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7 Best Canon APS-C Lenses: My Top Picks for Crop Sensor Cameras (2024)

Best Lens for Crop Sensor Canon Cameras 2024


If you are a Canoner and ready to upgrade your gear then this article is for you. Specifically, I’ll cover the best Canon APS-C lenses for 2024.

You might know that Canon uses 2 sensor sizes: full-frame and APS-C (crop). In this list, however, you will see the options specifically for crop sensor DSLRs.

Note that the list includes both EF and EF-S because you can use both types on a crop camera (but you can’t use EF-S on a full frame body).

When choosing which product to include, I didn’t focus on the ‘latest and the greatest’, but rather on great price-quality ratio options, and clarified which genre it’s to be used for.

Best Lenses for Canon APS-C DSLRs 2024

Here’s a table that’ll give you a quick look of my roundup and the reasons to buy the product. For further details, simply click ‘review>’ in respective row. 



Reasons to Get It

1. EF-S 17-55mm

Best walk around lens for Canon

  • ability to shoot in low light

  • USM = fast & silent AF

  • effective image stabilizer

  • best jack of all trades lens

2. EF-S 10-18mm

Affordable ultra wide angle zoom

  • 97°10′ angle of view

  • STM = smooth & silent AF

  • excellent sharpness

  • best price/quality ratio

3. EF-S 55-250

Best cheap telephoto lens

  • silent & smooth STM

  • lightweight & versatile

  • great stabilizer & AF

  • budget price = under $300

4. EF 85mm f/1.8

Best telephoto prime for the buck

  • fast AF & sharp DOF

  • small size & low weight

  • top image quality & bokeh

  • must have portrait glass

5. EF 50mm f/1.8

Great cheap prime lens for beginners

  • STM = fast & accurate AF

  • works great in low light

  • sharp, light and compact

  • the "prince of all lenses"

6. EF-S 60mm

Best macro lens for Canon crop sensor

  • life-size 1:1 magnification

  • highest level of sharpness

  • quick focus for macro lens

  • great price/quality ratio

7. EF-S 24mm

Sweet all around "pancake" prime

  • super small and light

  • extremely sharp

  • top for all around shooting

  • price tag = under $200

Whether you’re a complete newbie or an enthusiast, bootstrapped or not, you’ll find a good option that works best for your needs and budget.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Best Walk-Around Lens for Canon APS-C

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras

  • Type: Zoom
  • Weight: 645 g (1.42 lb)
  • Compatible format: APS-C
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Is it weather-sealed: No
  • Zoom method: Rotary (extended)
  • Good for: Portraits/travel

If you’re looking for the best walk around lens for APS-C Canon DSLRs, then consider the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

It is a high-quality, high-aperture zoom which is a great replacement for your 18-55mm kit lens.

Thanks to its image stabilization (IS) and f/2.8 aperture you can enjoy shooting in rather low-light conditions, and get detailed images with a sweet bokeh.

Some would argue that it didn’t become the L-type only because it doesn’t work on full-frame sensors and it isn’t sealed.

Yep, it’s that good.

Now, let’s have a quick look at what you might like/dislike about this product.

 Reasons to Buy:

  • great sharpness
  • mild vignetting (also known as “light fall-off”)
  • wide, constant-over-the-zoom-range
  • fast and silent autofocus (thanks to its ultrasonic motor)
  • very effective image stabilizer
  • nice background blur

Reasons to Avoid:

  • not a good AF for video
  • costs more than most entry-level bodies
  • no dust or moisture protection

Final Thoughts: A Great Alternative to Your Kit

If you want to improve the quality of your images, give 17-55mm a try.

In most cases, a crop sensor camera with this particular glass will work as well as full-frame one, with its ability to shoot in low light and get a nice bokeh.

I’ll say more…

The 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is arguably one of the best walk around lens for Canon APS-C sensor DSLRs today.

2. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Best Canon Ultra Wide Angle Lens

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

  • Type: Wide angle zoom
  • Weight: 240 g (0.53 lb)
  • Compatible format: APS-C
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Is it sealed: No
  • Zoom method: Rotary (internal)
  • Good for: Real estate/landscapes

I’ll say this…

With this beauty, you’ll forget about typical problems of shooting in cramped conditions.

Even if it’s a small room, thanks to its maximum 97°10′ angle of view horizontally, you won’t have to back up far enough to include everything you want in the image.

(As you would with a normal lens).

That’s why it’ll be great choice for real estate, architecture and landscape photography. 

Another little bonus:

10-18mm has a smooth and silent stepper motor autofocus (STM), which is especially valuable for those who like to shoot videos too.

Reasons to Buy:

  • small and light
  • minimum focus distance = 22 cm (8.66)
  • excellent sharpness when wide open (large aperture)
  • best price/quality ratio

Reasons to Avoid:

  • its plastic construction
  • barrel distortion
  • flares very easily when photographing light sources

Final Thoughts: Best Affordable Ultra Wide Angle Zoom

Its image quality, edge-to-edge sharpness and autofocus accuracy are a very strong competing advantage over its currently available counterparts of this class.

