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Everything you need to know about changing your Canon lenses

Whether you bought a camera bundle with a lens and a few accessories or just the Canon camera body, you’ll likely start considering other lenses at some point. Starter camera lenses are great, but an entry-level lens won't be sufficient as you become more experienced and try different techniques.

How often you change your lens depends on the photographic situation. For example, some lenses are better suited for fast-moving action, while others are excellent for taking up-close macro photos.

If you have a lens with a variable focal length, these are perfect for far-away and nearby objects. If that’s your preferred setup, you’ll change lenses less often. 

In this article: Sigma 85mm HSM Art Lens, Canon Advanced Two Lens Kit and Canon EF 16-35mm.

Lens mount compatibility

They might all look the same, but Canon lenses differ depending on the mounting system of the camera body. If you are unsure which lenses your camera will accept, there is an easy way to determine that by looking at the lens mount index on the front of your camera.

  • RF and RF-S: This is indicated by a red vertical line, which means you have an R System Mirrorless camera.
  • EF: This is indicated by a red dot in the center of the lens mount. It means that you have a full-frame DSLR camera.
  • EF-S: If you notice a red dot and a white square, your camera is an ASP-C DSLR compatible with EF-S, EF, TS-E and MP-E lenses.
  • EF-M: If you see a white dot slightly left of the center, you have an EOS M series ASP-C mirrorless camera. It takes EF-M lenses but can also accommodate other lenses through an EF-EOS M adapter. 

How to change your lens

While similar to other camera manufacturers, Canon has kept the process of changing your lens relatively easy. However, there are still a few things that you must know before attempting a lens change.

If a lens is already attached, look for the lens release button on the left side when viewing the camera body from above. Hold the camera body in your left hand and cradle the lens with your right hand.

Press the release button and gently twist the lens away from the button. The lens should twist toward the EFS-mount index on the camera body when looking from above. Once it is aligned, you can remove the lens. 

You must follow the same steps in reverse to attach a lens, starting by inserting the lens so that the EFS-mount indexes line up. Always remember that you must place the rear protective cap and the front cap on the lens to prevent damage from dust or scratches. 

What you need to buy if you want to change your Canon lens

Sigma 85mm HSM Art Lens for Canon EF

This Sigma lens is an excellent alternative if you want an affordable option for different lenses. It incorporates two elements made from Special Low Dispersion Glass, helping it produce consistently clear photos. It comes with a front and rear protective cap and a carrying case.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Canon Advanced Two Lens Kit with 50mm f/1.4 and 17-40mm f/4L Lenses

This lens kit gives you two options for changing your lens. The EF 17-40mm f/4L USM zoom lens has an ultra-wide angle, while the smaller EF 50mm f/1.4 USM standard prime lens is perfect for portrait photography.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

This model has a full-time manual focus for precision focusing and is an excellent secondary lens, even in auto-focus mode. It has a rounded 9-blade diaphragm with a maximum aperture of 4 millimeters. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Canon RF100-400mm F5.6-8 is USM

This telephoto lens is perfect for taking pictures of faraway objects. It has a versatile zoom range of 100-400mm and an Optical Image Stabilizer with up to 5.5 stops of shake correction. The lens uses Canon’s Nano USM for high speed, smooth and quiet auto focus.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for SLR Cameras

This ultra-wide lens has three aspherical lens elements for crisp photos. It uses a ring-type ultrasonic monitor for silent auto-focussing, letting you get as close as 11 inches to your subject without blurring.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens

If you want to change to a serious lens, this one is an excellent option. It uses Canon’s Air Sphere Coating to minimize ghosting and flare and has Optical Image Stabilization to reduce shakes. The lens has a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture for fast shutter speeds, which is perfect for fast-moving objects.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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