Street photography isn’t like other forms of photography. You have a lot of creative freedom in this niche, meaning the possibilities to create photographs are endless. Likewise, options for lenses are also numerous, and the best lens for you depends on what type of pictures you want to take.
This article will strictly adhere to the needs of Canon users, so it’s worthwhile to check if your camera body supports Canon lenses. Canon’s been around for a long while, and they’re a reputable company for a reason – the quality of their products is impeccable.
If you want to take your street photography to the next level, here are the best Canon lenses for street photography to consider.
1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM (Overall Winner)
One of the most popular Canon lenses for street photography, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM prime is one that nearly every new photographer buys. One of the primary reasons is because of its great price! Secondly, the results you produce are a significant upgrade on what you get from a kit lens. The quality of pictures this lens produces is outstanding.
Most professional photographers use this lens as their regular carry around. The camera allows you to take both aesthetic pictures of streets and portraits of pedestrians. The angle of view of the lens is also optimal for street portraits. Thanks to the brilliant ability to take nighttime photographs with this lens, you get a lot of creative freedom with where you want to take your street photography career.
The Canon EF 50mm also helps you achieve some brilliant bokeh results. One thing the 50mm will do for sure is it’ll help you find what street photography style suits you best. At the same time, the camera will give you the versatility to pursue whatever avenue you chose.
Its Stepping Motor (SM) also works to ensure that the lens focuses silently and quickly. Similarly, a Move Serve autofocus ensures a fast and quiet focus for videos.
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens definitely looks like something out of a retro photographer’s handbook. When you’re using this short of a focal length, your street photography skills evolve to so many different levels. With a 35mm focal length, you can focus on different elements on the same street, instead of just focusing on one object.
The 35mm lens will give your photographs a greater perspective than before. This Canon lens is incredibly proficient at capturing colors. It manages real-life colors beautifully so that after you’re done taking photos, you won’t even need to run your work through the editor.
Additionally, the lens also has brilliant build quality, with 10 elements in eight groups, and will never let you down. With USM focus adjustment, even the autofocusing is impressive, and you can snap away quickly without worry.
One of the most essential things about being a street photographer is making sure you’re unobtrusive. The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is so small in size that it becomes barely noticeable, it also makes your job much easier since its lightweight. With this lens, you won’t have to carry around a bulky camera.
If you’re using a camera with a crop sensor, you’ll get a focal length equivalent to 38mm. This lens is great for shooting portraits, as well as taking city landscapes. You may not find as much success taking pictures at night, though.
For a bokeh effect, the 24mm is unbeatable. With a circular seven-blade aperture, this lens is able to soften and blur backgrounds beautifully. It also has a full-time manual focus mode, which is great if you want to take your photography skills to the next level.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens is another variant of the 50mm we mentioned before. With a heavier price tag, this 50mm offers superior quality, thanks to its lower aperture. When you’re using this lens, you should expect incredible results because that’s exactly what you’re going to get.
In terms of picture quality, there are only a few Canon lenses for street photography that can keep up with this entry. With an aperture of f/1.2, the images you take with this lens will capture all details of your subject perfectly. Furthermore, the wider aperture value gives you a chance to engage in even more low-light photography.
Not only does the lens have an ultrasonic motor, but it also minimizes ghosting and flare so you can take perfect pictures. The body of the lens itself is weather-resistant, which is an excellent feature for street photographers.
While prime lenses offer a lot, zoom lenses also have great value. Especially when the image quality the lens offers similar to the one this Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens does! Made of ultra-low dispersion glass with fluorite elements, this lens has a body that’s well-suited to street photography.
The lens is snappy to shoot with as well. It features a very fast and accurate autofocus system thanks to the new processing unit. The body of the lens is resistant to both dust and moisture, so you don’t have to worry about damaging it when you’re out on the street.
The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens also gives you the best of both worlds. At 24mm, you get a wide-angle lens to take landscape shots, and at 70mm, you can take narrow in-depth portraits. The versatility this camera offers makes it a great choice for street photography.
6. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (Budget Winner)
If you’re a fan of flat lenses, then you’ll be very happy to see the 40mm making its way on the list. This Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens is quite a unique one to own. It’s ultra-slim and flat design makes it a part of Canon’s famous ‘pancake’ lenses.
Thanks to its small size, the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens makes it easy to carry your camera around. When a street photographer carries a hefty camera (ones with a large lens attached), it’s difficult to get around without bumping into people. It also makes photographers stand out, which may alter how people on the street behave around them. So, if you’re all about capturing natural pictures, you must remain discreet. For this purpose, the 40mm is perfect.
The 40mm delivers high-quality images thanks to its advanced technology and the aspherical element of the lens. At an aperture of f/2.8, you can capture excellent pictures in low-light conditions. The aperture also blurs backgrounds softly.
The coatings of the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens work to minimize ghosting and flare. The lens also produces stunning color balance, so your photos will come out with real-life color.
Street photography involves getting as creative as you possibly can. One comparatively less explored avenue of street photography is wide-angle shots. With Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM lens, you can produce excellent wide-angle pictures in even the narrowest of streets.
The built-in image stabilization feature of the lens also works to reduce any handheld shake and ensures that your pictures come out sharp and clear. This also makes it an ideal lens to use when you’re walking around a lot. New technology works to keep the autofocus quiet while enabling it to focus at unbelievably high speed – for both photos and videos.
Images and videos taken with Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 STM lens are of superb quality. This is mostly thanks to the two spherical lens elements and one UD lens element present in this product. The seven-blade circular aperture also produces a stunning background blur effect.
Bottom Line on Canon Lenses for Street Photography
Depending on your preferences, there are suitable Canon lenses for street photography here for every kind of photographer. Ranging from specialist lenses to versatile ones, we’ve covered everything! Any of these lenses will help you elevate your street photography game.