The best lenses for Canon EOS R10

Canon EOS R10
(Image credit: Canon)

It’s true that Canon’s latest APS-C mirrorless cameras, the EOS R10 and EOS R7, have only two ‘native’ RF-S lenses to their name right now, but there are plenty of other options out there, and they needn’t cost the earth.

The point is that Canon’s new RF-S lens mount will also take regular full-frame RF lenses, and while full-frame lenses are usually a heavy and expensive option for APS-C cameras like the EOS R10 (opens in new tab), we’ve found four perfectly affordable lenses that match it perfectly – both for size and for price.

Most people think of the full-frame DSLR (opens in new tab) and mirrorless models as being the best Canon cameras (opens in new tab), but APS-C models like the lower-end EOS D-SLRs and the new EOS R10 and R7 are a lot cheaper and pretty powerful in their own right. The only question is around the lenses available for the smaller EOS R models right now.

The one glaring gap in the EOS R10 lens line-up right now is for ultra-wide-angle lenses. There are a couple of heavyweight full frame RF-mount options, but we’re leaving these out for now until something lighter, more affordable and more suitable comes along.

There’s one more option to mention – the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R (opens in new tab)! This handy gadget doesn’t cost a whole lot (you may have got one with the camera, depending on your dealer), and it opens up a whole world of Canon EF and EF lenses. 

So if you’e upgrading to the EOS R10 from an older EOS DSLR system, don’t get rid of your old lenses! And if you’re starting from scratch, (we rate the EOS R10 as one of the best cameras for beginners) there are plenty of used Canon EF lenses on the used market to keep you going until the Canon RF-S lens line-up fills out properly – EF-S lenses will be both cheaper and better, because they match the EOS R10’s APS-C sensor size.

Best lenses for the Canon R10 in 2022

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(Image credit: James Artaius)
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This is the default kit lens for the EOS R10. It's very small, and actually rather good

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF-S
Stabilizer: Yes
Min focus distance: 0.15m
Max magnification: 0.16x
Filter thread: 49mm
Dimensions (WxL): 44 x 62mm
Weight: 124g

Reasons to buy

+
Image stabilization
+
Super small and light
+
Quick, quiet autofocus

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor maximum aperture
-
Not weather sealed

If you're looking at the EOS R10 and wondering whether you should go for this 18-45mm kit lens or the longer range 18-150mm (normally sold with the more advanced EOS R7), we'd suggest you don't write off this smaller lens too quickly. Small is the word. Fitted to the EOS R10 it makes a light, compact combination that's easy to carry and use, and the image quality is actually rather good. It's obviously not going to give the same performance as L-series or even mid-range glass, but it still delivers solid image quality (providing you leave in-camera optical corrections enabled!), and fine for a camera like the EOS R10.

(Image credit: James Artaius)
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This is Canon's longer range kit lens option and gives you some telephoto reach too

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF-S
Stabilizer: Yes
Min focus distance: 0.17m
Max magnification: 0.59x
Filter thread: 55mm
Dimensions (WxL): 84 x 60mm
Weight: 305g

Reasons to buy

+
29-240mm equivalent range
+
0.59x near-macro capability

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow-ish maximum aperture
-
Average corner sharpness

The Canon RF-S 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM is typically sold as the kit lens for the Canon EOS R7, but it's worth considering as an option for the EOS R10 too. Its 18-150mm focal range equates to about 29-240mm in full frame camera terms, so although this lens is pretty compact and light, it actually qualifies as a do-it-all 'superzoom'. It's the ideal travel companion for APS-C cameras like the Canon EOS R7 and R10. It offers much greater range and a slightly faster aperture than the RF-S 18-45mm lens, and also boasts light macro capability. It performs above expectations for a kit lens and is an excellent choice with either of Canon's new APS-C bodies.

(Image credit: James Artaius)
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If you decide to get into sports or wildlife with your R10, this is the lens you need!

