You may be surprised to know that you can purchase a range of Canon prime lenses under $250. People typically associate prime lenses as being overly expensive, and this is often the case. However, there is a great choice of affordable prime lenses for Canon cameras, both full-frame and mirrorless devices.
Prime lenses are excellent for specialized photography. For example, you can use a 22mm prime lens to create cool wide-angle landscape photography, and there’s a good choice of prime macro lenses as well.
In this guide, we have picked six of the best Canon prime lenses under $250 so you don’t have to break the bank to purchase a quality lens.
1. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (Overall Winner)
Our top choice for Canon prime lenses under $250 is the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. This is a standard EF lens and not part of the L-series; however, it still has good quality and sharpness.
With its focal distance of 40mm, this lens is great for landscape photography, street photography, and even portraits. This is complemented by the maximum aperture of f/2.8, which can create some bokeh backgrounds and excellent artistic effects.
This lens does not have image stabilization, but it is not needed as much for prime lenses at such a small focal distance. It does have a stepping STM motor which allows for silent autofocus and operation. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 0.30m which provides improved flexibility.
The lens element is made from 15 elements in two groups. This gives great image quality and allows for the creation of smooth bokeh effects. Also, the optimized coatings of the lens help reduce ghosting and flare, and the coatings give great color balance.
Due to its small size and affordability, the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM could be a good choice as a travel lens. It could easily fit in your luggage and could offer great freedom in your photography.
2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a top bargain, as it is relatively inexpensive for the quality it provides. It’s also lightweight and easy to carry, weighing just 159g.
As with the EF 40mm, this lens is great for a myriad of photography types. It is not as effective at landscape shots, but it is good for portrait and action photos. Also, it has decent low-light performance for nighttime photography.
The maximum aperture of f/1.8 gives you greater control than the EF 40mm and again enables you to control the depth of field effectively. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM also has the Canon stepping motor (STM) which delivers nearly silent operation.
The filter size for this lens is 49mm and it has a diagonal viewing angle of 46-degrees. The lens element is made from six elements in five groups. This improved lens arrangement improves image clarity and quality compared to previous versions.
3. Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM
The Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM is our top choice for Canon EOS M cameras. It is one of the best Canon prime lenses under $250 and highly affordable.
The 22mm focal distance is perfect for landscape photography. You can create detailed wide-angle shots with fine clarity. Please remember, however, that the effective focal distance on an APS-C sensor camera is 30mm.
The Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM is lightweight and compact. It is classed as a pancake lens and you can transport it in your pocket or camera case with ease. It is one of the best budget prime lenses for Canon mirrorless cameras.
Some people use the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM as a macro lens since it has a minimum focusing distance of just 0.15m. When attached to a tripod (due to the lack of IS), this can make a decent macro lens.
Whilst the Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM may offer a wider angle focal distance, the EF-M 22mm arguably offers better image quality and clarity for an affordable price.
4. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM (Budget Winner)
Our budget winner is the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM. This full-frame lens is an affordable must-have model for your Canon DSLR camera. The focal distance of 24mm on full-frame cameras allows you to create excellent wide-angle shots.
The maximum aperture of f/2.8 is OK and gives you decent control, and the STM motor offers silent autofocusing. This lens is quite small and lightweight but still feels well-built. It has a metal ring mount and a manual focusing ring. It has a circular aperture that allows for soft bokeh backgrounds.
As an EF-S mount lens, this means it is compatible with Canon APS-C sensor cameras like the Canon EOS 90D and EOS Rebel series. Always check the compatibility before purchasing a lens.
Pick up One of the Best Canon Prime Lenses Under $250
We hope you have found this buying guide useful. As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to own a high-quality prime lens. The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM in particular is an excellent affordable lens and our top choice. It is suitable for multiple purposes and a great kit lens.
If you want to purchase an affordable prime lens, consider what you intend to do with it first. Do you want a wide-angle lens for travel photography? If so, maybe the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is the ideal choice.
Maybe you want a larger focal distance to capture more detail or portraits? In which instance the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM could be a better choice. Play to your strengths and choose a lens that suits your style of photography.