Here is a list of our best lenses for Canon SL2, an exciting and affordable DSLR. It’s got a 24-megapixel sensor and a much better AF system for video, including a 5-axis electronic stabilization, which is why all of our lenses are excellent for photography as well as recording videos.
Because the Canon SL2 is the most compact DSLR on the market, we naturally stayed away from enormous lenses. What we looked for was great image quality, affordable price and something you can easily carry around, whether you’re shooting a sports match, a wedding or just traveling.
Best Lenses for Canon SL2
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1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is the best-selling lens from Canon, which already says a lot. It’s affordable, compact and delivers high-quality images.
What makes it so special?
First, the f/1.8 aperture is extremely big and lets in a ton of light, which means you will be able to shoot at night and not get blurry shots. This is great for indoor photography, as well as shooting without a flash which can often make your shots look bad.
Another reason why f/1.8 is so good is that it allows you to completely blur the background, making your subject stand out (called shallow depth of field). It’s the easiest and quickest way to make your shots look professional.
It focuses quickly and silently (it’s not as quiet as many more expensive lenses though), and is great for video focusing thanks to the STM, which stands for a Stepping Motor. Since the Canon SL2 has Dual Pixel AF technology, this combination is great for recording serious videos.
The Canon 50mm f/1.8 is simply the best you can get for the money. Bokeh, colors and image quality are great for the price.
Who is this lens good for? Everyone. The 50mm focal length is truly good for almost all types of photography, from food, portrait, street, product, low light, animal, to sports and travel photography.
2. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM might look weird compared to other lenses, but there’s a name for this style; we call them “pancake” lenses due to their short and compact design.
While it looks like a lot of it is missing, that’s not the case with its performance. Great colors, sharpness and quality, and fast autofocus. It’s a lot of wider than the 50mm above and comes with a slightly smaller aperture (f/2.8), but that’s still considered big.
It’s a perfect match for all APS-C cameras (which the SL2 is) since it allows you to travel light. It features both STM and FTM (Full Time Manual focus) so you can focus manually despite having the lens set to AF, which can save a few seconds.
If you’re into landscape photography or just want something wide but can’t spend too much, or are looking for a great gift, this is it.
Who is this lens for? It’s great for landscape shooters, club/indoor photographers and street/travel photographers.
3. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
How to describe the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM? Beautiful colors, razor-sharp images, superb quality, creamy bokeh and most importantly, affordable! For less than $400 (at Amazon) you get one of the sharpest prime lenses Canon has ever made.
Featuring an Ultra Sonic Motor, it’ll quickly focus on your subject even in darker conditions. With f/1.8 and 85mm focal length, you can’t even imagine what kind of amazing photographs you’ll be able to take!
Where this lens truly shines is portrait, wedding and concert photography.
Often shoot in low light? At f/1.8 you’ll be able to get crisp shots without having to raise your ISO speed to extreme sensitivities, although the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is good at handling those speeds.
Who is this lens for? Portrait, concert, street, animal and even sports photographers. If you’ve never used anything but your kit lens, you’ll be blown away by what the 85mm f/1.8 can do. Hands down my favorite prime lens for price/performance, I’ve been using it for years and love it.
Best Zoom Lenses for Canon SL2
4. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
If you’re looking for a good and affordable wide-angle lens, get the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. It’s an excellent choice for landscape, architecture or real estate photography.
It replaces the older and more expensive 10-22mm. The 10-18mm comes with Image Stabilization up to 4 stops, an STM motor for silent and accurate autofocus (this applies to videos as well) and the same high image quality. You do lose 4mm on the telephoto end, but these improvements are worth it (plus, you’re paying less).
The Image Stabilization is perfect for those who plan on shooting at night or generally without a tripod, as you can shoot with speeds you otherwise couldn’t. With wide-angle lenses, you can also expect to have most of your shots quite sharp because of the small depth of field (something that naturally comes with a wide field of view, despite the aperture size).
Who is this lens for? At such wide angles, you see the whole world differently, which is why I think every photographer should own a wide-angle lens! It’s great for landscape, traveling, architecture, real estate, clubs/indoor and group shots.
5. Canon EF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is a kit lens that gives more reach and better quality than the default 18-55mm. You get the same aperture sizes, just 80mm more zoom, faster autofocus and improved build quality.
This is a perfect lens if you just want something to use in all different types of situations, whether it’s traveling, indoor shooting, sports, weddings, landscape. Autofocus is fast and quite silent, so it’s a good choice for action or pets/kids running around too.
A lot of people own one do-it-all lens, even if they have plenty of other choices. Sometimes you just want to travel light and not worry about switching lenses.
Thanks to the STM technology, you can also record videos without having any noise from the actual focusing, but personally, I recommend you use the manual mode when shooting something more serious.
Who is this lens for? Anyone who likes using a single lens (like the 18-55mm) but wants much more zoom and improved image quality. From 18 to 135mm is where 99% of photography happens.
6. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is your best choice for the SL2 if you want to photograph wildlife, sports or things that are quite far away without breaking the bank.
If you own the 18-55mm kit lens or are also planning on buying the 50mm prime above, this telephoto lens continues right where they both stop, so you’re covered on all ends!
First of all, it’s not heavy (13.2oz/375g) like the majority of telephoto lenses, meaning you won’t be tired after shooting with it for hours. It obviously doesn’t come with the best build design but then again, it feels solid and well-built.
It’s also got Image Stabilization that helps up to 3.5 stops so you can shoot with 1/30 instead of 1/250 and still except solid results with no blur. Like the rest of Canon’s new lenses, it features STM for good video performance.
Who is this lens for? Anyone who feels their current lens just doesn’t get them close enough. Lengthwise, it’s great for races, outdoor sports (indoors you’ll have to increase your ISO speed), pets and wild animals, but 250mm might still be a bit short for serious bird photography.
4 More Recommended Lenses for Canon SL2
If you already own a few of the lenses we recommend or simply want something different, with similar prices, check out these 4 lenses we really like.
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX II – It’s affordable and allows you to shoot at f/2.8 throughout the whole zoom range. With great image and build quality, this is excellent for landscape and low light situations (clubs, parties, birthdays).
Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM – If you want a lot more zoom than what the Canon 18-135mm offers, for almost the same price, this Sigma rocks!
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DG HSM – Sharper and cheaper than Canon’s more expensive 35mm version.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM – Best macro lens for product and animal photography (not limited to that of course).