Best lenses for your Canon EOS 100D: Wide Angles, Standards and TelephotosBy Kevin Carter - Thursday June 20 2013 Lens Recommendations
Although the 18Mpix ‘Hybrid CMOS’ sensor is similar in performance to previous offerings in the range, the seriously small EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 / Kiss X7 represents a new a direction for the camera giant. Measuring just 117x91x69mm and weighing around 370g, this APS-C format DSLR mounts a serious challenge mirrorless rivals with EVFs for portability. However, where this little camera scores so highly is by its compatibility with a wide range of high-quality lenses. We’ve tested the imaging chain of 130 lenses mounted on the EOS 100D/ Rebel SL1 / Kiss X7 with a range of focal lengths encompassing 22mm to 960mm (in full-frame 35mm terms).
1 Best Prime for your EOS 100D
Although the sensor package has been slimmed down to fit in the smaller body of the Canon EOS 100D, the 18Mpix Hybrid AF CMOS sensor is very similar (although not identical) to that of the Canon new EOS 700D. In fact, if you compare these scores with those using the EOS 700D you see quite similar scores and comparable rankings. The familiar top-three performing primes are tied in first place with a DxOMark Score of 24 points.
2 Best Zoom for the EOS 100D: third-party makers well represented
With a DxOMark Score of 20 points, the firm’s EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the highest performing zoom of any focal range and format. However, third-party options from Sigma, Tamron and Tokina continue to erode differences, in optical performance at least.
Although handling is subjective our value choices would be the Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF Pro DX or Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C and either the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC Apo OS HSM or Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro if more reach is required.
3 Best standard prime (40 to 60mm equivalent) for the EOS 100D
Tied in first place with a DxOMark Score of 24 the Canon 35mm f/2 IS USM (56mm equivalent) is a better match (relative to the huge Sigma 35mm f/1.4) handling-wise on the EOS 100D, and its stabilised optics are a plus for video capture. It’s pricey though and at odds somewhat with the EOS for beginner’s tag-line.
Smaller still and an ideal complement to the tiny EOS, the video-oriented stepper motor-equipped Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM ‘pancake’ is a good choice. Achieving a DxOMark Score of 18 points it has a more accessible price of $199.
4 Best portrait (70 to short telephoto 140mm) prime lens for the EOS 100D
While it comes as little surprise to see the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM and the Canon equivalents sitting at the top of the rankings, these high-speed models aren’t exactly suited to the take-anywhere spirit of the EOS 100D.
And anyway an 85mm is the equivalent to a 135mm lens on an APS-C format body which is often too ‘long’ for indoor portraits. For sheer portability, high-imaging performance and rock-bottom price, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II (80mm equivalent) would be our first choice (and for a little more versatility, the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM would be our second).
5 Best wide and standard zoom (27 to 120mm equivalent) for the EOS 100D
Although the top positions are occupied by more specialized (and high priced) optics, models from third-party makers continue to impress in image quality.
In third place, with a DxOMark Score of 16 the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM is promising and while Canon’s 18-55mm kit lenses score quite highly, our value choice overall remains the new C series Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.0 model at $499. Bear in mind there’s some crossover in focal lengths between ultra-wide, wide and standard zooms, which accounts for the re-arranging of rankings.
6 Best super zoom (5x and more) for the EOS 100D
While the overall DXOMark scores are on the low-side in this category, these lenses are indispensible for travel photography and are hugely popular due to their versatility.
If video is high on your list of priorities then the stepper motor equipped Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM would be well suited to the EOS 100D’s Hybrid AF capabilities. If it can be found in kit form it would be better value than buying it later for $549. Otherwise, coming in second place, and priced at $349, the regular (non-STM model) would make a solid choice.
7 Best wide angle zoom (13 to 38mm equivalent) for the EOS 100D
If a wider angle of view is required, there are number of choices available. Canon’s highly regarded EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 is one of the pricier options now and new models from third-party lens makers have overtaken it in image quality.
At $400, the Tokina AT-X 124 (12-24mm) AF Pro DX (19-38mm equivalent) stands out for its high ranking and DxOMark Score of 15 points though the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM (equivalent to 13-25mm in 35mm format) is the one to go for if your looking to match the extreme perspective of some of those fearfully expensive full-frame lenses on your tiny EOS 100D.