiliates. One of the ways dPS is able to cover its costs and be a sustainable business is that we earn a small commission when readers make a purchase from Amazon after clicking on our links (including those above). While no personal details are passed on we do get an overall report from Amazon about what was bought and are able to create this list.

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category.

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • http://photos.rickscheibner.net Rick

    It’s interesting how the Nikon list nearly mirrors the Canon list in terms of focal lengths. However, I do know that Nikkor 35mm to be very popular among Nikon shooters, and Canon’s version isn’t quite up to par. It’s also interesting that the new Canon 40 “pancake” made that list after only being on the market for a short while.

  • GradyPhilpott

    These are interesting and helpful articles and it is a good thing that you describe your methods at the end, but the headline is really misleading and the results do not really describe the most popular “whatever,” except perhaps by happenstance.

    These data don’t really tell us much about which lenses get the most use by those who read this blog. The data tell us which lenses are bought the most often by people who click through to Amazon from this site and make a lens purchase.

    As an example, you don’t see any kit lenses on this list, because most people who buy a camera get a 18-55mm lens. Nikon people aren’t buying that lens not because it’s not a good lens, but because they already have it.

    Almost everyone who wants to pursue photography will want to pick up a few prime lenses, if for no other reason that everyone tells them they need them. I have several myself, but the lens that gets the most use by far, is the Nikkor 18-200mm.

    So, I think that people should consider these factors before jumping to any conclusions.

    I would define the most popular lenses as those that spend the most time on the camera and not those that are purchased by clicking through to Amazon from a photography site.

  • Wayne

    I am a newbie to D-SLR photography having recently purchased a Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D (I heard this was a good beginners camera).

    I previously enjoyed taking macro photos with my FujiFilm S6500 fd and the results were not too bad.
    What would folks recommend for a beginner wanting to get into macro photography?

  • http://www.flickriver.com/photos/9253227@N02/popular-interesting/ Beetwo77

    are the other ten lenses going to be added to this list at some point ;)

  • John Ireland

    The Nikkor 35mm DX lens in amazing. I got it for Father’s Day (so I could shoot my daughter’s first dance recital) and I am impressed with how sharp it is. I used it over the weekend to shoot fireworks and was impressed with its speed. I wish they would make some other DX primes with this quality and that cost.

  • mmx

    I’m a bit skeptical in not seeing the Tamron 90mm Macro. Probably it’s because everyone has one.

  • http://rentalum.com/ Pasha

    It’s shame newest Sigma 50mm isn’t in the list. One of the best lenses at the moment.

  • http://evadsti.com Dave

    I’m surprised that 3 of my 5 Canon Lens didn’t make the list. They are my “workhorse” 100-400mm f4.5-5.6, the Canon 60mm f2.8 Macro, and the Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 wide angle lens.

  • Bob

    I own 4 of the top 10 NIkon lenses and love them all! Great lenses!

  • http://www.timelesscapturesphotography.com Carlee

    I have the 50mm f/1.4 and the 24-70, looking to get the 70-200 asap! Love the 24-70, it is such a versatile lens. It should definitely make any photographer’s must – have list in my opinion. Thanks!

  • Paul

    Where’s the Sony lenses?

  • Val

    Would you consider analysing this further by polling subscribers as to their most used lenses?

    Wayne, if you want to get into macro cheaply you can put a reverse mount on an old good quality prime lens. Next step up is a macro 50 / 60mm the problem with which can get quite close to objects with impications for lighting and can also frighten bugs away. The best long term solution is probably a mid-range macro 90 /105mm. Things to look out for are whether the front element rotates (problem with polarisers if it rotates) and whether and to what extent the lens extends during focusing.

  • Steve Andrade

    I’ m surprised one of the most popular lenses by Canon did not make it, could be it’s price. All professionals want this one in their bag, Canon’s 85mm f/1.2 lens. This baby can create beautiful bokeh!

  • mick boyd

    Is there such a thing as the BEST macro lens for a nikon d60?

  • Slowolf

    I don’t have any of them. Using legacy non-DX
    Nikon on Fuji S2 Pro. My all-time favorites are 24mm f2.0, 85mm f1.8, portrait, 105mm macro 1:1. Wish I had 200mm micro1:1 “butterfly” lens. You can get great glass used for less. DPSS recent travel portrait article proves short lens (35mm) can take great portraits. John Ireland above seems to love his.

  • John Ireland

    Slowolf, I do love the new DX prime 35mm. One thing I never really appreciated until I got a good prime was how much it frees you up. Most of the time traveling I just leave this lens on and take a couple of steps in or out to zoom. More often I just think of different shots and framing now, but I never have to worry about the light.

