When shopping for the best lenses for Canon 70D, the most important factors to consider are the focal length, maximum aperture, and compatibility. I’ve listed my favorite products below based on these features. Read on below to learn why they matter.
When I was still studying film and photography, the Canon EOS 70D was my go-to camera. It is a mid-range DSLR geared towards serious enthusiasts and semi-professionals. Overall, it is a well-rounded camera that packs several useful features for shooting amazing photos and videos.
But if you want to make the most of this robust DSLR, you need to get a high-quality glass.
Fortunately, I already did the hard work for you. I scoured the web for both critic and user reviews to determine the five best lenses for the Canon 70D. This article will talk about each item in detail to help you decide which one is best for your needs.
And if you are confused about which features are important, you can read a handy buying guide I’ve put up below.
Without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!
Canon EOS 70D DSLR Overview
If you already own a Canon EOS 70D, you may already know everything great about this camera. So feel free to skip this section and jump into our top picks.
But to those who might be curious or planning to buy a Canon EOS 70D, you can continue reading this section. We will walk you through the best features and innovations of this mid-range DSLR model.
Released in 2013, the Canon EOS 70D is the first camera to feature the groundbreaking Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. This technology splits each pixel into two separate light-sensitive photodiodes. That means you can now achieve fast and accurate autofocus in both live view and movie mode. It is especially useful for videographers who need to constantly track moving subjects in the frame.
This DSLR uses a 20.2-megapixel APS-C sensor to capture stunning images in any lighting condition. It can also record Full HD videos in either H.264 or MPEG-4 AVC High Profile files. Meanwhile, an internal stereo microphone with a wind filter feature delivers crisp audio, even when shooting outdoors.
What’s more, the 70D includes a powerful DIGIC 5+ Image Processor to enable continuous shooting up to seven frames per second. It even offers a wide ISO range of 100 to 12800, ensuring high-quality results in dim lighting situations.
Finally, a 3-inch touchscreen LCD makes it easier to adjust camera settings or focus on a subject with just a few taps. This display monitor can also rotate up to 180° to help you shoot videos and stills at various angles.
But as you can expect from an old and outdated model, the 70D lags behind the newest models on the market today. It does not have 4K video, the largest sensor, and the fastest burst mode. What it offers, instead, is a reasonable price in exchange for its still relevant features.
To sum up, the Canon EOS 70D is an incredible camera for someone who wants an enthusiast-level body at a bargain price.
5 Best Lenses for Canon 70D
Here are our top recommendations for the best lenses for Canon 70D. Each product on this list is a native Canon lens to ensure optimal compatibility with the 70D’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.
1. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM – Best All-in-One Lens
- Maximum Aperture: 18-135mm
- Focal Length: f/3.5-5.6
- Filter Thread Size: 77mm
- Dimensions: 4.09 x 3.27 x 3.27 inches
- Weight: 1.16 lb
If you want to capture a wide range of subjects, consider getting the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.
It features a versatile focal length spanning from 18 to 135mm. Its shortest focal length offers a wide-angle perspective, suitable for architectural and landscape photographers. Meanwhile, the 135mm telephoto focal length brings distant subjects closer. Thus, this zoom lens is also ideal for shooting sports and wildlife.
The variable aperture f/3.5-5.6 means that this Canon lens is not the brightest or fastest glass on the market. But it still performs well in good light and high-contrast scenes. It can also create a considerably narrow depth of field for a distinct background blur on your photos.
Moreover, a refined image stabilization system enables you to use up to four shutter speeds slower than normal. It ultimately ensures sharp photos when shooting handheld or at longer focal lengths.
There is even a stepping motor (STM) to deliver high-speed, smooth, and silent autofocus.
Most customer reviews for this product were positive. However, some users had issues with the plastic construction because it can feel cheap on the hand. A few also noticed chromatic aberration and vignetting when shooting wide open.
With that said, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is pretty hard to beat, especially for its versatile focal range and reasonable price. We highly recommend it to enthusiasts and semi-professionals who need an all-in-one lens.
