The 10 Best Prime Lenses For Canon

video play icon

This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in August of 2018. While a lot of shooters prefer zooms for their versatility, many pros know that prime lenses are likely to be sharper, as manufacturers only have to optimize their performance at one focal length. The options for Canon on our list come from a few different companies, and are ideal for everyone from street photographers and portrait artists to filmmakers and product specialists. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. EF 35mm f1.4L II

2. EF 100mm f/2.8L IS

3. RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS

Editor's Notes

April 16, 2020:

Since our last visit to this list, Canon came out with their R line of mirrorless full-frame bodies, and while the 35mm for that series leaves something to be desired, the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM and the RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS are right up there with the best L Series lenses the company has produced. That 85mm, it should be noted, is the more recent addition to the market, after the first iteration saw a bit of scrutiny over the quality of its bokeh effect despite having the same f/1.2 aperture speed, and this new model has been designed to solve that specific problem.

To make room for these two new models, we sent off the Sigma 20mm from our last ranking, as well as the Canon 40mm pancake. Of the third-party options on our previous list, that 20mm was the least useful, and the pancake 40 was a nice way to keep things compact, but ultimately it couldn't compete in image quality given its incredibly small size. And if you're looking for something with a little more artiness, even at the expense of what are usually accepted to be standards of image quality, there are a couple of specialty options in our special honors section.

Special Honors

Lomography Lomogon 2.5/32 Art This model is designed to take the optical performance of an old film camera from the 1980s and stylishly apply it to DSLRs. It's housed in a durable barrel, and it creates images that definitely have a lot of personality to them, often coming at the expense of some sharpness. If you long for the days of home celluloid photography, though, this might be for you.

Lensbaby Composer Pro II Most of the products this company makes are designed to emulate the effects of free-linsing — when you hold the lens off-axis in front of your camera body without actually attaching it. The results of that technique can be striking, but more often are way out of focus, and leaving a digital camera open to the elements can get dust and debris on the sensor. This model and its siblings account for that by adhering to either EF or RF mounts and placing a kind of focal axis point between their simple 35mm lens and the seal created by the mount. Once you master the style, you'll begin to see it everywhere, as well, from wedding photos to TV shows.

4. RF 50mm f/1.2L USM

5. EF 85mm f/1.2L II

6. EF 24mm f/1.4L II

7. Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG Art

8. EF 50mm f/1.2L

9. EF 14mm f/2.8L II

10. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG Art

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).

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.