If you’re upgrading from an entry-level camera, the Canon 80D is one of the best offerings from Canon in the enthusiast  category. The beautiful 24MP sensor with the 45 AF points is a joy to work with. The Dual Pixel autofocus system, which is another highlight of the Canon 80D makes it an ideal camera to work with various types of subjects and scenarios for photos and videos alike.
Another advantage of the 80D is the varied array of lenses that are made for the Canon system. Canon has put out an excellent range of lenses for it’s APS-C cameras that produce some excellent results. If you’re looking to bolster your photography with some great lenses for Canon 80D, look no further. We have put together a list of some excellent lenses for your Canon 80D.
Best lenses for Canon 80D: An overview
The exact choice of lenses depends on what kind of photography or video work you are more into. In this review, we have covered those lenses that work best with the 80D as a run and gun lens. While not all of them are specialized lenses, they still perform great and are bang for the buck.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens (5/5 star)
- Best value general purpose lens
- Excellent in low light conditions
- Fantastic for portraits on the Canon 80D
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Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM (4/5 star)
- Best compact lens
- Bright aperture of f/2.8
- Full Time Manual (FTM) focus ideal for video work
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Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens (5/5 star)
- Best overall general purpose lens
- Flexible focal range
- Constant aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range
- Optical stabilization for reduced camera shake
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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens (4/5 star)
- Most resistant lens
- Perfect for travel
- Rounded 10-blade diaphragm for pleasing bokeh
- Dust and moisture resistant design
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Selecting the best lens for Canon 80D
Being out in the market to buy a new lens can really be a confusing experience. You have so many lenses to choose from and every lens claims to be the best from the rest. However, as a smart buyer, it is up to you to decide whether a particular lens solves your problem or not.
Lenses come with varying features. It’s not only the focal length that defines how a particular lens differs from the rest. You need to factor in elements like usage scenario, build quality, aperture size, and stabilization to name a few. Therefore, we have categorized the lenses on how well they perform with the Canon 80D considering how you want to use it, and what each of the lenses has to offer for that particular usage scenario.
Portrait lens for Canon 80D
Portrait photography is one of the most popular genres of photography out there. Whether you do it professionally, or for your friends or families, portrait photography can really be an exciting genre of photography.
When you’re looking out for a portrait lens, two important factors to consider are: the lens should have zero no minimal distortion, and it should have a wide aperture to be able to blur out the background for subject isolation. An ideal portrait lens for Canon 80D that you can consider is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens.
The 50mm focal length of the Canon EF50mm f/1.8 STM lens becomes an equivalent of 80mm on the Canon 80D due to the crop factor. And 80mm being quite close to the 85mm focal length, which is one of the most popular focal lengths for portrait photography, makes the 50mm lens an ideal choice for portrait photography. Further, the wide-open aperture of f/1.8 translates to a pretty shallow depth of field. This will let you have a very small area of the subject in focus while melting the background away to form a beautiful blur, hence isolating the subject.
The wide-open aperture of f/1.8 also means that you can use the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens in dimly lit conditions. This works pretty well when you want to take moody portraits with you Canon 80D.
Lens for shooting video on Canon 80D
Other than taking excellent stills, the Canon 80D also excels at shooting videos. Thanks to the Dual Pixel autofocus system of the 80D, you can expect some great focusing performance with the camera. Also, the touch to focus feature of the camera makes shooting videos a breeze.
However, if you still prefer to focus manually when shooting video, consider getting a lens that lets you focus manually. And if focusing manually is not something that you’re good at, and if you prefer the camera to do the heavy lifting of maintaining focus, make sure that the focusing mechanism is silent. The last thing you’d want is the noise of the lens motor in your footage. Luckily, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM has the best of both worlds.
Being a full-time manual focus lens, you can manually override the focus system anytime when using the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens. Be it for fine-tuning the focus, or for creative purposes, you can thus always have full control when shooting videos. And, the stepper motor technology used in this lens lets it focus in a smooth, and near-silent manner if autofocus is what you’ll be working with.
