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23 Popular DSLR Lenses

my-favorite-lens.jpgOver the last two weeks and in the lead up to Christmas when a lot of camera gear is bought – we’ve published lists of popular DSLR cameras and popular point and shoot digital cameras – based upon the buying habits of our readers at Amazon.

Today we’re going to take a similar look at DSLR lenses that are popular with our readers.

As I scan the list of popular DSLRs that have been purchased it’s clear that Canon and Nikon lenses have dominated the list once again. However instead of listing them in a mixed list in order of popularity I thought it’d be more useful to list them by manufacturer. Afterall – if you’ve got a Canon DSLR you’re not going to be interested in a Nikon or Pentax lens.

A further note – I’ve only listed lenses that have been purchased multiple times – this accounts for the different sizes of the lists (ie there were more Canon lenses bought multiple times than Nikon and fewer of other manufacturers).

Popular Canon DSLR Lenses

  1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens – for its price perhaps the best value lens in terms of the quality of output.
  2. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – fast, great for portraits, weddings, sports, versatile focal length. Quite a heavy lens and not cheap (pictured top).
  3. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens – a step up from the f/1.8 in terms of build quality and results but more expensive.
  4. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – often compared with the 24-70mm below this lens is not as fast but has image stabilization and an extra 35mm reach. A worthy contender for a great walk around lens.
  5. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens – a great walk around lens. Faster than the 24-105 but no image stabilization (pictured right).
  6. Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens – not as fast as the 70-200mm f2.8 and without image stabilization but still a very sharp lens, a considerably cheaper option and lighter too. Note: between these two lenses is also a 70-200 f2.8 lens without image stabilization (this lens came in at #11).
  7. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Telephoto Lens – a prime lens that gets great reviews. Also check out the f/1.2 version which is super fast but pricey.
  8. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens – another alternative for a walk around lens if you take wide angle shots. A fast lens and loved by many.
  9. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens – I love this lens. It’s not as fast as some but has been great for landscapes.
  10. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens – another of my personal favorites. If you want to take Macro shots this is well worth considering. Interestingly it also takes great portraits.

Popular Nikon Lenses

  1. Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Lens – this lens makes a great option for everyday shooting with a fantastic focal range which gives both a reasonably wide angle and reach. The vibration reduction makes it particularly attractive and it is a reasonably affordable lens (pictured right).
  2. Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens – Nikons ‘nifty 50? is a much loved lens and similar to the Canon version – for its price and quality it is a must have in your bag.
  3. Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor Lens – this lens has had some great reviews and is renowned for being a high quality camera. Again it has vibration reduction, is relatively fast and is great for portraits, weddings, sports. It’s not cheap though.
  4. Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens – it is interesting that Macro lenses feature on both Nikon and Canon lists. This one however has vibration reduction making its fast aperture even more useful.
  5. Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom Nikkor Lens – lenses in this focal range featured heavily in both the Canon and Nikon lens and it is no wonder – its a really handy focal range. This one is quite a bit cheaper than the previous 70-200 but you lose Vibration reduction. Those mentioning it in our survey raved about it.
  6. Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens – another fast zoom lens with wide angles yet a little length – making it a good choice for every day use if you don’t need lots of reach. On Amazon this lens has 52 reviews and only 3 of them didn’t give it a perfect score of 5 stars (and two of those gave it 4 stars). I guess it isn’t just DPS readers who love this lens.
  7. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens – another zoom with a 2.8 aperture and a reasonable focal range. Those recommending it say its sharp, fast focusing and a joy to use.
  8. Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye Nikkor Lens – rounding out the Nikon list is a fisheye lens which looks like being a lot of fun.

Other Popular Lenses

  1. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens (Nikon) (also for Canon) – this lens was actually mentioned quite a few times – almost as many as the most popular Canon and Nikons. It looks like a fun wide angle lens to have in your camera bag (pictured).
  2. Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens – again the 50mm lenses pop up.
  3. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon – (also for Nikon) – this lens certainly has a wide focal range and is certainly on the more economical end of the spectrum of lenses in this category.
  4. Pentax-m 50mm 1:1.7? (Asahi) – the Pentax nifty fifty.
  5. Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko ED Digital SLR Lens – The winning Olympus lens with 3 people recommending it.

Is your favourite DSLR lens on the list?

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Darren Rowse
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+.

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