- Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
- Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART DG HSM for Nikon
- Wrapping It Up: The Sharpest Canon and Nikon Lenses on a Budget
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...
One of the ways to ruin a photo real fast is to have it not be sharp.
There are tons of factors that can lead to a blurry photo, among them, a poor quality lens.
If you want the sharpest images possible, and you shoot with a Canon or Nikon Camera, consider the following lens recommendations.
Editor's Tip: In the market for a new lens? A pre-owned lens offers plenty of benefits, not the least of which is a better price point. Get a higher-dollar lens without spending as much money at Lensfinder.
Table of Contents:
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
With a price of around $1,650, the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM isn't a cheap lens.
However, the pricetag is certainly justified given the performance of this lens.
Not only is it ultra sharp, earning an "excellent" rating from DxO Mark, but it also produces images that have impeccable clarity.
At 35mm, it qualifies as a wide-angle lens on a full frame Canon camera. On an APS-C camera, its effective focal length of 56mm puts it squarely in the standard lens territory.
The lens produces minimal aberrations and color fringing, a result of a new BR optics element that Canon implemented into the lens. See the lens in action in the video above by DigitalRev TV.
With a maximum aperture of f/1.4, it's a low-light beast as well, offering you incredible low-light performance - with sharp results, too.
Better still, since it's a luxury lens, it's sealed to prevent dust and water from getting inside, so you can use it in inclement weather without as much worry about your $1,650 investment getting ruined.
It's got a small form factor and is lightweight, too, making it ideal for photographers that need to shoot on the move, like for landscapes, weddings, and street photography.
Versatile. Lightweight. Unbelievable sharpness...
There's a lot to like about the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM!
Editor's Tip: If the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM is out of your price range, try the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM. It gets good marks from DxO in the sharpness department, and commands a price roughly one-third of the f/1.4L. You can also find great deals on pre-owned lenses to save yourself some money!
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART DG HSM Lens for Nikon
When it comes to sharp lenses for Nikon, it's tough to beat the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART DG HSM.
Unlike the Canon 35mm f/1.4 discussed above, this Sigma lens is actually affordable at around $850 brand new.
This lens got an "excellent" score from DxO Mark as well, placing it among the sharpest lenses around for Nikon camera systems.
The 50mm focal length is ideally versatile - offering a standard field of view when mounted to a full frame camera and a short telephoto view (75mm) when mounted to a crop sensor body.
Either way, this lens will perform admirably indoors or out, light or dark, and for a wide range of subject matter.
It's Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) means it's quiet as a mouse for situations like street photography or wedding photography when you want to go as unnoticed as possible.
The Special Low Dispersion glass and multi-layer coating mean the images you produce will be sharp and clear. The lens's autofocus system helps ensure that moving targets are sharply in focus as well. Watch a detailed review of the lens in the video above by Dustin Abbott.
The lens has 13 elements in eight groups, which means you get unparalleled performance, even when you open the lens up to its maximum f/1.4 aperture.
In short, this lens is one of the best you can buy, not just because it's so sharp, but because of it's all-around stellar performance. The price helps too!
Editor's Tip: For an even more affordable Nikon lens, try the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED. At less than $700 brand new, you can get a sharp, versatile lens without breaking the bank.
Wrapping It Up: The Sharpest Canon and Nikon Lenses on a Budget
As I noted in the introduction, there are certainly a lot of factors at play when it comes to getting a sharp image.
But outfitting yourself with a high-quality lens is definitely something you can do to improve the quality of the images you take.
But remember, you don't have to spend a ton of money to get better results.
Whether budget is a concern or not, buying pre-owned glass is a smart move.
Check out Lensfinder today and see what lenses you can find!