The Canon EOS 70D has a lot of options when it comes to lenses. As an EF / EF-S mount camera, most modern non-mirrorless Canon lenses are compatible with it. With all these choices, it can be difficult to tell which lens works best.
I’m Caleb, and I have five years of photography experience. My primary specialty is sports, and I’ve shot plenty of events while using Canon equipment myself.
In this article, I’ll go over the best lens options for the Canon 70D and explain each lens’s unique role. If you’re unsure which lens works best for you, read ahead for a full breakdown.
- The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the best general-use lens you can get for the Canon 70D, and it will save you from carrying multiple prime lenses.
- If you’re on a budget, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM will give you a versatile focal range for a low price.
- The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM prime lens is one of the better deals out there, and its wide aperture also makes it great for low-light shooting.
- The Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM covers both wide and semi-wide shots in sharp quality.
What is The Canon 70D Used for?
The Canon 70D is a reasonably versatile camera. It can handle most kinds of general-use still photography. It has also found a second life as a content-creator camera thanks to its video capability and lower price than some of Canon’s higher-end models.
Is The Canon 70D Discontinued?
Yes, the 70D has been officially discontinued by Canon. However, the camera is relatively easy to find on the secondhand market, where its price has dropped somewhat since its initial launch.
Is The Canon 70D Weather Proof?
The Canon 70D does include weather sealing, making it resistant to dust and moisture.
What Makes The Best Canon Lens
Here are some things you should consider when determining the best lens for your Canon camera.
- Range: You need the right focal range for the photography you plan on doing. Having too much or too little range can get in the way of your plans, so make sure to have an idea of how much you’ll actually need.
- Max Aperture: If you plan on shooting in low light or photographing moving subjects, it helps to have a wide maximum aperture, such as f/2.8.
- Size: In some cases, such as when using your camera in a crowded area, or traveling with your gear, having a smaller lens is beneficial.
- Noise: Some autofocus motors make more noise than others. Generally, Canon’s STM motors are quieter, while their USM ones are newer and more effective.
- Autofocus: You’ll need a lens with a quality autofocus system to fully take advantage of your camera’s autofocus capabilities.
The Best Lenses for The Canon 70D
These are the best lenses for the Canon 70D, in my opinion. While many lenses are compatible with the 70D, these stand out for various reasons, including having a distinct role or offering a good value for their price.
1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (Best Overall)
- Range: 24-70mm
- Max Aperture: f/2.8
- Image Stabilization: No
If you could only get one lens for your Canon 70D, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM might provide the most use. It’s extremely versatile, and you can replace three or four prime lenses with just this one lens.
The lens gives sharp results throughout the focal range, which is expected for a camera targeted at a high-end crowd. After all, news and sports photographers are some of this model’s common users.
The f/2.8 maximum aperture is another reason why this lens stands out. Other lenses may offer a larger focal range, but the f/2.8 max aperture ensures this lens will beat them in some key areas like low-light performance.
While the autofocus isn’t silent, it is quiet, and it’s fast and accurate. You can also override the autofocus by grabbing the manual focus ring.
However, the lens does have some trouble with distortion towards the closer part of the focal range. Also, it lacks image stabilization, which is disappointing considering the high price tag.
My Verdict: The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is the quintessential general-use lens for Canon’s EF mount cameras.
2. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (Best Budget Lens)
- Range: 18-135mm
- Max Aperture: f/3.5-f/5.6
- Image Stabilization: Yes
A more affordable alternative to Canon’s 24-70mm lens is the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, which offers a similar level of versatility. Just like the 24-70mm lens, this one can do the job of three or four lenses at once due to its 18-135mm range.
The lens is also affordable, arguably its main draw other than the extensive focal range. While cheaper lenses exist for the Canon 70D, they don’t offer the same combination of price value and adaptability.
It also features image stabilization, which some of Canon’s more expensive lenses like the 24-70mm one lack. It doesn’t have multiple stabilization modes, but it does correct for up to four stops worth of camera shake.
As an STM lens, the autofocus is quieter than what you’d expect from a USM one, and it still works very fast despite the cheaper price of this lens.
The main drawback here is the non-constant maximum aperture. Basically, the max aperture will shift from f/3.5 to f/5.6 as you zoom, which hurts performance a lot towards the further parts of the focal range.
My Verdict: The Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is a workable option if you need versatility on a budget.
3. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM (Best Prime Lens)
- Range: 50mm
- Max Aperture: f/1.8
- Image Stabilization: No
The max aperture is the first thing to stand out about the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. With a very wide maximum aperture of f/1.8, this lens is excellent for shooting in low-light settings such as indoor concert venues.
You might also consider the STM motor another advantage, depending on your needs. The lens features smooth autofocus performance for photos and videos, and the STM motor makes for a quieter experience than a USM one.
Because of its fixed 50mm focal range, this lens is a good choice if you want to take natural-looking photos that reflect how our eyes see the world. A 50mm lens, after all, has a roughly equivalent perspective to the human eye.
Another reason to pick up this lens is that it’s a great deal. It’s very cheap for an f/1.8 lens, making it accessible to even a beginner photographer on a budget.
However, it does have some cons and features omitted because of the price. The focus isn’t the fastest, lens flaring may be an issue when shooting at the widest apertures, and there’s no image stabilization. But all in all, it’s still an excellent package for a very low price.
My Verdict: The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a great portrait lens and an outstanding deal for the price.
4. Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM (Best Wide Lens)
- Range: 16-35mm
- Max Aperture: f/2.8
- Image Stabilization: No
The Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM is a good choice if you need a lens to cover both wide to semi-wide shots. Like the other lenses on this list with a variable focal range, this one will save you the work of carrying multiple prime lenses.
The image quality from this lens is pretty high, and one of the improvements over the II model is increased consistency across the entire focal range.
The sharpness stands out in specific, and the lens is very competitive in this area compared to the competing options around the 16-35mm range.
Also, it has good flare resistance, which is important for any outdoors photographers thinking of shooting wide-angle landscape shots towards the sun.
However, there is a catch to using this one with the Canon 70D. As the 70D is a crop sensor camera, the focal range won’t look as wide when using the lens. The lens can still perform exceptionally well on an APS-C camera, but you must keep that in mind when buying.
My Verdict: If you want one lens that can handle wide to semi-wide shots, the Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM is a good, albeit pricey, option.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of lens options for the Canon 70D, but a few lenses stand out as the best. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will better understand which lenses work for you and your photography.
What do you think? Is there another lens that belongs on this list? Let us know in the comments.