Canon EF Lenses

I’ve been wondering lately what would it be like to own Canon’s entire lens collection for the EOS camera system? In any given photography situation, there’s at least one ideal lens for the job. Most photographers, however, don’t have Canon’s entire arsenal at their disposal — usually, they pull out a lens they own which will do an adequate job. In my case, the lenses I own do a fantastic job for me and my clients. Still, there are times when I wish I had that one particular lens in my quiver.

I’ve compiled the following list from Canon, including those lenses which would complete my theoretical lens collection. Those lenses in bold are ones that I currently own.

Primes

  • EF 14mm f/2.8L USM
  • EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
  • EF 24mm f/1.4L USM
  • TS-E 24mm f/3.5L
  • EF 28mm f/1.8
  • EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
  • TS-E 45mm f/2.8
  • EF 50mm f/1.0L USM (discontinued)
  • EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro
  • MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo
  • EF 85mm f/1.2L USM
  • EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • TS-E 90mm f/2.8
  • EF 100mm f/2 USM
  • EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • EF 135mm f/2L USM
  • EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus
  • EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
  • EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
  • EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM
  • EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM
  • EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM
  • EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
  • EF 600mm f/4L IS USM

Zooms

  • EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
  • EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
  • EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
  • EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM (discontinued)
  • EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
  • EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
  • EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
  • EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

EF-S Lenses

  • EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
  • EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM
  • EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Lens Accessories

  • Life-Size Converter EF
  • Extender EF 1.4x II
  • Extender EF 2x II

Here are some statistics on this impressive lens list:

  • Number of lenses: 40
  • Price: $57,500
  • Weight: 92 pounds

I don’t think I’ll be able to fit all of those lenses in my Domke J-1 or my LowePro CompuTrekker AW! :)

$57,000 is actually not that bad of a price. I can easily see a wealthy individual owning all of these lenses. It goes without saying, however, that a good lens does not make a good photographer. Develop your skills to the point where you can take a decent photo with any camera before you start hoarding lenses!

Still, over the course of one’s lifetime, I can certainly see how it’s possible to amass the entire Canon EF lens collection! Anybody out there have a collection similar to the list above? We’d love to hear!

Here’s the spreadsheet that I used to calculate all this wonderful information on Canon EF lenses and accessories. I gathered the prices from B&H Photo Video.

Update (March 31, 2005):

If you found this page to be useful, definitely check out Patrick Murphy’s comprehensive EOS Lens List. He’s broken down the EOS lens family, including those from third-party manufacturers like Sigma and Tokina, into various groups: fast, wide, long, image-stabilized, etc. This makes it easy to find the lens that you’re looking for!

28 Comments

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  1. So, wait, is that supposed to be the full list of everything they make, or just the ones you wish you had? If it’s the former, there are definitely some missing. For example, what about the 28mms?

  2. Yeah, I left out a few lenses from the list. Some of them are the el-cheapo kit lenses that can be safely left out. I did forget the 28/1.8, though. I guess leaving that fast prime would not have completed the collection?

  3. Did you compile these up in a spreadsheet or something? If you did, it would be cool if you offered it up for download since I have been thinking of mapping out what decent lenes exist in the Canon product line in order to help my wife plan out a purchase path for her DSLR.

    Also, you quote the price of the entire list at $57,000 USD. I have a feeling that if you did the purchase all at once, you may be able to negotiate some discount ;-)

    Also, the EF Lens Work III book looks very interesting. It would be way cool if you posted a brief review of it with a couple of open book shots from a distance.

  4. Yeah, I did make a spreadsheet with the cost and weight of each lens in the list. I’ll upload it in a little bit.

  5. I suppose you can’t include the EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM since they’re custom made upon receipt of deposit of half of the negotiated price (so I hear). :)

    the estimates I’ve found range from $70k – $200k USD.

  6. hey adam:
    damn, that’s hella glass. the next thing to do would equip each lens with a canon body so you won’t waste time changing lenses.

    and hella nice new layout of your page, very soothing color choices.

    maybe see you around at the upcoming sf asian american film festival.

  7. It’s all very well owning all those lenses over a lifetime but don’t forget that improvements in robotics have produced superior optics which will render all but the best old lenses ‘inferior’.

    Carry that lot yourself? You’ll need an assistant methinks! :-)

  8. Here is my thinking. Just to be be practical…what would I want from a minimalist’s approach?

    Call me greedy, but I came up with this. I’d, say, endow myself with 3 lenses all of them mounted on 1DS-MKII.

    The three lenses are 24/1.4 USM, 400/2.8L IS USM, and the versatile 70-200/2.8L IS USM.

    Ok, guys, help me out on this question. What is the dollar amount for my dream package? (My gf says she would give up her beamer if I am serious. She didn’t articulate on whether “serious about wanting the gear” or “seriously gonna make money”.) Hehe.

  9. Check out the spreadsheet at the end of the entry. The prices are listed there.

  10. If you are only going to get three lenses, then I’d get:

    24-70/2.8L USM, 70-200/2.8L IS ISM, and maybe the 400/2.8L IS USM, and a Canon EF 1.4X teleconverter.

    But being an underwater guy with a full-frame chip, I’d probably get:

    17-40/4L, 100mm USM macro, and 15mm full-frame fisheye
    :)

  11. 24-70 is definitely a nice choice!

    Oh….and SF Asian American Film festival! When’s that?