- All-around focal range ideal for a wide range of applications
- Built-in image stabilization reduces camera shake
- Smooth and silent autofocus in both still and video capture mode
- Relatively lightweight
- Variable maximum aperture may affect overall image quality
- Plastic construction without weather sealing
- Slight chromatic aberration and vignetting
- The Canon EF 24-105mm F4L IS II USM Lens is more expensive, but it offers constant aperture throughout the focal range for higher-quality images. It also has a weather-sealed construction and is compatible with full-frame cameras.
2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM – Best Standard Prime Lens for Portrait
- Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal Length: 50mm
- Filter Thread Size: 49mm
- Dimensions: 1.54 x 2.72 x 2.72 inches
- Weight: 0.35 lb
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is among the best prime lenses for the Canon 70D.
The fixed focal length of 50mm, equivalent to around 75mm on the 70D, creates a realistic perspective to capture subjects without distortion. Thus, it is suitable for portraiture and general photography.
It also has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 that offers high-quality images in any lighting condition, including nighttime photography. This smaller f-stop number also results in a narrower depth of field. It can separate the subject from the background, thus making it stand out.
Furthermore, a stepping motor (STM) ensures smooth and silent autofocus in both still and video modes.
On top of all these benefits, a Super Spectra coating in the lens reduces the ghosting and flare you often get from shooting in high-contrast settings.
All these great features come in a lightweight and inexpensive package. Thus, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is our top choice for the best standard lens for the Canon 70D.
It is important to note, though, that there is no perfect lens for everybody. So while most reviews for this lens were positive, some said that the autofocus could be slow. A few others also mentioned that the lens feels cheap due to the plastic construction.
- Natural perspective without distortion
- Distinct background blur for portraits
- Great in low-light situations
- Compact and lightweight
- Best value for money
- The plastic build may feel cheap
- Inconsistent and slow autofocus at times
- If you need a slightly wider perspective to capture more of the scene in front of you, consider the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. It also comes in a compact, lightweight, and inexpensive package that captures sharp and high-quality results.
3. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM – Best Wide-Angle Lens
- Maximum Aperture: 10-18mm
- Focal Length: f/4.5-5.6
- Filter Thread Size: 67mm
- Dimensions: 2.83 x 2.95 x 2.95 inches
- Weight: 0.53 lb
Do you want to capture wide expanses in full detail? The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM might meet your needs.
It offers an ultra-wide-angle focal length ranging from 10 to 18mm. It allows you to fit more elements into the scene, ideal for architectural and landscape photography.
The variable maximum aperture of f/4.5-5.6 might not be bright and narrow enough for other users. However, you probably want to use a smaller aperture like f/11 to keep everything in focus when shooting wide-angle scenes. Thus, a larger opening like f/2.8 might not be necessary for the kind of photography you do.
There is also a built-in image stabilizer system to reduce camera shake. This technology enables you to use up to four shutter speeds slower than normal, letting more light into the sensor. It can even ensure sharp photos when shooting handheld.
Finally, a stepping motor (STM) offers accurate, fast, and near-silent autofocus for tracking objects.
Despite all these benefits, the lens is not weather-sealed and made of plastic, affecting performance in harsh outdoor conditions. A few users also noticed some distortion in the corners.
These are just minor nitpicks and highly subjective, though. We still think the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is among the best lenses for the Canon 70D.
- Ultra-wide-angle perspective to capture architecture, landscapes, and group photos
- Zoom lens allows for more versatility
- Built-in image stabilization system minimizes camera shake
- Fast and near-silent autofocus
- The maximum aperture is not bright enough for low-light conditions
- Plastic construction might not be suitable for rigor use
- Some distortion in the corners
- The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is another excellent Canon 70D lens for buildings and landscapes. It is better in low-light due to the larger maximum aperture. However, its fixed focal length means that you have to physically move if you want to adjust the perspective.
4. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II – Best Telephoto Lens
- Maximum Aperture: 55-250mm
- Focal Length: f/4.0-5.6
- Filter Thread Size: 58mm
- Dimensions: 4.25 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches
- Weight: 0.58 lb
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II is geared towards photographers who want a telephoto lens at a reasonable price.
