The best lenses for the Canon EOS R5 in 2024

The Canon EOS R5 is a full-frame mirrorless camera that sits near the top of Canon’s new mirrorless range. It can be used with an increasing range of RF-mount lenses, so there is now a good amount of choice for R5 owners.

The bulk of RF lenses are available exclusively from Canon, which sells a mix of ultra-wide zooms, prime lenses, and telephoto options. However, there are a handful of other third-party lens manufacturers that provide manual-focus RF lenses, with the hope that others such as Tamron and Sigma will release RF-compatible AF lenses soon.

The main factors to consider when choosing a lens for the Canon EOS R5 are focal length, aperture range, image stabilization, and size or weight. If scenic landscapes is your thing, it might be worth considering wide-angle lenses to capture a wider field of view. But if it’s important to get close to a distant subject such as wildlife or sports, a telephoto lens is required to reach far-away subjects and make them larger in the image.

For those interested in capturing photographs with shallow depth of field, a wide aperture is essential. This also helps when capturing images in low-light situations, as it will allow more light to pass through onto the R5’s image sensor, thereby creating good exposures even in dark situations.

Whatever your preference, we’ve rounded up the best lenses for the R5 you can buy today...

Jason Parnell-Brookes
Jase Parnell-Brookes

Jase Parnell-Brookes is an award-winning photographer, educator and writer based in the UK. They won the Gold Prize award in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. After completing their Masters, Jase has spent a good chunk of two decades studying and working in photography and optics. Jase is now the Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching at Space.com.

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Best lenses for the Canon R5 in 2024

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Best everyday lens for the R5

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
The standard trinity zoom tackles almost any situation

Specifications

Autofocus: Nano Ultrasonic
Stabilizer: 5-stop
Min focus distance: 0.21m (at 24mm) / 0.38mm (at 70mm)
Max magnification: 0.3x (at 32mm)
Filter thread: 82mm
Dimensions (WxL): 88.5x125.7mm
Weight: 900g

Reasons to buy

+
Superb stabilization
+
No focus breathing

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Average edge sharpness

This is the standout choice as the everyday standard zoom for the Canon R5. It’s responsive and delivers plenty of detail; it’s even able to control the technical issue of focus breathing.

In our review, we noted a few technical issues, such as edge sharpness, that mean it doesn’t quite reach the heights of some Canon lenses – although the extent to which this matters depends on the types of photo you shoot. But for the price, this is unquestionably a strong performer.

Read more: Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM review

Best wide-angle lens for the R5

(Image credit: Future)
A bright wide-angle zoom lens with superior autofocusing

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
Dimensions: 88 x 126mm
Weight: 840g
Filter size: 82mm

Reasons to buy

+
Useful ultra wide-angle zoom range
+
5 stops of hybrid image stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy compared with wide-angle primes
-
Large filter size requires bigger filters

This lens’ incredibly useful focal length zoom range of 15-35mm makes it suited to a wide range of applications from landscapes, travel photography, street, and even astrophotography thanks to its maximum f/2.8 aperture, which is constant throughout the zoom range.

Fast autofocus is powered by the Ultrasonic Motor in this lens, a step above the standard STM equipped in many other, slightly cheaper models. A real treat to use in low light conditions, this lens combines with the R5’s in-body image stabilization to provide a maximum of 8 stops of IS (5 in the lens).

Read more: Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM review 

Best ultra wide-angle lens for the R5

(Image credit: Future)
The world's widest full-frame rectilinear lens with autofocus

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/4
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 16 elements in 5 groups
Dimensions: 83.7 x 111mm
Weight: 570g
Filter size: 35x20mm (rear-mounted gels)

Reasons to buy

+
Very portable and lightweight
+
Perfectly balanced for gimbal & video
+
Control Ring and custom button
+
5-stop optical IS (up to 6 with IBIS)
+
Super wide rectilinear angle of view

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey (but cheaper than EF predecessor)
-
Vignetteing in RAWs at 10mm
-
No focus distance window
-
Difficult to use filters

The design of the RF lens mount on the R5 places a lens’s rear optical element closer to the image sensor than was the case with Canon DLSRs – and you can really see the difference it makes when you attach this ultra wide-angle lens. The advanced optical design means that the distortion you expect to see at extreme wide angles is vastly reduced, so the straight lines in buildings look straight in your photos.

It’s also light and compact for a lens in its class, with plenty of useful controls, and the smooth, quiet stepping motor autofocus makes it ideal for recording video.

Read more: Canon RF 10-20mm f/4L IS STM hands-on review

Best street photography lens for the R5

(Image credit: Canon)
A great lens for street and travel photographers

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/1.8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
Dimensions: 74 x 62mm
Weight: 305g
Filter size: 52mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money, optical clarity
+
0.5x macro magnification for close-ups
+
Wide f/1.8 aperture good for low light

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best autofocusing system

This 35mm prime performs well on the Canon EOS R5 and it won’t break the bank, either. Lightweight at just over 300g, it’s compact in design and inconspicuously mounts to the front of the camera with its slim build.