If you…

  • like to shoot not only photos, but also videos,
  • looking for a reliable friend during your travel adventures,
  • or simply need a great ultra wide-angle zoom,

…then Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is your best bet.

3. Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Best Budget Telephoto Lens for Canon

  • Type: Telephoto zoom
  • Weight: 375 g (0.83 lb)
  • Compatible format: APS-C
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes (4 stops)
  • Is it sealed: No
  • Zoom method: Rotary (extending)
  • Good for: Wildlife/travel/portraits

A lot of people would recommend a nifty-fifty to get after your kit lens (and for good reason).

However, the 50mm doesn’t add to your available focal length range. 


If you need to cover a wide range of focal lengths and are on a tight budget, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm is a great telephoto to complement your kit.

It gets better:

Just like with the 10-18mm we saw earlier, this one also has a silent and smooth STM, and that allows you to use it effectively not only for stills but also for video shooting.

Reasons to Buy:

  • great price tag = under $500
  • lightweight
  • versatile, works great for most shooting situations
  • snappy and precise autofocus
  • image quality is on par with the semi-professional grade glass
  • effective stabilizer

Reasons to Avoid:

  • plastic barrel/mount
  • not ideal for low light photography

Final Thoughts: By Far the Best Bang for Your Buck

Truth is, Canon EF-S 55-250mm is a must have for beginner photographers.

While it’s not the fastest one, it’s one that will likely fit your budget and will offer high image quality and a great zoom range. 

(Even its plastic construction isn’t a major problem for many people.)

Without a doubt, with the features that you get, this telephoto zoom is by far the best bang for your buck.


When buying, make sure it’s the IS STM version!

4. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed

Best Telephoto Prime for the Money

  • Type: Telephoto prime
  • Weight: 425 g (0.94 lb)
  • Compatible format: APS-C/FX
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Is it sealed: No
  • Good for: Portraits/product photography


Even though 85mm f/1.8 has a significantly lower price compared to the top models, it’s still a classic portrait glass with a very nice image quality and soft bokeh.

In fact, it’s an amazing Canon prime lens for portraits.

This one is also a telephoto lens, but it’s a prime one, meaning that the focal length is fixed.

Also, thanks to its light weight and the presence of an ultrasonic focusing motor, it focuses very quickly and accurately.

(Some even argue that it’s better than the 85mm f/1.2 option. See the reviews.)


You’ll notice that this is an EF mount and that’s OK. It will be compatible with your APS-C sensor Canon DSLR. 

You can’t use EF-S lenses on a full frame but you can use EF lenses on crop sensor cameras.

Reasons to Buy:

  • great price/quality ratio
  • extreme sharpness
  • small size and low weight
  • mild vignetting

Reasons to Avoid:

  • not for general shooting
  • chromatic aberrations (easily fixable in Photoshop though)
  • it’s possible for AF to miss at aperture f/1.8

Final Thoughts: 85mm f/1.8 is Canon’s Hidden Gem

Seriously, you get a lot for the money.

If you need…

  • a balanced contrast,
  • fast autofocus, and,
  • a sharp depth of field,

…this is your go-to lens.

Without a doubt:

The 85mm f/1.8 is one of the must-haves for portrait shots, for beginner and advanced photographers alike. 

5. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Best Cheap Prime Lens for Canon

  • Type: Prime
  • Weight: 425 g (0.94 lb)
  • Compatible format: APS-C/FX
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Is it sealed: No
  • Good for: Portraits/product photography

You know…

When it comes to primes, I call the 50mm f/1.4 “the king of all lenses” and the 50mm f/1.8 “the prince of all lenses”.

For some people the 50mm f/1.4 is a bit pricey, so if you’re on a tighter budget, then absolutely go for f/1.8! This one will blow you away.

One of the biggest upgrade points from the old version was the inclusion of STM aka stepper motor, which made its autofocus even better. Like most Canon lenses, this one is fast and accurate.

(And now it’s quiet too.)

Also, thanks to its wide aperture, you can also improve the quality of photography in low light conditions.


On an APS-C sensor body, this nifty-fifty will make the field of view a bit narrow but in no way does it interfere with your creativeness. (And if you ever get a full frame DSLR, it will be simply outstanding.)

 What you might like about it:

  • light and compact
  • wide aperture and shallow DOF
  • massive upgrade from the old version
  • one of the most affordable Canon products

 What you might not like about it:

  • hood isn’t supplied
  • reaches its full potential with a FX camera

The 50mm f/1.8 Prime Will Exceed Your Expectations

I’ll be honest: 

This is the best prime lens for those starting out.

I mean… It is sharp, lightweight, compact, inexpensive and works in low light conditions. What else can we ask for?

