Photo by Nielsen Ramon on Unsplash
Prime lenses, or fixed lenses, may seem odd if you’ve never worked with them before. Why would you not want the ability to zoom? And to answer that question, Canon has four options. These are some of the best Canon prime lenses you can get your hands on today.
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
The best Canon lenses of 2019 just so happen to be a few years old, or at least most of them are.
The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM is one of two of Canon’s widest angle lenses. Astrophotographers frequently lean towards the 24mm for this exact reason so they can capture a huge swath of the sky in one shot.
It has close to zero distortion, despite the fact that it is now over a decade old.
The one con of the 24mm is that it doesn’t have image stabilization. But, it’s heavy and weather-resistant so if you’re the type of photographer to drop (whoops) your camera from time to time, the 24mm might just be for you!
Get more details on this lens in the video above by Christopher Frost Photography.
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM is the Canon prime lens you need if you are a low light photographer. Event, concert, and wedding photographers go wild over this lens for its extreme clarity due to its wide aperture.
Canon’s 35mm is also incredibly more impressive than its Tamron or Sigma equivalents, both of which have won wide acclaim.
This is also part of Canon’s L series, so it is going to be able to handle weather like a champ and the improved optics give you sharper images with fewer aberrations.
Julia Trotti gives us a full breakdown of this lens in the video above.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
As you can tell by the title of Steve Huff’s YouTube video above, this Canon prime lens is pretty well known the world over. Photographers call it the “nifty fifty,” because of its incredible versatility for all sorts of situations. As such it has garnered legendary status amongst the photography community.
This lens has no chromatic aberration, or that annoying thing that happens when the color purple starts popping up in your photos where there was no purple before. It’s an issue with older lenses or lower quality lenses, and Canon’s 50mm was one of the first lenses to beat the issue.
Plus, this lens can open up to f/1.2, so you get huge amounts of light that make this a low-light monster of a lens.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
The 85mm rocks a creamy aperture, but with a much longer focal length than any other options. The 85mm is frequently used by photojournalists for its capabilities to capture intimate moments, like the reaction on a politician’s face, from a great distance.
The 85mm is a difficult lens to learn, so it’s not recommended for beginners. In the video above, Shayne Robinson shows you exactly why this lens is considered one of the best in a way that we can’t justify by talking about only its specs.
Where Can I Buy The Best Canon Prime Lenses?
Photo by ShareGrid on Unsplash
Almost anywhere. But maybe you shouldn’t. I won’t send my child off to just any nanny, and I care about my camera at least as much!
Ebay: A Questionable Marketplace
There’s the tried and true Ebay method, but as anyone who has worked with Ebay knows… they are a lot of undisclosed fees and a lot of fraud issues.
While you may save some money initially, you may lose a lot more money in the long run with undisclosed faulty products, scams you don’t realize are scams, and sky-high shipping fees. Seriously, nobody charges $150 to ship from California to Arizona. How is that even possible?
Craigslist: For When You Want to Spice Up Your Boring Life
There’s also Craigslist, if you don’t mind a little grit. There’s a number of reasons I swore off Craigslist years ago, but the main one everybody forgets about is a lack of options.
I live in a relatively small town, but even for those who live in large towns if you need a specific lens you’ve had your eye on it might require you to travel for it. And then you inevitably get to where you’re going and the seller cancels, or just plain doesn’t show up.
While I did have a number of good experiences with Craigslist, for me the bad far outweighs the good.
Lensfinder: If You Want to Be Protected
Let’s face it, camera lenses are a really specific art. And for really specific art you need a really specific medium to convey it.
Lensfinder has been my go to used camera and camera equipment marketplace for years. The good sellers are rated as such and the bad sellers are kicked off the site. If you have a really in-depth question, chances are you’re going to get a really in-depth answer.
We are all camera enthusiasts after all.
Lensfinder is upfront about their fees (4% taken from the seller), and you can calculate exactly how much shipping you can expect to pay. Plus, sellers are required to use the cheapest shipping method (finally, and thank god).
You can find anything on this website, from an $80,000 astrophotography camera to your-run-of-the-mill prime lens.
My favorite part of Lensfinder is that you can pay with PayPal, so if something does go wrong, you are not only protected by Lensfinder’s incredible customer service, but PayPal’s buyer protection too.