Canon has been making waves with its mirrorless cameras and the EOS R is no exception. It’s lightweight, compact, and a great choice for pros and hobbyists alike. However, this begs the question: What are the best lenses for Canon EOS R?
Hands-down the best RF lenses, Canon cameras can have is the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens that is just about as well-rounded as you can get, but there are other options to pick from.
Introducing the Top 8 Lenses For Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best All-Around Lens For Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best Wide Angle Lens for Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best Zoom Lens For Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens: Best Travel Lens For Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM Lens: Best Portrait Lens For Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens: best vlogging lens for Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens: Best Macro Lens For Canon EOS R
- Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon RF: The Best Third-Party RF Lens
Let’s dive into our list and look at the 8 best lenses for the Canon EOS R camera.
- Introducing the Top 8 Lenses For Canon EOS R
- 1. Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best All-Around Lens For Canon EOS R
- 2. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best Wide Angle Lens for Canon EOS R
- 3. Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best Zoom Lens For Canon EOS R
- 4. Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens: Best Travel Lens For Canon EOS R
- 5. Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM Lens: Best Portrait Lens For Canon EOS R
- 6. Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens: best vlogging lens for Canon EOS R
- 7. Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens: Best Macro Lens For Canon EOS R
- 8. Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon RF: The Best Third-Party RF Lens
- How to Buy The Right Canon EOS R Lens
- What Kind Of Lenses Go On The Canon EOS R
- Why Are RF Lenses So Expensive
- Why Are RF Lenses So Big
- Are Canon RF Lenses Worth It
- What Does Canon RF Stand For
- Do EF Lenses Work Well On EOS R
- Should I Use EF Lenses On A Canon EOS R?
- Can Sigma Lens Fit Canon EOS R
- When Will Sigma Release Lenses For The Canon EOS R?
- Wrapping Up The Best Lenses For Canon EOS R
First, let’s start with Canon’s Trinity RF lenses, these three RF lenses are covering ultra-wide, standard, and telephoto zoom ranges, they are practically for shooting in any situation from landscapes, portraits, and sports, to interiors, fashion, and cityscapes.
1. Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best All-Around Lens For Canon EOS R
The MUST HAVE Mirrorless LENS
This is one of the RF Trinity lenses, and it needs to be (and probably is) in every professional’s bag. So, if you want the best Canon lens for everyday photography, the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens is what you need.
Give your Canon EOS R the professional edge with a 24-70mm zoom boasting a fast aperture, 5-stops of image stabilization, and a silent Nano USM AF motor.
This lens is perfect whether you’re just getting serious about your photography or you want to surprise someone with a lens that can handle nearly anything. This lens is a go-to choice for everyone from photography students to working wedding photographers.
What makes this lens the best Canon lens for general photography? It all comes down to how Canon blended features. We get a fast f-stop, buttery bokeh, and the ability to snap from wide-angle to the basic telephoto in an instant.
The new Nano USM autofocus system is more than capable of keeping up. It also allows you to jump from autofocus to manual focus without skipping a beat.
If you only have one lens for your Canon EOS R, make sure it’s this one.
- 24-70 mm covers most photography styles
- Pro-tier build quality
- Weather sealed
- Nano USM system for a new approach to autofocus
- Several new coatings including the Air Sphere Coating
- Not ideal for some wildlife, sports, and ultra-wide angle styles
- Price might be too high for a first lens
- No extra control buttons like you find with other brands
2. Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best Wide Angle Lens for Canon EOS R
From Astrophotography to Landscapes
This is another lens from the RF Trinity lenses from Canon, and it’s our pick for the best landscape lens for Canon EOS R, with its flexible ultra-wide to a wide-angle zoom lens that is ready for everything from unique landscapes to taking pictures of the stars.
It’s ultra-wide and super sharp thanks to L-series optical quality and 5-stop image stabilization for dynamic angles even in tight spaces.
The Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens is the king of wide-angle zooms on the EOS R. It goes from ultra-wide to a more conventional focal length with a quick twist.