Truth is, every photographer must have at least one prime in his collection. And this nifty-fifty is a no-brainer.

Don’t believe me?

==> Read the GLOWING reviews from other users.

6. Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

Best Budget Canon Macro Lens

  • Type: Telephoto macro prime
  • Weight: 335 g (0.74 lb)
  • Compatible format: APS-C
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Is it sealed: No
  • Good for: Macro/food/full body portraits


While the 50mm f/1.8 could work for macro shots, if you are truly into macro photography have a look at Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8.

In fact, because it features the 1:1 magnification ratio, it’s a true macro lens.

(Some manufacturers just slap “macro” text on their products for marketing purposes.)

For what it’s worth, having 1:1 ratio means that the image on the sensor is the same as that of the object being photographed.

In terms of image quality, it’s great. I mean the level of sharpness and color rendition that you see with this glass is on par with the L-series glass. 

You won’t be disappointed.

Reasons to Buy:

  • great price/quality ratio
  • wide aperture = good low light photos
  • quick focusing for a macro lens
  • high contrast and excellent sharpness
  • great for food and product photography, as well as full-body style portraits
  • works pretty well for general use

Reasons to Avoid:

  • can be used on Canon APS-C (crop) sensor DSLRs only
  • the focal length is a bit tight for indoor use

Thoughts: A Great Choice for Macro Work (And More)

Don’t want to sound like a broken record but the main advantage of this glass is its highest level of sharpness and excellent contrast, which is not lost even when shooting with backlight.

It is also pretty versatile and with its focal length you take people shots, landscapes, food and product photos.

Truth is…

If you’re a macro photography enthusiast, then 60mm f/2.8 is one of the best 1:1 “one-size” macro lenses for crop sensor Canon today.

7. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras with 52mm Filter Kit (UV, CPL, FLD) + Accessory Bundle (12 Items)

Best Prime Lens for Canon APS-C

  • Type: Prime
  • Weight: 125 g (0.28 lb)
  • Compatible format: APS-C
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Is it sealed: No
  • Good for: Street/travel/landscapes

Usually entry-level DSLRs come with zoom kit lenses, which you can’t really put in your pocket and carry around.

Let’s face it:

Bulky camera gear is too bothersome to take with you everywhere, especially when you’re backpacking, travelling or simply having outdoors adventures.

And this is where inexpensive 24mm f/2.8 “pancake” comes in.

With it your crop sensor DSLR will pretty much become a compact camera with killer capabilities.

First of all, it’s sharp. Second, it’s got great macro capabilities. Lastly, it’s wide so you can really capture the scenery.

The list goes on and on. 

There’s pretty much no downside to having this glass.

Reasons to Buy:

  • under $200
  • super small and light (uh.., duh)
  • extremely sharp
  • decent amount of background blur
  • its build quality will last a long time

Reasons to Avoid:

  • no image stabilization
  • can be used on Canon’s crop sensor cameras only

Sweet “Pancake” for All Around Shooting

Honestly, the 24mm f/2.8 is one of the best prime lenses for a crop sensor to invest in.  

I mean, this pancake is:

… just to name a few.

Really, with this baby you’ll just want to keep shooting. Everything you can, anywhere you are.

Best Canon Crop Sensor Lenses in 2024


This list offers 7 must have Canon lenses (EF-S and EF), including telephoto, wide angle, standard zoom, macro and tilt/shift – with mini reviews of each.

Whether you’re looking for the top rated options for portraits, wildlife or landscapes, you’ll find one that suits you best.

(Also, I will likely update this post by adding the buying guide for beginners.)

Let’s recap:

7 Best Canon Lenses for Crop Sensor (2024)

  • 17-55mm – Best walk around lens for crop sensor Canon DSLRs.
  • 10-18mm – Most affordable ultra wide angle zoom (for landscapes and real estate).
  • 55-250mm – Best budget telephoto to complement your kit lens today.
  • 85 mm f/1.8 – Amazing telephoto prime lens for APS-C Canon.
  • 50mm f/1.8 – Best prime for those starting out (for product and portrait shots).
  • 60mm – Great 1:1 “one-size” macro for Canon crop sensor in 2024.
  • 24mm – One of the best Canon DSLR prime lenses (for street/travel/landscapes).

Of course, there are a LOT of great options out there, but I wanted to keep this post concise and offer the ones that have the best price-quality ratio.

If you’re a more experienced photographer, feel free to share your best suggestions in the comments!

I will also publish a post on the best lenses for the full-frame Canon cameras, but in the meantime I suggest you grab the Creative Photography Cookbook below for 80% off!

Now, I’d like to hear from YOU:

  • Do you own a crop or full-frame Canon camera right now?
  • What is your main photography genre?
  • Your thoughts on this list of best APS-C lenses for Canon DSLRs in 2024?

Any questions? Suggestions? Recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!

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