  12. Sorry I asked. Here are the dates:

    San Francisco: March 10 – 17
    Berkeley: March 11 – 20
    San Jose: March 18 – 20

    Anybody planning to go? Should we do a group thing?

    I think I have time for San Jose.

  13. Is the IS version of the 70-200 much better than the 70-200? Why did you choose it over the non IS?

  14. For the IS of course! There’s not that great of a difference in terms of image quality between the two. The IS version is heavier, but that extra weight is more than offset by the ability to handhold shots at lower shutter speeds.

    Regarding the Asian Film Festival, there’s a few movies I’ll probably see at the this year (we usually choose which ones at the last minute). You should look at the listings and attend those films that you want to see!

  15. My dream is one day to own just half of all these lenses.

  16. Being a not-quite-as-serious photog, my three-lens lineup would be (and currently is):

    17-40mm f4L; 70-200mm f4L; and the plastic-fantastic 50mm f1.8.

    Not bad at all for under $1500 total (which is about the cost of the 70-200 f2.8L IS if you’re lucky IIRC). Of course, my indoor options are limited, but my wallet is happy. I DID pick up the 580EX thanks to a kind soul at Christmas, which also helps.

  17. Hey, I’m just a 18 year old amerature and wish I had the money to get these kind of lenses. The only two lenses I do have are the Canon push/pull zoom 100-300 and the one the 20d came with which is the 18-55. I also got an oldie Canon AE-1 Program that I use every once in a blue moon.

    The three I would choose are the 1200mm the 600 and the 100-400 because I am mostly into bird and other sorts of wildlife photography. If you check out my website you will see what I love even more than bird photography which would be lightning photography, yes I said lightning photography, I might be nots but man its so fun.

    Oh if you havent already you should really join Photoblink.com, this is definently one of the best photographic websites ever. There are tones of awesome photographers that can help you out and also show you what its all about.

  18. Nice list — and having the total price and weight was a nice touch. Since you’re into Canon lenses, I thought you’d be interested in some lists of Canon and third-party lenses for the EOS cameras. The lenses are arranged by various criteria such as aperture, focal length, and zoom range. This makes it easier to find, for example, all lenses f/2.8 and faster.

    There is also a spreadsheet with the lenses, specs, prices, etc. If you’re interested, visit http://www.patrickmurphystudio.com/canoneos/index.htm

  19. At this time, I do own the EOS 1ds along with the 16-35mm f:2.8 L USM, the 24-70 f:2.8 L USM, the 100mm Macro, 70-200 f:2.8 L IS USM and the EF 1.4XII teleconvertor. I just got the 70-200 about 1 week ago. It is an awesome lens. Of course, so is the rest of the lenses. I do have a Tamron 28-105mm lens which is very sharp. Of course I would not have any of this if I did not have a photography business for the past 32 years. At this point, the 24-70mm is my most useful. I use it for little league sports, dance students, senior portraits, family portraits, etc. Some of my pictures can be seen at http://public.fotki.com/whittphoto, if you care to.
    Overall, you cannot go wrong with top quality Cannon equipment.

  20. “Being a not-quite-as-serious photog, my three-lens lineup would be (and currently is):

    17-40mm f4L; 70-200mm f4L; and the plastic-fantastic 50mm f1.8.”

    Good choice Ken – that’s exactly where I started. I’ve since added a 100 macro and a 1.4x converter. Using eBay and B&H, that still totals about $1800 – not bad IMHO.

  21. I am having serious trouble finding the canon 24mm f/1.4 L usm. Anybody know what’s up?

  22. anyone know of a right angle lens [or ‘Sneaky Petes’, as i’ve heard ‘em called] that fits Canons?

  23. Gerda Coetzee May 15, 2007 — 2:26 am

    I live in South Africa and we have wonderful opportunities to photograph wildlife. You guys want to organise a budget tour let me know. I own 100-400mm push me pull you lens and are very impressed with its perfomance. The value is awesome for the poor souls with bad exchange rate and little money. I just took some fabulous birdshots in the Kruger Park with this lens, but want to know if its better to switch off the stabiliser when using a tripod or not? What you think? What do you think of an MP E65mm f/2.8 1.5 x Macro Photo? Does it fit onto a Canon 30D? I gather it magnifies small objects 3x. Is this true? Bye bye

  24. This is a comprehensive list! Unfortunately most of us are forced to pick and choose only a few lenses and this can be tough, and for me means lots of time spent reading lens reviews. You should take any equipment review with a grain of salt, but you can find links to lots of reviews of [url=http://www.canon-reviews.com/reviews/lenses]Canon lenses[/url] at canon-reviews.com. I find that having a larger cross section of reviews gives me more opinions to draw from.

  25. First, let me say that I’m a rank amateur. My first SLR (many moons ago) was a Canon and I’ve always had an affinity for Canons. I’ve had a few digital point-and-shoots, but now I want a DSLR. I’ve been looking at the Eos Rebel XTi (D400). I’ve found a couple of kits that seem to be a pretty good deal and are similarly priced. Both come with the camera body and the 70-300 mm IS lens. But one comes with the 17-85mm IS lens and the other comes with the 28-135mm IS lens. What I’m trying to figure out is, which is the better lens. The latter would certainly seem to offer the wider range, thereby reducing the frequency with which I would need the 70-300. But the former would offer a wider angle. So the qualifying question could be, which one actually takes a better photograph? Anyone done a comparison?

  26. I would get the 17-85mm IS lens. You’ll find the 28mm on the cropped sensor Digital Rebel will not be very wide at all. 28 * 1.6 = 45mm.

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