Today I spent a few hours collating the 233 responses to the question in the hope that it might turn out to be useful information for those in the market for a new lens.
Overwhelmingly the most popular brand of lenses mentioned were Canon and Nikon. Of the 302 lenses mentioned 52% were Canon, 24% were Nikon, 12% were Sigma and the rest were a mixture of Pentax, Olympus, Tamron, Tokina, Minolta and a couple of others.
As a result of the makeup of these results I’ve decided to give you some overall winners and then drill down a little further into three categories of Canon, Nikon and ‘Other’. I could have drilled down into the ‘other’ section more but there were just not enough lenses for each manufacturer.
I was quite surprised by the the first place winner because by no means is it a cheap lens but the result was extremely clear – 22 of the 302 lens mentions were for the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens. Of course following it up are the ‘nifty 50’ lenses which are always popular.
Of course the question of this reader survey was asking about favorite lenses – and the winner is a worthy one as it is fast, has image stabilization, has a great focal range for all kinds of applications and is superbly sharp.
Now lets drill down further and look at manufacturer specific lists.
Popular Canon Lenses
You’ve already seen the top 4 – so let me give you the top 10. I’ve included a few comments on each which I’ve taken from the comments left in the previous post as well as my own experience as a Canon user with many of these in my bag.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – often compared with the 24-70mm this lens is not as fast but has image stabilization and an extra 35mm reach. A worthy contender for a great walk around lens.
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).
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
I’m going to keep this list to a top 8 rather than a 10 – simply because there were less Nikon lenses mentioned and a few less clear favorites. Please excuse my comments on each lens – I’m not a Nikon user and so have relied upon the comments of others more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By no means are any of the above lenses complete. There were many other lenses mentioned – but these were the ones which kept coming up again and again in the comments left on the previous post. I hope you find them interesting and useful as you think about your next lens purchase.