As far as camera manufacturers go Canon is a royalty. The brand has produced a countless number of cameras in its history and it has been the go-to brand of many photographers, and especially those who prefer DSLR models. In its range, you can find models for professionals, enthusiasts, filmmakers, and a lot more. But one of its most impressive models has been in its entry-level or beginner-focused entries. These models have always delivered a great balance between the price, performance, quality, ease of use and everything in-between.
One of the most notable models in this range has always been the Canon Rebel T3i or the 600D as it is known in some countries. It has some of the features that are deemed necessary for a beginner. It allowed beginners to learn about photography while not overwhelming them and allowing them to have ample fun in their newfound hobby. I have to admit that I have used this camera for a long time and I have had plenty of fun with it even when I got through my beginner phase and considered myself a respectable photographer.
I have achieved this with a number of lenses that I combined with the camera and today I will try to present you a complete guide on buying the best lenses for Canon T3i. There is a vast amount of lenses available for this camera, and I can confirm that Canon has the biggest range of lenses out there. The available number of models seems endless and there is a lens for everyone. So for that reason, I will unveil the best models in each category, the qualities that you should know before pulling the trigger for a lens and much more. Let’s get it going, shall we?
The Top 5 Best Lenses For Canon T3i
5. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
We are going to start this list with an interesting model coming in the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. This is an entry-level prime lens that has been one of the most popular in the EOS range for a long time. For its price, it offers way more than you could ever imagine.
The focal length of this beast equals to 80mm on the Rebel T3i and has a bright maximum aperture of f/1.8/. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM has a circular 7 blade design that will help you shoot beautiful photographs.
It has a standard STM motor that works rather well and it is silent. While it is not the best pick for those that need the speed if you want to shoot still and portraits this is a great pick.
4. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
We are going to continue with another entry-level pick, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM. This lens is one of the best all-rounders in the market. It is compact lightweight, has an affordable price and delivers great images, what’s not to like.
my favorite thing about this lens is that you can easily store it in your pocket without any problem. It has a good wide-angle that is equivalent to a 38mm which goes more into the standard range but works rather well with the landscape and panoramic shots.
It delivered great focus, blur and color balance which I didn’t expect. Moving on it has a 7-blade circular aperture and for an affordable little beast, it can get a lot done.
3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
Coming up next we have a top of the line lens that will deliver you excellent value for the price, even though it has an expensive price, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM. This lens is very sturdy and large, yet lightweight at the same time.
It is an L-series lens from the company’s lineup meaning that it doesn’t get any better than this. It is a super versatile beast allowing you to shoot great photographs at different scenarios, including faraway subjects, portraits, and even sports photography.
It has an impressive maximum aperture of f/4 which makes it even more versatile in terms of lighting this time. The image stabilization system works rather well too, with its 4 stop shake correction.
2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
For those that want a high-end option, you can’t go wrong with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM. This is a perfect choice for a wide range of photographers, but it is exceptional for low light photography and wide-angle scenarios.
It comes from the company’s L-series of lenses which means that it is high-quality both in terms of construction and performance. It is extremely sturdy and lightweight delivering some interesting features such as the Optical Image Stabilizer.
It has 3 aspheric and 2 UD lens elements in its body, these are responsible for eliminating aberrations and glare. Some coatings reduce ghosting chances which is pretty good.
1. Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD
On top of the list we have a lens that is from a third-party model, yet a lens that delivers amazing value and performance overall the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD. This lens is a very versatile beast allowing you to shoot in both standard and wide-angle scenarios.
It has tons of interesting features such as the ease of use when switching between auto and manual focus. Also, it has FLD glass elements that deliver the priceless image quality and make this lens pretty lightweight overall.
This lens will deliver super sharp images at every time and it delivers a perfect contrast in every scenario with minimum aberrations. Definitely my favorite and for its asking price definitely the best bang for your buck.
What You Should Look out For When Buying a Lens For Your Canon Rebel T3i
I can say that the world of lenses is a bit technical and different lenses bring out different results. For that reason when purchasing a new lens you should know what you are shopping for. There are some technical specifications and features that most of us don’t know, and I will try to explain them to you as clearly and as simply as possible. This is all to make you confident when you go out shopping for a new lens. Now without further ado, let’s get started.
