These are our best lenses for the Canon T6, a small and compact DSLR. It’s got an 18 megapixel APS-C sized sensor which means you can use all Canon lenses on it (EF and EF-S).
The way we make a list of our most recommended lenses is by going through all common types of photography and see which lenses that don’t break the bank would fit. For the Canon Rebel T6, we made sure we selected lenses that aren’t extremely heavy or long, seeing as one of it big advantages is it’s small design.
Our other priorities were great image quality and being able to use lenses in more than one situation. For example, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is your best choice if you’re looking for an affordable, small but high quality prime lens that allows you to blur the background and also shoot at night. If you’re only using the 18-55mm kit lens for photography, you’ll be blown away by how much a simple cheap prime lens can affect the look of your shots.
List of the lenses we recommend for the Canon T6:
We cover these lenses in depth below, but in case you’re looking for full specifications and reviews, here’s an organized list. Prime and zoom lenses, from widest to longest. If you decide to buy anything through our Amazon links, you automatically support our work as we receive a small commission and it’s what allows us to write these guides.
Best Zoom Lenses for Canon T6:
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX II
Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
We looked for the best combination of price, quality and focal length. Since the Canon T6 uses an APS-C sensor you can also use EF-S lenses (made for crop sensor due to the 1.6x crop) that are lighter and more affordable than some EF choices. At the bottom of our guide you can also find a table with specific mount information for each lens.
Best for Portraits, Weddings, Low Light and General Photography
All prime lenses in this section are fantastic regarding sharpness and low light performance. You can easily take pictures of people at night, or photographing a wedding indoors. Outside, everything is possible and the ability to use f/1.4-f/1.8 apertures will also make your background appear smooth and blurry. Don’t know what the aperture does? Click here to read a tutorial we recommend.
1. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is Canon’s most popular lens, and also the cheapest. Never owned a prime lens before and can’t understand what’s the big deal about this 50mm? The lens has far better quality than most zooms and thanks to aperture f/1.8, it allows you to blur the background and take pictures in darker places.
Check out the background on the photograph above. Notice how soft and creamy the background blur looks like? It’s so simple and easy to get that when you’ve got a lens that can go f/2.8, f/2 or even lower, you can do that in less than a second on the Canon T6.
It also uses STM technology for silent video focusing (cameras pick up noise from the focusing which can be annoying at times, it sounds like you have an animal trapped in the camera).
2. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM
The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM is slightly wider, sharper and lets in just a little bit more light.
While you’ll rarely see any difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8, you’ll definitely appreciate the f/1.4 if you often shoot in really dark places or want to achieve super shallow depth of field. The extra third-stop also allows you to use slightly faster shutter speeds at night and it can make a difference when photographing moving subjects.
It does cost more so if you’re trying to stay low, the 50mm f/1.8 is definitely the better overall deal. However, the 30mm is noticeably wider on the Canon T6, and allows you to capture a little bit more in your scene (good for street photography). You’ll have to decide which focal length you prefer, or use your zoom and see the difference for yourself.
Many people have both 30mm and 50mm primes, so if your budget allows you this is also a good way to go.
3. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
We call the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM the winner for wedding, concert and portrait photography. The longer focal results in you not having to be so close to your subject so you can be silent (big plus for weddings and concerts). Longer lenses have always been recommended for capturing people because they don’t distort the faces; they give you nice, flat results.
The USM focusing motor makes auto focusing super quick and silent, bokeh looks absolutely amazing (8 diaphragm blades) and its closest focusing distance is 2.8 feet. Images will look sharp, that’s no doubt, and you might even have to stop down the aperture a little bit to get more in focus. I bought the 85mm f/1.8 a few years ago and it’s a beast.
Best for Landscape, Wideangle, Architecture and Indoor Photography
The Canon T6 / 1300D uses an APS-C sensor, which makes any lens appear as if it’s 1.6x longer than it actually is. While this is a huge benefit for telephoto photography, it’s a disadvantage for wideangle scenes which is why Canon created an EF-S mount. These lenses are made with the crop factor in mind and are therefore ultra wide, so when you mount them on they’re still perfectly acceptable for even the most sophisticated landscape photographers.
What did we look for? First, a wide focal length was obviously number one priority, but we made sure there’s not too much vignetting, distortion, flare and similar issues. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM is our favorite choice if you want an affordable zoom for shooting the sky, nature, buildings and real estate. For night time/indoors you’ll want a larger aperture, and there’s nothing better than the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Pro II.
1. Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
The cheapest zoom that offers better performance than Canon’s previous, more expensive wideangle 10-22mm zoom is the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. You do lose 4mm on the far end, and the largest aperture at 10mm is slightly smaller, but in return you get improved image quality, STM that makes recording videos easier for you, at a lower price.
If you feel like your current lens is not wide enough for night time/sky, buildings, beaches, landscape and indoor/real estate, definitely check out the 10-18mm. It was announced 2 years ago and is already one of Canon’s best selling lenses and most recommended budget wideangle choices from many experienced photographers.
Wideangle photography can be tricky if you’ve never owned a wide lens before as you might actually get too much in your scene than you imagine. This is why a zoom is suitable for newcomers to wide photography as you get enough distance to work with.
2. Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM looks weird compared to other DSLR lenses, but it performs really well.
It’s a no brainer, if you want something short, compact and super light, get the 24mm. It’s a perfect match for the T6 to keep the weight down, and if you’re into video recording, you’ll love the fact it comes with STM and FTM (Full Time Manual focus) so you can focus manually even when set to AF.
How does Canon make these “pancake” lenses? They design a really long lens then cut it off randomly, and whatever they’re left with gets sold as a prime lens. Just kidding.
But really, the 24mm f/2.8 is great for beginners, as a gift, or if you’re trying to get something cheap.
3. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX II
If you also want to photograph the sky at night, or use a wide lens for indoor photography (clubs, parties, real estate) then the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is what you’re looking for, especially if you’re trying to spend as little as possible.
In your hands it feels like a tank, and Tokina is known for having solid lenses that don’t feel plastic or like they’re about to break. Since it’s a third-party lens the zoom in/out is the opposite of Canon so you’ll have to get used to that.
We only recommend you to get it if you absolutely want to try out low light wide photography because the f/2.8 lets in way more light than the 10-18mm above and will save you a lot of time when doing long exposures. Otherwise you’ll have to raise the ISO and those dark images will look absolutely noisy when doing exposures over a few minutes.
Best for Traveling, Walkaround, Zoom and Everyday Photography
If you feel limited by the 18-55mm, especially when it comes to action and subjects really far away, you’d be better of with an all-around zoom. A couple of years ago any third-party lens would be bad choice but we really like what Sigma and others have been doing for the past 2-3 years. If maximum zoom is the most important to you, check out the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3, it’s a perfect do it all, travel lens.
Prefer something with better quality, less reach and auto focusing that’s smooth and quiet for videos? See the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 that costs $50 more.
You don’t buy a big zoom lens because you’re expecting top of the world image quality, you do it because you prefer versatility, capturing any moment and traveling light over sharpness. We’re not saying the quality sucks, it’s just that compared to more expensive lenses they’re not as good. They’re perfect for smaller prints and sharing the images online as you can see from the example above!
1. Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
Announced in 2014, the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM is a result of Sigma’s years of experience in the superzoom department.
It features four FLD elements and super multi-layer coating to reduce the amount of flare and ghosting, the two main factors that degrade image quality (common issues with long zooms because of the amount of glass elements used).
Plus, it’s got Optical Stabilization which is helpful once you go over 200mm, or are shooting in dim light. Whether you’re traveling to India for a month or just want a lens that covers it all and delivers good results, you’ll love it. If you want extra 2mm, the Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 is another, slightly more expensive lens.
2. Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
You probably bought the T6 with the kit 18-55mm lens. More advanced Canon DSLRs come with the Canon EF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM which offers way more zoom, better quality and colors.
While it can’t zoom as much as the Sigma or Tamron, it’s got better contrast, colors and sharpness. You won’t notice these if you print small, but for cropping or larger prints it’ll be better.
Also, the STM technology makes it a much better candidate for videos with audio captured from the T6, as it’s quiet and smooth.
Best for Wildlife, Sports, Birds and Action Photography
Best telephoto budget zoom -> Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
If there’s one thing where Canon shines at, it’s definitely telephoto lenses. Even their cheapest Canon EF-S 55-250mm has good quality at 250mm, and also features an IS system to help you when shooting with slower shutter speeds. Because of T6’s crop factor, its field of view is equivalent to an 88-400mm lens, and this 1.6x multiplier applies to every lens you put on (good for birds and animal photography).
One thing we should mention is that you should never buy the Canon EF 75-300mm, despite how attractive the low price may seem. It’s way too soft and just not something you’d want to use on the Canon T6 or any high megapixel DSLR.
