Lens & Speedlite Buying Guide

Canon Optics: The EF Lens Advantage

Great Images Start with Great Lenses
For many photographers, Canon EF lenses alone are reason enough to shoot with the
EOS System. Canon optics are the preeminent choice of demanding professionals —
the lenses often associated with history’s most memorable still and motion images.

A blend of world-class optics, microelectronics and precision manufacturing technologies, EF lenses are perfected in Canon’s laboratories and proven in the field. Pioneers in the use of new materials and innovative optical designs, Canon engineers have achieved ever-higher levels of image quality, performance and dependability.

Recommending a Canon EF lens means you can be confident that you’re providing imaging performance of the highest caliber.

Canon EF and EF-S Lenses

A unique blend of hyper-advanced optical, microelectronics, and precision manufacturing technologies

EF Lenses
With over 60 EF lenses, the EOS System boasts one of the world’s most comprehensive selections of autofocus lenses. All EF lenses feature Canon’s advanced optical technology, offering quality, breadth and scope to photographers everywhere.

L-Series lenses have a reputation in the professional photography world for remarkable performance. Specialized optical technologies in L-series lenses can be any of the following:  UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) glass, fluorite and/or aspherical elements, coated with Super Spectra Coating for incredible clarity and brilliant colors.

EF-S lenses were developed for EOS SLRs with APS-C size sensors. Lightweight and compact, these lenses take advantage of the sensor’s size to deliver optimized performance and true wide-angle capabilities, without compromising image quality.

EF lenses refer to the whole lens line but also to the lenses that are not EF-S or L. They offer excellent full frame performance without the cost of the L lens. Unlike EF-S, EF lenses can be used on any camera body in the EOS range including the 5D and 1D series (which are not EF-S compatible).  Specialty lenses are also available such as macro, fisheye and tilt-shift (TS-E) lenses.

Without Image Stabilization
With Image Stabilization
Shots in More Situations
Canon Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) technology uses miniature sensors and a high-speed microcomputer built into the lens. Camera shake is detected and analyzed, then corrected via a special shifting lens group. Because Canon OIS is in the lens, it can be optimized for the focal lengths and optical characteristics unique to each lens.

For example, the macro lens hybrid image stabilizer acts differently than the telephoto stabilizer because there are different kinds of shake. Image Stabilization is a proven technology that can deliver sharper pictures. Any Canon lens with “IS” in the lens’s name has this great feature.

Carry the Tripod Less
While Image Stabilization can’t replace a tripod, it can get acceptably sharp images in situations where a tripod would be limiting:

  • Shooting a children’s play in a dark theater where flash would disturb
    the proceedings
  • Not waking a cute sleeping toddler and spoiling the moment
  • When a tripod doesn’t fit in carryon and becomes too cumbersome
  • When being tripod-less frees up to be more creative
  • When walking in a crowded city
Speedlite Technology

Canon Speedlites are the ideal flash lighting source for EOS SLR cameras because they are tightly integrated with the cameras metering system. Their advanced technology provides perfect exposure and illumination for just about any subject. They are also highly adaptable, providing an endless variety of configurations and versatile shooting options. Professionals rely on Canon Speedlites to solve the most demanding lighting challenges.

E-TTL II technology uses distance information from the lenses, combined with advanced metering and a preflash to automatically determine flash exposure, through the lens. All current Canon EOS cameras use E-TTL II flash metering, whenever a Canon EX-series Speedlite is attached.

All EOS cameras can perform Wireless E-TTL flash as well. One, two, or an unlimited number of Speedlites can be used off-camera — and still provide automatic exposure. The flashes can be aimed at different angles for softer output, and zoomed to focus the light farther away.

Canon Speedlite 580EX II
and 430EX II

High End Workhorses
Speedlite 580EX II
  • The do it all powerhouse
Speedlite 430EX II
  • The workhorse flash for single flash scenarios or as a slave or backup flash
Canon Speedlite 320EX

Video Optimized
Speedlite 320EX
  • A video optimized flash: first EOS Speedlite with built-in video light
Canon Speedlite 270EX II

Small, Compact, and Priced Right
Speedlite 270EX II
  • A tiny flash made to go everywhere

What's in Canon Lenses and Speedlites Click here to see more information about Canon basic features, functions, shooting modes and accessories.

Some images and effects simulated.