The 10 Best Canon L Lenses

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This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in August of 2018. With a company like Canon, you can generally expect all of their lenses to be high quality, but the glass that they produce for their coveted L series represents the finest of their offerings. Fortunately, they make these models for almost every focal length, and with a wide variety of shooters in mind. We've ranked them here by sharpness, durability, and versatility. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS

2. RF 24-70mm f/2.8 IS USM

3. RF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM

Editor's Notes

April 14, 2020:

The most glaring difference between this iteration of the list and our last is that Canon unveiled their EOS R line of full-frame mirrorless cameras with a whole new mount designed to be larger and more communicative, with a 12-pin contact system at the mouth of the body and the back of every lens. Of course, that meant designing a whole slew of new lenses for the line, some of which, like the RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS and RF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM are included here.

That RF 70-200 is an interesting proposition, as well. Over the years, digital shooters had come to suspect poor performance from lenses that extend during the zoom process, preferring so-called internal zoom mechanisms that did everything inside. Canon's gone the other way with this model, reinvesting in the idea of an externalized zoom in a way that I think marries nicely with the aesthetic and practical application of mirrorless systems — namely the desire to get smaller and lighter than DSLRs.

We added a long telephoto prime to the list in the EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM because it's undeniably a product of the 21st century, with a boatload of cool features like function buttons, a three-way stabilization switch, and more. It isn't exactly cheap, but it's a pro model.

Special Honors

EF Lens Mug Set It's possible you've seen people who appear to be drinking out of camera lenses out in the world, and if so, the insulated thermos from this set is likely what they were using. It also comes with a mug for enjoying your favorite hot beverages around the house or office, and three coasters shaped and decorated to resemble the 5D Mk IV.

4. EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM

5. RF 50mm f/1.2

6. EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III

7. EF 85mm f/1.4L IS

8. EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II

9. EF 70-200mm f/2.8 III

10. EF 35mm f/1.4L II

Daniel Imperiale
Last updated by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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