This puts you in a position to easily jump from landscapes to even some unique portraits. This lens also has a unique blend of elements and coatings that make it a great choice for handling high-demand astrophotography.
The Nano USM motor is also fast and near-silent. At the 35mm top end, you could even get away with using this lens for vlogging or videography.
The biggest downside would be the eternal battle between zoom lenses and prime lenses. This zoom lens gives you more options and more convenience in less space, but a prime lens will almost always deliver a cleaner image.
- Quickly adjusts from ultra-wide to a conventional focal distance
- L lenses are known for their quality
- Weather-sealed design
- Reduced chromatin abrasions and distortions
- Flexible for all wide-angle styles
- Not as precise as prime lenses
- Not a budget-friendly lens
3. Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens: Best Zoom Lens For Canon EOS R
Cover Every Distance
This is the third lens from the RF Trinity lenses from Canon, it’s a must-have super compact high-speed telephoto lens for any professional photographer shooting weddings, sports, or wildlife.
Telephoto photography has seen some of the biggest changes since the jump to mirrorless. Canon now delivers on what many consider to be the best telephoto lens for Canon EOS R.
The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM replaces the DSLR version of the same lens. You’ll instantly feel the difference once you get this lens in your hands.
The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM is a featherweight lens compared to the old-style telephoto zoom lenses. This is practically compact in its design.
The form factor and weight aren’t the only selling points. This lens also has some of Canon’s best glass with a balance of lens elements and coatings that help you get crystal clear images.
The L line from canon means you can count on the build quality and weather sealing to get you through some tough shoots. This is perfect for a lens that’s going to see plenty of sports, reporting, and wildlife shoots.
There are a few trade-offs to consider. Budget aside, this lens is pretty close to its non-L model save for the weather sealing and improved f-stop. Plus or minus a few features, you could save money if you don’t need the extra performance by getting the hobbyist-grade lens.
- Super fast and great for sports or wildlife
- Weather-sealed barrel
- Lightweight design
- Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture
- Removable tripod ring collar
- There are cheaper zoom lenses out there
- Might not be a high enough zoom for some
4. Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens: Best Travel Lens For Canon EOS R
Hit The Road Without The Worries!
This is easily the best RF lens for Canon EOS R if you’re going to be on the road.
Taking pics on your Canon EOS R while traveling is the best. This camera is silent, compact, and gives you great low-light performance. The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens is going to be your go-to pick for general travel photography.
This lens is perfect for travelers for two reasons: it’s affordable, and it packs everything you need into a compact body.
You don’t want to travel with expensive gear if you can avoid it and this lens can deliver on pro-quality pics without pro-tier pricing. You also get a capable zoom lens that easily fits into a crowded carry-on bag.
Of course, if you have specific travel photography goals in mind, other lenses might suit you better. Our picks for the best macro lens, the best wide-angle RF lens, and the best RF prime lens might all be better matches for your style.
- Super affordable
- Flexible focal distance range for any style
- Perfect for a one-lens travel kit
- Configurable control ring gives you more control
- Compact design
- F-stop could be better
- Not weather-sealed
- You might grow out of it
5. Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM Lens: Best Portrait Lens For Canon EOS R
Take Portraits Like A Pro
The best prime lens for Canon EOS R is exactly what you need if you plan on doing portraiture on your Canon EOS R. The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM Lens delivers some of the cleanest images you can get on Canon’s new mirrorless cameras.
To do great portraiture, you need a lens that shoots a clean image. This lens has an aspherical element and a UD element to reduce chromatic aberrations and distortions.
The lens also features a Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics element and Canon’s Air Sphere Coating. You’ll have a powerhouse of portraiture with this lens on your EOS R.
This lens is also weather-sealed meaning you don’t have to worry about taking pictures outdoors or even in adverse weather conditions.
Of course, not everything is perfect with this 85mm prime lens. The price tag on this lens is by far its biggest downside. It will cost more than your EOS R, but it just might be worth that steep price.
