Best budget lenses for any mounts
Best budget lenses for any mounts
Introduction – Best budget lenses for any mounts
Good camera lenses are usually very expensive (this is relative how much money considered expensive). I collected the best quality, but relatively cheaper lenses. To make things simple I totally omit kit lenses(usually 18-55mm, 18-135mm lenses). I also include older manual focus lenses as well. Some of this lenses are not so easy to get, others can order easily even with using the attached links. Some of these lenses are not cheap in absolute terms just compared to the alternative products. Good quality is different for everybody, there are people who thinks a cheap lens must be very sharp and must have great contrast at the wide open aperture, other people like lenses, what I can call very poor optically. It is different what is one’s goal with the lens, people use the lenses differently. My usual advice to check before you buy used or new lenses can be applied here, because of omitting defective lenses and not surprised afterwards how the lens performs.
Best affordable Canon lenses – Best cheap or affordable lenses for any mounts
Best affordable Canon prime lenses
Canon 24mm f/2.8
not really sharp at wider apertures, but stopped down it is good for landscapes, the lens has a new version for lot more money. Better quality than the zoom lenses, especially colors and contrast.
Canon 28mm f/2.8
is a budget lens, but not as sharp, as the Canon 50mm lenses and has some CA, but is still interesting, if you have something like the Tamron 17-50 perhaps not so interesting, the lens has a new is version for 4x of money, which is much better.
Canon 35mm f/2
is a very interesting lens at f/4-f/8 aperture this lens it is actually sharper than the popular 50mm lenses. Not bad at f/2 but not so sharp. On Aps-C cameras this focal length is much more useful as a normal lens, than the 50mm lenses, which is more in the portrait range in Aps-C cameras.
Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM
The Canon 40mm is a very good lens also optimized for video with its stm focusing motor.
Canon 40mm f2.8 STM review
Canon 50mm f/1.8
– The current 50mm f/1.8 II “plastic fantastic” is absolutely a budget lens, if you cannot afford the f1.4 version this lens is very good optically, but I think most people will not keep it, in the long run. I would be curious how many people keeps it actually. The build quality is not very good, but usable. On Aps-C a focal length is a bit weird, more of a portrait range, but for my liking is not long enough for portraits. On Full frame the focal length is very good. T, but the lens has an older better build solid version, which is not very common today. The older lens has better value, optically the two lens is similar.
Canon 50mm f1.8 II review
Canon 50mm f/1.4
This is a highly recommended lens for weddings for example, excellent optical qualities and quite usable autofocus. On Aps-C the focal length is little narrow, apart from a wedding for me not really useful, on FF excellent focal length.
Canon 50mm f1.4 review
Canon 60mm f/2.8 USM macro
it is very sharp macro lens, for Aps-C cameras. This lens is razor sharp, even too sharp for some usage. It also has USM focusing but not so quick than some other lenses. The 60mm makes it interesting as a close portrait lens.
Canon 60mm f/2.8 Macro review
Canon 85mm f/1.8
The best affordable portrait lens for Canon with a fast-silent USM driven autofocus, sharp at f2, little Ca is expected.
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Excellent macro lens with beautiful colours, sharp at f/2.8, USM drive, also good for portraits
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro review
Canon 100mm f/2
Another portrait lens, with excellent sharpness, the 85mm has better bokeh though
Canon 135mm f/2
This lens is not cheap, but has unparalelled image quality and autofocus performance
Canon 135mm f2 review
Canon 200mm f/2.8
This also not a cheap lens, but very cheap for the quality you get, built like a tank, sharp wide open even with a 1.4x converter attached.
Canon 200mm f2.8 review
Best affordable Canon zoom lenses
Canon 70-200mm f/4 L USM
lens is hard to beat for this price/quality. Constant f/4 aperture, excellent build and optical quality, boasts with Flourite christal element, versatility, beautiful colors and contrast. On Full frame vignetting at f/4 is expected.
