Photographers usually stick with official lenses for their DSLR cameras, leading to a misconception that third-party lenses are lower quality or may not produce the same results as an official manufacturer’s lens. We aim to dispel this myth by showcasing the best third-party prime lenses for Canon DSLR cameras.
Prime lenses provide a single focal distance with no zoom capabilities. However, where they lack in variation, they often make up for in quality. Prime lenses often have superior lens elements and provide exceptional image quality for that specific focal distance.
Having a range of the best third-party prime lenses for Canon cameras in your arsenal will allow you to experiment with different photography types such as wide-angle and portrait.
1. Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD (Overall Winner)
Our top choice third-party prime lens for Canon DSLR cameras is the Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD. This is an exceptional quality lens and is perfect for portrait and event photography.
This is a Tamron Super Performance lens and therefore has a fantastic build quality. It also features vibration control and a silent focusing motor. The lens also has a coating that makes it resistant to moisture.
With the maximum aperture of f/1.8, you can focus on minute details and create stunning bokeh effects on the background. The quality of this lens cannot be understated and would make a nice addition to any lens kit.
Read our full review of the Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD to see if this lens is for you.
Next, we have a brilliant wide-angle lens from Sigma. The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art offers superior quality and is part of the iconic Art range of Sigma lenses.
This means that it has an excellent build quality while also looking stylish. As a 24mm prime lens, this product excels at landscape photography and capturing wide-angle sweeping panoramas. This is complemented by the fast autofocus system and multi-layered lens coating.
Alternatively, using the maximum aperture of f/1.4, you can use this lens for highly-detailed photography. It is a versatile product and one of the best third-party prime lenses for Canon cameras.
If you want to learn more about this lens, head on over to our in-depth Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art review.
The 90mm focal distance is a prime candidate for portrait photography. This depth provides an ideal setting for portraits as you can gain enough detail but still have some background too. This is where the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD excels.
This is an SP lens and thus has a fantastic build-quality. For example, it has an advanced lens coating to minimize lens flare and ghosting. The fluoride coating also repels water and fingerprints.
In addition, this lens also has vibration control and Tamron’s USD focusing motor. Using this lens is a simple process and you can capture high-quality images with ease.
Still undecided about this lens? Get all the facts in our Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD review and see how it compares to its competitors.
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is another excellent quality third-party lens. The 50mm focal distance is ideal for a variety of photography including landscape, portrait, and street photography.
This is a Sigma Art lens and thus has a beautiful design with a good range of functionality. It has Sigma’s patented Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) technology which means silent performance and an accurate autofocusing system.
Also, it has low-dispersion glass which helps reduce chromatic aberration and other lens distortions. The maximum aperture of f/1.4 also allows for professional-grade photography and experimentation with bokeh effects.
Find out how the lens performs under pressure in our full Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art review.
The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD is one of the best third-party prime lenses for Canon cameras. It is an ideal lens for wide-angle photography but can also be used effectively for street photography and product shots.
The build quality is fantastic and the lens has an improved lens coating and a myriad of external features to reduce wear and tear.
The lens has built-in vibration control and autofocus that is both quick and accurate. With a maximum aperture of f/1.4, the level of detail and control of depth you can achieve is unparalleled. You can easily create professional-grade photos with clever usage of bokeh.
See the full review of the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD to get all the details.
6. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro (Budget Winner)
With a focal distance of 105mm, this Sigma lens is great for detail photography, but it can also be used as a macro lens. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro is a good budget option as it’s cheaper than the Art variation that has a larger maximum aperture.
When used with APS-C size sensors, it’s focal distance is magnified to 150mm which makes it a decent telephoto lens too. The quality of this prime lens is fantastic, and it benefits from Sigma’s HSM motor technology. It also has a superior lens element that minimizes distortions and flare. If you want a budget prime lens that offers great functionality, the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 is a top choice.
To read even more about the amazing image quality, check out the full review of the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro.
Expand Your Kit with the Best Third-Party Prime Lenses for Canon Cameras
We hope you have found this guide on third-party lenses for Canon cameras useful. When choosing a lens, think outside the box and look at third-party alternatives. As you can see from our list, there are some exceptional quality lenses available.
When choosing prime lenses, we advise looking at the different types of photography you commonly perform. For example, if you often shoot wide-angle landscape shots, a wide-angle prime lens with a focal distance of 35mm or less would be ideal.
Alternatively, if you did street photography or wedding photography, a large focal distance could be better suited such as 85mm or 105mm. Play to your strengths and choose the best third-party prime lenses for Canon cameras accordingly.