- Canon L build quality
- Prime lens delivers clearer pics
- f/1.2 works great in dim lighting
- Outstanding depth of field
- Great for portraits, but not for other styles
- More expensive than an EOS R camera
6. Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens: best vlogging lens for Canon EOS R
Vlog Under Any Conditions And Get Creative
Vlogging demands flexibility. Whether you’re making your own videos for social media or you are starting to pick up videography clients, sometimes it pays to have a lens that can do it all.
Our pick for the best RF lenses Canon wouldn’t be complete without the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens. This might be a surprising pick for vloggers, but trust us when we say that you’ll be wondering how you filmed without it.
What sets this lens apart is the focal range. Most vlogging is done in “head and shoulders” style and can get away with wide-angles, but this lens lets you film everywhere from your bedroom to a ballroom.
The zoom design also lets you get more creative with your shots. This is vital if you’re covering live events, and you don’t want to miss a moment when switching between other lenses.
Plus, the image stabilization technology in this lens is rated at five stops which is great if you’re shooting handheld.
That f-stop might look a little rough, but not every videographer is going to mind. If you are shooting in a studio environment, f/4 just means an adjustment to your lighting setup.
- Canon L lens design
- Weather sealed
- Extremely flexible
- Nano USM autofocus
- Budget-friendly if you’re stepping up to a pro lens
- The f-stop could be better
- Not every videographer will like the aperture for flexibility trade
- Depending on your needs, a wide-angle prime might be better
7. Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens: Best Macro Lens For Canon EOS R
It’s Time For Your Closeup!
Easily one of the best lenses for Canon EOS R is the Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens. This lens is both an excellent macro lens and a great choice for unique portraits.
Canon has a reputation for amazing macro lenses. The Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens is no exception to this rule. This lens can easily handle demanding, professional-level macro photography even under tough conditions.
The bright f/2.8 aperture and weather-sealing mean that you can take pics in nearly any condition with this lens. Whether you’re trekking through nature getting macro shots of wildlife or you’re doing precision perfect studio work, this is the lens for you.
You should know that this lens isn’t a true 1:1 macro lens. The 1.4x means that it goes beyond “real life-size” and gets you even closer to your subject. This might not be right for pros used to the old 1:1 models.
- Optical image stabilizer
- Super Spectra coating
- Reasonable price
- Weather sealed
- 1.4x magnification
- 10.2″ focal distance
- Does not do true 1:1 magnification
- Not a good pick for a single-lens kit
8. Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon RF: The Best Third-Party RF Lens
You’ve Got More Choices Than Just Canon Now
We’ve been waiting for third-party mirrorless lenses for a while now and the big-name brands are finally starting to release their alternatives for Canon RF lenses.
The Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon RF is one of the first to come out, and it offers some pretty great features with a few interesting twists.
Right off the bat, if you have problems with the distinct style of Canon’s lenses, then you’ve not got a solid alternative that you can reliably shoot on. The weather-sealed body even lends this lens to some professional shoots.
Yes, this lens does not have autofocus, but is that really all that bad? 85mm is meant for portraits anyway and learning how to manually focus is becoming a lost art for serious photographers and hobbyists alike.
Just know that these early third-party RF lenses are budget models that are testing the water rather than the full-feature lenses we will see in the near future.
- Idea alternative to Canon lenses
- 85 mm is great for portraits and flexible enough for other styles
- Ultra Multi-Coating
- Great low-light performance
- Outstanding depth of field
- 85mm is a bit tight for some uses
- Manual focus only
- More a budget model
How to Buy The Right Canon EOS R Lens
Now that you know the best lenses for Canon EOS R, it’s time to figure out how to pick between them.
You’ve got more options than ever when shooting on a Canon mirrorless camera. So, we put together this guide to help you pick between all of these new options.
Here’s what you should know about the Canon EOS R mirrorless lenses.
What Kind Of Lenses Go On The Canon EOS R
The Canon EOS R is a full-frame mirrorless camera from Canon. This means it uses Canon’s RF lens system. The RF lenses are brand-new and designed to match up with the efficient form factor of mirrorless cameras.
Why Are RF Lenses So Expensive
There are a few big reasons why you’re paying more for Canon RF lenses. The first is that these lenses are brand new. Canon just released most of these models and they are still in high demand and often sold out in camera shops.
