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πŸ† Best Lenses for Canon EOS 90D – For Every Scenario (2023)

The Canon EOS 90D is compatible with any of Canon’s EF or EF-S Canon lenses as well as third-party alternatives which are designed for the same lens mount.

There’s a bunch of lenses to choose from at varying price points so you don’t want to waste your money on the wrong one.

I’ve spent hours researching and testing these lenses to find the best ones for different scenarios on the Canon EOS 90D.

Whether you’re an absolute beginner not knowing a thing, or an avid birdwatcher wanting to catch an eagle in flight, you’ll find the right must-have lens for you. πŸ‘‡πŸΌ

Quick Recommendations / Top Picks πŸ†

If you’re looking for some quick recommendations then here’s a summary of the top essential lenses in each category for the Canon 90D depending on different scenarios.

  • Best Value Beginner / Starter Lens πŸ’°Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
    • Better than the older STM version as it focuses much faster
    • Low price point with a wide range of focal lengths to get you started
  • Most Versatile Lens πŸ’ͺ🏼 – Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
    • More affordable than Canon’s equivalent lens and better than the Sigma version.
    • Image stabilization makes it better than the Canon equivalent in real-life handheld situations.
    • Wide range of focal lengths at a fixed fast aperture of f/2.8.
    • Perfect for weddings, product photography, portrait, travel, street photography.
  • Best Telephoto πŸ¦… – Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM
    • You’ll be able to take award-winning shots for wildlife, sports, automotive photography and is the best bang for your buck when starting out with these types of photography.
    • With the 1.6x crop factor on the EOS 90D you end up with a focal length of 240-960mm so you get crazy amounts of reach for subjects that are further away.
    • The image stabilization also helps with the long focal length.

Absolute Beginner Starter Kits πŸ’‘

The Budget Canon 90D Starter Kit:

If you have no clue what kind of photography you want to get into and are a complete beginner on a budget, then I recommend you get the Canon EOS 90D with the kit lens that comes with it.

You can also pick up a cheap nifty fifty to get your first high-quality prime lens.

Canon 90D Budget Starter Kit

Canon EOS 90D with kit lens

One of the most popular enthusiast-level Canon DSLRs.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

The best value beginner/starter lens for the Canon EOS 90D

When I started my journey in photography I bought the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a kit lens along with a nifty fifty and I didn’t buy a lens after that for years.

The ‘Money Bags’ Canon 90D Starter Kit πŸ’°:

If you are unsure about what kind of photography you want to get into but you have some money to spend, then get the Canon EOS 90D body on its own and the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with it.

Canon 90D ‘Money Bags’ Starter Kit

Canon EOS 90D (body only)

One of the most popular enthusiast-level Canon DSLRs.

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2

Winner of the ‘most versatile lens’ category.

Either of these two combinations will work wonders for anyone starting out with a Canon EOS 90D.

Best Value Beginner / Starter Lenses

Says what it is on the tin.

In this category, you have lenses that are good for beginners because they’ll be affordable with decent enough quality.

These lenses will let you explore your creativity before you settle on the types of focal lengths you want to invest more money into.

Here are the best beginner lenses for the Canon EOS 90D

  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (Top pick overall) πŸ…
    • Much faster focusing compared to the older STM version and this one normally comes in a bundle with the Canon EOS 90D.
    • Quiet because it is nano USM but not as silent as the STM version.
    • Aperture only stops down to f/3.5-5.6
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens – πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ(perfect for portraits)
    • Perfect for portraits and street photography
    • Wide aperture of f/1.8 makes it great for bokeh and low light at a very low price
    • Very lightweight
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM – πŸ’°(budget pick instead of USM version)
    • Slower, but quieter and smoother focusing than the USM version.
    • Only consider this over the USM version if you plan to use autofocus a lot in video mode or if the USM version is a bit outside your price range.

My Thoughts

Ok so with these lenses you might already have one.

If you get the Canon EOS 90D with the standard kit lens you probably will be getting the 18-135mm IS USM (nano USM) lens at the same time.

In that case, if you want something extra that gives you a wider aperture you can pick up a nifty fifty (Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM) which will let you get down to f/1.8 which is great for low light.

This 50mm f/1.8 STM lens is perfect for portraits because you get that lovely blurred background effect at the wide-open aperture.

If you only bought the Canon EOS 90D body and can only pick one lens I would pick the Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS USM.

It’s a bit deceiving but this 18-135mm USM lens is actually ‘Nano USM’ which is a newer version of USM that makes it ALMOST as quiet as STM lenses but with much faster focusing.

