You have several ways to get cheap canon lenses, sometimes without any compromise in quality or function. If you are looking to get an additional Canon lens as an accessory or you only have a Canon body and are looking for one main lens to buy,here are your options:
1) You can choose one or more of the several simpler design lenses to save money.
2) You can go with a used lens or refurbished lens.
3) You can save money and go for a Canon alternative lens made by a third party made to be fully compatible with your Canon camera body.
This article will touch on all three options for getting affordable lenses for your Canon.
Most buyers of Canon cameras buy their cameras along with a "kit" lens packaged with a few accessories like a battery, charger and camera strap. The kit lenses are good general purpose zoom lenses, usually not particularly fast in terms of maximum f-stop.
As an example the Canon T3i kit lens is the 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 EF-S and sells separately for round $200. It's a good bargain lens if you only have an APS-C camera like the Canon Rebel T3i, T4i, T5i, 60D, 70D, 7D.
prime lenses NON-fast lenses
Place to buy: Amazon
If you are looking for genuine Canon lenses but don't want to pay new lens prices, then you must go used or re-furbished.
They do come with a limited waranty but you can get re-built lenses at the Canon Refurbished store on their main web site.
Ebay. If it's a main stream lens and desired by many, bidders may bid the price too high to really make it a bargain. You also run the risk of getting a lemon form a non so trustworthy seller.
The major camera retailers like B+H PhotoVideo, Adorama and Sammy;s camera have a limited selection because their main focus is new cameras, lenses and accessories.
For some photographers, they just want to take pictures that come out. If their camera and lens combination succeed and producing photos that are fairly sharp they are happy as a pig in mud.
For others, they only want the best lenses at low cost. Alternative lens manufacturers that have a good reputation like Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina. I won't discuss Nikon since this is the Canon Camera Geek web site. ;-)
There are too many bargain canon lens alternatives to go over in one article, but I can give you some valuable advice. Don't go super cheap.
Early on in my digital photography career I bought a cheapo 100-300mm "sports" lens from Albinar. It truly was a piece of junk. I learned a valuable lesson with that one. It only cost about $100, but the chromatic aberrations and lack of sharpness produced below-average photos.
The goal isn't to just get cheaply made lenses at a bargain, but rather to get affordable lenses for Canon cameras that perform up to your specific expectations.
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Very affordable Canon 50mm f1.8 Lens.
NON-zoom lenses force you to move around a bit while composing your photographs.
This is a great way to challenge yourself to becoming a better photographer.
The Affordable Canon 28-135mm EF f3.5-5.6 zoom lens.
Works with full-sized sensors or Aps-C cameras and costs less than $500 new.
You can also find reviews and ratings of other photographers who were seeking good deals and purchased cheep Canon lenses on amazon