6 Best Lenses For Canon EOS R50 (…and 3 to avoid)

The Canon EOS R50 is an affordable and very capable crop sensor camera in Canon’s lineup and was our top pick for the best Canon camera for beginners.

If you couple this camera with the right lens, you can get some very good performance in a small package that is perfect for a wide variety of photographers from beginners to pros.

My favorite lens for this camera would be the 28mm f/2.8 because the compact size and wide maximum aperture make it a versatile lens that will give you high quality images.

But depending on what you shoot most, you may want a different option. So keep reading to see my complete breakdown of the best lenses for the Canon R50 based on what might be right for you.

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Top Pick

1. Canon 28mm f/2.8

This compact 28mm lens has a nice wide f/2.8 max aperture and its size pairs nicely with the compact R50 for a great walk-around combo.

This might be my personal favorite lens to carry around on a crop sensor camera. To begin with, it’s small and lightweight enough that pairing it with the R50 makes for a very small kit that is perfect for everyday shooting.

In addition to that, the 28mm focal length (45mm full-frame equivalent on the R50) is wide enough to capture scenery but not so wide that pictures of people are distorted. Combine this with the f/2.8 aperture and it’s about as versatile a prime lens as you can get.

As for image quality, I was happily surprised with the sharpness and contrast of this lens given its small size and low cost.

This is a great focal length to carry around while traveling, shooting street photography, or just going out with friends.

Most Versatile

2. Canon 24-105 f/4

This lens covers a wide focal range with a fixed f/4 max aperture which makes it a great lens to keep on your camera in a variety of situations.

The 24-105mm f/4 lens gives you a decent f/4 maximum aperture with a very wide focal range and still delivers very good image quality. On the crop sensor R50 the effective focal range is 38mm to 168mm.

I like this lens for the R50 because its compact size coupled with a big focal range.

You can shoot everyday shots and even some landscapes at 24mm and still have the reach for far away objects at the 105mm end. This makes it the kind of lens that you can put on your R50 and leave it there.

I like this option as an everyday lens for this camera a lot better than the 18-45mm that is often sold as a kit lens with it. You’ll get sharper images and better colors as well as the consistent f/4 max aperture across the entire focal length.

This lens is more expensive than the kit lens by a good amount. But its a solid investment as you can use it on full frame Canon RF mount cameras as well where it serves the same purpose as an all-around performer.

The f/4 aperture isn’t the fastest lens in the lineup but it is decent for getting shots in low light. Of course, for very low light situations, you may want to have the 28mm f/2.8 above or the 35mm f/1.8 below, but this lens will work in most circumstances.

If you travel a lot and don’t want to bring multiple lenses or are just looking for one lens that can handle the widest variety of shooting situations then this is a great option.

Best Prime

3. Canon 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM

With an equivalent focal length of 52.5mm on the crop sensor camera, this is the lens that every R50 owner should buy once they realize the kit lens isn’t getting it done.

The 35mm f/1.8 is the lens I recommend for almost anyone with a crop sensor camera as the next one to get after they get frustrated with their kit lens. The f/1.8 aperture opens up an entire world of possibilities compared to most kit lenses.

The 35mm focal length will be equivalent to 56mm on a full frame camera.

The f/1.8 aperture is often a massive difference for anyone that’s never used a lens with a wide maximum aperture like that before. It will allow you to experiment with shallow depth of field as well as shoot in low light.

The R50 is a great option to have as an everyday camera and if you plan to use it for things like photographing your kids or get-togethers with friends and family, you’ll be thankful to have the option to use f/1.8, especially in indoor situations. You’ll find that indoor lighting is often far darker than you perceive it with your eyes.

Another added benefit of this lens is the compact size. Paired with the small R50, it makes for an easy kit to carry around with you.

So if you want a little more low light capability than the two options above, then I highly recommend checking out this 35mm lens.

Best Telephoto

4. Canon 70-200 f/4

Closer to a pro lens (but more affordable) the 70-200 f/4 will work great on the R50 for those of you that want some extra reach to shoot things like your kid’s sports.

This was a tough one to pick. For those of you that want a longer telephoto zoom lens it was between this and the 50-210mm f/5-7.1.

I’m assuming you don’t want to spend a ton on expensive telephoto glass, but I also am not a fan of a lens with a maximum aperture at the long end of f/7.1. When you shoot a longer focal lengths, you need a faster shutter speed to avoid blur from handholding the camera and an f/7.1 aperture can make it very difficult to do that unless you’re shooting in bright sunlight.

So even though the 70-200 f/4 is not cheap (coming in at $1400 MSRP) it’s still a lot less than the f/2.8 version.

But I recognize budget might be important. You can save $1000 and go for the 55-210mm f/5-7.1. Just be aware that the image quality is a bit less and you’re going to have to shoot at much higher ISO settings. The good news is that the R50 handles higher ISOs better than most crop sensor cameras.