See also Tamron and Sigma lenses
Canon lenses on Amazon
Older Canon lenses
Older Canon FD lenses cannot be used on Canon EOS digital mount. In the beginning there was a limited magnifying adapter which allows to use older lenses, but this solution is not preferred anyway. On other mounts like Micro Four Thirds is possible though to use Fd lenses with special adapters.
Best affordable Nikon lenses
Best affordable Nikon prime lenses
Nikon 20mm f/2.8
is a very interesting lens relatively small and has great image quality
Nikon 35mm f/1.8
-the best value lens you can get for Nikon.
Nikon 35 f1.8 review
Nikon 40mm micro
Nikon 50mm f/1.8
Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-D
Nikon 180mm f/2.8
Nikon 300mm f/4 The newer As-S version is better, but this lens is also very good, especially little stopped down. Flare can be an issue in some situations.
Best affordable Nikon zoom lenses
Nikon 16-85mm is a very good do it almost everything lens, excellent stabilizer, quick and silent focusing, but not so bright lens.
Nikon 16 85mm review
Nikon 55-200mm is a short budget telephoto but with very good optical abilities
Nikon 70-210 AF this older lens is not bad at all, I prefer the pictures of this lens makes over the newer 70-300 vr version.
Nikon 70-210mm f/4-5.6 AF review
Best affordable older manual focus Nikon lenses
Nikon 28mm f/2.8
Nikon 105mm f/1.8 and f/2.5 I prefer the f/1.8 version but the f/2.5 version is more popular.
Nikon 180mm f/2.8
Nikon 400mm f/3.5 – a very interesting heavy beast, but with f/3.5 brigthness this is a unique manual focus lens. With it’s 3kg weight is a Tripod is necessary. Surprisingly good even with teleconverters.
Nikon 500mm f4 P – a very good but quite expensive lens in absolute terms
Nikon lenses on Amazon
Best affordable Sony lenses
Sony is relatively new system, but as Sony bought Minolta in 2006, older Minolta lenses can be used on currently Sony called (originally Minolta) mount. Sony has many lenses already, some of them labelled by Carl Zeiss as well.
Best affordable Sony a-mount lenses
Sony 50mm f/1.8 This is a very sharp lens even wide open, this is a very high quality lens, good value lens.
Sony 30mm f/2.8 DT Macro this lens has excellent value, compare to the price of the lens. This is a very sharp lens from the open aperture. The lens has plastic mount.
Sony 35mm f/1.8 this is also a very good lens but contrast is little moderate at open apertures.
Best affordable Sony E-mount lenses
Sony 35mm f/1.8 Macro
Best Minolta lenses for Sony mount
Tokina 17mm f/3.5
Minolta 28mm f/2.8
Minolta AF 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta 35mm f/1.4
Minolta 35-70 f/4
Minolta 35-105 f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 50mm f/1.7 – a very interesting lens
Minolta 50mm f/3.5 Macro
Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Minolta 135mm F2.8 T4.5 STF
Minolta 100-200 f/4.5
Minolta 70-210 f/4 the famous “Beercan”
Minolta 200mm f/2.8 – very rare extremely good lens, but the autofocus is not very quick
Best affordable Pentax lenses
Pentax is famous about pancake lenses. These short pancake shaped lenses has great portability, small size and weight and usually great optical performance.
Pentax 35mm f/2.4
Pentax 40mm f/2.8
Pentax 50mm f/1.4
Best affordable Fujifilm lenses – Best cheap or affordable lenses for any mounts
The Fuji X-mount is one of most new mount. The Fuji X-cameras has Aps-C sized sensors. Initially only three lenses were available, more and more lenses will arrive. Other lenses can be attached with special adapters. See more informations, news and rumors about the X-mount here:
Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 this is currently the best lens for the Fuji X-mount. I won’t call it cheap, and the focal length can be more wide, but this is a bright very good lens.
Best affordable Sigma lenses for more mounts
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 This lens has many version with or without optical stabilizer, with or without Hsm drive. This lens has beautiful colors, wide range and f/2.8 aperture at the wide end. Not so sharp wide open though, but stopped down has excellent contrast and sharpness.