A fast aperture combines with the wide-angle focal length for images that are contextual but also evocative. The STM autofocus, while not the flagship for RF lenses, performs well under most situations and the lens can use the R5’s in-body image stabilization for steadying shots. It also utilizes a 0.5x magnification ratio for the close-up shooting of details or smaller subjects.

Read more: Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM review 

Best 50mm lens for the R5

(Image credit: Future)
This superbly-sharp standard prime is perfect for the R5

Specifications

Autofocus: USM
Aperture: 10-blade
Min focus distance: 0.4m
Filter thread: 77mm
Dimensions (mm): 89.8 x 108
Weight: 950g

Reasons to buy

+
Superior sharpness
+
Versatile focal length
+
Build quality is excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Heavy and unwieldy

When we tested the 50mm, we were struck by how sharp its detail was, and how responsive the autofocus system was. The very wide f/1.2 aperture means you can achieve a dramatic level of background blur. This is an amazing lens if you shoot fashion, or portraits that include some of the environment. It’s a substantial lens, but the R5 is big enough to cope with the weight and not feel unbalanced.

Read more: Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 USM review 

Best portrait photography lens for the R5

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
Likely the best portrait lens you can buy on any system

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/1.2
Image Stabilization: No
Lens Construction: 13 elements in 9 groups
Dimensions: 103 x 117mm
Weight: 1195g
Filter size: 82mm

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible sharpness, minimal distortion
+
Flattering focal length for portraits
+
F/1.2 aperture for low light and bokeh

Reasons to avoid

-
Big and expensive

An 85mm prime lens has always been touted as one of the best prime focal lengths for portraiture due to the perspective compression it gives for flattering facial features, but the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L is probably the best portrait lens you can get for the Canon EOS R5 – and possibly of any camera system. 

Detail is razor-sharp and autofocus is incredibly quick, while the ultra-fast f/1.2 aperture produces effortlessly smooth bokeh and shallow depth of field. The aperture also makes it ideal for low-light conditions, such as indoor wedding photography.

Read more: Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM review

Best telephoto lens for the R5

(Image credit: Canon)
This fast telephoto zoom is perfect for professional photographers

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
Dimensions: 89 x 146mm
Weight: 1070g
Filter size: 77mm

Reasons to buy

+
Flexible telephoto zoom range
+
5 stops of image stabilization
+
Small for a telephoto with this focal range

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper RF 70-200mm f/4 available

Professionals and serious amateurs with a good chunk of change behind them should take note of this member of Canon’s holy trinity of lenses. Designed to be taken anywhere, it’s considerably smaller than any 70-200mm EF counterpart and is comparatively lightweight, too, all the while retaining excellent weather sealing to protect it from the elements.

This fast L series telephoto zoom appeals to many types of photographers, whether favoring landscapes, portraits, or even concert/gig photography where light is minimal and often inside. This lens shoots it all easily thanks to five stops of hybrid IS and a fast f/2.8 aperture.

Read more: Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM review

Best super-telephoto lens for the R5

(Image credit: James Artaius)
Lightweight & affordable supertelephoto for the R5

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/5.6-8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 12 elements in 9 groups
Dimensions: 79.5 x 164.7mm (247mm when extended to 400mm)
Weight: 635g
Filter size: 67mm

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful supertelephoto range
+
5.5 stops of image stabilization
+
Small and lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly slow f/5.6-8 aperture rating
-
‘Optional’ lens hood is a pricey extra
-
No weather-seals

If you need a long telephoto lens to shoot sports or wildlife, the RF 100-400mm is a great affordable option. Its maximum 400mm focal length gives you plenty of reach, with the sacrifice that the maximum aperture drops to f/8 - so not a fast lens by any stretch of the imagination, which inevitably means using up the ISO to use it effectively. However, this lens, despite its budget price, gives you an impressive five-and-a-half stops of image stabilization. Unlike some tempting lens options for the EOS R5, this one is a bargain. 

Read more: Canon RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM review

Best superzoom lens for the R5

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)
A lens that stretches the R5's potential to the max

Specifications

Autofocus: USM
Aperture: 9-blade
Min focus distance: 0.8m (200mm) 3.3m (800mm)
Filter thread: 95mm
Dimensions (mm): 102.3 x 314.1mm
Weight: 2050g

Reasons to buy

+
Massive zoom range
+
Lightweight (for a lens of its scope)
+
Super fast and quiet autofocusing
+
Compatible with 1.4x and 2x teleconverters

Reasons to avoid

-
Narrow maximum aperture
-
Aperture reduced even further with converters
-
Image quality at 800mm end could be stronger

The Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM reaches further than the average superzoom, but is still relatively light and compact for this class of lens. However, it has a small maximum aperture compared with other superzoom lenses, which affects low-light performance. When light conditions are good, though, sharpness is good throughout most of the zoom range, falling off a bit at 800mm. On the plus side, the autofocus system is both responsive and accurate.