  • http://www.flickr.com/greyworld gourmetguy

    I only own the canon 50mm 1.8 II from this list :(
    Cant afford most of them

    :(

  • Lyann

    Is it possible to use Nikon lenses in Canon SLR?

  • http://N/A stephen

    Hi, am in need of a SLR D90 camera, any one will to help me acquire one I will really appreciate.

    Thanks in advance

    Stephen
    Nairobi, Kenya

  • j5shock

    I don’t have any experience with Nikon’s range of lenses but I am a bit surprise by the list because some of the more popular lenses from the Canon range of the 90s was not reflected on this list! Yes, the cheapest and most popular is and should be the 50mm f/1.8ll followed by the 50mm f/1.4, but what about the 35mm f/2, 28mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.8 & 28mm f/1.8. Those were once some of the must have prime lenses. They may not have the best optical performance, but considering their price they gave an adequate; or in some cases, at certain f-stops, approaching closely those of the most expensive lenses. A case in point; the 50mm f/1.8ll, the cheapest lens in Canon’s range, at f/5.6-11, can go almost toe to toe with Canon’s 50mm f/1.2, considered one of the most costly lens in the Canon range.

  • Edward

    I am always surprised at the lack of Pentax coverage…wonderful cameras and compatibility with a long long list of lenses which include some real gems…

  • http://www.indianweddingphotographer.co.uk Bipin

    I am not surprised the Canon 24-105mm is on the list of the most popular lenses. This lens stays on permently on one of the bodies when shooting indian weddings. Some may say the 24-70 f2.8 is a better lens for wedding photography but I prefer the extra reach I get with the 105mm.

    I aslo use the magnificent 70-200 f2.8 – just wish it wasn’t too heavy.

  • barry

    i am with edward i have just bought a pentax kx and trying to find how to get the best out of it is hard it came with a 50/200 and a 18/55

  • http://www.the-capsule.com The-Capsule

    Great post. I’ve always been a giant fan of the Canon 70-200mm F2.8. It has amazing depth of field and is one of the sharpest lenses that can be used for everything.

    I found some of the best Canon lenses you can purchase on Amazon since most come with free shipping and a year warranty, and theres actually a bunch of these lenses from this list on there!

    http://www.the-capsule.com/2014/03/top-10-canon-dslr-lenses-available-on-amazon/

Some older comments

  • barry

    August 1, 2013 07:18 pm

    i am with edward i have just bought a pentax kx and trying to find how to get the best out of it is hard it came with a 50/200 and a 18/55

  • Bipin

    July 3, 2013 03:36 am

    I am not surprised the Canon 24-105mm is on the list of the most popular lenses. This lens stays on permently on one of the bodies when shooting indian weddings. Some may say the 24-70 f2.8 is a better lens for wedding photography but I prefer the extra reach I get with the 105mm.

    I aslo use the magnificent 70-200 f2.8 - just wish it wasn't too heavy.

  • Edward

    January 13, 2013 02:55 am

    I am always surprised at the lack of Pentax coverage...wonderful cameras and compatibility with a long long list of lenses which include some real gems...

  • j5shock

    December 14, 2012 07:38 pm

    I don't have any experience with Nikon's range of lenses but I am a bit surprise by the list because some of the more popular lenses from the Canon range of the 90s was not reflected on this list! Yes, the cheapest and most popular is and should be the 50mm f/1.8ll followed by the 50mm f/1.4, but what about the 35mm f/2, 28mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.8 & 28mm f/1.8. Those were once some of the must have prime lenses. They may not have the best optical performance, but considering their price they gave an adequate; or in some cases, at certain f-stops, approaching closely those of the most expensive lenses. A case in point; the 50mm f/1.8ll, the cheapest lens in Canon's range, at f/5.6-11, can go almost toe to toe with Canon's 50mm f/1.2, considered one of the most costly lens in the Canon range.

  • stephen

    October 30, 2012 02:33 am

    Hi, am in need of a SLR D90 camera, any one will to help me acquire one I will really appreciate.

    Thanks in advance

    Stephen
    Nairobi, Kenya

  • Lyann

    September 1, 2012 05:35 pm

    Is it possible to use Nikon lenses in Canon SLR?

  • gourmetguy

    July 8, 2012 07:35 am

    I only own the canon 50mm 1.8 II from this list :(
    Cant afford most of them

    :(

  • John Ireland

    July 7, 2012 11:29 pm

    Slowolf, I do love the new DX prime 35mm. One thing I never really appreciated until I got a good prime was how much it frees you up. Most of the time traveling I just leave this lens on and take a couple of steps in or out to zoom. More often I just think of different shots and framing now, but I never have to worry about the light.