πŸ’‘ Basically there were USM lenses that were fast but noisy when focusing.

Then came STM lenses which were slower and smoother, but much quieter (basically silent) which made them good for video.

Then Nano USM kind of combined the two so that you can have fast AND quiet focusing (just not as silent as the STM lenses).

If you’re gonna be recording video then you could consider the STM lens for the quieter focus.

Before you do that though, watch this video below to see a comparison of the focusing speed to see if it’s fast enough for you.

The nano USM version is still pretty quiet in videos but just not as quiet as the STM lens.


If you had to pick one lens then pick the 18-135mm USM lens:

If you want something with a wider aperture also get the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM which is perfect for porπŸ…traits.

Only consider the Canon EF-S 18-135mm STM lens if you’ll be doing a lot of video work, but even then I would still choose the Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS USM version if you have the budget (it’s quiet enough).

Most Versatile Lenses

These lenses will give you the best bang for your buck because they will cover various focal lengths that can be used for most scenarios. True workhorses.

These lenses work best for people who need a variety of different types of shots in the same session but don’t have the time to be constantly changing lenses.

Here are the top picks for the ‘most versatile’ category:

  • Canon EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM budget pick (if you’re stretched for budget then pick up this 18-135mm if it hasn’t already come with the Canon EOS 90D when you bought it.

My Thoughts

Note: Just going to preface this section by saying that I’m mainly discussing the three 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses above and not the EF-S 18-135mm IS USM lens.

I’ve only included that in this list as a budget pick if you can’t afford the others.

So when I’m talking about aperture, image quality etc. in this section, I’m not talking about the 18-135mm lens.

These lenses are particularly good for weddings, events, travel or street photography as you would need a variety of focal lengths.

They’re not quite the best for sports, birding, or general wildlife photography, but you can still dabble in these types of photography at the higher end of the focal length range at 70mm.

Without getting too technical here’s how I’ve decided on these lenses…


First of all, they all open up to an aperture of f/2.8 across the whole focal range of 24-70mm and this is the most important part.

It means you can get to wide apertures for a wide range of uses from landscapes down at 24mm up to portraits and telephoto-style photos at the 70mm end of the focal range.

This makes all of them great in low light.

Here’s what else you need to consider.

Controlled Testing / Image Stabilization

The Tamron lens and the Sigma lens have image stabilization within the lens but the Canon one does not.

If you are only using a tripod then this does not matter because the image is stabilized already through the use of the tripod.

In fact, if you use these lenses on a tripod the Canon lens is the sharpest and has the best image quality out of the three. This is especially true when you are wide open at f/2.8.

The Tamron however is very close in quality to the Canon, but the Sigma is slightly worse (but not bad).

Once you go to higher apertures like f/4 the difference in sharpness and image quality becomes less noticeable.

But it’s still in the order of Canon being the best, then Tamron, then Sigma (when used on a tripod).

Light Transmission

Another thing to note is that the Sigma seems to need a slightly faster shutter speed at times to get the same exposure as the Tamron and Canon lenses meaning it’s not as good at transmitting light.

So the Sigma lens is not as good in low light as the other two lenses from Tamron and Canon.

At Minimum Focusing Distance

If you’re photographing subjects that are very close you’ll want to know how they perform at the minimum focusing distance.

When testing at minimum focusing distance the Canon isn’t very different to the Tamron and you’ll struggle to notice any difference in quality.

But when adding the Sigma to the mix you can tell that the Tamron and Canon are slightly better than the Sigma in terms of image quality and sharpness.

But of course, this is in a controlled setting with a tripod.

Real World Scenarios

When you think of real-world shooting with these specific lenses, you’ll often be using it for events such as weddings.

In this case, you’re likely to be shooting handheld at lower shutter speeds where camera shake can become an issue.

Here’s where the image stabilization kicks in.

In handheld situations, you’ll struggle to find any difference between the Canon and the Tamron, but both of these are slightly better than the Sigma

If anything, sometimes the Tamron actually looks better and sharper when testing at slower shutter speeds of around 1/50 seconds because of the image stabilization.

And remember the Canon EOS 90D does not have image stabilization built-in.

So to summarize,

In handheld situations the Tamron is basically the best lens out of the three and in tripod situations it’s probably about 90% as good as the Canon lens.

But given the price difference between the Tamron and Canon lenses, you should probably pick the Tamron (I certainly would).

The Sigma lens is not bad (it’s actually really good), but it’s not as good as the Tamron lens and they cost about the same.

