Whoever said the lens is always more important than the camera was right. To this day, even with all the amazing development of digital sensors, nothing beats good glass. A good lens will make your older camera feel like a new one, but a cheap, plastic lens will turn your shiny new camera into a beat up old hack.
Without further ado, here are ten serious lenses loved by photographers worldwide.
1. Canon 70-200MM F/2.8 L IS USM II
Like many of the lenses you will find on this list, it needs no presentation. It’s one of the sharpest and fastest lenses ever built. The colors, the contrast, the bokeh and the lack of chromatic aberrations make this pro tele-zoom a very important investment in any photographer’s kit.
2. Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
You can’t put together a list of popular lenses without including the nifty fifty. This second generation lens from Canon keeps the image quality at the highest standards, but it is much more silent and enjoyable to use.
3. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
For wide angle needs, this pro zoom is the perfect choice for Canon photographers. It’s fast, incredibly sharp and it brings significant improvements in image quality over the original model.
4. Canon 85mm f/1.2L II USM
It’s hard to find a better lens when it comes to portrait photography. With the maximum f/1.2 aperture, a floating optical system and a high precision aspherical element for reduced aberrations, the image quality this lens produces is astonishing.
5. Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S
There’s really no need to introduce this lens. It’s so good it even made Canon users jealous. The sharpness is mind-blowing, as is pretty much everything else when you operate it.
6. Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G ED AF-S
This of course is part of the Nikon “holy trinity” and it is the workhorse of most pros who use the Nikon system. The Nano Crystal Coating along with ED Glass, the build quality and the speed have made this standard zoom the popular choice it is today.
7. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED AF-S
One of the best walk around lenses, this 35mm is small, light and it produces incredible image quality. Made specifically for the latest high-resolution DSLRs, it’s the perfect choice of professionals who want a perspective that is close to that of the human eye.
8. Nikon 105mm f/2.8G Micro ED-IF AF-S
Besides being a great macro lens with a 1:1 ratio, this is actually a superb portrait lens. It’s a medium telephoto lens that lets you shoot from the distance without being as big or heavy as tele-zooms.
9. Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 SP DI VC USD
This is one of the most interesting third party lenses currently on the market. It is the first serious alternative to premium standard zooms, but it has an ace up its sleeve. It’s the only stabilized standard pro zoom on the market. Besides that, its performance is actually impressive.
10. Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 SP DI VC USD
A more affordable alternative to premium brand super wide angle zooms, this new Tamron lens proves the company has been listening to its clients solidly built and with impressive image quality; it’s one of the most interesting third party newcomers.