It offers a long focal range of 55-250mm that brings distant subjects closer to you. So whether you want to photograph an athlete scoring a goal from a stadium or a wild animal from the safety of your car, this telephoto zoom lens delivers stunning results.
Meanwhile, the maximum variable aperture of f/4.0-5.6 creates a distinct background blur to isolate the subject and make it stand out. It might not be bright or fast enough in low-light situations, but the built-in image stabilizer makes up for this downside.
This technology allows the use of shutter speeds of approximately four stops faster than the same size lens without an image stabilizer. Shooting handheld or at the longest focal lengths now yields sharp results due to reduced camera shake.
Furthermore, it is lightweight compared to other telephoto lenses. Thus, it is easy to carry and pack while traveling.
There is a major drawback to this light build, though. The lens has a plastic construction that is not weather-sealed. Focus is also soft at the center if you compare it to higher-end lenses.
Nevertheless, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II is still a great lens that enables you to zoom in without breaking the bank.
- Very affordable for its focal length
- Medium telephoto lens suitable for action, sports, and landscape photographers
- Image stabilization system reduces camera shake
- Lightweight build
- Plastic construction may feel cheap
- Lack of built-in autofocus motor
- Some users noticed the focus is soft at the center of the images
- If you want to achieve professional-like results, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM is worth checking out. It offers a larger maximum aperture, image stabilization, advanced autofocus motor, and more. All these advanced features come at a steep cost, though.
5. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM – Best Macro Lens
- Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
- Focal Length: 100mm
- Filter Thread Size: 67mm
- Dimensions: 4.84 x 3.07 x 3.07 inches
- Weight: 1.38 lb
Are you into close-up or macro photography? Consider getting the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM.
It has a maximum 1:1 magnification to capture subjects as close to their size in real life as possible. It also offers a minimum focusing distance of 11.81 inches that renders accurate details.
The 100mm focal length also makes it easier to take photos of small subjects from a distance. Meanwhile, the large maximum aperture of f/2.8 allows more light into the sensor for high-quality images, even in low-light situations. It also creates a narrower depth of field to make the subject stand out from the background.
Moreover, the advanced ring-type ultrasonic motor (USM) delivers accurate and fast autofocus in bright conditions.
There is even a built-in optical image stabilizer that helps minimize camera shake for ultimately sharper images.
Finally, the 100mm f/2.8L is the only lens on our list that is weather-sealed. It can withstand rigorous use in various outdoor environments.
Almost all customer reviews for this product were positive. The only main concerns are the loud image stabilizer and the slow autofocus in high-contrast scenes, which is pretty common among other lenses.
To sum up, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM is still among the best lenses for Canon 70D for its impressive macro photography capabilities and overall image quality.
- 1:1 maximum magnification ratio captures amazing macro photos
- Stunning bokeh
- Great in low-light situations
- Built-in image stabilization enables handheld shooting
- Weather-sealed construction
- Image stabilization system produces a loud sound
- A few users said the autofocus is slow
- The Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 is another great macro lens for the Canon 70D. It can focus down to life-size 1:1 magnification for stunning close-ups. It also offers a wider field of view, making it an excellent choice for portraiture. However, it lacks most of the advanced features the 100mm has, such as an image stabilizer, AF motor, and weather-sealing.
How to Choose the Best Lens for Canon 70D
It is essential to know the following factors when buying the best lens for the Canon 70D. These will help ensure that your chosen lens will meet your specific needs.
Before buying a lens, look for the focal length of the lens. It will determine what kind of perspective the images create or how much of the scene can fit inside the frame. This factor largely depends on your needs and preferences.
A wide-angle lens with a focal length of less than 35mm offers a broader perspective. It is common in architectural and landscape photography, where capturing the scene in its entirety is crucial.
In contrast, a telephoto lens enables you to capture subjects from a distance, resulting in a tighter or zoomed-in perspective. This lens type has a focal range of more than 75mm, ideal for action, bird, and wildlife photographers.
Finally, a standard lens has a focal length ranging from 35 to 75mm. It offers a distortion-free field of view close to what our eyes see, perfect for portraits and general photography.
This one is quite tricky to explain but an essential consideration when buying a lens.
