For this review we’ve amassed the data on a number of ‘standard’ lenses made for both APS-C (with a smaller imaging circle) and full frame models that serve double duty on both formats. The lenses that make up this group are arguably the most versatile of their type, and are likely to be your first choice when buying a new camera. They also offer some of the highest imaging performance of any of the groups – the more extreme the focal length, the more difficult it is to correct the anomalies (or aberrations) that are inevitable in lens design.
For the EOS 700D we’ve measured and evaluated 35 different standard and moderate telephoto lenses from 40mm through to 135mm full-frame (24x36mm) format. A 35mm full-frame lens on a Canon APS-C format body, for example, has a similar angle of view to a 56mm.
We’ve not yet had a copy to review of the new Art series Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM, an intriguing model for its high-speed constant aperture and promise of high IQ. There are bound to be other lenses, new and old, that are in the scope of this overview but please leave comments below, and we’ll try add the popular models to our database.
For clarity, we’ve organized the 35 lenses that we have seen into their respective groups:
|Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM||250||13|
|Canon EF-S 18-135mmm F3.5-5.6 IS STM||549||12|
If bought as a kit, the main two lenses supplied with the EOS 700D are the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (28-90mm equivalent) and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (equivalent to 28-215mm on a full-frame camera).
Both these STM and IS equipped lenses are close in optical performance, the shorter focal range 18-55mm performing just ahead overall of the 18-135mm. The former has less distortion and is the sharper of the two over the focal range even though both score an averaged 9P-Mpix for Sharpness. Overall, the lenses are well specified for their targeted audience but there are better performers available.
|Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM||850||23|
|Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon||899||23|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZE Canon||1843||22|
|Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM||1420||21|
|Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Canon||599||20|
|Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Canon||499||20|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZE Canon||1700||19|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZE Canon||1030||19|
|Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM||699||18|
|Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM Canon||440||17|
|Sigma 28mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro Canon||449||17|
|Tokina AT-X M35 PRO DX AF 35mm f/2.8 Macro Canon||599||17|
|Canon EF 35mm f/2||400||17|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 28mm f/2 ZE Canon||1280||17|
|Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM||470||16|
With DxOMark scores of 23 points, the top slot is occupied by two lenses:
For the value choice, look no further than the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM A. Unlike the slightly better performing Samyang it has autofocus (with a built-in ultrasonic type motor), and good imaging performance (except for the wider aperture f/1.4) for $500.
|Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon||969||24|
|Canon EF 85mm F1.2L USM||1599||22|
|Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM||1869||21|
|Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Canon||285||20|
|Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon||499||20|
|Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM||385||20|
|Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 50mm f/2 ZE Canon||1280||20|
|Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.4 ZE Canon||1280||19|
|Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II||99||18|
|Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Canon||499||18|
|Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM||1574||18|
|Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM||379||18|
|Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM||390||18|
|Carl Zeiss Planar T 50mm f/1.4 ZE Canon||725||17|
|Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD [IF] MACRO Canon||499||13|
Canon is well represented in the top 10 best (equivalent) short telephoto lenses, but the independent manufacturer, Sigma, occupies the top slot. In fact, achieving 24 points the full-frame Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM has the highest DxOMark Score of all 130 lenses tested.
Newcomer Samyang lies in fourth place but at $285 for a high-speed (large aperture) 85mm, it’s easy to forgive the lack of AF, stopped down metering and zero lens-oriented EXIF data. One point to note is that these 85mm lenses have an equivalent angle of view to that of 135-140mm lenses, which are fine for outdoor portraits but not so good when moving indoors. That’s the time to switch to 50mm - on the EOS 700D they’re the equivalent to 80mm.
|Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM||2299||20|
|Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon||1299||19|
|Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Canon||669||16|
|Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon||499||15|
|Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon||899||14|
|Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon||649||14|
|Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon||849||14|
|Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Canon||459||14|
|Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro Canon||419||14|
|Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM||1046||14|
|Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM||1269||14|
|Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM||1399||14|
|Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Canon||460||13|
|Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Canon||499||13|
|Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM||1500||13|
|Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM||1221||13|
|Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS||149||13|
|Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM||250||13|
|Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM||1674||13|
|Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II||178||12|
Inevitably, some blurring of the categories occurs with Standard zooms made for full-frame and APS-C and is the reason for the wide range of lenses available. It doesn’t come as any surprise to see Canon’s highly regarded EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens sitting at the top nor is it a shock to see the new Tamron occupying the runner-up position.
However, after the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM, which is a solid performer for $499, it’s largely anyone’s game. Most of what follows are lenses covering the APS-C format but the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX and Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lenses are in fact full-frame ultra-wide angle models, and would be good choices if you’re already own (or are also considering) a full-frame body.