Best lenses for your Canon EOS 100D: Wide Angles, Standards and Telephotos

By Kevin Carter - Thursday June 20 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | 100D best lenses (prime and zoom)

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.

Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon96924
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM85024
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon89924
Canon EF 85mm F1.2L USM159923
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZE Canon184322
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM186922
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM659921
Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM44021
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM142021
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM107020
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 50mm f/2 ZE Canon128020
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2 ZE Canon184020
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZE Canon103020
Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Canon59920
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Canon28520
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM1049920
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM155020
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon49920
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM38520
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Canon49920

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.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM229920
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon99919
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon129919
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Canon169919
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM249917
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Canon66916
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Canon77015
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon65915
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM Canon169915
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon84915
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM121015
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Canon88015
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM104615
Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM126915
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon49915
Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Canon40015
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon64914
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Canon46914
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Canon49914
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon89914

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.

 
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM85024
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon89924
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZE Canon184322
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM142021
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZE Canon103020
Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Canon59920
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Canon49920
Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM69919
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZE Canon170019
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 28mm f/2 ZE Canon128018
Canon EF 35mm f/240018
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM24918
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM Canon44017
Sigma 28mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro Canon44917
Tokina AT-X M35 PRO DX AF 35mm f/2.8 Macro Canon59917
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM47016

100d-lenses

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).

 
Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon96924
Canon EF 85mm F1.2L USM159923
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM186922
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 50mm f/2 ZE Canon128020
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Canon28520
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon49920
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM38520
Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.4 ZE Canon128019
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II9919
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Canon49918
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM39018
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM37918
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM157418
Carl Zeiss Planar T 50mm f/1.4 ZE Canon72517
Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD [IF] MACRO Canon49914

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.

 
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM229920
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon129919
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Canon66916
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon84915
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM104615
Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM126915
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon49915
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon64914
Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Canon49914
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon89914
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM139914
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Canon45914
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro Canon41914
Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM150014
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS14914
Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM29913
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Canon46013
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II17813
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM25013
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM122113

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.

 
Canon EF-S 18-135mmm F3.5-5.6 IS STM54913
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS34912
Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM257012
Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Canon85011
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM Canon39910
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS Canon37010
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Canon64910
Canon EF-S 18-200mm_f/3.5-5.6 IS59510
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Canon2509
Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical [IF] Macro Canon13349
Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical [IF] Macro Canon 6009
Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Canon5299
Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Canon2708

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.

 
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon65915
Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Canon40015
Tokina AT-X PRO SD 11-16 F2.8 IF DX II Canon65514
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Canon64914
Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Canon69912
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM84512
Tamron SP AF11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Canon49911
Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM II Canon140010
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Canon8408