The Best Selling DSLR Lenses According to What Our Readers are Buying

The Best Selling DSLR Lenses According to What Our Readers are Buying

Pin ItEvery few months I take a look at what photography gear readers of the dPS community are buying at Amazon (according to the reports Amazon give us from our affiliate program*). Today I spent some time digging into the purchases of DSLR lenses and have compiled the following breakdown of best selling lenses. These results end up on our Popular Digital Cameras and Photography Gear page.

Canon DSLR Lenses

As usual the f1.8 50mm lens wins in the Canon range – a huge seller (see notes before). It’s a great quality lens and considering its price and how fast it is – it is almost a no brainer to have one in your camera bag.

  1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
  2. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom
  3. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens
  4. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
  5. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
  6. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens
  7. Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens
  8. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens
  9. Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens
  10. Canon EF 100-400mm
  11. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens
  12. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens
  13. Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Wide Angle Lens
  14. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens

Nikon DSLR Lenses

As with Canon – the 50mm lens is king here – doubling the sales of its nearest rival in the Nikon range – again its to do with quality of the lens and the value for money!

  1. Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
  2. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens
  3. Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR [Vibration Reduction] Nikkor Zoom Lens
  4. Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-Nikkor Lens
  5. Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime Nikkor Lens

Other Brands DSLR Leneses

Many of these lenses from third party suppliers like Signma and Tamron can be used on different brands of cameras (just make sure you’re buying one with the appropriate mount for your DSLR.

  1. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens
  2. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Motorized Telephoto Zoom Lens
  3. Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro Lens
  4. Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom
  5. Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens
  6. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens
  7. Sony 50mm f/1.8

A few notes about these results:

Remember these lists are simply based upon what our readers are buying. They don’t guarantee that they are the ‘best’ quality lenses – in fact the lists include a real mix of lenses from those at a professional (and quite expensive) level through to more budget lenses.

The Canon lens is biggest because that’s what our readers buy most but also because the spread of lenses our readers buy on the canon range is larger than for other brands. Nikon’s list may not be as long but our readers buy similar amounts of these lenses to Canon except for one lens – the 50mm f/1.8.

The biggest selling lens by a long long way is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 – in the last quarter this lens outsold all other lenses significantly (in fact it saw over 3 times the sales of the the next biggest selling lens – the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens.

For interests sake – here are the top five selling lenses across the brands:

  1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
  2. Nikon 50mm f/1.8
  3. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens
  4. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom
  5. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens

Want more lens recommendations? Check out Amazons own best selling DSLR lens page which has some similar trends to our lists but also has a few others that our readers didn’t seem to buy. You can also drill down by brand of lens with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus, Sigma, Tamron and Panasonic etc.

* dPS earns a small commission when readers click through on links to Amazon from dPS. This helps us to keep dPS free so if you’re in the market for a new lens we appreciate you buying through these links.

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+.

Some Older Comments

  • Bruce June 29, 2013 10:51 am

    my 3 favourite lenses are canon 50mm f/1.8; canon 15-85 f/3.5 ; canon 100mmL macro is usm f/2.8.
    The 100mm is awesome ,great for portraits, macro & 2.8!!!

  • Quazi Ahmed Hussain February 12, 2013 09:01 pm

    I never regret any of my lenses as all of them are brand glasses - no third party intrusion into my bag.

    I was not surprised to see that Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is the best selling lens across the board. I use it myself and found it blows all the rest out of water.

    This is undoubtedly Canon's best secret.

  • V. John Reyes December 8, 2012 11:21 pm

    I am no longer using my D7000 kit lens (18-105 mm) since I bought a Tamron 18-270 mm (not the PZD) lens a year ago. Lately, I was no longer satisfied with my Tamron lens so last week I bought 2 NIKKOR lenses, the 105 mm Micro VR and the NIKKOR 18-300 mm.
    Is this a nice combination Darren?

  • aj March 22, 2012 07:46 pm

    Excellent comment Mike... people need to take note of the title of this and other articles similar. This is just a list of what readers on this site are buying. Not pros, not people happy with their purchase, not what's best for anything specific.

    Maybe readers here buy the best, maybe we all buy junk. This list speaks nothing of quality or performance because it's not intended to. Though it's informative and well put together, thanks to Darren!!

    Read folks! :) It's just stats LOL

  • DakotaVisionsPhotographyLLC February 24, 2012 02:30 am

    We just added a 'What Camera Gear to Buy with Your Tax Return' list on our website as well. Fits in with the lenses chosen here with some additional advice for why to purchase.

  • Bryan December 4, 2011 07:11 am

    I'm surprised that the Tamron 17-50 2.8 isn't on this list. It's "L" quality but much cheaper.

