Best Travel Lenses For Canon Cameras – 2020 Ultimate Review

While on vacation or traveling with friends and family, everyone loves capturing the moments and the beautiful scenery.

Travel photography is not just one kind of photography; it is a mixture of all. You might want to capture some beautiful group portraits or the landscape of the area or the night lights. It really involves everything.

Your lens or kit should be able to handle all of that, but there are a lot of other aspects that go into choosing the right travel lens. To help you with this decision, we have reviewed our top picks for best Canon travel lenses.

Comparison of the Best Travel Lenses For Canon Cameras

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

  • Zoom lens with a focal length range of 24-70mm
  • Has a maximum aperture of F2.8
  • Also suitable for low light photography
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Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6

  • Zoom lens with a focal length range of 18-35mm
  • Maximum aperture of F3.5 and a minimum aperture of F5.6
  • Reduces flare and offers sharp photos
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Sigma 18-35mm F1.8

  • Zoom lens with a focal length range of 18-35mm
  • Has a maximum aperture of F1.8
  • Best for the money
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Canon Portrait and Travel Two Lens Kit

  • A zoom and a prime lens with focal lengths of 10-18mm and 50mm respectively
  • Prime lens fixed aperture is F1.8, and zoom lens variable aperture is F4.5-5.6
  • Best Canon portrait and travel two lens kit
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Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8

  • Prime lens with a focal length of 24m
  • Has a maximum aperture of F2.8
  • Best travel lens for Canon APS-C
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

  • Prime lens with a focal length of 85mm
  • Has a maximum aperture F1.8
  • Best travel lens for Canon 6D
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Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

  • Zoom lens with a focal length range of 17-55mm
  • Has a maximum aperture of F2.8
  • Best travel lens for Canon DSLR
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Do I Need Different Lenses When Traveling

Yes, you are going to need different lenses for traveling. As mentioned before, you don’t know what kind of frame you will end up wanting to capture. One focal length lens is not enough to handle everything. That is, of course, if you choose to buy a zoom lens that has it all. But these lenses can be much more expensive and large. The large size also makes them heavy and very distracting.

For traveling, you need small, light lenses that are easy to carry with you everywhere you go. There are many great prime lenses that are small and cheap. You can fit several in your bag to take with you. You can choose an ultra-wide, a wide, and a long lens, and that will cover just about everything. Of course, you can add other lenses as well.

All that aside, a single zoom lens can also serve your purposes quite well. There are lenses that are not too heavy or long to carry. This will save you a lot of space, and if you choose the right one, it can also save you money. You just have to pay for one lens and not several different ones.      

How to Choose a Travel Lens

It is understood that every lens, regardless of what you use it for, must have good quality and should produce sharp images. Other than that, there are different characteristics that make a lens good for one thing or the other. For travel lenses, these are the features you should look for:

Weight

When you are traveling, especially via plane, your luggage weight is important. You need to carry only the necessary things. Extra weight can end up costing you more money. You need to choose a lens that is light and compact, especially if you are going to be taking more than one lens. Other than that, a heavy lens can be hard to handle and use as well, so lightweight is always the way to go.   

Focal Length

If you are buying a zoom lens, then choose one with a reliable and versatile range. It should include both wide and long focal lengths to cover everything. For a prime lens, if you are choosing to buy just one, then a 50mm lens will be best. It can take both portrait and landscape images and is right between being too long and too wide. If you are choosing to buy multiple lenses, then choose the ones that give dramatically different results than the others. Spending money on lenses that give pretty much the same composition will be a waste.  

Price

If you are buying different lenses, then you will need to keep a check on the price range. Not every single lens can be extremely expensive. There are plenty of quality prime lenses that are reasonably priced.  

