Canon 80D: Dual Pixel AF & IQ topper
The best lens for a Canon 80D after 75 lenses reviews with a Canon APS-C SLR
The Canon EOS 80D is Canon’s best APS-C cameras. Only for sports and nature photographers, the EOS 7D Mark II offers extra some extras with its autofocus and higher shooting speeds. However, the 80D wins on pure image quality and dynamic range, and it is also the better video camera, thanks to its Dual Pixel AF, turning and tilting touchscreen and connectivity options for microphone and headphones. Of course, all lenses with an EF or EF-S mount fit on the 80D. With all the non-maker brands, the choice is enormous. We have now reviewed more than 70. Because of the very good sensor and excellent video capabilities, the 80D asks for lenses that are particularly well-suited to this. We assume that photographers who choose the 80D are looking for the best quality. That’s why these are our favorites for the 80D.
GOOD AND AFFORDABLE LENSES FOR CANON 80D:
The EOS80D is one of Canon’s most advanced APS-C cameras. We assume that 80D owners are looking for lenses with which they can utilize the 80D’s extra capabilities, and with which they can express all the quality of the camera in their photos. We therefore looked for lenses that offer a lot of options and quality, which also make an excellent combination with the 80D body. The 80D is a camera for photographers who are serious about photography and who like to make beautiful pictures with their equipment. That’s why we also looked at lenses that offer a lot of brightness, quality and capabilities. And where possible, we have also taken into account a possible future transition to full-frame.
HOW ARE THE BEST LENSES FOR THE CANON EOS 80D SELECTED?
For the recommendation, we only look at lenses we have tested thoroughly. Canon makes SLR cameras with two different sensors: full-frame and APS-C. For the smaller APS-C sensors, Canon makes a separate set of lenses with an EF-S mount. These are generally smaller, lighter and cheaper than lenses with an EF mount. Lenses with an EF mount are namely also suitable for the larger full-frame cameras such as the EOS 5D series and the EOS 1DX. The EF-S lenses do not fit on those. For lenses for the EOS 80D, we have looked at both EF and EF-S lenses. If you choose an EF lens, you can use it later if you later transition to a full-frame camera like the EOS 6D (Mark II) or also acquire a full-frame camera.
For choosing the best lenses for the 80D, we mainly looked at the results you get with the lenses in RAW. Many novice photographers primarily use jpg files, and in jpg, multiple lens corrections often take place in the camera. We measure the results in RAW without all those corrections. That gives, you could say, a fairer comparison. Lens corrections are not always applied for lenses from other brands in jpegs, but in RAW you can just have those corrections done automatically. For more information, see the comprehensive reviews we’ve done with each lens and compare them as needed with one of the more than 300 other lenses we have reviewed.
THE BEST 80D KIT LENS? Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
We choose the Canon EF-S 18-135 for the 80D over the usual 18-55mm kit lens. The image quality is comparable with the latest generation of kit lenses, but the 18-135 has a larger zoom range than the small kit lens. Because it is a bit bigger, it fits better physically with the 80D than the kit lens does. Those who are happy to trade in some range for higher brightness and better quality should look at our low-light choice above.
MACROPHOTOGRAPHY WITH A CANON 80D: Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
The Sigma 105mm Macro is a beautiful long telephoto lens with high quality and image stabilization. Especially thanks to the latter it is preferred over, for example, the Tokina 100mm, which also did well in our test. However, do not expect any miracles from the image stabilization for macro usage. But when you use it as a telephoto lens, then it really makes a difference in sharpness, especially if the lighting conditions are not optimal.
ULTRA-WIDE ANGLE: Tamron 10-20mm of Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO DX SD
The Tamron 10-20mm is weatherproof and has built-in IS (image stabilization). For photographers who often work outdoors under varying circumstances, this is a big advantage. The Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 AT-X has higher brightness. If you do a lot of documentary work and take a lot of pictures indoors, then this might be the better choice. Because they are not original Canon lenses, the lenses are not optimized in the camera. Do not forget to photograph in both cases in RAW and to apply the lens profiles in the RAW software for the best results.
Fisheye: Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye
With fisheye lenses, you can achieve very unique effects. And there are also people who use them as an alternative to a wide-angle lens, by ‘de-fishing’ the shots in special software. They then remove the convex distortion and make a neat straight-angle shot from it. So a versatile lens. For the 80D, we were torn between the Canon EF 8-15mm and this Tokina. The Canon is a bit better, but the Tokina is also good. Because of the big price difference, we say: Tokina.
TelePHOTO zoom: Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
Note the letter L on this zoom. This is the white L-lens, not the black, more common 70-300mm. The image quality of this 70-300mm L is really very good, the brightness is reasonable, and it is built like a tank. The 70-300 is shorter and easier to carry than, for example, one of the 70-200mm L lenses. And on an 80D, it has a very nice range that corresponds to that of a 480mm on full frame. You pay for that, but then you have a lens that will last for a long time and that can also be used on full frame.
LENSES WITH A FIXED FOCAL LENGTH?
The EF 35mm f/2 IS is actually a light wide-angle for full frame. On the 80D with an APS-C sensor, this lens works like a standard lens. The image quality of the 35mm is already high on full frame, and on APS-C you only use the best part of that image: the middle. The brightness is quite reasonable for a 35mm with f/2, and the lens also has image stabilization so that you can also shoot in low light with slightly longer shutter speeds. Add in the ability to keep using this lens on full frame, and it becomes clear why the EF 35mm f/2 IS is a logical standard lens for the 80D.
LOW LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY WITH CANON 80D: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art
The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art is a lens without competition. There are many other 18-35mm lenses. But none with a fixed brightness of f/1.8. And there’s actually no other zoom with this range and with comparable image quality. That image quality is comparable with lenses with a fixed focal length. And that makes it quite unique.
Bokeh AND PORTRAIT WITH THE Canon 80D? Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
The Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is the sequel to the legendary ‘plastic fantastic’ 50mm f/1.8. The image quality of this lens is ridiculously good for such an inexpensive lens. With the addition of the STM stepper motor, this 50mm is all set for the future. And that future is Dual Pixel AF. With the 50mm f/1.8 STM, you can quickly and accurately focus in Liveview and in video mode. This lens gives a beautiful blur in the background at full aperture and works on APS-C as a light telephoto lens. This allows you to use it beautifully for portraits. But thanks to the f/1.8 aperture, it is of course also great for use as a bright short telephoto lens for evening shots. A great combination perhaps with the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art?