Looking for the best lens for Canon EOS 90D? This guide gives our pick of the six top choices available out of the hundreds you could buy. Although chosen for the 90D, these lenses will also likely be the best lenses for the Canon EOS 80D, and many other older Canon APS-C DSLRs.
A feature-packed enthusiast camera, the Canon EOS 90D is a DSLR in a mirrorless world. It’s small, nimble, and shoots 32MP stills with uncropped 4K UHD video. As a powerful piece of recently released kit, it’s worth investing in some decent lenses to accompany such a unique camera.
As an APS-C sensor camera almost all of our top picks are EF-S lenses because they’re specifically designed to work with crop-sensor Canons. That means the image circle and distance from the rear of the lens to the image sensor is aligned perfectly. However, EF lenses do work on crop-sensors too, and there’s one in this roundup you should be sure not to miss.
From versatile ultra-wides with impossible-sounding apertures, to stabilized telephoto zooms that help reach into a scene and pluck out far-away subjects there’s something for everyone here at a range of price points. So do yourself a favor and check out some of the best lenses for the Canon EOS 90D below to bag some glass that’ll last you a lifetime.
Best lenses for Canon EOS 90D
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Although nearly a decade old, this versatile ultra-wide angle lens was the world’s first f/1.8 constant aperture zoom lens for DSLRs and absolutely smashes low light performance. Typically, those who wanted to shoot apertures as fast as this would typically need to swap out their wide-zoom for a prime lens, but this lens offers greater flexibility in many shooting scenarios, especially for interior and astro photography.
Minimum focusing distance of 28cm means close-up subjects aren’t out of reach.
It has improved durability through its tough brass bayonet mount. The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures quiet, speedy autofocusing. A rounded 9-blade diaphragm in the lens prevents unwanted light source bursts and instead offers beautifully smooth bokeh.
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM has a generous zoom range that favors far-away subjects like sports competitors, wildlife, and action. However, due to the small form factor and its extremely light construction it’s actually ideal for travel photography as well.
Four stops of image stabilization keeps the frame steady when shooting handheld, allowing for slightly longer exposures when faced with dim light conditions. A small 58mm filter thread on the front element means lower cost for filters (larger filters generally cost more) further adding to the affordability of this lens. Its Stepping motor (STM) technology gives decent autofocus which remains quiet during video recording, too.
As a pancake lens this 24mm prime is absolutely tiny. One way Canon have done this is to use a more mechanical Stepping Motor (STM) autofocusing system which, though a little slow and noisy, works well when shooting.
Oddly, this is the only EF-S prime lens that Canon still produces, which is a shame if prime is your thing. To gather a set of prime lenses you’ll have to either go for a discontinued lens, opt for a third party model, or take a step up from the 90D and go full-frame to increase your lens selection from Canon’s line-up. However, at 24mm (equivalent focal length of 38mm on this crop-sensor body) it’s exceedingly versatile lending itself well to travel photography due to its size, street photography thanks to its fast aperture, and environmental portraiture with its wide field of view.
Yes, this isn’t strictly an EF-S lens designed for the APS-C EOS 90D, however, it will still work just as well and it’s such a useful lens that we couldn’t omit it from this list. Super sharp, fast focusing is powered by a quiet Stepper Motor (STM) technology meaning it’s suitable for both stills and video recording.
A minimum focusing distance of approximately 35cm makes this fifty very nifty for close-up subjects and detail shots. The fixed 50mm is a general jack-of-all-trades focal length and can shoot most things well, but the 80mm equivalent on the 90D means it’s ideal for portraits. Consider that alongside a fast f/1.8 aperture that oozes charm when shot wide open and you have a recipe for magical-looking images.
Optically brilliant without breaking the bank this ultra-wide APS-C lens is a killer lens for landscapes, astrophotography, architecture, and environmental portraiture. Though ultra-wides like this tend to suffer less from camera shake blur when shooting at longer exposures so avoid image stabilization altogether, this lens bucks the trend by whacking on a whopping four stops of IS.
Light in construction and with an equivalent focal length range of 16-28.8mm it’ll tuck away nicely in a camera bag. The zoom allows for quick recomposition when travelling where you can’t physically reposition yourself to get the shot. STM focusing provides quiet autofocusing, great when video recording.
This is a favorite choice for those who need a macro lens for extreme close-ups. Along with sturdy L-series build quality, Canon’s 100mm macro features hybrid optical stabilization. Typical upmarket attractions include ring-type ultrasonic autofocus and a three-position autofocus limiter switch, which can lock out the short or long end of the range. The lens also has weather sealing and an Ultra-low Dispersion element. Image quality remains impressive throughout the aperture range, right down to f/22, helping you to eke out a little extra depth of field. Autofocus is fast and accurate and quiet but, more importantly for most macro shooting, the manual focus ring is smooth and precise.
The 18-55mm and 18-135mm zooms sold in Canon EOS 80 and 90 kits are a pretty basic lenses, built to a budget price. If you want to improve on this, then the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a great choice - offering a wide f/2.8 maximum aperture through the whole zoom range. Dating back to 2006, it is the most professional standard zoom that Canon has ever made for its APS-C format cameras.
This lens is big and heavy, but it doesn’t feel unbalanced, and weighs in at at 645g. With its focal length markings on a silver band, and the gold ‘ultrasonic’ ring around the front, the lens has a more dated look than some newer, sleeker Canon lenses, and its older-generation image stabilizer is only worth three stops rather than four. But the big benefit in maximum aperture for blurring the background, and shooting in low light, more than compensate.
See our full Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM review
A superzoom combines a wide-angle zoom and a telephoto zoom - making it a popular choice travellers, as an all-in-on solution. This Tamron offers a great reach than many of its rivals, with a long reach that means it can provide a lightweight option even for wildlife and field sports.
On a Canon APS-C format camera, it works out to an effective 640mm at the long end, putting it firmly into super-telephoto territory. Autofocus is driven by an HLD (High/Low toque-modulated Drive) motor. When we reviewed the Tamron 18-400mm lens, we found it to be quick and very quiet in operation. Being able to adjust focusing speed accordingly for speedy stills performance and smooth transitions in movie capture is hugely useful, though the VC (Vibration Compensation) system is comparatively mediocre for a Tamron lens, with just 2.5-stop effectiveness. Image quality is good overall but sharpness could be better at medium to long zoom settings.
How we test lenses
We test lenses using both real-world sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled conditions using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture height, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing. We find the combination of lab and real-world testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.