Recommended lenses for Canon 40D, 50D, 7D

by Enche Tjin on September 18, 2009

esCanon 40D and 50D is an advanced camera which is great for sports or photojournalism. It has magnesium alloy body with 6-6fps continuous shooting burst. Canon 50D has 15 megapixel sensor. To get advantage of the sensor, we need to get a better lenses than the beginner consumer lenses.

Here are some ideal lenses for Canon EOS 40D and Canon 50D

Keep in mind that if you see  ‘EF-S’ on the lens name means that this lens is not compatible with full frame DSLR camera such as Canon EOS 5D or 1D series. But you can use these lenses for many other Canon EOS cameras. If you decided to upgrade later, you will be able to sell the lenses easily because 95% of users are using these lenses.

canon-10-22mm-efsCanon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Price: $765

This is super wide-angle lens for Canon. This is  a special lens which is especially designed for landscape or architecture.  Although it is a bit expensive and not as versatile as 17-55mm (lens below), but the optic quality is excellent.

canon-efs-17-55mm-is-usmCanon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Price: $1030

This lens is the best standard zoom for crop sensor cameras, ideal for general walk-around and awesome in low light because it has f/2.8 constant aperture and image stabilization. Unfortunately, the built quality is not like professional quality lenses. [Review]

canon-15-85mm-isCanon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Price: $730

This is another great walk around lens. Compared to 17-55mm, this lens has a wider focal length, but have slower aperture. Therefore, it is ideal for day light photography. It is also cheaper and lighter.

Canon EF 70-200mm L series Price: $650-$1700

For telephoto zoom, you might look at four  70-200mm L series that Canon offers. It starts from $650 to $1700. To get more information about these lenses, you can Read : Canon EF 70-200mm L dilemma

canon-ef-70-300mmCanon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Price: $550

If you have lower budget and want extra range for birds or wildlife photography, this lens fits the bill. It is sharp from 70-200mm and soften abit at the long end, however, if you shoot at smaller aperture such as f8 or f11, the images will look stunning as well. Also keep in mind that this lens is EF lens, so it is compatible with full frame DSLR camera.

canon-ef-100mmCanon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Price: $600

For macro / close up photography, this lens is excellent. The focal length is long enough for insects photography. It is also good for portraits and some  indoor sports because it has ultrasonic motor.

canon-85mm-f18Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Price: 450

If you are serious about portraiture, especially girls, you might want to invest on this lens. It produces very nice background blur (bokeh), and produces great colors. The auto focus is amazingly fast. Beside portraits, you can use it for candids and indoor sports. This lens always amaze me, it worth every penny. [Review]

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Igor Levicki September 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Nice writeup, but you completely missed to mention 17-40 F/4L, 24-70 F/2.8L and 24-105 F/4L.

admin September 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Igor, those lenses are designed for full frame camera such as 5D, thus I don’t recommend it. But it works well too in this crop body.

Vishen October 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

Hi Guys, i have a question.

I have a canon 28-70 F2.8 L lense, a 30D and 40D. Without the use of flash indoors, i find the 40D is searching for focus, while the 30D locks on..

Could you shed sum light on this…


yumarcs March 19, 2010 at 11:17 pm

You recommended the 18-200 VR for D300S in Nikon, but why did you not recommend the EF-S 18-200 IS for Canon 7D or 50D? Both lenses have the same IQ.. does the high resolution of 7D/50D has something to do with it?

Enche Tjin March 19, 2010 at 11:57 pm

The Nikon version (especially II) has better IQ and also better mechanically/built. I also think that higher resolution camera demands better lens optically.

Jerminal March 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm


I am a beginner + in photographing with DSLR.Thinking to get Canon 7D and either Zeiss 100mm f/2 Macro Planar or Canon EF 100mm f/2 L IS USM . I know the Zeiss lens doezn’t have auto focus feature, how about above mentioned canon lens – does it have AF and Manual F?

Another question: is this Zeiss lens better than the Canon lens?

