Wide-angle lenses are some of the most versatile lenses available. People commonly associate these lenses with landscape photography and panoramas. However, they offer so much more functionality and you can get them at a decent price. You can use Canon wide-angle lenses under $500 for many purposes.
The key is movement. With zoom lenses, you can remain relatively static and simply zoom-in on your subject. When using wide-angle lenses, you have to consider your positioning. The wider focal distance means that you often have to move closer to your subject to get the desired shot, especially if it’s a fixed focal length lens.
Bearing this in mind, wide-angle lenses are great for street photography, portraits, and of course landscape shots. The wide-angle lens elements simply allow you to get more detail into your shots, and you can play with some interesting angles and compositions.
In this buying guide, we look at Canon wide-angle lenses under $500. We have included lenses for the EF, EF-S, and EF-M camera series to provide greater variety – enjoy!
1. Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM (Overall Winner)
Our top affordable option for Canon wide-angle lenses under $500 is the Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM. This is a good budget lens that has a myriad of useful features.
The focal distance of 28mm offers creative freedom. This is aided by the maximum aperture of f/2.8 which makes it great in low-light situations. Also, it allows you to control the depth of field for close-up photos.
The lens construction is made from nine elements in seven groups and provides sharp images with minimum distortion and ghosting. Also, this wide-angle lens has built-in image stabilization up to four stops of correction. Finally, it has the USM motor which allows for fast and quiet autofocusing.
If you want ultra-wide-angle photography, consider the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. This wide-angle zoom lens has a brilliant focal distance of 10mm to 18mm. At 10mm which allows you to take wide-angle shots that are almost fisheye quality and have a high level of detail.
As an APS-C mount lens, the effective focal distance is 14mm to 25mm which is still an ultra-wide angle. If you wanted to get the true 10mm-18mm focal distance, you would have to use the lens on a full-frame DSLR with an adaptor.
The aperture range of f/4.5-5.6 is OK but not as good as some other lenses featured on this list. However, it does have image stabilization, and Canon’s stepping motor. For EF-S mount cameras, this is a good choice and one of the best for a Canon wide-angle lens under $500.
Next, we have the Canon EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM. This is the standard kit lens for Canon EOS M cameras. It offers good wide-angle photography with a minimum focal length of 15mm. At 15mm you can capture great detail and almost create panoramic-style landscape shots.
The lens is durable, but it does have a plastic ring mount. In addition, it has a lock feature. To use the lens, you must push the lock clip up otherwise it won’t rotate. Some people may find this distracting.
In terms of quality, the lens has image stabilization and the stepping motor. This means you can easily take clear and sharp wide-angle shots, and the plastic components make this lens incredibly lightweight and compact.
An alternative to the above lens is the Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, which used to be the main kit lens for cameras like the EOS M50. It offers a slightly larger focal distance, but at 18mm you can still capture great wide-angle shots.
It has a more robust design with a metal ring mount that feels much more durable. The downside of this is that it is heavier as well as slightly longer than the EF-M 15-45mm. The seven aperture blades of this lens allow you to create soft backgrounds, and the lens elements have numerous coatings to reduce distortions.
5. Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD (Budget Winner)
Our budget winner is the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD. Good lenses come from Tamron, and we chose this as it is a Super Performance (SP) lens and has a great maximum aperture of f/1.8. For the budget price, this is a good affordable wide-angle lens. The focal distance of 35mm is heading towards the upper-limits of wide-angle photography, however, you can still capture great detail in your shots.
As one of the best Canon wide-angle lenses under $500, this lens has Tamron’s vibration compensation technology which helps reduce camera shake. It also has numerous lens coatings and external coatings to improve its durability and image quality. For example, it has a fluorine coating to repel water and smudges.
Get More Detail with Canon Wide-Angle Lenses Under $500
We hope you have found this guide beneficial. You should now have a clear idea of the best Canon wide-angle lenses under $500. The lenses we have featured are highly affordable and great budget options.
When building your Canon lens kit, a quality wide-angle lens is an absolute must. We advise starting with a cheap multi-purpose kit-lens, and then you can look at purchasing a specialized wide-angle lens.
The great thing about wide-angle lenses is that they can serve as a multi-purpose lens too. As mentioned above, you just have to move and think about your positioning more. Think about what type of photography you enjoy, and consider one of the best Canon wide-angle lenses under $500 to improve your flexibility.