Quick Take - Best Travel Lenses For Canon

Before we dive into our review, here are the best travel lenses for Canon:

  1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
  2. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
  3. Sigma 18-35mm F1.8

Review of the Best Travel Lenses For Canon Cameras

To make choosing easier, here are in-depth reviews of some of the best travel lenses you can use for your Nikon cameras.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

PROS

  • Good aperture for low light
  • Exceptional versatility
  • Dust sealing and fluorine coating
  • Images are sharp throughout the frame
  • High-speed CPU with optimized autofocus algorithms

CONS

  • Expensive (but well worth it)

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have had nothing but positive things to say about this lens. It delivers what it promises and more, particularly amazing low light photography. Its quality is also good and sturdy. People use it for anything they can imagine while traveling and always get great results.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is from Canon’s famous L-series. It is the second version and hence is more refined. The USM motor and AF algorithms make focusing faster, smoother, and more accurate. This lens has a protective coating that makes it durable and easy to clean. The circular aperture ring and wide aperture create beautiful bokeh. The image quality is also sharp and well balanced throughout the frame.

Who Will Use This Most

This zoom lens has a good aperture for low light photography and videos. It is extremely versatile with its 24-70mm focal lengths, which are great for travel photography because you have to take pictures of all kinds of scenes. You can use it for just about anything. From portraits to landscapes in any lighting condition, it can produce professional quality images. 

Bottom Line

For Canon zoom, this gives one of the most versatile focal lengths without the weight getting too out of hand. Weight is always an important consideration in travel lenses. Moreover, the images it produces are sharp and stable. It is highly-priced, but its value is worth investing in if you are a professional photographer.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilization USM Lens (Black)

PROS

  • Focal range is extremely versatile
  • Super Spectra Coating for reduced flares
  • Comparatively lightweight for a zoom lens
  • Includes image stabilization for sharper pictures
  • Fast, smooth, and accurate autofocusing with Nano USM

CONS

  • Not ideal for low light photography

What Recent Buyers Report

The new Nano USM technology for focusing is one of the best selling points for this lens. The autofocus is super smooth and accurate. The image quality is very sharp and has great color contrast. The design is sturdy and stable. The image stabilization option is also great. People love it for all kinds of photography.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens is very compact and lightweight for a zoom lens with this many focal lengths. It has a built-in image stabilizer that comes in handy in low light conditions and delivers overall sharper images. The chromatic aberrations, flaring, and ghosting are also minimized by optical coating. The USM motor is used in this version, which is an upgrade from the DC motor used previously.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens can be used for all kinds of photography, except perhaps indoor photography. The aperture is not wide enough for that. Moreover, it is relatively light and compact, which is perfect for traveling. Instead of carrying many extra lenses with you, you can take just this one for everything.

Bottom Line

Canon lenses have a huge range of high-quality and versatile products to choose from. This is one of them. It gives variety and great performance throughout the focal length range. It is very sturdy and durable as well. And of course, it has the optical coating that any good Canon lens does for better image resolution.

Best for the Money:
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM Lens for Canon

PROS

  • Hyper Sonic Motor for fast autofocus
  • Lightweight and durable external body
  • Wide aperture for different lighting conditions
  • Spherical lens and low dispersion glass for reduced aberrations and curvature
  • With APS-C cameras, its focal length of 18-35mm becomes equivalent to 27-52mm

CONS

  • Zoom range is restricted

What Recent Buyers Report

This is the perfect versatile lens for just about anything. The F1.8 aperture with the zoom lens is used to capture great night sky images. The results are very sharp and stable. It has some focusing issues; however, those are solved by using the Sigma USB dock.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Zoom lenses are generally not very fast. The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 gives you the versatility of different focal lengths and a fast aperture. The wide aperture does not cause any distortions, curvature, or chromatic aberrations. It is quite an achievement from Sigma. The image resolution can also compete with any fast prime lens.   

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is made for APS-C sensor cameras. You get an image that almost looks like a 50mm image with it. If you have that, then you will get the most out of this lens. It is perfect for landscapes and indoor photography due to its wide-angle. The fast aperture and good range on a crop sensor make it great for traveling.

