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Picking a Lens For Canon EOS 6D (From A Guy Who Owns a 6D)

The Canon EOS 6D is one of the best budget compact full-frame cameras you can find on the market right now. It’s easy to see why many photography enthusiasts are drawn to this camera when you consider the portability and exceptionally high image quality. Like many, the Canon EOS 6D enabled me to step into the world of full-frame DSLRs without spending a fortune. But getting the Canon 6D is not enough for a very good camera needs an equally good lens.

One of the benefits of cameras with interchangeable lenses is that they allow the users to function in a lot of situations and achieve what they are striving for. Imagine a photographer in the outdoors. It’s possible for the photographer to be awed by the vastness of open spaces or simply be interested in the beautiful mountain up ahead. It’s also possible that the photographer wants to focus on the trees in the foreground. The said photographer will need different lenses to achieve all these.

Lenses for Canon EOS 6D come in a wide variety giving you a lot of options. And for you to achieve the precision and quality you want, you need good lenses. I’ll be taking you through a guide. Here, you’ll learn all you need to know about the lenses that are suitable for your Canon 6D, so you’ll be choosing a lens that is adapted to the type of photography you are into.

What Type of Mount Does Canon 6D Support?

It’s important for you to know the types of lenses that are compatible with Canon 6D. The mount of the Canon 6D is EF (Electro-Focus) which is the standard lens mount that is found on Canon’s EOS family of digital cameras and SLRs.

Canon 6D will only work with full-frame lenses and you must check that the lens you are buying is actually denoted as “EF” and not “EF-S” (for crop sensor cameras) or other types of mounting systems. So far there is EF in the title of the lens you are going for, it’ll be compatible with your Canon 6D.

Note that it’s not compulsory to buy only lenses that are produced by Canon. There are other lens manufacturers that produce high-quality lenses for the EF mount. Just make sure that the lens is a full-frame lens built for the EF mount.

Prime Lens vs. Zoom Lens

This is one of the many recurring debates you’ll come across in photography. Prime lenses differ from zoom lenses in their focal length, with the focal length of prime lenses ranging between 12mm and 5200mm. However, the focal length of prime lenses is always fixed and this results in better image quality. Also, prime lenses offer photographers wider apertures to work with.

Zoom lenses on the other hand have a variable focal length which can be changed using the zoom rings. You can also easily zoom in and out at a single spot, unlike prime lenses that will require you to actually move back and forth to zoom in and out. Versatility is another advantage of zoom lenses over prime lenses.

Ultimately, the one you go for will depend on your preferences as well as shooting needs. If you prioritize image quality and have no need to adjust focal length, then prime lenses make more sense. But if you want the ease of taking pictures at different focal lengths, then you should go for zoom lenses

Best Lenses for Canon EOS 6D - Guide

About The Canon ‘L’ Series

Canon’s premium full-frame lenses are given the “L” designation. There’s always a trademark/identifying “L” red stripe around the end of the lenses. The meaning of the “L” remains unclear as Canon hasn’t exactly specified what the “L” stands for. Some say the L stands for “Luxury” while others claim it means “Low Dispersion”.

Most of the lenses in the ” L” series are weatherproof and have high-quality optics. Photographers typically seek out lenses belonging to this line as they are renowned for their exceptional performance. Wikipedia has a cool list of all “L” lenses.

Autofocus: USM vs. STM

USM means Ultra Sonic Motor while STM means Stepping Motor. Both are different types of lens autofocus. USM lenses dominate the market and are known for being fast and accurate. As a result, USM lenses are great for still photography.

STM lenses are more suited for videography since they are designed with a smooth and silent video focus in mind.

What Are The Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Lens?


The main advantage you get from a zoom lens is versatility as you’ll be able to handle a variety of situations. Imagine being able to wide-angle to telephoto in a blink of an eye. All you need to do is just quickly turn the zoom ring.

Nature/wildlife and landscape photographers will especially benefit from zoom lenses since they are usually rooted in a single spot or area. And being able to zoom in on their subjects of interest is important for properly framing a shot.

Focal Length

The distance between the lens and the image sensor when a subject is in focus is referred to as the focal length. Usually, the focal length is expressed in millimeters (12 mm, 24 mm, 50 mm, and so on). The shorter the focal length of a camera, the more or greater the extent of the scene that the lens will be able to capture.

Lenses with a focal length between 14 – 35 mm are called ‘wide angle’ lenses and they are ideal for landscape photography, interiors, or when working in confined spaces.

Lenses with a focal length between 50 – 60 mm are called ‘standard’ lenses and usually have large apertures that allow a lot of light to enter the lenses. This makes them ideal in low-light situations. Also, standard lenses are the closest to the angle of view of the photographer and can be used to produce stunning out-of-focus effects.

Lenses with a focal length between 70 – 200 mm are referred to as ‘telephoto’ lenses and are ideal for wildlife/nature photography, portraits, and product photography.

Lenses with a focal length between 200 – 600mm are referred to as super telephoto lenses and are ideal for sports and wildlife photography where the photographer is very far away from the subject.

Best Lenses for Canon EOS 6D - Guide

 Aperture Range

The opening in a lens through which light enters the camera is referred to as the aperture. The wider the aperture of your lens, the brighter the image will be while smaller apertures will produce darker images. Larger apertures, like 1.4, are especially useful in the dark or low light situations and this is why they are ideal for astrophotography.

The aperture number of a lens is usually f/1.4, f/2, f/3.5, f/4, and so on. And the smaller the aperture number, the bigger the size of the aperture and the more light that enters the camera. Seems a bit confusing, right?

But you see, the aperture number is actually a fraction. F/2 is actually 1/2 and f/16 is actually 1/16. Now, from our knowledge of basic mathematics, 1/2 is bigger than 1/16. And that’s why a lens with an aperture number of 2 has a bigger aperture size than that of 16. Hope I was able to clear the confusion about aperture numbers.

Built-in Image Stabilization

Camera shake is real in photography (will manifest as a blur) and built-in image stabilization may come in handy to help you get a proper shot. Image stabilization is very important for zoom lenses or prime lenses with large focal lengths. Having an image-stabilized lens is always advantageous.

Image Quality

The quality of the image produced by the lens is also important. It’s also important that you go for lenses with minimum aberrations. Aberrations like distortion, astigmatism, and vignetting, affect the quality of the image produced and a good lens will have features designed to reduce these alterations to the minimum.

Note that shooting at the extremes of the focal length will also affect image quality as there will be more distortions. The lens doesn’t work best at the extremes but somewhere in between.

Final Thoughts

Your photography journey only begins with buying a camera. If like me you chose the Canon EOS 6D, you’ll have to look into different lens options available to choose the one appropriate for your type of photography. No lens is truly an all-in-one lens as there will always be lenses designed for a particular situation.

Use the buying guide on this page to choose the one that best suits your needs and start shooting to your heart’s content.

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