Besides, the pancake design of the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM makes it a joy to work with when mounted on the Canon 80D. The compact size of the lens makes filming a breeze; tires you less and lets you concentrate more on the creative side. And not to forget its wide f/2.8 aperture. This makes the lens great to work in dimly lit shots opening up more opportunities for creativity.
The only drawback I see to this lens is the absence of image stabilization. While you cannot expect a lens this small to have it, image stabilization would’ve meant that you wouldn’t need any stabilizing mechanisms for video work.
General-purpose lens for Canon 80D
It can also be the case that you are not looking for any special purpose lens for your Canon 80D. If that’s the case for you, get yourself a lens that covers a decent focal range, has a decently wide aperture, and sacrifices nothing when it comes to image quality.
The good news is that Canon has a pretty amazing lens that has all the requirements covered for an amazing general-purpose lens. The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens has an effective focal length of 27.2-88mm on the Canon 80D and has a wide fixed aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range. What I love about this lens is that it has a modestly wide focal length along with the beautiful focal length of 88mm which is just perfect for portraits. This makes the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens an excellent choice for someone who’s looking for a lens to take everyday photos when out on a walk.
The constant f/2.8mm aperture lets you have constant brightness throughout the zoom range, and also provides greater control over the depth of field. And to top things up, the lens also has image stabilization built to it which comes in pretty handy if you have shaky hands.
The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens is great for taking videos as well thanks to the stabilization and the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) design that provides quick and silent focusing. This ability further adds to the versatility of the lens.
Although a great general purpose lens, keep in mind if you want to use this lens in some extreme conditions. The fact that the lens is made mostly of plastic, and is not weather and dust resistant means that it is not really designed for rugged conditions. You’d have to be careful when working in such unfavourable conditions. Otherwise, this lens is a beast and a great value for money.
Travel lens for Canon 80D
What does a travel photographer look for? Basically, you’d want a lens that gets everything done. You don’t want yourself to be carrying and changing a lot of lenses time and again. This saves you from a lot of hassle and also reduces the chances of you missing an important moment. Also, if you find yourself traveling to areas with challenging weather conditions, you’d want a lens that’s built to withstand such conditions.
Canon addressed these issues with its amazing Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens. On the Canon 80D, it has an effective focal length of 38.4 – 168mm and has a constant aperture of f/4 throughout the zoom lens. With such a versatile zoom range, this lens is idle to shoot anything you throw at it when you’re out on your travel.
The wider spectrum of the lens’ focal length is close to the popular 35mm focal length which has a perspective that’s just wide enough to capture the context of the shot. It’s wide, but not too wide on the crop sensor of the 80D. Yet, it manages to capture the essence of the story. And in case you need to reach out to your distant subject, the longer end of the lens does a pretty good job at it.
Being a member of the esteemed L-series, the 24-105mm lens features a professional-quality build. It has a design that’s resistant to dust and moisture meaning that no matter where you travel, you can get the job done.
The only drawback that I see with the lens is the f/4 aperture. It means that the lens is not idle for working in low light conditions. But, considering that the lens is a 24-105mm, the lens would turn out to be quite bulky had it been an f/2.8. So, that’s quite understandable
The best lens for Canon 80D
So again, the answer to which lens is the best for Canon 80D boils down to the context that you’ll be using it in. Budget-conscious, general shooters, and portrait photographers will find the 50mm f/1.8 to be a bang for the buck. It undoubtedly has an excellent return on your investment.
If versatility is your thing and you don’t want to feel stuck with a prime lens, consider the 24-105mm or the 17-55mm lenses. Both of them perform exceptionally well in their category. However, if low light performance is something you’re looking for along with versatility, you can safely bet your money on the 17-55mm. The f/2.8 aperture will come in quite handy.
And finally, if video performance and compact build is what you’re after, Canon’s 24mm lens is what you should be aiming to get. You’ll love the sleek profile and the excellent autofocus performance that can be overridden manually for finer focus control .
New Zealand travel photographer based in London, UK. He was taking photos from a very young age in the backcountry of New Zealand before moving abroad. Since doing so he has taken workshops and tried to help get as many people into this art as possible. Featured in NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz and many photography publications it’s safe to say he loves his photography!