Basically, the aperture affects how much light enters the sensor of the camera. It can also impact the depth of field or how much of the subject is in focus. It is measured in f-stops or f-numbers.
The lower the f-stop, the larger the aperture of the lens to allow more light into the sensor. A smaller f-stop also creates a narrower depth of field than bigger f-numbers.
So if you want better low-light performance and narrower depth of field, look for lenses with a larger maximum aperture, such as f/1.8 or f/2.8.
Canon lenses are not one-size-fits-all. Some (EF-S lens) only fit crop-sensor cameras, while others (EF lens) are compatible with both crop and full-frame sensors.
Luckily for you, the Canon 70D is a crop-sensor camera, so you can choose both EF and EF-S lenses just fine.
However, it is also important to remember that these lenses of the same focal length offer different results and perspectives. The EF or full-frame lens will provide a longer reach than EF-S or crop-sensor lenses when used on the Canon 70D due to its crop factor of 1.6x.
The Canon 70 does not have in-body image stabilization, making it more prone to camera blur when shooting handheld.
If you want to ensure sharp images, it is best to buy a lens with built-in optical stabilization. This technology can reduce camera shake, so you can shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds or longer focal lengths without a problem.
You might also want to consider a lens with a built-in autofocus system. It just makes it easier to detect and lock in on the subject for sharp images. It can also continuously track a moving object, which is crucial in videography.
This factor is often overlooked when buying a lens for the Canon 70D. But it is best to consider the weight of the glass before buying it. No one wants to be stuck with a heavy lens that makes traveling or handheld operation challenging.
Your budget is obviously a significant factor to consider when buying a lens for the Canon 70D.
The thing is that most high-quality lenses are often expensive due to the metal build and overall image quality they offer. So if you are on a budget, that leaves you with plastic ones that often have subpar optics.
Fortunately, you can still find impressive lenses at a lower price. Consider our recommendations, for instance. Most of them are less than $500, yet they can deliver considerably sharp results without breaking the bank.
So before splurging your money on a high-end lens, it is best to weigh the pros and cons first. Who knows, you may find a promising alternative that will save you hundreds of bucks.
When shopping for the best lenses for the Canon 70D, you may also want to check if it has a warranty or guarantee policy. It makes the refund or repair process easier and more convenient should the lens suddenly stop working.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Canon 70D use EF lenses?
Yes, EF lenses are compatible with the Canon 70D, despite being a full-frame glass. We will discuss more of this in the following question.
What is the difference between Canon EF and EF-S?
When shopping for the best lens for the Canon 70D, you might encounter all these abbreviations. EF, EF-S, and RF are simply terms used to describe the mount type of a lens.
Both EF and EF-S stand for electro focus lenses.
EF format lenses are designed for both full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras, like the 70D. They are pretty heavy and expensive due to the higher quality materials in them.
In contrast, EF-S lenses are specifically engineered for APS-C cameras, so they are not compatible with full-frame cameras. They are typically lighter and cheaper than their counterparts. However, they do not produce the quality of image you can get from EF lenses because of their lower-quality materials. With that said, they can still offer impressive results, especially for its price.
Which lens is better: USM or STM?
USM and STM are other abbreviations you may notice when buying lenses for Canon 70D. Both refer to the built-in autofocus system of the lens.
USM, or Ultrasonic Motor, offers faster and quieter autofocus than STM models. It can also feature weather sealing, making the lens more robust. So on paper, they are better for general use. That being said, USM lenses perform rather poorly in video and can be pretty expensive.
STM or Step Motor lenses are also relatively silent, but they are made from lower-quality parts. These make them cheaper at the cost of slower autofocus. Nevertheless, STM autofocus is far better in video mode because it does not hunt for focus that much.
Choosing between the two will depend on your needs and preferences.
That sums up our article about the best lenses for the Canon 70D! Each product on our list is among the best lenses in their respective category.
But if you are looking for an all-in-one lens for different kinds of photography work, consider getting the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. It offers a versatile focal range that suits almost all photography and videography applications. Plus, it features built-in autofocus and image stabilizer to ensure high-quality results.