  • EricC November 26, 2011 10:42 am

    I totally agree with you, Rob, my 35mm sits on my cam more than any of my other lenses considering I am into porttraits.
    As usual, nice list Darren! Thank you.

  • Wedding Photographer November 25, 2011 03:23 am

    Important that you get the metal mount 50mm 1.8 not the plastic one!

  • gale November 25, 2011 02:15 am

    I want to add a fixed lens to my bag of canon items. Maybe 300 or 400? Don't know anything about them. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Rob November 24, 2011 01:08 pm

    As much as the 50mm is a great optic in any brand, it is not the desired lense that is comparable to human eye perspective on the cropped sensor. Unless you are using a full fame camera you really should buy the 35mm which I think all manufacturers are now making. Everyone thinks..."50mm is classic" and indeed the masters used it and swore by it, but don't be fooled into thinking it is best for the smaller APS-C sensor. It is in fact a little long, but still good for portraiture. But, 35mm x 1.5 = 53mm...perfect...8-))

  • Dennis Mitchell November 24, 2011 11:51 am

    Not bad....I keep thinking about the Canon 50mm f/1.8, but haven't decided to go that way, or put the $100 toward the 50mm f.1.4. My current *new* favorite is Tokina's 11-16 f/2.8. But Canon's 70-200mm f/4L still spends a LOT of time on my camera! It's all in what gets the images YOU want. 8~)

  • Linda November 24, 2011 11:36 am

    I have a Nikon D90, and am thinking seriously about the Tamron 18-270mm..just because it would cover such a nice range. I want to carry the camera EVERYWHERE, but having to carry a 70-200mm lens , along with what is already on my camera..a 24-85mm 3.5-4.5. I feel the Tamron would be a great multi purpose lens..all in one..thoughts?

  • Yeelen November 24, 2011 07:40 am

    I've got none of those Canon lenses (85 1.8 & 18-135). Does that make me a hipster or stupid? :D

  • Mike November 23, 2011 10:09 am

    I just don't understand why people have a problem with this list. The title of the article says it all. It's not the I wish it was a list of..... Article. It's a list of what dps readers are buying. Maybe some day the list of people that bought random, and off brand equipment list will come out. Until then, take this list for what it is.

  • Kartik November 23, 2011 09:21 am

    Darren - in that case, in the future you should probably categorize the top selling lenses by brand. eg: Top 5 Canon lenses, Nikon, Sony and so on. Otherwise everyone's only going to see a bunch of Canon and Nikon lenses and other DSLR owners may feel left out. By doing this, users may also miss out on seeing some really good lenses like the Sony SAL70300G, for example.

    ...Just some food for thought for the future articles! But nonetheless, this is great info, Great work, keep it up!

  • Ramon B. Nuez Jr. November 23, 2011 12:46 am

    Darren -- thanks for the information. I myself picked up a Nikon d5000 earlier this year with a kit lens. It's my first HDDSLR and I like it. I have recently started shoot video interviews and have been educated about Magic Lantern and the Canon line of HDDSLRs. So I guess I will be making the jump to Canon.

    You got the Leica M9-P for your 40th?! Congrats! I think I got cake for my 40th :-)

  • Shams Naved November 22, 2011 05:33 pm

    :) Nice to see to of my lenses listed in the list

    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom


  • Dazza November 22, 2011 04:38 pm

    Hi, I have Canon 550d coupled to a Tameron 18- 270. Is this a good lenses?

  • Rich Copley November 22, 2011 02:13 pm

    I'll vouch for the Tamron 70-200 - a steal for people want long, fast glass but don't have $2,500 to drop on the Nikon or Canon version. It also has the coolest way to shift from autofocus to manual - you just pull the focus ring back, slightly.

  • peter jamieson November 22, 2011 02:12 pm

    been wondering about the Tamron 18 - 270 as a versitile lens, currently have 18 - 55 canon kit & old 55 - 300mm USM IS lens the Tamron would replace perhaps

  • ccting November 22, 2011 01:41 pm

    Perhaps another survey should be conducted "The Worst DSLR Lenses According to What Our Readers are disposing / selling / replacing"

  • ccting November 22, 2011 01:39 pm

    Perhaps another survey should be conducted "The Worst DSLR Lenses According to What Our Readers are Buying"

  • Nikko November 22, 2011 01:18 pm

    It is very interesting that Canon users so greatly outnumber Nikon users on this website. I would've thought they'd be closer to half half, or at least 40/60 split.

    I must admit that from your list of top Nikon lenses, I've only got the AF-S 50mm F/1.4G.

  • Bekah November 22, 2011 12:55 pm would y'all recommend the 55-250 canon? I'm looking at buying it. I'm mostly into nature, lifestyle photography, and I'm trying to improve my portrait skills...all I have at this point is my 28-80mm and 50mm (which I use 95% of the time now)

  • Darren Rowse November 22, 2011 11:34 am

    Gina - its a best selling list.... I guess our readers are simply not buying those lenses at this point in the same numbers that they are other lenses. There was one mentioned - the Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens.

