10 Best Lenses for Canon Rebel T3i (600D) 2017

Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D)The Canon Rebel T3i/600D is a camera in the tradition of Canon entry-level DSLRs. At the time of its release, it improved greatly upon its predecessor, the T2i/550D with a host of new features. It has the same resolution sensor and processor as its predecessor, but the articulated screen, HD movie capture, added shooting modes, filters and software enhancements make it a really great camera.  When coupled with the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS optional kit lens, the T3i/600D is a solid camera around which to build a decent photography set up. To add to the kit lens, there’s a variety of Canon lenses for the Rebel T3i available. Here are some of the best:

Canon Rebel T3i Kit Lenses


1. Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit

Why it’s great:

  • Affordable and often bundled with the body at a good price.
  • Good for general purpose shooting, especially for beginners.

As a general purpose kit lens, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS II is a decent choice, particularly for the beginner. It’s not flashy, nor is it perfect, but what it does it does well. It’s affordable for all, compact and lightweight. The focal length is good for general purpose photography, and with the image stabilization it’s possible to take some beautiful shots. If you’re just starting out, you can’t go far wrong with this one. You’ll most often find this one bundled with the Canon Rebel T3i / 600D.

Buying considerations:

  • For the experienced photographer, this may not quite make the grade.

2. Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS USM

Why it’s great:

  • Long zoom range and USM autofocus.
  • Lightweight but well-built.

The Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS USM shares many of the beneficial attributes of the above 18-55mm lens. It’s reasonably priced, well made, light and versatile. It also benefits from the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) autofocus and long zoom range. Again, as a kit lens for general purpose photography, this is a strong contender. Like many Canon lenses, it has excellent optical performance and image quality.

Buying considerations:

  • Image quality is better on more expensive lenses, although still good here.

All-In-One Lenses


1. Tamron 16-300mm

Why it’s good:

  • Huge 16-300mm focal range. 18.8x zoom ratio.
  • Sharp image capture at lower focal lengths.
  • Sturdy, weather-sealed build quality.
  • Ultrasonic-drive autofocus and vibration compensation.

The ultra-zoom of the Tamron 16-300mm is a class leader in this field. It’s simply huge. What’s more, it’s consistently good across all of the zoom ranges, although with some drop in sharpness at the longer end. The ultrasonic-drive autofocus and vibration compensation means it’s quick and quiet to focus accurately on the subject. For a lens that has this long a focal range, it’s also surprisingly light and compact. From wide-angle shots to up-close and personal details, and everything in between, this lens performs well.

Buying considerations:

  • At longer focal lengths, the image sharpness suffers slightly.
  • Some chromatic aberration is present, again at longer focal lengths.
  • The maximum apertures are slightly slow.

2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Why it’s great:

  • Fixed 50mm prime lens with wide f/1.8 aperture.
  • Versatile and sharp, suited to a range of photography.
  • Stepper Motor (STM) technology for quick and quiet focusing.

With a wide f/1.8 aperture, razor sharp clarity and fantastic bokeh, this is a lens worth to bear the name of its predecessor. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is an all-time favourite of many photographers. As affordable prime lenses go, this was pretty much the best. With the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, everything that made its predecessor great is still there, with the benefit of STM focusing. The improvement is noticeable; focusing is quicker and much quieter, and the manual focus is a lot smoother.

Buying considerations:

  • The fixed focal length may be frustrating for users who aren’t used to this.

3.  Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Why it’s great:

  • Tiny and lightweight, with an impressive f/2.8 aperture.
  • Inexpensive price point.
  • Clear and sharp image capture with a moderately wide angle.

The tiny Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is an ideal all-purpose lens to slip into your camera bag for an outing. It’s small and light build, coupled with the wide angle and wide f/2.8 aperture makes it a desirable pancake lens without a huge price tag. Sharpness is consistent across apertures, even at the edge of the frame and chromatic aberration is minimal.

Buying considerations:

  • It’s not the most robust lens, so it probably won’t deal too well with knocks.
  • Some vignetting and barrel distortion appears at wider apertures.

Wide-Angle Lenses


1. Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5/4.5 USM Lens

Why it’s great:

  • Wide angle lens with f/3.5 aperture.
  • USM autofocus is quick and quiet.
  • Lightweight but sturdy design.

This will be the wide angle lens of choice for many owners of the Canon Rebel T3i/600D. The 10mm extreme wide-angle captures a great deal and the quality of the images are consistent throughout the range.  Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor (USM) makes autofocusing practically silent and certainly fast.

Buying considerations:

  • No lens hood is included in the box.
  • The benefit of the f/3.5 aperture is offset at 22mm, where it drops to f/4.5.

2. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Why it’s great:

  • Cheap wide angle zoom lens.
  • STM autofocusing gives silent and consistently quick focusing.
  • Super Spectra coating reduces lens flare and chromatic aberration.

This lens really shook up the market when it first launched. The EF-S 10-18mm f.4.5-5.6 IS STM was one of the first really affordable extreme wide-angle lenses and it didn’t compromise on build or image quality. STM technology and image stabilization mean users can focus quickly, quietly and accurately even while on the move or shooting video.

Buying considerations:

  • An all-plastic construction means it’s not the sturdiest of lenses and it may not withstand being jostled around.
  • No lens hood is included with purchase.

Everyday and Portrait Lenses


1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Why it’s great:

  • Wide f/1.4 aperture, perfect for low light shooting.
  • Exceptional level of image quality.
  • Robust and highly portable.

We mentioned the 50mm f/1.8 earlier in the list, and its big brother, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is just as impressive. Many experienced photographers would call the f/1.4 an essential bit of kit. It’s far cheaper than the biggest brother, the 50mm f/1.2, and in terms of image clarity and sharpness it’s just as good. The 50mm f/1.4 is capable of capturing stunningly good images, even in low light. The USM is again quick and quiet, and despite its small size, it’s very sturdily constructed.

Buying considerations:

  • Some vignetting and chromatic aberration at wider apertures.
  • Occasional lens flare.

2.  Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Why it’s great:

  • Light and portable with a decent f/1.8 aperture.
  • Good contrast and saturation.
  • Lovely soft bokeh for blurred backgrounds.

For portraits, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is an excellent choice. Thanks to the f/1.8 aperture, it’s possible to create a really nice background blur whilst keeping the subject in clear focus. It’s small and light enough that you can take it with you and change out where appropriate, and for the price you can’t really go wrong. The autofocus is fast thanks to the USM technology and the images are sharp.

Buying considerations:

  • No lens hood is provided.
  • Some vignetting can be seen at wider apertures.

Telephoto Zoom Lenses


1.  Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

Why it’s great:

  • Affordable and high-performing telephoto lens.
  • Wide range of focal lengths.
  • Superb sharpness in the centre of the frame through all zoom lengths.

Our pick of telephoto zoom lenses for the Canon Rebel T3i /600D is the Canon 55-250mm f.4-5.6 IS STM. The inexpensive cost may suggest it lacks performance, but this is far from true. In reality, this lens produces consistently sharp and clear images throughout the zoom range. The image stabilization is great, thanks to the STM technology and coupled with the lightweight design you can shoot with a stable hand.

Buying considerations:

  • The plastic design and lens mount can seem a bit flimsy.

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