The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is definitely a DSLR for professional photographers, but it doesn’t sit quite at the top of Canon’s DSLR camera tree - that spot is reserved for the 1D-X series. So then, at a more affordable price, it’s also suitable for enthusiasts and serious amateurs who need a full-frame DSLR to kick things up a notch.
With an improved camera, lenses are next on the horizon and there are plenty to choose from either from Canon or third-party while there are diamonds in the rough out there, it’s still a minefield of varying optical quality when it comes to choosing the best lens for the 5D Mark IV.
That’s why we’ve selected seven of the very best lenses for this full frame behemoth. Lenses that cover a wide range of uses, from general photography to macro; ultra-wides for astrophotography to hyper-telephoto zooms that reach right into the heart of the action.
This isn’t necessarily a list of the most expensive lenses you can buy, though many of the lenses are priced at the higher end due to their excellent quality. No, instead this round-up focuses on value for money, usability, optical quality, and build.
Features that make the best lenses stand out are built-in image stabilization for keeping shots steady during handheld use, superior lens coatings, fast autofocusing, wide apertures, and glass that reduces color fringing and ghosting. So if any of that sounds appealing, especially if you’re seeking a lens for specific uses such as weddings, real estate, or astrophotography, then bear that in mind as you move through the list.
Best lenses for Canon 5D Mark IV in 2023
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As one of the most common focal lengths ranges in an enthusiast and professional photographer’s repertoire this is Canon’s best zoom lens with a wide aperture of f/2.8 that stays constant throughout the zoom range. It’s perfect for landscapes, portraits, and many other disciplines whether indoors or out thanks to its excellent weather sealing.
Competitor models may keep up with it in terms of sharpness but few have the durable build, secure weather sealing protecting the elements, and L-series quality all wrapped up in one lens. Though, it would be nice to see image stabilization added despite wide-angles and fast aperture lenses needing it less.
Read our full Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM review for more details
A staple in any professional photographer’s kit bag, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM combines a flexible telephoto zoom range with a wide constant aperture of f/2.8 for shallow depth of field portraits or maximizing light in dark scenes. 3.5 stops of image stabilization supplement the fast aperture to maintain faster shutter speeds handheld.
The lens benefits from Fluorite and UD optics and improved coatings to combat lens flare, and ghosting, and improve overall contrast and sharpness with minimal chromatic aberration no matter which end of the focal length range you’re shooting in.
Read our full Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM review for more details
As nifty fifties go, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM sits in a special spot in this line-up. It’s not the fastest, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM takes first place in that regard. And it’s not the cheapest either, with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM costing nearly half the price. But it gives an incredible amount of value in its class.
All of the creamy bokeh you can muster before things become uncomfortably soft, the f/1.4 aperture lets the camera drink in as much light as possible before needing to bump up ISO - perfect for weddings, interior portraits, low light landscapes, and any scenario where ambient lighting is low. Lightweight and small enough to fit in a pocket, professionals and enthusiasts would benefit from throwing this lens in their kit bag.
Read our full Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM review for more details
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 astrophotography.
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.
An 85mm lens is widely thought of as the ideal focal length for portraiture - and this prime offers the advantage of a wide f/1.4 maximum aperture to help you blur the background, and concentrate on the subject's eyes. Unlike many of its rivals, the Canon lens offers the distinct advantage of built-in image stabilization. Build quality is pretty epic, including a shock-absorbing front barrel, weather seals, and fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements. The optical path is based on 14 elements and features Canon’s high-tech Air Sphere Coating which further reduces ghosting and flare.
At 950g, this lens is smaller and lighter than the competing Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A, which lacks stabilization. It feels well-balanced on chunky full-frame DSLRs like the EOS 5D Mark IV, with excellent handling characteristics.
Wide-aperture sharpness is marginally less magnificent than from the Sigma 85mm Art lens but still pretty extraordinary. The quality of the bokeh is exceptional, with super-smooth blur and particularly minimal longitudinal or ‘bokeh’ fringing. The aperture remains more well-rounded when stopping down a little, compared with Canon’s alternative EF f/1.2 and f/1.8 85mm lenses.
Read our full Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM review for more details
See also: Best portrait lenses
With a minimum focusing distance of 30cm the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM reproduces subjects with a 1:1 ratio, meaning the space subjects take up in real life, is the same on the image sensor. That means ultra-detailed and impeccably sharp results when shooting macro.
Not just a good macro lens, this fixed macro can also focus to infinity which makes it ideal for portraiture, with the fast f/2.8 aperture and longer focal length generating a flatteringly shallow depth of field. Image stabilization keeps handheld shots steady and sharp, while the UltraSonic Motor retains fast autofocus.
Read our full Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM review for more details
See also: Best macro lenses
Touted by Sigma as containing zero distortion this Art lens is truly versatile. With an ultra-wide angle zoom range from 14-24mm it lends itself well to landscape photography due to its wide nature. However, the fast and constant f/2.8 aperture also suits wide-field astrophotography.
It’s designed to handle chromatic aberration well and shoot with streak-free results when aimed at bright light sources. On some Canon camera models it’s also compatible with the Canon Lens Aberration Correction function to further perfect optical characteristics.
Read our full Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art review for more details
See also Best Canon wide-angle zooms
Hyper-telephotos are rarely small, but Sigma has done a good job at keeping this lens under the 2kg wire at just 1930g. It’s also not overly large to handle either, but definitely much larger than many other, more typical telephotos.
Photographers favoring handheld shooting should be aware of the slower maximum aperture of f/6.3 when zoomed in to 600mm but four stops of Optical Stabilization remediates this somewhat. In order to fit all of that glass inside and keep things sharp and clean the front element has had to grow to a massive 95mm, so get ready to shell out for some more filters if you opt for this lens. Also consider Sigma's more robust Sport version of this lens, the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S.
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-word testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.