I’d only go for the Sigma lens if you just can’t seem to get your hands on any of the others or you manage to get a massive discount on it.

To recap, get the Tamron lens.

Here’s a detailed video review of the lens if you want more information about it.

Best Wide Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses will be best when you need to get as much as possible into one frame or when you have to be really close to the subject.

Examples include architecture, landscapes, night sky photography, cityscapes or vlogging.

Here are the top picks for wide-angle lenses on the Canon EOS 90D:

My Thoughts

For a lot of people the Canon 10-18mm will be the best pick in this list.

It offers the right focal lengths for wide-angle lenses and is much more affordable than the Tamron 10-24mm and the Sigma 20mm.

If you know for certain that you want the 20mm focal length then the Sigma 20mm lens will be best here because it gets down to a very fast f/1.4 aperture.

Just remember the full frame equivalent focal length is about 32mm due to the 1.6x crop factor on the Canon EOS 90D (so it’s on the edge of still being classed wide angle).

Of course, one downside is that you only have a fixed focal length of 20mm.

If this was a cheaper lens it wouldn’t be as much of an issue but if you’re on a budget it might be hard to convince yourself to put down so much on one focal length.

That’s partly why the Tamron 10-24mm lens is the top pick in this category.

It offers a wider range of focal lengths than the Canon EF-S 10-18mm and offers a faster widest aperture range of f/3.5-4.5 (compared to only f/4.5-5.6 on the Canon 10-18mm).

The Tamron lens is not quite as fast as the Sigma prime lens which goes down to f/1.4 but it’s also a lot more affordable and gives you more focal lengths to choose from.

One situation where the Canon EF-S 10-18mm can edge it is when it comes to vlogging.

It might not technically be as good as the Tamron, but for vlogging it functions better at times.

One reason is that the Canon EF-S 10-18mm is smaller and lighter than the Tamron 10-24mm.

The Canon EF-S 10-18mm weighs 240g but the Tamron weighs 439g. While the difference of about 200g might not seem like a lot, if you’re vlogging a lot with the camera held in front of you you’ll feel the difference.

And in terms of focal lengths the 10-18mm focal range is perfect for selfie-style vlogging when you’re pointing the camera back at you.

Given that the 10-18mm is good enough for vlogging, is a lot more affordable, and is more lightweight this could be an easy choice for people looking to mainly use their Canon EOS 90D as a vlogging camera.


Best Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses will be best for sports, wildlife and automotive photography (or any other time you can’t be too close to your subject.

The top picks for telephoto lenses on the Canon 90D are:

My thoughts

Man are we lucky that the Sigma 150-600mm contemporary lens is compatible with the Canon 90D.

This Sigma 150-600mm contemporary lens is by far the best pick for someone just starting out with wildlife or sports photography on the Canon 90D.

Don’t get this Sigma ‘contemporary’ lens confused with the Sigma ‘Sports’ lens which is a bit more expensive and higher end.

The focal range of 150-600mm is perfect for anyone looking at doing wildlife or sports photography, and don’t forget that the 1.6x crop factor makes the full frame equivalent focal length a whopping 240-960mm 🀯.

Weather sealing around the lens mount (but not throughout the whole lens barrel) also helps keep it safe from the elements when you’re outdoors.

Most importantly though, the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM is good enough quality that you can take professional, award-winning-quality photos.

But it’s only a fraction of the price compared to more premium Canon L series lenses.

Speaking of the devil, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens is the one to go for if you have a flourishing bank account.

It gives you beautifully sharp pictures, you get up to 400mm in focal length (640mm because of the 1.6x crop factor), and you get 4 stops of image stabilization to boot.

It also stops down to a wider aperture than the Sigma 150-600mm which can be handy if you’re struggling for light on a gloomy day.

The Canon EF 100-400mm has also got full weather sealing throughout the lens rather than partial weather sealing, making it perfect for the outdoors.

Although you do have to remember that the Canon EOS 90D is only weather resistant, but not fully weather sealed so you don’t want to just wave your camera around for fun in the rain.

As far as the Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 goes I’ve included this as the budget pick because it will give you the focal range you want and it’s pretty inexpensive.

Look it’s not the best lens out there, but for the money you pay it’s decent value.

(And I know what it’s like to be on a budget at times.)

It’ll get the job done, but if you can save up for the Sigma 150-600mm contemporary lens then you should get that instead if you really want to start taking stellar photographs.


