Best Lenses under $1,000 of 2018

By Staff

Building an enviable lens collection takes time and dedication. But while finding amazing quality glass at unbelievably low prices is a specialty of ours, we know the finer things in life sometimes cost a bit. If you're willing to put down around a grand on some glass, we've got some lenses that'll breathe new life into your old gear.

This is our updating list of the best lenses under $1,000 that we've tested. Though finding the right lens for your needs will depend on which camera you've got, this is a good starting point for anyone looking to pick up some high-quality glass without breaking the bank.

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated January 05, 2018

Expert Score

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A

Sigma's ART series lenses have quickly built a reputation for exemplary image quality, killer craftsmanship, and best-in-class value for the money. The 50mm f/1.4 is the pick of the litter, capable of astounding image quality, sharpness, and bokeh. It's a little bigger than other 50mm f/1.4 lenses, but it's available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs and goes toe-to-toe with any lens those companies have right now.

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

For any photographer looking to capture small objects, such as jewelry, bugs, or just fine details, you'll need a macro lens. If you're a Canon shooter, there's no better option than the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro. It's razor sharp, offers image stabilization, and it has a superb close focal distance that also works as a dandy portrait lens in a pinch. For less than $800, it's a terrific investment for Canon fanatics.

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Where To Buy

$799.00 Amazon Buy $799.00 Adorama Buy $799.99 Best Buy Buy $799.00 Walmart Buy

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

If you're shooting a Nikon DSLR and you want a top-notch portrait lens, it's hard to do better than the AF-S 85mm f/1.8G. While the pricier f/1.4 has smoother bokeh and shallower depth of field, the f/1.8 arguably has better image quality, is cheaper, and is lighter. It's a perfect storm of portrait goodness that outperformed the 85mm f/1.4 in our lab tests, and at under $500 it won't break the bank, either.

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Where To Buy

$476.95 Amazon Buy $476.95 Adorama Buy $479.99 Best Buy Buy $476.95 Walmart Buy

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R

Fujifilm is playing by its own rules these days, debuting pro-grade cameras and riding high from the popularity of its Instax instant film cams. But if you're invested in Fujifilm's X-series cameras, the 56mm f/1.2 lens is as good as it gets. With creamy smooth bokeh and a focal length perfect for portraits, this lens is ideal for professional photographers of all stripes. It's pricey, but man is it worth it.

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Where To Buy

$999.00 Amazon Buy $999.00 Adorama Buy $998.99 Walmart Buy

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS

Sony's E-mount family of lenses includes some options aimed at the lower-end APS-C bodies like this 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens. Relatively compact, we thought that this prime was an excellent companion for everyday shooting, with a fast aperture that will let you shoot in low light. Since most Sony cameras go without in-body image stabilization, the optical stabilization inside the 50mm lens should come in handy.

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Where To Buy

$248.00 Amazon Buy $248.00 Adorama Buy $249.99 Best Buy Buy $248.00 Walmart Buy