  • Slowolf

    July 7, 2012 07:07 pm

    I don't have any of them. Using legacy non-DX
    Nikon on Fuji S2 Pro. My all-time favorites are 24mm f2.0, 85mm f1.8, portrait, 105mm macro 1:1. Wish I had 200mm micro1:1 "butterfly" lens. You can get great glass used for less. DPSS recent travel portrait article proves short lens (35mm) can take great portraits. John Ireland above seems to love his.

  • mick boyd

    July 6, 2012 03:30 pm

    Is there such a thing as the BEST macro lens for a nikon d60?

  • Steve Andrade

    July 6, 2012 07:25 am

    I' m surprised one of the most popular lenses by Canon did not make it, could be it's price. All professionals want this one in their bag, Canon's 85mm f/1.2 lens. This baby can create beautiful bokeh!

  • Val

    July 5, 2012 05:25 am

    Would you consider analysing this further by polling subscribers as to their most used lenses?

    Wayne, if you want to get into macro cheaply you can put a reverse mount on an old good quality prime lens. Next step up is a macro 50 / 60mm the problem with which can get quite close to objects with impications for lighting and can also frighten bugs away. The best long term solution is probably a mid-range macro 90 /105mm. Things to look out for are whether the front element rotates (problem with polarisers if it rotates) and whether and to what extent the lens extends during focusing.

  • Paul

    July 4, 2012 04:45 pm

    Where's the Sony lenses?

  • Carlee

    July 4, 2012 11:55 am

    I have the 50mm f/1.4 and the 24-70, looking to get the 70-200 asap! Love the 24-70, it is such a versatile lens. It should definitely make any photographer's must - have list in my opinion. Thanks!

  • Bob

    July 4, 2012 04:16 am

    I own 4 of the top 10 NIkon lenses and love them all! Great lenses!

  • Dave

    July 3, 2012 11:11 pm

    I'm surprised that 3 of my 5 Canon Lens didn't make the list. They are my "workhorse" 100-400mm f4.5-5.6, the Canon 60mm f2.8 Macro, and the Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 wide angle lens.

  • Pasha

    July 2, 2012 09:16 pm

    It's shame newest Sigma 50mm isn't in the list. One of the best lenses at the moment.

  • mmx

    July 2, 2012 06:25 pm

    I'm a bit skeptical in not seeing the Tamron 90mm Macro. Probably it's because everyone has one.

  • John Ireland

    July 2, 2012 11:33 am

    The Nikkor 35mm DX lens in amazing. I got it for Father's Day (so I could shoot my daughter's first dance recital) and I am impressed with how sharp it is. I used it over the weekend to shoot fireworks and was impressed with its speed. I wish they would make some other DX primes with this quality and that cost.

  • Beetwo77

    July 2, 2012 11:19 am

    are the other ten lenses going to be added to this list at some point ;)

  • Wayne

    July 2, 2012 10:45 am

    I am a newbie to D-SLR photography having recently purchased a Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D (I heard this was a good beginners camera).

    I previously enjoyed taking macro photos with my FujiFilm S6500 fd and the results were not too bad.
    What would folks recommend for a beginner wanting to get into macro photography?

  • GradyPhilpott

    July 2, 2012 10:32 am

    These are interesting and helpful articles and it is a good thing that you describe your methods at the end, but the headline is really misleading and the results do not really describe the most popular "whatever," except perhaps by happenstance.

    These data don't really tell us much about which lenses get the most use by those who read this blog. The data tell us which lenses are bought the most often by people who click through to Amazon from this site and make a lens purchase.

    As an example, you don't see any kit lenses on this list, because most people who buy a camera get a 18-55mm lens. Nikon people aren't buying that lens not because it's not a good lens, but because they already have it.

    Almost everyone who wants to pursue photography will want to pick up a few prime lenses, if for no other reason that everyone tells them they need them. I have several myself, but the lens that gets the most use by far, is the Nikkor 18-200mm.

    So, I think that people should consider these factors before jumping to any conclusions.

    I would define the most popular lenses as those that spend the most time on the camera and not those that are purchased by clicking through to Amazon from a photography site.

  • Rick

    July 2, 2012 07:16 am

    It's interesting how the Nikon list nearly mirrors the Canon list in terms of focal lengths. However, I do know that Nikkor 35mm to be very popular among Nikon shooters, and Canon's version isn't quite up to par. It's also interesting that the new Canon 40 "pancake" made that list after only being on the market for a short while.

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