The top picks for telephoto lenses on the Canon 90D are:

Round Up of Top Picks

Top Picks πŸ†

Here’s a reminder of my recommended lenses for the Canon 90D for each category…

Lens Compatibility Chart for Canon EOS 90D

If you want to explore other lenses then here’s a quick summary table of the lens compatibility for the Canon EOS 90D that you can use as a reference.

Lens TypeCompatibility with Canon EOS 90D
Canon EF LensesFully compatible βœ…
Canon EF-SFully compatible βœ…
Sigma LensesSome lenses are compatible βœ…
Tamron LensesSome lenses are compatible βœ…
Canon RF LensesNot compatible ❌
Canon EF-M lensesNot compatible ❌
Nikon LensesSome, with an adaptor πŸ€”
Sony LensesNope ❌
PanasonicNope ❌
Lens compatibility chart for Canon EOS 90D

The Lens Mount

πŸ’‘ The Canon EOS 90D uses an “EF-S lens mount” and any lens compatible with an EF-S mount is compatible with the Canon EOS 90D.

The EF-S lens mount can use any Canon EF or EF-S lens and any other third-party lens that has been designed for this mount.

You can go for the kit lens that usually comes bundled with the camera, which is a pretty decent all-purpose lens for everyday shooting, particularly if you’re a beginner.

But if you want to get more creative with your photography, you can and should use other lenses too.


  • Use telephoto lenses for zooming in on distant subjects
  • Use wide-angle lenses for capturing expansive landscapes,
  • Use macro lenses for those close-up shots of tiny details.

Whatever your needs are, you’ll definitely find the right lens for you as Canon has over 100 EF lenses to choose from.

And don’t forget third-party brands have made lenses that are designed to be compatible too.

Can The Canon 90D Use EF lenses?

Yes the Canon 90D can use any EF lens without any issues because the EF-S lens mount on the 90D is designed for EF lenses as well as EF-S lenses.

What Size Lens Does The Canon 90D Use? 

If you’re wondering about the kit lens that comes with the Canon EOS 90D, it uses an 18-135mm size lens. The 18-135mm here is talking about the focal length of this specific kit lens. 

But remember that the Canon EOS 90D can use lenses of different β€˜sizes’ (or focal lengths) as long as they are designed to be compatible with the lens mount on the 90D.

Does The Canon 90D Use Interchangeable Lenses?

Yes, the Canon 90D is a DSLR so it does have interchangeable lenses.

This is different to cameras like the ever-popular G7X models which have one fixed lens on them that you can’t change.

If you buy the Canon EOS 90D with the kit lens you’ll receive a 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

You can use this interchangeable lens or swap it out for any other compatible lens (e.g like the lenses mentioned at the start of this post).

Can I Use Sigma or Tamron Lenses?

Yes, you can use Sigma and Tamron lenses on the Canon EOS 90D as long as you pick the right one. 

Here’s a quick summary table of the lens compatibility for Tamron and Sigma lenses on the Canon EOS 90D.

Lens TypeCompatible?
Sigma DC or DGYes βœ…
Sigma DNNo ❌
Tamron Di or Di IIYes βœ…
Tamron Di IIINo ❌
Tamron and Sigma lens compatibility with Canon EOS 90D

With your Canon EOS 90D:

  • You can use Sigma lenses that are β€˜DC’ or β€˜DG’ βœ…
  • You cannot use Sigma lenses that are β€˜DN’ ❌
  • You can use Tamron lenses that are β€˜Di’ or β€˜Di II’ βœ…
  • You cannot use Sigma lenses that are β€˜Di III’ ❌

πŸ’‘ Note: When buying any of these third-party lenses make sure you are getting the Canon version because there are some designed for Nikon that have the same naming structure.

Can I use Nikon Lenses?

Even though you can use some Nikon lenses on Canon lenses with an adaptor, there are quite a few drawbacks like not being able to use autofocus (it’s not worth it in my opinion). See the post linked below for more info on this.

What about RF-mount or EF-M lenses?

Nope, there’s no physical way for RF or EF-M lenses to be used on the Canon EOS 90D.

Not even an adaptor will help you here.

Related Reading:

If you do plan on getting the 90D make sure you remember that the Canon 90D is not a full frame camera so there is a crop factor of 1.6x applied to every lens you use.

If you want play about with the crop factor use this full frame equivalent calculator to see the full frame equivalent focal lengths for different lenses.

If you’re going to be using it for video you should know that the 90D has a recording limit of about 30 minutes and it the 90D can record video in 4k up to 30fps but not in 60fps.

If you want a camera that can record 4k 60fps then check out all the Canon cameras that record 4K video in 60fps.