The best lenses for the Canon M50 and M50 Mark II in 2024

Best lenses for the Canon M50
(Image credit: James Artaius)

If you want the best lenses for the Canon M50 you have a dozen or more to choose from, both from Canon itself and also from third-party makers like Tamron and Sigma. But we've picked out six which we think perfectly match the EOS M50 for size and weight, and look right on the camera too.

The Canon EOS M50 (to give it its full name) has been one of the most popular of all the Canon EOS M mirrorless cameras. We like it especially because it has both a vari-angle rear screen and an electronic viewfinder. We think it hits the sweet spot for features, price and value – and it looks cute, too!

Of course, things have changed since Canon launched the EOS R10 and EOS R7 cameras. These use the RF-S lens mount that looks as if it will one day replace the EOS M series.

However, Canon has not yet confirmed this will actually happen, and the EOS M50 and the very similar Canon EOS M50 II are still on sale – and at highly competitive prices.

And there are all those happy users out there who have already bought a Canon EOS M50 and now want some extra lenses to really take advantage of this little camera's potential. And that's exactly what this guide is for!

Best lenses for the Canon M50 and M50 II in 2024

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(Image credit: Canon)
A great telephoto zoom that's also very light and compact

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: 3.5-stop
Min focus distance: 1.0m
Max magnification: 0.21x
Filter thread: 52mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x87mm
Weight: 260g

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight with good handling
+
Useful zoom range

Reasons to avoid

-
Maximum telephoto reach isn’t massive
-
Plastic mounting plate

We'll assume you've already got the neat little EF-M 15-45mm standard zoom usually sold with the EOS M50, so we'll start with this. For most people, a telephoto zoom is. the first 'extra' lens they get for their camera, and this one is light and affordable and matches the M50's design perfectly. 

The EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM does have a plastic mounting plate, but is still perfectly sturdy and helps to keep the weight down, to just 260g in this case, and the cost too. Measuring 61x87mm, it’s very compact for a telephoto zoom, and offers a very decent focal range of 88-320mm in full frame camera terms.

Read our full Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM review

(Image credit: Future)

2. Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

After a telephoto, an ultra-wide zoom is the next most useful lens to get

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Elements/groups: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: 3-stop
Min focus distance: 0.15m
Max magnification: 0.3x
Filter thread: 55mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x58mm
Weight: 220g

Reasons to buy

+
Refreshingly compact and lightweight
+
Solid build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Lens hood sold separately
-
A little more pricey

This little EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM ultra-wide zoom is a great companion for travel photography, interiors, and sweeping landscapes. It can capture a much wider angle of view than the standard 15-45mm zoom and pretty soon you'll be wondering how you ever managed without a lens like this. 

Wide-angle zooms can be notoriously big and heavy, but this one has the same kind of retractable design as the EF-M 15-45mm kit lens, shoehorning seriously wide viewing into physical dimensions of just 61x58mm. It gives a focal range of 18-35mm in full-frame camera terms, and it's small enough to fit in a jacket pocket for when you need it.

(Image credit: Canon)
There's a real surge of interest in 'pancake' primes, and this is one of the neatest

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: None
Min focus distance: 0.15m
Max magnification: 0.21x
Filter thread: 43mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x24mm
Weight: 105mm

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra-slim ‘pancake’ design
+
Ideal 35mm ‘effective’ focal length

Reasons to avoid

-
No image stabilizer
-
Hood sold separately

A small prime lens with a 35mm focal length is generally regarded as being perfect for street photography, at least on a full-frame camera. This EF-M 22mm brings the same equivalent angle of view to APS-C format shooting on an EOS M camera. 

Its ‘pancake’ design enables it to be incredibly small, so you can be as inconspicuous as possible when shooting. It also makes your camera and lens combination even more portable. Best of all, this lens has a fast f/2 maximum aperture, which helps when you want a shallow depth of field in close-ups or faster shutter speeds in low light.

Read our full Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM review

(Image credit: Canon)
This neat little lens has macro capability and image stabilization built in

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Stepping motor
Stabilizer: 3.5-stop
Min focus distance: 0.09m
Max magnification: 1.2x
Filter thread: 43mm (via hood)
Dimensions (WxL): 61x46mm
Weight: 130g

Reasons to buy

+
Astonishing 1.2x maximum magnification
+
Built-in LED Macro Lite

Reasons to avoid

-
Very close macro working distance
-
Stabilization less effective at close range

Moving on to the second of our trio of neat little Canon prime lenses, this one has a focal length not much longer than 22mm and is equivalent to a 45mm lens in full frame terms. It makes a great standard lens, but it's also a macro lens for ultra close-ups. The short 28mm focal length means a working distance of just 13mm between the front of the lens and the subject in full macro mode.

This can block out ambient lighting, but to get around this, the lens has a built-in LED Macro Lite! The ‘hybrid’ image stabilizer is designed specifically for correcting shakes in close-ups too.

Read our full Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM review

(Image credit: Canon)

5. Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM

The f/1.4 aperture makes this lens super fast and great for portraits

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Stepping motor
Stabilizer: None
Min focus distance: 0.23m
Max magnification: 0.25x
Filter thread: 43mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x57mm
Weight: 235g

Reasons to buy

+
Classic ‘standard’ perspective
+
Fast f/1.4 aperture rating

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey for a Canon EF-M lens
-
As usual, no hood supplied

Here's another favorite Canon EF-M prime lens for our list. We're not suggesting you need all three (the 22mm, 28mm, and 32mm), but you will be glad to have at least one of these in your kit bag. With an ‘effective’ focal length of 51.2mm, this lens equates to a ‘nifty fifty’ in full-frame terms when used on an M50.