Also, you have to understand that your Canon T6 isn’t that good for extreme sports so we don’t recommend you to buy anything over $1,000, as you won’t be able to fully use the lens’ AF speed and performance. This is why you should stick to more affordable lenses that were made with the Rebel series in mind, such as the 55-250mm. The camera has 3fps and 9AF points, none of that screams wildlife photography. While you can obviously shoot action and get wonderful results, do remember that there are limitations.
What to look for in a telephoto lens? Anything over f/4 means you can only shoot indoors/in dark conditions if you raise the ISO speed or turn on the IS, but that’s assuming your subject is standing still. For indoors, any f/2.8 zoom will be expensive but an enormous advantage but they are pricey. Other than that, the more you spend the better the auto focus is at tracking and focusing on a moving target, but all of our choices are good in this department.
We’ve only listed the one lens we truly feel is the best companion for the T6.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM continues exactly where the 18-55mm stops. By owning both you completely cover the wide, standard and telephoto distances.
It”s really cheap considering it’s a Canon lens that can go up to 250mm and still delivers solid sharp results at 250mm. The longer the zoom, the more chances you have of your shots being blurry, which is where the IS comes in handy and helps you up to 4 stops (so instead of 1/250, you can now use 1/15). This unfortunately applies only to non-moving subjects, and is the same for all lenses with IS out there.
There’s the STM that we’re used to seeing in EF-S lenses now. Aperture wise, it’s ideal for outdoor photography but can also be used indoors assuming it’s not cave-like darkness, and you bump up the ISO to ~1,600-3,200.
Best for Macro, Product and Bugs Photography
Macro lenses are some of the sharpest lenses available so there’s one less thing to worry about, even when buying from third-party brands such as Tamron, Tokina or Sigma. There’s also no auto focusing issues on the T6 or any other Canon DSLR.
A true macro lens has 1:1 ratio (or 1x magnification), meaning the subject you’re shooting appears as big as it is in real life. You might see the term “macro” get thrown around in many zooms but just remember that if the ratio is not 1:1 it’s not macro.
For bugs and live creatures, longer focal lengths are preferred so you don’t scare them away (or them scaring you away for getting too close). Luckily, the 1.6x crop factor makes even the 60mm macro good here, but 100mm+ is always recommended. For products and similar items, you’ll want to stay below 100mm.
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – Affordable and shortest Canon macro lens. Good for product photography.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM – The best combination of price and quality. Tack sharp and also good for bugs
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM – Get this only if you need improved build quality and Hybrid IS (useful if you shoot without a tripod). 99% similar quality to the non-L macro.
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC – Cheaper than Canon, features Image Stabilization and is a solid performer.
|Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM||Amazon||APS-C Mount||2014|
|Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM||Amazon||APS-C Mount||2013|
|Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM||Amazon||Full Frame + APS-C||2015|
|Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM||Amazon||Full Frame + APS-C||1992|
|Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM||Amazon||APS-C Mount||2014|
|Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/4-5.6 IS STM||Amazon||APS-C Mount||2012|
|Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM||Amazon||APS-C Mount||2013|
|Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX II||Amazon||APS-C Mount||2012|
|Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM||Amazon||APS-C Mount||2014|
Since you got the Canon T6 there’s nothing to worry about, its mount accepts lenses made for APS-C and Full Frame cameras. We just give you this information in case you also own a full frame camera and would like to know whether you can use a lens on both systems.
I’ve Seen All Lenses, But Which One To Pick?
Okay so let’s say you have found a couple of lenses in our guide that you would love to own, but can’t decide which ones to pick first.
While we could complicate this, it all comes down to whether your current gear allows you to photograph what you want.
Chances are you like different styles of photography and want to shoot pretty much everything that exists. If your budget allows you and you have at least a little bit of skills at DSLR photography then absolutely go for whatever you like on this list.
These 4 factors are what it boils down to before we all buy a new lens:
- Better quality
- Better low light performance
- Wider or longer focal length
For example, if you’ve been using the 18-55mm kit lens for a few months, you’re probably wanting both better quality and improved low light performance. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is hands down the best option here, and it fits nicely in the affordable price range.
You should get a lens when you want better performance at what you’re already shooting (sharpness, length, zoom, aperture etc.), or to start taking pictures that excite you but are hard to get with current equipment.
Don’t Have The Canon T6 Yet?
We recommend these 2 options:
Amazon has a couple of great bundles, our favorite is the Canon T6 +18-55mm + Accessories for the same price as the body with kit lens.
Here’s a useful link if you’re really interested in Canon lenses and technology behind them:
- How are Canon EF Lenses made – The official Canon page