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Best lenses for the Canon M50 and M50 Mark II

(Image credit: James Artaius)

If you want the best lenses for the Canon M50 you have a dozen or more to choose from, both from Canon itself and also from third-party makers like Tamron and Sigma. But we've picked out six which we think perfectly match the EOS M50 for size and weight, and look right on the camera too.

The Canon EOS M50 (to give it its full name) has been one of the most popular of all the Canon EOS M mirrorless cameras. We like it especially because it has both a vari-angle rear screen and an electronic viewfinder. We think it hits the sweet spot for features, price and value – and it looks cute, too!

Of course, things have changed now that Canon has launched its new APS-S EOS R10 and EOS R7 cameras. These use a new RF-S lens mount that looks as if it will one day replace the EOS M series.

However, Canon has not yet confirmed this will actually happen, and the EOS M50 and the very similar Canon EOS M50 II are still on sale – and at highly competitive prices.

And there are all those happy users out there who have already bought a Canon EOS M50 and now want some extra lenses to really take advantage of this little camera's potential. And that's exactly what this guide is for!

Best lenses for the Canon M50 and M50 II in 2022

(Image credit: Canon)
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A great telephoto zoom that's also very light and compact

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: 3.5-stop
Min focus distance: 1.0m
Max magnification: 0.21x
Filter thread: 52mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x87mm
Weight: 260g

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight with good handling
+
Useful zoom range

Reasons to avoid

-
Maximum telephoto reach isn’t massive
-
Plastic mounting plate

We'll assume you've already got the neat little EF-M 15-45mm standard zoom usually sold with the EOS M50, so we'll start with this. For most people, a telephoto zoom is. the first 'extra' lens they get for their camera, and this one is light and affordable and matches the M50's design perfectly. The EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM does have a plastic mounting plate, but is still perfectly sturdy and helps to keep the weight down, to just 260g in this case, and the cost too. Measuring 61x87mm, it’s very compact for a telephoto zoom, and offers a very decent focal range of 88-320mm in full frame camera terms.
• Read our full Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Canon)
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2. Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

After a telephoto, an ultra-wide zoom is the next most useful lens to get

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Elements/groups: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: 3-stop
Min focus distance: 0.15m
Max magnification: 0.3x
Filter thread: 55mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x58mm
Weight: 220g

Reasons to buy

+
Refreshingly compact and lightweight
+
Solid build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Lens hood sold separately
-
A little more pricey

This little EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM ultra-wide zoom is a great companion for travel photography, interiors and sweeping landscapes. It can capture a much wider angle of view than the standard 15-45mm zoom and pretty soon you'll be wonderig how you ever managed without a lens like this. Wide-angle zooms can be notoriously big and heavy, but this one has the same kind of retractable design as the EF-M 15-45mm kit lens, shoehorning seriously wide viewing into physical dimensions of just 61x58mm. It gives an focal range of 18-35mm in full frame camera terms, and it's small enough to fit in a jacket pocket for when you need it.

(Image credit: Canon)
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There's a real surge of interest in 'pancake' primes, and this is one of the neatest

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Pulse (stepping motor)
Stabilizer: None
Min focus distance: 0.15m
Max magnification: 0.21x
Filter thread: 43mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x24mm
Weight: 105mm

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra-slim ‘pancake’ design
+
Ideal 35mm ‘effective’ focal length

Reasons to avoid

-
No image stabilizer
-
Hood sold separately

A small prime lens with a 35mm focal length is generally regarded as being perfect for street photography, at least on a full-frame camera. This EF-M 22mm brings the same equivalent angle of view to APS-C format (opens in new tab) shooting on an EOS M camera. Its ‘pancake’ design enables it to be incredibly small, so you can be as inconspicuous as possible when shooting. It also makes your camera and lens combination even more portable. Best of all, this lens has a fast f/2 maximum aperture, which helps when you want shallow depth of field in close-ups or faster shutter speeds in low light.
• Read our full Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM review

