Canon EF Lenses – Complete List

With tons of Canon EF lenses out there, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what’s available and what is good. Use this complete Canon EF lenses list to figure out which lenses fit your needs, budget and photography style.


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Wondering what is the difference between Canon EF and EF-S Lenses?

  • EF – Fits on every Canon DSLR ever made
  • EF-S – Does not fit on Full Frame Canon’s

If you’re not aware, the difference between Canon EF and EF-S lenses translates to the fact that there are two basic sensor sizes available (the part of the DSLR that records the image). A ‘Full Frame‘ translates to the same size as a film camera, so it became the industry base line. 

Canon EF Lens Mount
Canon EF Lens Mount: Full Frame
Canon EF-S Lens Mount
Canon EF-S Lens Mount: APS-C

As part of the progression of technology, as well as the ability to provide compact and lighter cameras, a smaller sensor was created. This is called an APS-C sensor. Now a days this APS-C sensor also translates to more affordable camera, as well as lenses, which we will talk about in a minute.

If you want to learn more about APS-C Cameras we explain them in detail in our Tips & Tutorials section.

Now back to the lenses. As it mentions above, the EF size lenses are designed to fit on Canon cameras that have a full frame sensor. If you were wondering, an EF lens will only fit on Canon cameras; unless you are planning to buy some sort of adaptor for them to fit on another brand. Just be aware of the quality and compatibility you get if you go that route.

Canon EF lenses will also work on a camera with an APS-C sensor. Although since it’s designed for a full frame sensor you aren’t always getting the full advantage of the lens.

Why would you buy an EF lens if you have an APS-C camera?

You would buy an EF lens for an APS-C camera if you think you might change to a full frame sensor in the future. Then your lenses will still fit. Just to be clear, this is the same question as ‘Can I use an EF lens on an EF-S Camera?’ You can think of APS-C and EF-S as the same system. Also if you already have EF lenses there’s no harm in using them on an APS-C camera.

However, this doesn’t work with an EF-S lens. They will not work on a full frame camera. So naturally the next question is…

Why would you buy an EF-S lens if you have an APS-C camera?

Although an EF-S lens won’t fit on a full frame camera they can be a better value than an EF lens. As we mention above, APS-C sensors allow cameras to be more compact, lighter, and more affordable. The same is true for an EF-S lens. Because they don’t have to be large enough to fit on a full frame sensor, Canon is able to make them with some of these efficiencies.

So, as an example, an APS-C camera paired with an EF-S lens would be a great setup for Travel or Everyday photography. The gear is not as expensive, plus you have something much more compact to carry around. If you’re interested in what Canon cameras use EF-S lenses we have a list on our APS-C camera explanation.

If you were wondering, EF stands for “Electo-Focus“. Then EF-S stands for either “Electro-Focus: Small Image Circle” or “Electro-Focus: Short Back Focus.” The first term referring to the smaller lens, and the second term referring to the smaller mirror used on APS-C cameras.

Why would you buy Canon RF lenses?

We haven’t mentioned RF lenses yet but feel it’s worth mentioning. To be clear, the RF means it is designed for a Mirrorless DSLR. While it’s up for debate, the best explanation I found is that the RF stands for “Re-Imagined Focus“. Whatever it stands for, just know that it won’t work on a standard DSLR. This is because of mounting and focusing differences between Mirrorless and standard DSLR cameras.

Complete List of Canon EF Lenses

In order to make it easier to find what’s available this Canon EF lenses list is divided into the different lens types.

If you are trying to determine what the best lenses are for a particular type of photography or for a specific camera then visit our sister site, Best Photography Gear.  They have a list of the Best Canon Lenses so you can figure out what’s compatible and how to select a lens for the most popular photography styles.

Canon Ultra-Wide Zoom Lenses:

Canon Standard Zoom Lenses:

Canon Telephoto Zoom Lenses:

Canon Wide-Angle Prime Lenses:

Canon Standard Prime Lenses:

Canon Telephoto Prime Lenses:

Canon Super Telephoto Prime Lenses:

Canon Macro Lenses:

You automatically support us if you order anything through our Amazon links, and we highly recommend them because of their low prices, fast delivery and top support, especially when it comes to camera equipment.

Best Photography Gear has also created a Complete List of Canon Lenses, based on the standard Canon Mount types, from the Canon mirrorless RF mount or EF-M mount and the extensive Canon EF-S mount (APS-C) and Canon EF mount (FF). This complete list includes third-party lenses as well. It’s a great resource if you want to see all the options that are out there.

Not sure what lens to select?

If you’re looking for a lens check out our sister site, Best Photography Gear, for a guide of the best Canon lenses.  Whether you want to know what the best lens is for a type of photography, or if are you looking for the best compatible lenses for your specific Canon camera, we’ve got it covered. 

The EF Lens lists above cover our favorite Canon Lenses if you are looking to buy a lens. If you are curious as to all the options that are available, including some third part lenses, then the EF lens list on our Canon lenses by mount type article covers the full range of options. 

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