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

In the latest of our lens reviews based on Canon’s EOS 700D and its 18-mpix APS-C sensor we’ve assessed a wide range of both APS-C and full frame models from Canon and third-party lens makers Some of the more extreme lenses in this group are quite specialist and can be relatively pricey, however if you’re beginner there’s still a wide choice of models available, especially in the ‘super-zoom category’.

DxOMark selection: 

1.1 Best high ratio zooms (Super Zooms) for the Canon EOS 700D 

Lenses offering a wide zoom range typically more than 5x (and frequently x10 and higher) the minimum focal length are often referred to as ‘super-zooms’. For the beginner, the versatility of a lens like an 18-250mm (28-400mm equivalent in 35mm terms) is hard to beat and there are models for all budgets, including professional-level optics aimed at seasoned travel pros using full-frame (35mm format) cameras. Canon’s EF28-300mm f3.5-5.6L IS USM is one such model, but there are plenty of accessibly priced and more appropriate options for the EOS 700D and similar APS-C sensor size DSLRs .

Canon EF-S 18-135mmm F3.5-5.6 IS STM54912
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS34911
Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM257011
Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Canon85010
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM Canon39910
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Canon64910
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
Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Canon5299
Canon EF-S 18-200mm_f/3.5-5.6 IS5959
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS Canon3709
Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical [IF] Macro Canon 6008
Tamron AF 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Canon2708

In fact, the best performing super-zoom for the EOS 700D is one designed specifically for the APS-C format sensor.

Although the image quality is close between the top performing models, with a DxOMark score of 12 points the new stabilized and stepper motor equipped EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (28-215mm equivalent) takes the number one position. With just one point less, the similarly stabilized EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS comes a very close second, albeit tied to the optically more ambitious full-frame (and very pricey), pro-grade EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM.

All three offer a high zoom ratio, stabilization and a relatively ‘bright’ maximum aperture at the wider end and make a good choice. Bear in mind the full-frame model is the equivalent to a 45-480mm on the EOS 700D and a lot larger and heavier than the other two.

Perhaps the best overall value choice though is the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM. Not only does it feature a ultrasonic type motor and stabilization it has a higher-zoom ratio than the two top performing models and is priced at a not unreasonable $399.

1.2 Best Short-telephoto Zooms (70-200mm) for the Canon EOS 700D

Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Canon169919
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM249917
Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Canon77015
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM121014
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM130014
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO HSM Canon88014
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Canon94914
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM169512

On an APS-C camera, such as the EOS 700D, the 70-200mm (112-320mm equivalent) models offer mostly higher image quality than the super zooms and as full-frame lenses can serve double duty on the EOS 5D and EOS 6D models (though their ranking does alter slightly on 35mm FF bodies). Tamron does well here, taking the top position with their new stabilized $1699 70-200mm f/2.8 and the value choice with the older $770 model. Another option is the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM (see below). That model is stabilized and has an ultrasonic AF motor like the new Tamron and falls between the two on price at $999.

1.3 Best telephoto primes for the Canon EOS 700D

Canon EF 100mm f/2 USM44021
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM1049920
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM659920
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM107019
Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2 ZE Canon184019
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM80018
Canon EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM1199917
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM600017
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Canon64017
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM96917
Canon EF 500mm F/4L IS II USM949916
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Canon96916
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM53616
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro Canon109915
Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus87014
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM150014
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM126911
Tamron SP AF180mm F/3.5 Di LD (IF) MACRO 1:1 Canon69010

All of the telephoto lenses are full-frame models but they’re still suitable for APS-C format cameras like the EOS 700D and in most situations, the smaller sensor (with its 1.6x crop factor) is a benefit. The highest scoring lens on the EOS 700D is the EF 100mm f/2 USM, however, as a lens intended for portraits (and equivalent to a 160mm on a APS-C format body) this is one model where the smaller sensor size may be a disadvantage. For longer focal lengths, Canon’s telephoto lenses are all very high performing optics.

It’s not a simple case to pick telephoto lenses on value. However, Canon’s 300mm f/4L IS USM has stabilization, fast AF using an ultrasonic motor, and good imaging performance when compared with zooms of comparable focal length.

Note: the Canon EF 400mm f5.6L is not measured yet, it’s known as a good performer for the price 

1.4 Best Telephoto Zooms for the Canon EOS 700D

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Canon99919
Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 EX DC APO HSM Canon46914
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM159913
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO-M DG Macro Canon20912
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM19512
Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Canon44911
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS25011
Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM23011
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II29911
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS Canon35910
Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM Canon99910
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM133010
Tamron AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 LD Macro Canon1259
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM4208

With a DxOMark score of 19 points, the best performing telephoto zoom on the EOS 700D is the designed for APS-C format Sigma 50-150mm mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM. It’s still pricey at  $999 but good value compared with similarly specified full-frame 70-200mm models. After that particular model though, image quality drops significantly, though the Canon EF 70-300mm f/3.5-4.5L IS USM and Sigma equivalent are still strong performers optically. If longer focal lengths are required, though lacking versatility, fixed focal length primes may be the better option.

1.5 Best Wide Angle Primes (full frame models) for the Canon EOS 700D

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM155020
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM80019
Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/15 ZE Canon295016
Canon EF 24mm f/2.835616
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 21mm f/2.8 ZE Canon173015
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Aspherical Canon37914
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM224913
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM51413
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 18mm f/3.5 ZE Canon139512

One of the shortcomings of the smaller sensor is that are few purpose-designed wide-angle prime lenses available. In fact, Canon doesn’t make any, and third-party lens makers have yet to take up the challenge, each preferring to offer full-frame models or zooms instead (see below). Although the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM is the best performing lens in this category, the firm’s newer stabilized EF 24 f/2.8 IS USM (equivalent to a 38mm) is likely a better match for the EOS 700D (unless price is not an issue).

1.6 Best Wide Angle Zooms for the Canon EOS 700D

Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX Canon65914
Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Canon40014
Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Canon64914
Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Canon69911
Tamron SP AF11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Canon49911
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM84511
Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM II Canon14009
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Canon8408

As you might expect, there is a good choice of zooms covering shorter focal lengths for APS-C format DSLRs, however if brand loyalty is an issue choosing the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM over others may not be a wise decision as it can be bettered optically by cheaper third-party models.

Tied at first place with a DxOMark Score of 14 points is the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX, a mid-price AF 11-16mm f/2.8 (18-26mm equivalent) model (note we’ve not yet tested the newer Mk II version). Tokina also take our value choice with the AT-X 124 PRO DX. Although a ‘slower’ AF 12-24mm f/4 (19-38mm equivalent) model, it is priced at $400, saving a not insignificant $269 on the firm’s more attractive ‘faster’ and ever-so slightly ‘wider’ model.