  • Mark Finley November 22, 2011 10:36 am

    I have the Nikon 35mm 1.8 and the sigma 10-20mm off this list, they're the only lenses I use these days, both are fantastic, my kit lenses just sit and gather dust.

  • jess November 22, 2011 09:56 am

    mine is no. 5,6&11 'yay :)

  • Gina November 22, 2011 09:51 am

    Why no list of Pentax lens?

  • Darren Rowse November 22, 2011 09:39 am

    Ramon - I've traditionally been a Canon user. I currently have a 5D Mk II. I guess the reason I've stuck to Canon is that once you invest in multiple lenses its a big thing to switch to another brand. Having said that I recently was given a Leica M9-P for my 40th b'day from my wife (I've long wanted a Leica) - so I'm shooting a fair bit with that too these days.

  • Darren Rowse November 22, 2011 09:37 am

    Kartik - no doubt they're great lenses.... but I guess our readers just didn't buy them.

  • Kartik November 22, 2011 09:32 am

    You missed out the best Sony lens - the 70-300G SSM lens.

    View some photos taken using Sony SAL70300G lens

    You also missed out one of the best Zoom lenses - the Sony SAL18250 which is very similar to the Tamron 18-250 f/3.5-6.5.

    View some photos taken using Sony SAL18250 lens

  • Darren Rowse November 22, 2011 09:26 am

    Rodney - its not a cheap lens, this being a 'best selling' list rather than a 'best quality' list you'll probably find its out of the reach of many of our readers.

  • Ramon B. Nuez Jr. November 22, 2011 06:23 am

    Darren I am a big fan of Digital Photography, thanks for all the information.

    BTW, I am not sure what camera you use -- Canon or Nikon? Which ever of these two you use why did you stick to that brand?


  • Rodney November 22, 2011 01:15 am

    Where is the Canon 85mm 1.8 can't believe it's not on the list

  • Jenny November 21, 2011 11:13 pm

    I just got my first DSLR on Friday!! I'm so happy. :D And this post really helps, so I'll know what to get when I go for my next lense. :)

  • Dominik November 21, 2011 07:04 pm

    Your list deliver a distorted view. I am a reader of your internet page, too. But I would never buy anything by clicking an amazon button.

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer November 21, 2011 05:37 pm

    Agree with the above commenter, I do not know any Nikon colleagues with the 105mm f/2.0D lens. Among them, I am the only one with the 105mm VR f/2.8G as well. Seems very strange for the 105mm f/2.0D to be on that list.

  • photomiser November 21, 2011 05:02 pm

    Interesting that the $1000+ Nikon 105mm f/2.0D would rank so highly. Must be a sweet spot for professional portraits, I take it. Certainly a good lens, but I would have thought a macro would be more likely to make the top 5 by having broader appeal.

  • Darren Rowse November 21, 2011 03:27 pm

    bart - I was referring to the biggest selling lens - the Canon 50mm 1.8 which outsold all the other lenses by far.

  • Trevon November 21, 2011 02:48 pm

    I only have the most expensive brand name canon lenses.

  • Joseph Lim November 21, 2011 11:46 am

    Slightly surprised Tokina 11-16mm didn't make the list :) good list btw.

  • Rick November 21, 2011 11:40 am

    mike...I think you're referring to the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS....the 70-200mm f/4 L (non-IS) goes for ~$750US, and is very affordable. I'm surprised that one didn't make this list, but I guess not everybody is a landscape photog. It's a fairly slow lens.

  • Bart November 21, 2011 11:24 am

    Nikon’s list may not be as long but our readers buy similar amounts of these lenses to Canon except for one lens – which I’ll speak about below.

    So what's that one lens that differs from popularity compared to Canon? The 35/1.8? The 105 macro? I can't really follow what you're saying since "below" seems to be the end of the article.

  • Dawn November 21, 2011 11:05 am

    Yup, sure enough I have the lens that made the #1 spot for Nikon, and it is by far my favorite lens for taking pictures of my little girl. I don't have any of the others listed, but I do have the one that #4 incorrectly links to. Does that count? :-)

  • Mike November 21, 2011 09:51 am

    The 70-200 isn't on there because it's $2500, and is mostly used by pros. This list is the most bought, meaning what the average person buys.

  • Mads November 21, 2011 07:30 am

    Your link to Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC-Nikkor Lens is wrong. Your link is to the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens.
    Here is the correct (minus your affiliation stuff) link:


  • hansi trompka November 21, 2011 07:29 am

    Where is the Canon 70-200 2.8 or 4.0 ?
    I thought it would ne one of the topseller...