Bottom Line

This zoom lens is one of a kind. It’s probably the first from the fast zoom lens line. Its Hyper Sonic Motor enables accurate autofocus, which comes in handy at night photography. It is made of Thermal Composite Material that makes it lighter and stronger, which is perfect for traveling. It is also compatible with Sigma’s Optimization Pro software to upgrade lens firmware. 

Best Canon Portrait and Travel Two Lens Kit:
Canon Portrait and Travel Two Lens Kit

Canon Portrait and Travel Two Lens Kit with 50mm f/1.8 and 10-18mm Lenses

PROS

  • Two-in-one offer at a low price
  • Aspherical lenses to reduce chromatic aberrations
  • Stepping motor (STM) for fast and accurate autofocus
  • 50mm lens has a fast aperture for low light conditions
  • Contains an extra-wide zoom lens and an all-purpose 50mm lens

CONS

  • Might not be the best pick for beginners 

What Recent Buyers Report

The 50mm lens in the kit is used for low light and gives great results. The images are sharp and beautiful. The second lens is great for landscapes, and that too has good results. The deal on both of them are great, and anyone who is collecting an all-purpose kit loves this.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens kit is a great deal for any photographer. You get the ultra-wide-angle lens with an impressive 10mm focal length to get those creative and dramatic shots. The other lens is the all-time favorite of everyone, which is the 50mm. It has a wide aperture for low light photography. Both of them are of good quality and produce sharp images. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Canon Portrait and Travel Two Lens Kit is a great deal for any travel photographer. The ultra-wide 10-18mm lens gives you those great outdoor travel photographs. This is for creative photographers, and you can switch to the 50mm lens for normal use or for portraits. These two will complete your travel kit. 

Bottom Line

Pairing good lenses is a great marketing deal. You get two amazing lenses at a phenomenal price. Photographers that collect all different kinds of lenses will especially find this to be a great pick. Both models included in this kit are quality build and produce high-resolution images. 

Best Travel Lens for Canon APS-C:
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens

PROS

  • Fairly wide aperture
  • Image quality is sharp
  • Very small, compact, and lightweight
  • STM for smooth and fast autofocus
  • Comparatively a very inexpensive lens

CONS

  • Not too versatile 

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens is very small and budget-friendly. People use it for astrophotography and landscape with great results and sharp images. This small pancake lens is intended for all-day use. The color balance is also great. Overall, users are pretty satisfied with it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a pancake-style lens, which means that it is flat and light. It gives a sharp image across the frame, even at a wide aperture. Chromatic aberration and flare are at a minimum. It has a 7-bladed and wide aperture that creates good bokeh. The autofocus is also smooth and accurate with a manual focus override. 

Who Will Use This Most

This lens is great for landscape photography with a wide enough aperture to get decent low-light pictures. It is extremely small, lightweight, and inexpensive, so it can be a great addition to your travel kit. You can create a pointed star effect with this as well.

Bottom Line

This lens is compatible only with APS-C mounts. It is a very cheap lens compared to other STM lenses. 24mm is a great focal length for landscapes and other photography that requires more of the scene to be in the frame. Moreover, it has a sharp resolution and minimum distortions.

Best Travel Lens for Canon 6D:
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed

PROS

  • Small, compact and lightweight
  • Relatively inexpensive lens
  • Great for all kinds of lighting conditions
  • Images are sharp at wide apertures as well
  • 8-bladed aperture ring creates beautiful bokeh

CONS

  • Vignetting problems at wide apertures

What Recent Buyers Report

This 85mm lens is used for portrait photography. The build quality is good and dependable, and the images produced are sharp. The autofocus is also fast and smooth. The cost is not too much for most people, and it is also light and compact.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a great long focal length lens that comes very cheap. The image resolution is superb even when wide open, which is a recurring problem in many fast lenses. The focusing is simple, fast, and accurate. Despite it being light, it is pretty sturdy and durable.   