The second reason has to do with features. The original camera lenses were simply glass in housing with focus and aperture controls. The more tech Canon adds to these lenses, the higher the cost is going to be. You can even see this for yourself by noticing how much cheaper lenses get when they do without the high-cost tech features.
Why Are RF Lenses So Big
We’ve got a few things to consider when it comes to figuring out why Canon RF lenses feel so big!
The first thing that we should cover is that lenses can only get so small while Camera bodies can keep getting smaller. Really, the only necessary tech in your camera body is the viewfinder and sensor. Advances in smaller circuits mean that camera bodies got smaller and lenses stayed pretty much the same size.
These lenses are also packed with features. They’ve got tons of optional buttons, more complex autofocus systems, and, of course, they have to have premier optical elements in order to stay up-to-date with the competition. That’s a lot of stuff to pack into something that has to match the slim form factor of a modern mirrorless camera.
Are Canon RF Lenses Worth It
No matter which of the best RF lenses Canon you pick, you’ll be getting an amazing lens. Canon still has a reputation for its nearly unbeatable color science and the high-quality design of its lenses. This is especially true of Canon L series lenses.
There are always rumors circulating about how well Canon is doing as a company, but they seem to always have a way of fighting through rough transitions. They were definitely late to the mirrorless game, but now that they are releasing their own mirrorless cameras and lenses, they are making their historic presence known.
What Does Canon RF Stand For
There is some interesting behind-the-scenes history for the “RF” in Canon’s RF lenses.
When these lenses were being developed, Canon used code names like “Revert” or “Reborn” to signal that they were re-inventing the wheel regarding how their lenses worked. Once the lenses hit the market, Canon updated their branding to “Re-Imagined Focus” which is now the official designation for the “RF” moniker.
Do EF Lenses Work Well On EOS R
Canon has over 150 different EF model lenses that you can connect to your Canon EOS R with an adapter ring. Nearly all of these lenses work perfectly with only 8 lenses having extra features that won’t work with the EOS R. These are only bonus features and even those 8 lenses still have all of their necessary functions working properly.
What doesn’t work? If you have a telephoto EF lens from the 1990s, odds are your AF stop button won’t work. This isn’t on all models, but it is a known problem.
The Power Zoom features on the Canon EF 35-80mm f/4-5.6 PZ from 1991 also doesn’t work on the Canon EOS R.
In over 150 different EF lenses, those features that don’t work are basically rounding errors.
Should I Use EF Lenses On A Canon EOS R?
You can use Canon EF lenses on your EOS R. This will save you money as you transition into RF lenses. EF lenses are still high quality and make great choices for jumping into mirrorless photography without the sticker shock that comes with RF lenses.
Can Sigma Lens Fit Canon EOS R
The best sigma lens for Canon EOS R has yet to be released! Sigma doesn’t make RF mount lenses yet, but you can still connect your Sigma EF lenses using a mounting ring adapter. These lenses will work great and give you amazing pictures while you wait for Sigma to release their new line of lenses.
When Will Sigma Release Lenses For The Canon EOS R?
Sigma, and other third-party lens brands, typically take a few years to catch up to mounting systems. The Canon RF mounting type has only been out for a bit and Sigma only recently announced that their first RF lenses will be coming out in late 2022.
Wrapping Up The Best Lenses For Canon EOS R
At the end of the day, the best RF lenses Canon cameras can have are the lenses that push your photography to the next level. Whether you’re a hobbyist getting more into your favorite art or a pro making the transition to mirrorless, these lenses have what you need! Let’s wrap up our picks for the best EOS R lenses with a few quick highlights.
What’s your pick for the best lenses for Canon EOS R? Are you going with an all-around great Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens that can handle everything from wide-angle landscapes to weddings? Maybe your style is more aligned with the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM lens that can hit the ground without hitting your wallet?
Whether you’re picking the 85mm prime for portraits or going third-party with the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens for Canon RF, you’re sure to find a great lens for the Canon EOS R on our list.