(Image credit: Canon)
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This neat little lens has macro capability and image stabilization built in

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Stepping motor
Stabilizer: 3.5-stop
Min focus distance: 0.09m
Max magnification: 1.2x
Filter thread: 43mm (via hood)
Dimensions (WxL): 61x46mm
Weight: 130g

Reasons to buy

+
Astonishing 1.2x maximum magnification
+
Built-in LED Macro Lite

Reasons to avoid

-
Very close macro working distance
-
Stabilization less effective at close range

Moving on to the second of our trio of neat little Canon prime lenses, this one has a focal length not much longer than the 22mm and equivalent to a 45mm lens in full frame terms. It makes a great standard lens, but it's also a macro lens for ultra close ups. The short 28mm focal length means a working distance of just 13mm between the front of the lens and the subject in full macro mode. This can block out ambient lighting, but to get round this, the lens has a built-in LED Macro Lite! The ‘hybrid’ image stabilizer is designed specifically for correcting shakes in close-ups too.
• Read our full Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM review

(Image credit: Canon)
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5. Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 STM

The f/1.4 aperture makes this lens super fast and great for portraits

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: Stepping motor
Stabilizer: None
Min focus distance: 0.23m
Max magnification: 0.25x
Filter thread: 43mm
Dimensions (WxL): 61x57mm
Weight: 235g

Reasons to buy

+
Classic ‘standard’ perspective
+
Fast f/1.4 aperture rating

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey for a Canon EF-M lens
-
As usual, no hood supplied

Here's a third favorite Canon EF-M prime lens for our list. We're not suggesting you need all three (the 22mm, 28mm and 32mm), but you will be glad to have at least one of these in your kit bag. With an ‘effective’ focal length of 51.2mm, this lens equates to a ‘nifty fifty’ in full-frame terms when used on an M50. Despite weighing just 235g and having diminutive physical proportions, it combines a classic ‘standard’ viewing perspective with a fast f/1.4 aperture rating. This gives you the potential to isolate subjects within a scene, thanks to a tight depth of field. This is especially true at shorter focus distances. A 50mm equivalent lens is perhaps a little short for portraits, but it can still give great people shots. 

(Image credit: Laowa)
This ultra-wide lens gives a unique perspective and a unique experience

Specifications

Mount: Canon EOS M
Autofocus: None
Stabilizer: None
Min focus distance: 0.12m
Max magnification: 0.13x
Filter thread: 49mm
Dimensions (WxL): 60x53mm
Weight: 215g

Reasons to buy

+
Extreme viewing angle
+
Negligible distortion

Reasons to avoid

-
No autofocus
-
No camera-driven aperture control

This Laowa lens is the only independent lens in our list, but it deserves its place for its unique picture taking qualities. Mounted on the EOS M50, it gives a mighty viewing angle of about 115 degrees, far wider even than the Canon 11-22mm zoom and roughly equivalent to a 14mm lens on a full frame camera. Despite the extra wide-angle coverage, the Laowa lens produces such negligible distortion that it’s essentially a distortion-free optic. However, there are no built-in electronics at all, so focusing is a purely manual affair and you’ll also need to shoot in Manual or Aperture priority mode. In these modes the camera can adapt to whatever aperture you set on the lens's control ring, but this can't be set from the camera, which rules out Shutter priority mode. The enormous depth of field means that focusing isn’t very critical, and you soon adapt to the need to focus manually. This lens comes in a variety of lens mounts, so make sure you get the EF-M version!
Read our full Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens review (opens in new tab)

How we test lenses

We test lenses using both real world sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled conditions using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture height, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing. We find the combination of lab and real-word testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.

More lens buying guides:

The best close-up filters (opens in new tab)
The best 50mm lenses (opens in new tab)
The best 70-200mm lenses (opens in new tab)
The best budget telephoto lenses (opens in new tab)
The best 150-600mm lenses (opens in new tab)
The best fisheye lenses (opens in new tab)

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Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.