Best lenses for your Canon EOS 700D: more than 120 lenses tested!

By Kevin Carter - Monday June 10 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | 700D best lenses (prime and zoom) | Standard zooms, primes, and moderate telephoto lenses | Super zooms wide-angles and telephoto lenses | Conclusion

Best prime and best zoom lenses mounted on 700D

Canon has divided its range of EOS models intro three distinct groups, ranging from the pro models, such as the EOS-1Dx and 5D Mk III, through to the those targeting ‘enthusiasts’, which includes the EOS7D and then the models aimed at ‘beginners’. While the EOS 700D sits at the top of this later group, there are four other models beneath it, and of those, three use an 18-Mpix sensor with similar performance characteristics. The EOS 60D and semi-pro EOS 7D also use a similar sensor. They’re not identical, the EOS 7D adopts a stronger, or more aggressive LPOF (Low Pass Optical Filter) limiting sharpness somewhat when compared to the EOS 700D.

DxOMark database overview

In total, we’ve looked at 130 different lens models with a (full frame equivalent) focal length ranging from 16mm to 960mm including primes and zoom lenses designed to cover both full frame (24x36mm) sensors and the physically smaller APS-C imaging chip. Some of the made for digital (APS-C) lenses tested include:

Although the APS-C cameras from Canon have their own range of lenses (designated EF-S), it wouldn’t be unusual to think that some of these users own or have access to Canon full-frame lenses and would be interested to know how their full-frame models perform on a ‘cropped’ camera.

One lens that is equally appealing to both full-frame and APS-C users is Canon’s latest 35mm. On the EOS 700D, the EF35mm f/2.0 IS USM is the equivalent of a 55mm f/2.0 and the built-in image stabilization is useful for not only stills but for hand-held video as well!

This is just one example of how certain focal lengths can be chosen for their versatility across both formats. The following is a list of lenses we’ve tested that are particularly suited to serving double duty on a full-frame body:

APS-C cameras are also chosen to complement full-frame telephoto lenses where the 1.6x multiplier of the smaller sensor makes these lenses even more attractive for sports and action photographers:

Primes - The best single focal length lens for your Canon EOS 700D / APS-C camera

Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon96924
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM85023
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon89923
Canon EF 85mm F1.2L USM159922
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZE Canon184322
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM186921
Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM44021
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM142021
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Canon28520
Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Canon59920
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Canon49920
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM1049920
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM659920
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM155020
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon49920
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM38520
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 50mm f/2 ZE Canon128020
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM80019
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM107019
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZE Canon170019
The new Sigma 85mm and the new Canon and Sigma 35mm lenses top the DxOMark ranking for prime lenses mounted on the Canon EOS 700D

If we refer back to the review of the Canon EOS 5D Mk III and the ten best performing primes, it’s interesting (but not really surprising) to note that apart from the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 that sits at the top still, the ranking isn’t the quite same for the APS-C Canon EOS 700D. 

Interestingly, the EF 35mm f/2.0 IS USM, EF 35mm f/1.4L, Zeiss 35mm f/1.4, the highly regarded EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM and the two Samyang lenses have all moved up the ranking.

Apart from the shuffling in the positions, the same models appear in the list. Most of Canon’s primes of moderate focal length such as Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM and EF 50mm f/1.4 USM do well, as do those with similar focal lengths from third-party makers. In fact, and only four points separates the 20 models. 

Zoom: the best zoom lenses for the APS-C Canon EOS 700D

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM229920
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Canon169919
Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD Canon129919
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon99919
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM249917
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Canon66916
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C Canon49915
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Canon77015
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM Canon89914
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Canon46914
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM121014
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM130014
Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon64914
Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon65914
Tokina AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX Canon84914
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Canon88014
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Canon94914
Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Canon40014
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Canon64914
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Canon45914
Unsurprisingly perhaps, the latest standard zooms perform best overall, followed by the moderate tele-zooms.

In our testing of zoom lenses, it came as little surprise to see the new Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM take the top spot. It’s pretty much considered as the benchmark professional grade standard-zoom. No real surprises there, or that the new VC Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 would follow closely either. However, both the new Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM come in ahead of Canon’s prestigious pro-level $2,499 EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM by two-points in our DxOMark scores. That particular model was only recently upgraded and features 23 elements in total (with one fluorite and no less than five UD glass elements).

Canon EOS 700D vs 7D: same sensor but slight difference on the AA filter.

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM1411
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon1412
Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM97
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II76

The EOS 700D and EOS 7D essentially share the same sensor, though there are slight differences between them resulting in improved Sharpness scores, though this is somewhat lens dependant. The EOS 700D has a lower strength OLPF that will, for the most part, allow the sensor to capture more detail but may lead to some aliasing with the sharpest lenses. 

Please look out for Part 2 - Best wide angle and telephoto and super zoom, and Part 3 - Best kit lens, standard zoom and standard prime of this series, where we’ll look at the results for the EOS 700D and lens combinations in more detail.