Thank you,

Enche Tjin March 23, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Canon lens has auto and manual focus. Zeiss lens is better in image optical and construction, but yeah, no auto focus. However, if you shoot macro photography, you might want to use manual focus rather than auto.

sarah June 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm

dear enche,i still confused on which one i’ll buy: EF-S 10-22mm or EF 17-40mm for wide lens.any suggest?

Enche Tjin June 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hi Sarah, 10-22mm is usually regarded as ultra wide lens. This lens is great for vast landscape, super tight room and architecture. In 40D/50D, this lens is equivalent to 16-35mm.

17-40mm f/4 is also an ultra wide lens but only if you mount it on a Canon full frame camera such as 5D or 1d series. In 40D/50D it will be 27-64mm which is quite wide, but not as wide as the 10-22mm.

So if you are looking for specialized wide lens for 40D/50D, then 10-22mm is the best choice.

sarah June 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

dear enche,thanks for the reply and suggest.

arun July 7, 2010 at 11:29 am

how about carl zeis prime lenses

Enche Tjin July 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I wrote this recommended Zeiss lenses article a while ago. I hope it is helpful.

Alex August 25, 2010 at 3:13 am

Hi Guys,

Can you give advise about Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM for Canon 50D? I want good lenses for portrait from the beginning , so I decided spread the budget to spend more on lenses than on the body itself. Is it worth it?

Regards, Alex

Enche Tjin August 25, 2010 at 3:24 am

Hi Alex, I think 135mm is too long for canon 50D. You will need a lot of space (about 3-3.5m) to frame a head shot. I recommend Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 instead. It is more versatile either for head and shoulder or 3/4 length portrait plus it has lot bigger aperture for light gathering and beautiful background blur.

Ralph Williams August 30, 2010 at 1:14 am

thoughts on the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8? I’m considering it as a third party cost alternative to the Canon 17-55 and I’ve read pretty encouraging reviews. No IS, but less than half the cost…(given that you have a good copy in hand)

Dean Chaudhry September 30, 2010 at 2:22 am

Ralph, the Tamron 17-55mm lens is awesome!! I find not having IS, but instead having a fast 2.8 lens to be far more beneficial. As a wedding photographer, owning the 50D and 7D bodies, I have the Canon 10-22 and Canon 17-40L (3.5-4.5), Tamron 17-55mm (2.8), Tamron 28-75mm (2.8), Canon 70-200L (f4) and Canon 70-300mm (3.5-5.6 IS). I’m quite surprised the Tamron 28-75mm (2.8) wasn’t mentioned. I sold my Canon 17-85/3.5-5.6 IS to get it and find it doesn’t hunt nearly as much in low light (if at all), is faster at 2.8 and frankly gives better sharpness, color and contrast than any Canon non-L series lens. Also, I find (at least for weddings) it a far more useful walk-around/stay-on-the-camera lens than most as (depending on what/where you’re shooting), I find this focal range much more realistic and in-line to what the human eye sees as opposed to the “extreme-wide” view that anything from 17-28mm does.

Enche Tjin September 30, 2010 at 3:30 am

If you get a good copy, it will be great, but quality control remain an issue.

Temesgen March 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

hi i have canon 50d camera&530marke 2 speed work dependon wedding the previese time i work with niken d80.the qality better than canon.what do u suggest me?the color qality also differnt.finaly i want up gerad my self with canon camera.

Temesgen March 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

hi have canon 50d camera.which is better to take apicture indoor&outdoor?i mean manual or auto keliven?

Temesgen March 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

hi is there abig diffrence b/n 7d&5d?

Enche Tjin March 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Yeah, fundamental different. 5D has full frame sensor (larger than 7D). But technology wise, (auto focus system, shooting speed, processor..) 7D is more advanced than 5D mark II.

Christoper Bevins October 15, 2012 at 6:28 am

Thanks to my father who told me on the topic of this webpage, this blog is genuinely awesome.

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