Best lenses for your Canon EOS 6DBy Kevin Carter - Tuesday July 09 2013 Lens Recommendations
1 Best performing wide-angle lenses for the Canon EOS 6D
1.1 Wide angle primes from 24mm to 35mm
As with the Canon EOS 5D Mk III, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM sits at the pinnacle of high-performance wide-angle primes, and at $899 it’s priced aggressively enough to tempt the most ardent and loyal Canon supporters. It is a very large and weighty lens even for a fast aperture 35mm, and it that’s a concern perhaps the slower but lighter and more portable stabilized Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM ranked in second place with a DxOMark score of 31 points may be more suitable.
Like others in the range from Korea based company, the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC performs very well optically for the price, just $599, but the lack of AF may be a concern.
1.2 Wide and ultra-wide angle zoom lenses for the CanonEOS 6D:
For versatility when shooting landscapes or interiors, the ultra-wide zoom is a popular choice. The best performing model we have in our database is the Tokina AT-X 16-28 f/2.8 PRO FX and while not having the same range or versatility as the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, at $849 it’s more accessible to those who might be on budget. With a wildly convex front element and a fixed hood the Tokina isn’t really suited for use with filters, which is a must for landscape photographers.
While we’ve not yet analyzed the $740 Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM or the new Tokina equivalent, the choice is somewhat limited. Sigma once offered several models but that’s now limited to just one, the 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM II. Although it achieves a somewhat lowly looking DxOMark score of 15 points bear in mind this is the widest rectilinear lens currently available (and is priced accordingly).
1.3 Ultra wide angle prime lenses:
The best performing ultra wide prime is perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC. At just $379 it achieves a higher DxOMark Score than the $2,950 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/15 (15mm f/2.8) ZE. While both models are manual focus only (and not really an issue in a ultra-wide, in fact it’s probably preferable) the Samyang is also considerably lighter and more compact than the Zeiss.
In third place is the Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 a highly regarded lens known for its high imaging performance and distinctive rendering though it has some slight complex distortion that is difficult to correct in software.
|Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Aspherical Canon||379||24|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15 ZE Canon||2950||23|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 21mm f/2.8 ZE Canon||1730||21|
|Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM||2249||20|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 18mm f/3.5 ZE Canon||1395||18|
|Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM||514||18|
2 Best performing telephoto primes and super-zooms for the Canon EOS 6D
2.1 Telephoto prime lenses:
Canon’s white telephoto lenses have become synonymous with sports and wildlife photographers around the globe, but with their high price and specialist application, these ultra-high speed super telephotos are by and large inaccessible to the majority of users.
The best performing model in the range is the recently revised Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM at $6599. It sits two points above the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, an arguably more versatile model well suited to use with the firm’s 1.4x and 2x extenders, where it becomes the equivalent of a 560mm f/4 and a 800mm f/5.6, respectively. At $10,499, plus $450 or so for each converter, it’s not for the faint hearted.
For those with more modest budgets or those simply wanting a more compact, more portable model, then the stabilized Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM is a solid performer. Macro enthusiasts should consider the stabilized Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro. It’s a slightly better performer than Canon’s aging EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM and will save in the region of $400.
2.2 Telephoto zoom lenses:
Telephoto zooms are rightly popular and have for the most part replaced their fixed focal length primes equivalents such as the 135mm f/2.8 and 180/200mm f/2.8 lenses. Although Canon makes several highly regarded 70-200mm models, including the recently revised $2,499 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, the best performing lens in our database is the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD. At $1,699, it’s still not cheap but with a DxOMark Score of 27 points it’s a slightly better performer than Canon, while also offering optical image stabilization and an ultrasonic-type AF motor. If those last two features aren’t high on your wish list, the older Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro would be our budget choice, achieving a not unreasonable 21 points in our DxOMark score.
2.3 Super zoom lenses:
As know how and image-quality improves, super-zooms are becoming increasingly popular. With a little longer focal length and higher magnification than the 70-200mm, the 70-300mm models offer a tempting combination of versatility and, usually, attractiveprices.
From our findings we can see the highest performing model, currently the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, isn’t too far behind the majority of the 70-200mm f/2.8 offerings. And while it has a slower maximum aperture of 1-2 stops over the zoom range, the Canon L-series model has image stabilization and fast autofocus thanks to the ultrasonic AF motor.
If price is a concern then the $195 Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM may be an option. Photographers looking for advice on more specialist models may want to consider the Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG APO OS, or even the Canon EF 28-300mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM but these models are designed with flexibility in mind rather than outright image quality.
If you have a Canon EOS 6D and a favorite lens, we would very much like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below stating what model it is and why you like it.