Read more: Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM review

Best macro lens for the R5

(Image credit: Canon)
Super sharp, incredible magnification macro lens with superb image stabilization

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
Dimensions: 81 x 148mm
Weight: 730g
Filter size: 67mm

Reasons to buy

+
1.4x magnification higher than true macro
+
5 stops of hybrid image stabilization
+
Variable spherical aberration control ring

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky and quite expensive

This lens is inspired by Canon’s EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, a superior design that became a staple for macro photographers. And it’s even better.

The magnification is an astounding 1.4:1, which means the image projected onto the R5’s full-frame sensor is 1.4 times lifesize. The detail is ridiculously sharp. A dedicated spherical aberration control ring even enables you to adjust the bokeh effect.

Read more: Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 Macro IS USM review 

Best videography lens for the R5

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)
This will change the way you think about stills and video lenses

Specifications

Maximum aperture: f/2.8
Image Stabilization: Yes
Lens Construction: 23 elements in 18 groups
Dimensions: 88.5 x 199mm
Weight: 500g
Filter size: 82mm

Reasons to buy

+
Constant f/2.8 aperture throughout entire range
+
Brilliant for stills and video
+
Image quality appears to be excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Large lens for stills photographers
-
Aperture ring only works for video (for now at least)
-
Expensive

The development of lenses with this kind of focal length (24-105mm or 24-70mm) tends to be in small steps rather than leaps and bounds, because most standard zoom lenses are already very good. But this standard zoom really stands out.

It offers a constant f/2.8 aperture, which has been on a lot of photographers’ wishlists for years – but it’s also a hybrid lens, straddling the bridge between a lens designed for stills and one designed for video. That’s one reason why it’s longer than stills photographers might expect from a 24-105mm. Add a tripod foot, though, and it balances beautifully with the R5.

The image quality is exceptional, with sharp results and great contrast throughout the zoom range, and autofocus adjustments take milliseconds. On the R5, you get up 8 stops of image stabilization (or 5 on some other R cameras.) This all goes a long way to explain the sky-high price at launch.

Read more: Canon RF 24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z review 

How to choose the best lens for the Canon EOS R5

Do all Canon lenses fit the EOS R5?

The R5 uses the Canon RF mount, which means it works with all RF and RF-S lenses. RF lenses are designed for use with full-frame Canon camera such as the R5, and there are lots to choose from. RF-S lenses are made with APS-C Canon cameras such as the R10 in mind: on the R5, they produce a cropped image compared with an RF lens at the same focal length.

The R6 can also use Canon's older EF and EF-S lenses for DLSRs, but you have to buy a Canon EF-EOS R Mount Adapter to fit the lenses.

The R6 can’t use EF-M lenses, which are made for the Canon EOS M series of cameras. No adaptor has been released for EF-M lenses. 

How do I know which lens to get for my R5?

The reason there are so many types of lens in the first place is that different scenes demand different lens designs, particularly when it comes to focal length and aperture rating.

Usually, you will decide what you want to photograph, then get a lens with the focal length that suits the situation. For example, to shoot landscapes you will need a wide-angle lens, while for sports and wildlife you will need a telephoto.

You can watch this video that explains focal length: it helps you work out what kind of lenses you need for different genres of photography. 

How we test lenses

The lens experts in our testing lab run a range of tests under controlled conditions, using the Imatest Master testing suite. Photos of test charts are taken across the range of apertures and zooms (where available), then analyzed for sharpness, distortion and chromatic aberrations.

We use Imatest SFR (spatial frequency response) charts and analysis software to plot lens resolution at the centre of the image frame, corners and mid-point distances, across the range of aperture settings and, with zoom lenses, at four different focal lengths.

There's more to it than just the technical side, though! Beyond the lab, our reviewers test lenses in real-world environments – and sometimes on professional shoots! We work with lenses both indoors and outdoors, in studio conditions and in natural light, with as many different subjects as is possible (or appropriate – there's no point testing a landscape lens' ability to shoot a portrait!). 

We take into account everything from handling and ease of use to speed of autofocus and the overall quality of the images produced. 

Find out more about how we test and review on Digital Camera World

Jase Parnell-Brookes

Jase Parnell-Brookes is an award-winning photographer, educator and writer based in the UK. They won the Gold Prize award in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. After completing their Masters Jase has spent a good chunk of two decades studying and working in photography and optics shooting and writing all over the world for big-name brands and media outlets. Now the Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching at Space.com their speciality is in low light optics and camera systems.