I wanted to start with the motor type since this is a bit more complicated and it is better to get the most difficult bits out of the way. So there are multiple motor types in Canon lenses these days. However, two major motor types are most commonly used and most popular in today’s models, the USM and STM lenses.
USM, short for Ultra Sonic Motor lenses is designed to be superb in terms of quickness. This results in better focusing prowess in different scenarios allowing you to get better end products at the end of the day. These lenses are more widely used for faster types of photography, such as sports, action and nature photography. I can comfortably say that USM lenses are essential for that type of photography for Canon cameras.
On the other hand, we have STM or Stepper Motor technology lenses. These lenses have an interesting character as they are quiet and smooth in terms of focus. However, they are a tad bit slower than their USM counterparts. These lenses are very useful for a different type of photography but are mostly used and essential for video recording. Most of the photographers that work with still subjects, like portrait photography and landscape photography prefer these lenses.
I think that the lens type is the most important thing you need to consider before buying a lens for your T3i. You should know that the most popular and widely used lens types are standard, telephoto, wide-angle and macro. Each of these lenses is better suited for different types of photography and scenarios.
A standard lens has a mid-range focal length of about 50mm and an angle of view that is pretty much equal to the human eye can naturally see. For that reason, standard lenses deliver natural looking photographs and are pretty pleasing to use. The focal length is most likely fixed and they have a wider aperture. These specifications make these lenses perfect picks for low light conditions. Standard lenses have been the perfect pick for portrait, candid and sometimes even landscape photography.
Macro lenses, on the other hand, are lenses that are designed specifically for close up photography. Think of when you want to photography a flower or a bee for instance. The biggest difference between macro lenses and the other types is that they deliver a 1:1 real magnification which is capable of focusing on super short distances and blurring the background excellently.
Telephoto lenses are pretty unique and there are useful for different types of photography. The biggest selling point of these lenses is their super long focal length, which allows the photographer to magnify the subject tremendously. Meaning that you can shoot a subject that is so far away from you with great detail. Thanks to these abilities, you will see these lenses used for sporting events, think of the photographers on the sidelines of a soccer match. However, they are used for portrait photography in some cases as well.
Wide-angle lenses, on the other hand, are also an interesting type of lenses. These have generally shorter focal lengths and have a wider viewing angle than a standard lens, which is also way wider and larger than a human eye can see. This quality allows these lenses to capture large scenes in a single photograph. These lenses are more widely used for landscape, panorama and landscape photography, but can be utilized for unconventional scenarios as well.
For those that don’t know the aperture of the lens tells us how much light can the light penetrate through to the sensor of your camera. This is measured by the f/ value and the lower this value is the wider the aperture. Lenses with low f/ are excellent for indoor photographs and low light scenarios since they allow the sensor to capture more light. Another quality that is connected with a wider aperture or low f/ is the ability to have a faster shutter speed, which effectively eliminates blur. This means that these make for excellent features for action photography.
This is a thing that will tie-up with the type of lens. There are different types of ranges out there and I will try to explain it simply which range corresponds with which type of lens and photography type. Lenses that have a focal length that ranges somewhere between 8-24mm are considered ultra-wide lenses, and those with 24-35mm are considered wide-angle. These are wide-angle lenses and are used for landscape and panoramic shots.
Next up you, lense with focal ranges that span from 35 to 85mm is considered standard models. These are good enough for multi-purpose photography thanks to their versatility and such. 85 to 135mm lenses are short telephoto ones and deliver great results for portraits and candid photographs. 135 to 300mm are medium telephoto lenses that are utilized for zooming in a medium distance, used mostly for sporting events. In the end, you have the lenses with a focal range that goes more than 300mm, which are perfect for nature and distant subject photography.
Image stabilization is the feature that you should also be careful about but it shouldn’t be the most important thing on your list. This feature eliminates any blur that can be created while photographing at slow shutter speeds. With this feature, you can comfortably shoot sharper images and work at slower shutter speeds even without using a tripod.
There you have it your complete guide to getting the best lens for your Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera. I hope that you are now ready to go on and confidently differentiate between different lenses and choose the one that fits your needs the most. Never compromise the quality and value of the lens you are planning to buy and choose according to your needs and style. Don’t forget to check out the top picks in the market, options that are fail-safe and proven to deliver great qualities. Have fun with your new lens.