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF
Stabilizer: Yes
Min focus distance: 0.88m
Max magnification: 0.41x
Filter thread: 67mm
Dimensions (WxL): 79.5 x 164.7mm
Weight: 635g

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful super-telephoto zoom range
+
Refreshingly compact and lightweight
+
5.5-stop optical image stabilizer

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly slow f/5.6-8 aperture rating
-
No weather-seals

This is a full frame Canon RF lens, but at a size and price that makes it a great buy for the Canon EOS R10 too. In fact, the R10's smaller sensor works in its favor, and gives this lens an effective focal range of 160-640mm. That's HUGE, especially at this price. The autofocus is super-fast, the image stabilization is highly effective and image quality is highly impressive in all respects, with the caveat that sharpness drops off noticeably when combining close focusing distances with the longest zoom setting. The aperture rating of f/8 at the long end of the zoom range might be a bit slow, but that’s the price you pay for this downsized design and affordable price tag.

(Image credit: James Artaius)
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This tiny and affordable prime lens is a handy wide-angle for the EOS R10

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF
Autofocus: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: No
Min focus distance: 0.13m
Max magnification: 0.26x
Filter thread: 43mm
Dimensions (WxL): 69.2x40.1mm
Weight: 165g

Reasons to buy

+
26mm equivalent focal length
+
Amazingly compact and lightweight
+
Very well priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Lens hood sold separately
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No weather-seals or IS

Until Canon brings out an ultra-wide RF-S lens, this is the next best thing without spending a fortune. This little 16mm f/2.8 is actually an ultra-wide full frame lens, but it still gives a handy 26mm equivalent wide-angle view on the EOS R10. Canon's 16mm wide prime is just as affordable and packs the added bonus of autofocus. It's just 40mm long and 165g light, and very portable. In fact, like the RF 35mm and primes also in this guide, this 16mm makes a convincing case for leaving a standard zoom lens out of the shooting equation and sticking to prime numbers. And even if you do generally shoot with a standard zoom, the RF 16mm is an excellent addition, delivering convincing image quality and all-round performance. If ever a lens was a no-brainer, it’s this one. And if you do later upgrade to a full frame EOS R camera, this lens will work on that too!

(Image credit: Future)
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The best RF lens for street photography due to size, focal length and price

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF
Autofocus: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: 5-stop hybrid
Min focus distance: 0.17m
Max magnification: 0.5x
Filter thread: 52mm
Dimensions (WxL): 74x63mm
Weight: 305g

Reasons to buy

+
Small and lightweight
+
Relatively inexpensive
+
0.5x macro with hybrid stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks zooming convenience
-
Autofocus isn’t particularly speedy

If you’re only going to buy one own-brand prime lens for your Canon R-series camera, this is the one to go for. It’s wonderfully compact and lightweight, as well as only costing about a fifth of the price of Canon’s bulky f/1.2 lenses. Indeed, the relatively small and inexpensive build enabled by the more modest aperture rating makes you wonder why Canon hasn’t made more f/1.8 RF primes yet. 

The 35mm focal length is perfect for street photography and gives an entirely natural viewing perspective that works well for landscape and architectural photography, as well as for environmental portraits where you want to include a person’s surroundings. The versatility doesn’t end there, as the lens has a short 0.17m minimum focus distance that enables 0.5x macro shooting, complete with a hybrid 5-stop stabilizer that corrects for x-y shift in addition to the more usual angular vibrations.

Read our full Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM lens review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Canon)
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Canon's nifty fifty makes a great portrait lens for the EOS R10

Specifications

Mount: Canon RF
Autofocus: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: No
Min focus distance: 0.3m
Max magnification: 0.25x
Filter thread: 43mm
Dimensions (WxL): 69.2x40.5mm
Weight: 160g

Reasons to buy

+
Same size & weight as EF version
+
… but not as plasticky!
+
Impressive image quality
+
Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not weather sealed

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a 'standard' lens on a full frame Canon, but fitted to the EOS R10 it has an effective focal length of 80mm, which is pretty much perfect for portrait photography. It has an f/1.8 maximum aperture, which will give you nice background blur, and it's cheap, compact, and capable, delivering great image quality (on a par in some areas with the RF 50mm f/1.2L (opens in new tab), which costs over ten times as much!) in a truly pocket-sized lens. The smallest optic for the EOS R system, it's a fantastic everyday lens that pairs well with any RF body, including the EOS R10.

Read more:

Best Canon RF lenses
Best Canon cameras
Best lenses for travel

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Rod Lawton
Contributor

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com (opens in new tab) but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com (opens in new tab)