Focus On: Canon L-Series Lenses

One of the first pieces of advice most photographers receive when they're starting out is along the lines of "buy a new lens" or "upgrade your glass" or "buy a 50mm f/1.8", and there's good reason for that - upgrading your lenses is one of the best ways to improve your photography.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens
The hugely popular Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L lens

Camera bodies come and go, they get upgraded, the megapixels go up year-on-year, they get new features, and they do eventually become outdated. Lenses, however, can last for decades.

This year, Canon are celebrating the 30th birthday of not only their EOS camera system, but also their EF lens mount, so it's only fitting that we give their professional lens range, the L-series a showcase, acknowledging the versatility, range, and excellence of these professional quality lenses.

What is the Canon L-Series?

Canon EF 200-400mm L IS USM telephoto lens
Perfect for wildlife and sports photography - the Canon EF 200-400mm L IS USM telephoto lens

The L-Series wasn't new when the EF lens mount was introduced as it was also used for the FD-mount as well, but in the last 30 years Canon have introduced more and more professional lenses to the range.

L-series (or 'Luxury Series') is the designation that Canon give their top range of lenses designed for professional photographers. L-series lenses are easily recognisable by their distinctive red ring and off-white paint colour on longer telephoto models.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L-series lens
Loved by wedding and event photographers - the versatile Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L-series lens

Canon's L-series lenses are characterised by their superior quality, most notably their durability, and weather sealing on some models. However, the defining characteristic of L-series lenses is their optical quality which is far superior to Canon's lower-end lenses, many lenses contain fluorite or ultra-low dispersion lens elements. Additionally, L-series lenses are typically 'fast', with wider maximum apertures and lower minimum f/stops.

Current Canon L-Series Range

These days, Canon's range of professional grade L-Series lenses is one of the widest, most versatile, and highest optical quality range of lenses for SLR and DSLR cameras on the market.

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 L USM lens
The powerful super-telephoto prime Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 L USM lens

The L-Series contains everything from ultra-wide angle lenses, to tilt and shift lenses for architectural photography, to mid-range portrait lenses, to versatile short zoom lenses, all the way to telephoto zooms, and super-telephoto zoom and prime lenses.

So in this, Canon's 30th year of the EOS system and EF lens mount, there's never been a better time to upgrade to these red-ringed supreme professional quality lenses.

Visit our dedicated Canon L-Series Lenses page to see the entire range, or visit our Camera Lenses Explained page to find out more about the best lenses for you.

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