Back to the 70-200mm f/4…

You’re going to get exceptional image quality in terms of both sharpness and color rendition. This pairs nicely with the 24-105 above to give you a huge focal length range with just two lenses.

Best For Portraits

5. Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

This lens is an 80mm equivalent on the R50 crop sensor which makes it perfect for shooting portraits.

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 has all of the same benefits as the 35mm version, but if you are shooting a lot of portrait photography, then the 50mm will be a 80mm equivalent on the R50 which is a perfect focal length for portraits.

This 50mm is also my “budget pick” on my list of the Best Canon Lenses For Portraits.

By using a longer focal length, you’ll be able to stand farther away from your subject while still filling the frame. This adds something called compression in photography, which typically helps to give a more flattering look to people.

Of course, the longer focal length also can be somewhat limiting for everyday use. So keep that in mind. This lens is great as a second or third option for the R50 while the ones at the top of this list are more versatile and good for everyday use.

The best part of this “nifty fifty” lens is that its one of the cheapest options out there for your R50.

Best Wide Angle

6. Canon 16mm f/2.8

This 16mm f/1.8 gives you a wide angle and a fast aperture for shooting almost any kind of landscape from mountains to astrophotography.

You might be surprised that I didn’t choose one of the wide angle zoom lenses for this pick. To show you why, let’s take a look at some of those options…

The 10-20mm f/4 comes in at $2,299 MSRP, the 15-35mm f/2.8 comes in at $2,099 MSRP, and the most affordable wide angle zoom is the 14-35mm f/4 at $1,199 MSRP. Compare this to the 16mm f/2.8 at $299 MSRP and you can see why it’s such an attractive option.

That’s not to say any of those are bad lenses (they’re not) but this 16mm prime lens can handle all your wide angle landscape shots at a much lower price AND in a much smaller and lightweight package.

Instead of one of those other more expensive options above, you can get this lens for wide angle landscape shots and add the Canon 24-105 to cover the longer focal lengths.

In addition, the f/2.8 max aperture makes it a great option even for astrophotography.

Lenses To Avoid

The truth is that there really aren’t many bad lenses in the Canon RF system. Canon hasn’t opened up the specs to third-party manufacturers to create their own lenses and they’ve done a great job at making high-quality lenses.

With the adapter you can use Canon’s DSLR lenses too, so you have a massive selection.

That being said, some lenses really aren’t worth getting for this particular camera.

These aren’t necessarily bad lenses. I just don’t think they’re worth the investment given the other options above.

Canon 24-105 f/4-7.1

The thing that makes me not want to recommend this lens is the f/7.1 maximum aperture at the longer (105mm) end. When you shoot at longer focal lengths, you need a faster shutter speed. Plus this is a focal length you may want to use for shooting sports or wildlife as well, which also tend to require faster shutter speeds.

So being limited to a maximum of f/7.1 means you’ll be using some very high ISO settings to get the right exposure. While the R50 is decent at higher ISOs, it has its limits.

So if you want that extra reach for things like action, then its worth investing in the f/4 version above.

But if you are constrained by budget, then you may also be better off using this Canon RF to EF adapter and finding a used EF mount lens with a faster aperture for a better price.

Canon 24-50 f/4.5-6.3

This is really just a case of there being better options available. If you’re looking at this focal length, I think you would be better off just going for the 35mm f/1.8 prime lens above.

You’ll get better image quality and a faster aperture for shooting in low light.

Canon 15-30 f/4.5-6.3

Similar to the 24-30 above, you can get much better image quality and a better max aperture with a prime lens in this focal range such as the 16mm f/2.8 above.

What To Look For When Choosing A Lens For Your Canon R50

In addition to the usual things you look for in a lens like image quality, sharpness, and a large maximum aperture, there are a few things specific to the Canon R50 that you may want to think about.


Choosing a lens is much more than just finding the “best” lens for the R50.

It’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for and how useful that particular lens would be for a variety of different things.

for example a 50mm prime lens is great for shooting portraits and closer up shots on a crop sensor camera, but it might not be wide enough to get a great landscape shot.

So you would have to decide whether you want a lens that does a decent job for both or two lenses that are each specific type of shot.

Future Upgrades

The R50 is a crop sensor camera. That means that the sensor is smaller than full frame Canon cameras.

There are some lenses that are specifically made for crop sensor cameras. They are often smaller, lighter, and less expensive than full frame lenses. However, you can’t use those crop sensor lenses on a full frame camera.

Full frame lenses work equally well on crop sensor and full frame cameras. So while you might spend a little more but you’ll be investing in a lens that you can continue to use even if you upgrade your camera to full frame in the future.

Size and Weight

The R50 is a small and compact camera. So larger lenses will be a bit cumbersome on this body.

All of the lenses I recommended above will feel comfortable and well balanced on your R50.

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