Canon has been producing auto-focus lenses since the late 1980s, and surprisingly, some of the early lenses are still in production. From the beginning, Canon made the decision to design their focusing motors into the lens, rather than relying on a single motor in the camera body to do the work. Consequently, all Canon AF lenses, regardless of age, will fit (and function) on any Canon AF body.
In the digital age, Canon started producing EF-S lenses in addition to their EF line. The EF-S series are designed specifically for cameras with smaller, APS-C sensors. These lenses are NOT compatible with full-frame SLRs.
This is a table of Canon lenses, and lenses for Canon made by other manufacturers. You can sort the table by clicking the arrows at the top of each column, but sorting by price doesn’t work very well right now.
You can also filter the results by typing in the search field. For example, if you only want to see EF-S lenses, just type “EF-S” in the search field, and only those lenses will be displayed. Similarly, if you only want to see “L” lenses, or “Prime” lenses, or “macro” lenses, the table can be filtered that way, too.
In September of 2018, Canon announced a new mount for their full-frame mirrorless line, the “RF” mount. A list of RF lenses is found below the list of EF/EF-S lenses.
Lenses highlighted in yellow are intended for APS-C sensors or will give incomplete coverage on full frame 35mm sensors.
Some of the manufacturers throw around the term “Macro” pretty loosely in naming their lenses, when they really just mean “close-focusing”. All Canon macro lenses focus 1:1, as do the 3rd party prime lenses. Don’t expect the same performance from zoom lenses listed as “Macro”, though.
As a matter of practicality, I’ve decided NOT to include most lenses that are discontinued or otherwise no longer available. Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 mark I was replaced by the mark II, for example, so the original is not listed, nor is the f/1.0, even though its replacement, the f/1.2, is not exactly the same.
IS, OS, and VC : All refer to image stabilization that is built into the lens. IS is Canon’s designation, OS is Sigma’s, and VC is Tamron’s.
USM, HSM, USD and PZD : All refer to ultrasonic motor technology, which is faster and quieter than standard micro-motor.
STM refers to “stepping motors”, which are fast, quiet motors optimized for shooting video.
EF-S : EF-S is Canon’s line of lenses designed for cameras with APS-C sized sensors. They will not function correctly on full frame sensor cameras.
Fisheye : A fisheye is a lens that does not have rectilinear correction; straight lines are distorted and appear dramatically curved.
DO is Canon’s designation for “diffractive optics”. These lenses use unusual compact optics to reduce the size and weight of typically large lenses.
If there are additional lenses that you think should be included, please comment below, or email me. Similarly, if there are terms that you think should be in the mini-glossary here, just let me know.