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The Top 15 Photography Lenses for Canon, Nikon and Pentax Cameras

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If you’re looking to buy a new photography lens, you’ve come to the right place!
There are so many photography lenses on the market today for Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras that it can be overwhelming to find the best lens for your needs.

Clearly, the most important piece of equipment in photography is the camera lens. And, it can be hard to know which lenses are worth the money. Nothing is worse than spending money on a photography lens that ends up being low quality glass that distorts the RGB spectrum and produces incorrect colors and sharpness in your images.

At FreeDigitalPhotographyTutorials.com we understand you just want recommendations for the most outstanding lenses for photography. To make it easy for you we’ve put together a list of the Top 15 Photography Lenses for Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras – ensuring you get the very best lens for your camera.

Top Canon Camera Lenses

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Fast and versatile focal length. Not cheap. One of the finest telephoto zoom photography lenses in Canon’s EF line. Includes an inner focusing system with an Ultra Sonic Motor (USM), a 4.9-foot close focusing distance, and a 77mm filter size.
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
Fast walk around lens giving you the option of wide angles. The lens delivers impressive image quality throughout the entire zoom range. Image Stabilizer lens groups shift to compensate for camera movement so that the image appears steady on the image plane, ensuring clear, crisp images, even in dim light. Achieves autofocus quickly and quietly, and with full-time mechanical manual focusing, manually adjusting the focus is possible even in AF mode.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Another great walk around lens. Has image stabilization and an extra 35mm reach. offers the highest possible optical quality with no change in aperture over the full focal range of the lens. This allows photographers to set exposure at the widest aperture and zoom all the way through to 105mm without having to vary the shutter speed. Image Stabilizer (IS) dramatically reduces image blur caused by camera shake.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens
Best value photography lens in terms of the quality and price. Excellent lens for people who prefer a fixed focal length. Boasts a traditional Gauss-type optical design that delivers a sharp performance even when wide open. As a result, the lens provides an image that’s extremely close to how your eye perceives a subject, making it excellent for portraits and images that require a natural depth of field. Offers an excellent color balance.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Great for macro shots and even portraits. The photography lens offers such features as a three-group floating system for exceptional close-up performance; a secondary diaphragm that blocks stray light at f/2.8, which increases contrast when shooting wide open; a ultra-sonic monitor (USM) that provides outstanding autofocusing speed at all focusing distances; a wide manual focusing ring with smooth action; and full-time manual focus even in AF mode.

Top Nikon Camera Lenses

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens – For its price and quality it is a must have in your bag. This compact and fast, f/1.8 photography lens is versatile and perfect for travel and portrait pictures as well as general photography. Multi-layer coating minimizes flare and ghosting. Exceptionally lightweight and compact. Stops down to f/22 for excellent depth-of-field control.
Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Lens – Compact, lightweight, 11.1x zoom lens that is ideal for high-performance, everyday photography, and it incorporates advanced features such as Nikon’s Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass, Silent Wave Motor technology (SWM), and Enhanced Vibration Reduction (VR II) in a DX-Nikkor design engineered exclusively for use with Nikon DX format digital SLR cameras.
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor Lens – Great for portraits, weddings, and sports. Compact, lightweight G-type fast telephoto zoom with Vibration Reduction. VR operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed three stops (eight times) faster. The lens holds a fast and constant f2.8 maximum aperture through the entire focal range. The built-in Single Wave Motor provides ultra-fast, ultra-quiet AF operation. Five ED glass elements offer higher optical performance, and is protected by a dust and waterproof rubber sealing mount.
Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens – Designed for close-up and macro photography; versatile enough for virtually any photographic situation. Features new VR II vibration reduction technology. Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass elements that enhance overall image quality by further reducing flare and chromatic aberrations. Includes an internal focus, which provides fast and quiet auto-focusing without changing the length of the lens.
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens – Fast zoom lens with wide angles. Great choice for every day use if you don’t need lots of reach. The world’s first constant f2.8 3.2x zoom lens developed exclusively for use with Nikon DX Format. The 3.2x zoom covers from a wide angle of 79 degrees to a narrow angle of 28 degrees 50 minutes (equivalent to 25.5mm to 85.5mm for 35mm format) and is ideal for architecture, landscape, groups shots and portraits.

Top Pentax Camera Lenses

SMC Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
Very small, and extremely sharp photography lens. The corner to corner sharpness, bokeh, and color rendering is outstanding. Has great build quality, focusing speed, size, and quick shift focusing. Many images have been posted on the internet that show off the optical qualities of this lens.
Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens
Great for everyday photography. Talk to almost any Pentax photographer and you’ll find that they probably already own this lens. Offers a focal length equivalent of 82.5 to 450mm in the 35mm format, making it ideal for moderate to long sports and wildlife shots. The lens is outfitted with multiple ED glass elements, which are designed to minimize chromatic aberration and makes images look crisper and sharper than ever before. Other features include a focusing ring that permits easy manual focusing, a 4.6-foot close focusing distance, and a 58mm filter diameter.
SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL (IF)
Boasting extra-low-dispersion (ED) glass elements and two aspherical lens elements, this lens offers more true-to-life image reproduction than most comparable lenses. The lens perfectly match the 23.5 x 15.7mm size of the Pentax digital CCD helping to optimize camera performance so that you can capture terrific shots of landscapes, family portraits, or sporting tableaus. The responsive Quick-Shift Focus system, meanwhile, makes it easy to instantly shift from autofocus to manual focus. And thanks to the aforementioned ED glass elements, the lens offers superior sharpness and color correction.
SMC Pentax DA 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF)
This lens has continued to receive a rating of 9.5/10. The lens is distinguished by its aspherical elements, special optical-glass elements, and original glass coatings, which help produce a high contrast, unmatched clarity, and edge-to-edge sharpness. The lens also boasts a tightly sealed weather- and dust-resistant housing that stands up to rainy or dusty conditions. And users will love the new SDM system, which produces smoother, quieter autofocusing using a built-in supersonic motor.
SMC Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited
Go-anywhere portability for casual, day-to-day snapshot photography. Ultra-thin pancake design, along with uni-focal, medium-telephoto optics. With a medium-telephoto perspective, this lens is ideal for many applications including landscape and portraiturescape. High-performance optics ensure outstanding image quality, and provide distinctive visual expression.

We hope you enjoyed this list of the Top 15 Photography Lenses for Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras and hopefully it has helped you make a better decision on which photography lens you are going to buy next for your camera.

One Comment

  1. Harrison Grubert

    January 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Great list of lenses! Learned a lot from this post.

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