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 this lens is only for Aps-C cameras, won’t fill the FF circle. This is truly a very serious lens, with sharp f/1.8 aperture, and excellent build quality.
Sigma 18-35 f1.8 review
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 – very good lens, sharp wide open.
Sigma 35 f1.4 review
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro is a very good macro lens, very sharp
Sigma 400mm f/5.6 tele macro is an older lens, unfortunately most copies on work on wide open aperture on digital bodies
Sigma 50-500 and 170-500 this lenses can get very cheaply used, not the best lenses optically but the long range gives lots of new opportunities, for this lenses lots of light needed.
Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 review
Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 review
Best affordable Tamron lenses for multiple mounts
Tamron 17-50 Excellent all around – only weekness is a relatively noisy micromotor
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 review
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 Vc review
Tamron 90mm Macro a legendary sharp lens
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro
Tamron 90mm Macro VC USD current award winning excellent macro lens with image stabilizer and silent autofocusing, sharper than the original version.
Tamron 18-270 f/3.5-6.3
Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Macro
Tamron 70-300 Vc the rock-solid stabilizer is very good for video
Tamron 70-200 Vc USD a very good fast telephoto
Tamron 16-300mm Pzd the newest do-it-everything lens
Best affordable Olympus lenses-Best cheap or affordable lenses for any mounts
For the Micro Four Thirds(MFT) system older lenses not really available. With special adapters it is possible to use Canon Ef lenses for example on MFT cameras. Some of this adapters can adjust aperture, others are just connecting The EF lens manually with the MFT camera. Autofocus is not maintained. I don’t know any adapter which provide autofocus function. The Canon EF lens will be 2x or 1.25 longer than on the (Full frame or Aps-C) Canon camera.
Best affordable Panasonic lenses
Panasonic is also part of the Micro Four thirds system this is why not easy to recommend good budget lenses. The 20mm f/1.7 pancake is a very nice lens for Panasonic though.
Best affordable Leica lenses
Leica as a brand not really associated with the word “cheap” or “affordable”. They have many very good super expensive optics though for example the Leica 50mm Summilux Asph 1:1.4, the Leica 50 Noctilux Asph 1:0.95 or the Leica 24mm 1:3.8 Elmar ASPH, and many others.
Best affordable Samyang lenses for multiple mounts
Samyang makes very good quality manual focus lenses nowadays. The Korean manufacturer becomes the favourite for many. This lenses are much less expensive, than the Canon or Nikon products.
Samyang 8mm f/3.5 This is a very affordable, ultra wide angle lens for Aps-C sized sensors, some people use it in FF as ith well but dark corners/vignetting is expected.
Samyang 8mm f3.5 review
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 perhaps the best lens of Samyang especially for Full frame cameras. The lens has excellent resolution but paired with complex distortion, which requires some post-processing.
Samyang 14mm f2.8 review
Samyang 10mm f/2.8 NCS CS
Samyang 24mm f/1.4 The Samyang is not a cheap lens but much cheaper than the alternatives, very popular among filmmakers
Samyang 35mm f/1.4
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 This is also a very interesting lens, but I wouldn’t prefer it over the Canon 85mm f/1.8 for example because of lack of autofocus. At f/1.4 it is not so sharp.
Best affordable teleconverters
Kenko makes excellent quality affordable teleconverters. These teleconverters can be used for Canon and Nikon as well. This converters are nearly as good as Canon or Nikon converters but for much less money.
Kenko 1.4 dgx
– this converter is aimed for 200mm lenses.
The Pro300 converters are designed for 300mm or longer prime lenses.
Kenko Pro300 1.4 dgx
The Kenko Pro 300 1.4 dgx is a very good converter, perhaps better than the Canons.
Kenko Pro300 2x dgx
This 2x converter is really works best with f/2.8 super sharp prime or excellent zoom lenses. For many lenses this converter is not very good, because picture quality will suffer considerably.
Kenko 1.4 dgx review
Kenko Pro300 1.4 dgx review
Kenko Pro300 2x dgx review