Quality glass is the key to capturing great images with your DSLR camera. It’s hard to find in a sea of the best DSLR lens options, but in this article, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite picks to start your lens collection. Since we’re not keeping the list specific to specific brands, we’ve selected lenses available in multiple mount options, or those that can be found in similar iterations across the board.
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best dslr lens
- Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 DC HSM Art
- Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM
- Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art
- Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
- Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S
- Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
- Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art DG HSM
- Nikon/Canon/Sony 50mm f/1.8
- Nikon/Canon/Sony 24-70 f/2.8
- Nikon/Canon/Sony 70-200 f/2.8
We will be updating this list of the best DSLR lenses regularly.
1. Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens
The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 remains one of the most popular lenses out there, as it has the ability to have an f/1.8 aperture no matter what focal length you’re using. The more you zoom in, most lenses start to close the aperture. This is a rare and expensive feature in other lenses, but it does have its limits. The key point is that this lens is built for an APS-C sensor, leaving full-frame camera users out of the game.
Sigma’s beloved lens is available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony and Sigma mounts. The price is also unheard of for a lens like this – check it out via the button below.
2. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM
Everyone should have a good wide-angle lens. They are best for landscape shots and can easily capture large subjects in a single frame. The Sigma’s 14-24 f/2.8 lens has a wide aperture and quality glass. It’s meant for demanding users, and its price is no joke, but the Sigma still undercuts the competition. The price varies slightly depending on the mount you need.
3. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens
The 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is a must for professionals and photo enthusiasts. While each brand has its own version of this lens, going with Sigma’s option will save you a ton of cash. Similar lenses from other companies may cost twice as much, but will certainly not produce twice the quality.
best dslr cameras you can buy
If I had to pick one lens to carry with me at all times, the 24-70 f/2.8 would be one of the best DSLR lenses to choose. The available focal length makes it a great all-purpose lens to use for scenery, landscapes, portraits and general shots.
4. Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
Need to zoom in further? A handy 70-200mm lens is another piece of equipment that should be in every photographer’s bag. For the price it has an f/2.8 aperture and amazing optics.
5. Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S
Those who want some serious zooming reach should take a look at the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S. It’s made for sports photographers and can achieve up to 300mm with a constant f/2.8 aperture. It’s a beast of a lens, but it’s also expensive. There is no doubt that this is one of the best DSLR lenses for getting remote and personal with your subject, though.
6. Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
A macro lens is another must for those times when you need to get really close to your subject. We’re talking really close, as it can focus objects as close as 12.3in, which is pretty close considering its 105mm focal length. This will be one of the best DSLR lenses for shooting insects, plants and other small objects.
What is Macro Photography?
The reason I often recommend a good macro lens is that it is not specific to macro photography. You can use this lens for general purposes; It would make for a great portrait lens or fixed zoom option.
7. Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens
The super-fast lens with f/1.4 aperture is totally a good lens if you’ve got the cash to spare. This will give you the edge you need in low light situations, as well as produce a shallow depth of field for your bokeh (blurry background). It is available in Nikon, Canon, Sony and Sigma versions.
8. Nikon/Canon/Sony 50mm f/1.8 DSLR Lens
My 50mm f/1.8 is by far my most valuable investment in photography – I shoot 70% of my photos with it. These prime lenses have good image quality, a 50mm focal length is ideal for many purposes, and f/1.8 is very sharp. Most importantly, these 50mm f/1.8 lenses are highly affordable, making them one of the best DSLR lenses you can get. You can take things a step further with an f/1.4 or f/1.2 aperture, but they cost quite a bit.
9. Nikon/Canon/Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 DSLR Lens
Every major brand has a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, but these lenses are for professionals. They all cost between $1,500 and $2,000, and sometimes more. However, these are wonderful lenses for general purpose photography, and they are every photographer’s dream.
10. Nikon/Canon/Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 DSLR Lens
We’ve listed some of the best 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses above, but going with your camera manufacturer’s version offers better quality and support. Canon, Nikon, Sony and other brands offer their own versions of this lens, and they cost more than $2,000. However, serious photographers won’t mind the investment.
Now you are ready to pack your bag with a worthy collection of the best DSLR lenses to take on your photographic adventures. Regardless of your shooting needs, this list should get you started in the right direction.
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