Despite weighing just 235g and having diminutive physical proportions, it combines a classic ‘standard’ viewing perspective with a fast f/1.4 aperture rating. This gives you the potential to isolate subjects within a scene, thanks to a tight depth of field. This is especially true at shorter focus distances. A 50mm equivalent lens is perhaps a little short for portraits, but it can still give great people shots. 

Read our full Canon EF-M 32mm f1.4 STM Lens review

Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D

(Image credit: Laowa)
This ultra-wide lens gives a unique perspective and a unique experience

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: None
Stabilizer: None
Min focus distance: 0.12m
Max magnification: 0.13x
Filter thread: 49mm
Dimensions (WxL): 60x53mm
Weight: 215g

Reasons to buy

+
Extreme viewing angle
+
Negligible distortion 

Reasons to avoid

-
No autofocus
-
No camera-driven aperture control

This Laowa lens deserves its place for its unique picture-taking qualities. Mounted on the EOS M50, it gives a mighty viewing angle of about 115 degrees, far wider even than the Canon 11-22mm zoom and roughly equivalent to a 14mm lens on a full-frame camera. 

Despite the extra wide-angle coverage, the Laowa lens produces such negligible distortion that it’s essentially a distortion-free optic. However, there are no built-in electronics at all, so focusing is a purely manual affair and you’ll also need to shoot in Manual or Aperture priority mode. In these modes, the camera can adapt to whatever aperture you set on the lens's control ring, but this can't be set from the camera, which rules out the Shutter priority mode. 

The enormous depth of field means that focusing isn’t very critical, and you soon adapt to the need to focus manually. This lens comes in a variety of lens mounts, so make sure you get the EF-M version!

Read our full Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens review

(Image credit: Viltrox)
Well-built and well-priced, this is a great EF-M portrait lens

Specifications

Focal length: 56mm
Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 90mm
Lens construction: 10 elements in 9 groups
No. of diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum focus distance: 0.6m
Filter size: 52mm
Dimensions: 65x72mm
Weight: 320g

Reasons to buy

+
Very sharp wide open
+
Gorgeous bokeh quality

Reasons to avoid

-
No weather sealing
-
No click-step aperture option

You may not be familiar with the Viltrox brand, but it has been coming out with some excellent fast primes for APS-C mirrorless cameras, including for the Canon EF-M mount. The Viltrox AF 56mm F1.4 is our pick for portraiture, as its focal length evens out to a headshot-friendly 90mm when mounted on an APS-C camera.

As we discovered in our review, image quality from the Viltrox is generally very impressive, even when the lens is used wide open at f/1.4, and bokeh from the lens has a lovely dreamy quality to it.

At this price, there’s little to complain about with this lens – it’s heaps more interesting than anything Canon has produced for the EF-M mount. The only real downsides are that it’s not weather-sealed, and stills photographers may find it irritating that the aperture ring doesn't have a clickable option.

See our full Viltrox 56mm F1.4 AF review

(Image credit: Matthew Richards/Digital Camera World)
Another great portrait prime lens for the Canon M50

Specifications

Focal length: 56mm
Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 90mm
Lens construction: 10 elements in 6 groups
No. of diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum focus distance: 0.5m
Filter size: 55mm
Dimensions: 67x60mm
Weight: 280g

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and lightweight but solid
+
Fast f/1.4 aperture rating

Reasons to avoid

-
No weather-seals
-
No optical stabilization

Portrait lenses with a telephoto focal length and f/1.4 aperture tend to be big and heavy. By stark contrast, this Sigma prime is blissfully compact and tips the scales at just 280g. It’s supremely well balanced on lightweight EOS M bodies, on which it has a very portrait-friendly 90mm 'effective’' focal length. 

Although small and light, it’s well built with a metal mounting plate and Sigma’s usual 'Thermally Stable Composite' material. The high-quality optical path includes two aspherical elements, one of which is made from SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass.

Autofocus is fast and very accurate, based on a stepping motor, along with an electronically coupled manual focus ring. The net result is a compact lens that combines excellent sharpness with beautifully smooth bokeh, ideal for portraiture.

See our full Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN | C review

(Image credit: Sigma)
Another great portrait prime lens for the Canon M50

Specifications

Focal length: 16mm
Effective focal length (Canon APS-C): 25.6mm
Lens construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
No. of diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
Filter size: 67mm
Dimensions: 72x92mm
Weight: 405g

Reasons to buy

+
Great image quality
+
Fast f/1.4 aperture rating
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
No weather-seals
-
No optical stabilization

This is another of Sigma's Contemporary prime lenses for the Canon EF-M mount – and it is a little beauty! The big attraction is the f/1.4 maximum aperture, coupled with a wide-angle view that gives an effective focal length of 25.6mm. And although the Viltrox prime is wider, the Sigma does give you the distinct benefit of autofocus. This is a useful lens to have in your bag for architecture, landscapes and for group portraits. We loved the build quality of this lens in our test, but were also impressed by the image quality in our laboratory investigations, noting that the sharpness and contrast ar maintained very well even at the widest f/1.4 aperture.

See our full Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN C review

 

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.

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The best 70-200mm lenses
The best budget telephoto lenses
The best 150-600mm lenses
The best fisheye lenses

Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.