FAQ: What are Your Favorite Lenses?

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

FAQ: What are Your Favorite Lenses?

What is your absolute favorite lens? If you only could pick one, what lens would it be? I get this question via email from readers all the time, so I thought I would not only survey all of you but share my answers.

This question is a really hard one for me as I change what is my favorite all the time.  I will tell you in a time line what my favorites were…

When I just started out, I had no favorite.  I really did not understand the differences enough to know. I had a Canon 20D, then 40D and now Canon 5D MKII for cameras.

As time went on I LOVED zoom lenses and my favorite was the 24-105L (I still have it though I am in the market to sell it if any of you zoom lovers might be interested).  It was a great walk around all purpose lens.  And it never came off my camera. Until…  I fell in love with shallow depth of field.  Yep – I caught the bug.  I have tried many, but certainly not even close to all of Canon’s prime lenses.  My first prime was the lens every just starting out photographer should own – the 50 1.8 (which can be found for under $100).  It is the best value in Canon’s lineup.  If you get into photography more seriously than you can do as I did and upgrade to the 50 1.4 and 85 1.8, which were my next two primes.  I loved both – but I found true love and my next favorite lens when I got the 35L 1.4.  It was my favorite prime lens for a while.  I still love it, but new favorites emerged since then and I do not use it as much as I use to. There is just something magical about Canon L Glass, especially L Primes.

As of today, and with my long answer to a short question, my favorite lens (and most used) is the 50L 1.2.  It is incredible and versatile. And it is on my camera the most (I should add that the 35L lived on my camera when I had the 40D, so it must be I like this focal length since the 50L is now what lives on my camera.


I do switch lenses and have many.  To me you can never really have too many lenses as long as you understand which lens you would want for a particular shooting situation and why.

I love my 85 L 1.2 for when I want closeups inside, so beautiful and creamy.  I do not use this lens a lot even though it is amazing.  It is not a good shape for me.  Yes, I must be weird, but it does not feel right in my hands.  But when outside or if given enough room inside, the 135L 2.0 is a dream. It is just the right shape for my hands, feels like when you have a pair of jeans that fit just right with a tiny bit of stretch.  You know the pair? This lens is incredible for closeups. Now, what if I need a travel lens?  Then I turn to my Tamron 28-300. It has an image stability system and is the most versatile lens I own, as long as there is a lot of light.  I will not get the same background blur or razor sharpness as a prime, but the trade off is I can go from 28 to 300 in a millisecond. So for vacations and travel, I often will bring my Tamron zoon, plus my 50L and I am in perfect company.

So now it is your turn to share “what is your favorite lens and why?”

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  1. Brenda
    December 2, 2009 at 10:53 am —

    My favorite lens is my 50mm 1.8 because it makes me walk around and really consider how best to frame everything. But the lens most often on my camera is the 18-55 kit lens that came with it. Go figure!

  2. Lori Lee
    December 2, 2009 at 10:42 am —

    My 50mm lens as well that’s my FAV!!!! I don’t use any other lenses but that.

  3. December 2, 2009 at 10:38 am —

    Yup! My 50 mm 1.4 is the go to lens for me!

  4. December 2, 2009 at 10:35 am —

    I meant to say other favorite love besides my hubby and kids!

  5. December 2, 2009 at 10:34 am —

    I have the 50 1.4 and I puffy red heart it! It’s my other favorite…..

  6. December 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm —

    Well I use my 50mm 1.8 All the time and it makes me nice photo's. So I have a lens in mind that I want; but for now, thats my fav =)

  7. December 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm —

    nikkor 85mm 1.8. LOVE it!

  8. December 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm —

    Zeiss distagon 2.8 / 25ZF

  9. December 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm —

    I just do the Lensbaby effect in PS, no need to spend $ on yet another lens…

  10. December 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm —

    I absolutely love my canon L lenses, but for ring shots or anything macro, there is nothing like the sigma 50mm macro, yep, and even for frost on leaves: http://capturedinnocencephotography.blogspot.com/2009/11/november-frost.html

  11. December 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm —

    I go in spurts, but RIGHT now, the fav is the Canon 70-200L IS 2.8. Other than that, it's the 50 1.2 the 85 1.8. I really need a fisheye – anyone have any recommendations? Has anyone tried Lensbaby?

  12. December 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm —

    85mm 1.2

  13. December 2, 2009 at 2:25 pm —

    Right now its my Nikkor 60mm 2.8 macro – its an amazing portrait lens!

  14. December 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm —

    I only use three, in order of most (by far) to least (by far): 70-200 2.8L IS, 24-105 4.0L and 50mm 1.4. Very very rarely I'll use the 17-40 4.0L but not a big fan of wide angle stuff…

  15. December 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm —

    50 1.2 hands down!

  16. December 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm —

    I really love the 24-70 L, but a close second is the 50 1.4.

  17. December 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm —

    Canon 70-200L IS 2.8 !!

  18. December 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm —

    70-200 2.8 IS

  19. December 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm —

    50mm 1.4 but recently the 85mm 1.8 – j'adore!!

  20. December 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm —

    70-200 2.8 (IS or VR) but now it might be my Nikon 85 1.4!!!

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FAQ: What are Your Favorite Lenses?