Who Will Use This Most

The focal length of this lens makes it perfect for portrait photography. The wide aperture and rounded aperture rings also help create creamy and beautiful bokeh. The F1.8 aperture makes it useful for low light and indoor conditions as well. Since it is small and inexpensive, it will be a great addition to your travel kit.

Bottom Line

This lens is for full-frame Canon 6D cameras. This is a great quality, lightweight lens. You can take amazing shoulder length portraits with this without distorting features. The color contrast is great. If you are looking for an excellent low priced lens, then this is the way to go.

Best Travel Lens for Canon DSLR:
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras, Lens Only

PROS

  • Fast aperture for a zoom lens
  • 3-stop image stabilization technology
  • Produces high-resolution and sharp images
  • Ultra Sonic Motor for fast and smooth autofocus
  • Good focal length range for different types of photography

CONS

  • Some barrel distortions throughout the focal range

What Recent Buyers Report

This lens is used for different kinds of photography because of its range. The images are sharp and beautiful. The image stabilization feature works well. Also, the price is budget-friendly. People also use it for low light photography with great results.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is very sharp and fast. The image resolution throughout the focal length range is great. There is a minimum chromatic aberration due to Canon’s Super Spectra Coating. The focal range is also pretty decent. The autofocus is fast and accurate. The focus ring is smooth and easy to rotate.

Who Will Use This Most

This lens covers both of the most used focal lengths i.e., 35mm and 50mm. You can use it for different things, including landscapes, indoor photography, and others. The 50mm is considered to be the most versatile as it can be used for both portraits and landscapes. This can be great for traveling as you will have all you need in one lens. 

Bottom Line

This is built for Canon EF-S mount cameras and is a fantastic general-purpose lens with a reasonable range of focal lengths. The build quality is solid and durable. You get sharp results throughout the frame and focal range. Canon’s optical coating and USM technologies are applied to this lens to make it top quality.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

Some things you should keep in mind before buying a lens for traveling are:

Weight

Like we mentioned before, weight is one of the most important considerations in a travel lens. Always try and minimize luggage weight. If you choose the 24-70mm Canon lens, then you will get one lens for everything and little weight. All the other lenses mentioned here are light and compact.

Range

Again range is important for travel lenses. You should have something for everything if you want to be 100% prepared. Many lenses here have great range and are lightweight.

Quality  

Your lenses can be at risk of damage while traveling. Your luggage might drop. Since you are going to be carrying it everywhere and in all kinds of conditions, it should be able to handle that. The build material should be sturdy and resistant to dust and dirt. There are coatings that are done on the external body to make cleaning it easier. Different materials are used to prevent any scratching and other tears.

Conclusion

Choosing which lens to take with you while traveling is hard. You need to find a balance between weight and versatility. They all have the weight that a traveling bag can handle, and that won’t be a problem at airports. They are either extremely versatile lenses or prime lenses that are inexpensive and light and can be paired with others.

People Also Ask

If you still have some questions about which lens to choose, then you can read these frequently asked questions about travel lenses.

Is a 50mm Lens Good For Travel?

50mm lenses are generally cheap lenses. If you are looking to buy more than one for your travel kit, then this can come in handy. 50mm lenses are also like the jack of all trades. You can take great portraits and landscape photographs with it. This covers everything you might need.

Do You Need a Zoom Lens For Travel?

A good versatile zoom lens can be a great alternative to buying and carrying several different lenses with you all the time. Zoom lenses give you different focal lengths in one compact design.

Should I Get a Zoom or Prime Lens?

Prime lenses are faster and give you more control over the composition. Many people prefer them to zoom lenses. But if you are going to be traveling and taking photographs of all kinds of different scenes, you need to have more options. It depends on what you will be using it for. If it is just one kind of photography, then a prime lens should be better and vice versa.