I was wondering:

Other than the fact that EF-S lenses are targeted to cropped bodies, and can not be used on full frames.

(Supposedly if there was L series for the EF-S) Would the EF lenses be superior than EF-S?

What about comparing two non L lenses?



2 Answers 2


Many EF lenses (especially L series) are going to be of higher quality than EF-S lenses based on marketing economics. The market willing to pay more for a quality lens also likely has paid more for a higher end camera (for example 5DmkIII).

There is one technical aspect why EF lenses would be better than EF-S lenses on crop bodies. A smaller sensor is going to encounter fewer of the quality problems at the edge of the image. So an EF lens on, for example, a 7D, will see less light fall off, less aberration, and less distortion, because it is not picking up near the edge where lenses generally exhibit their weaknesses.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So it would make sense to stick with EF lenses in general. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bill
    Jul 29, 2012 at 5:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bill, Sort of... if money isn't an issue and if there is an equivalent EF lens. But EF equivalents to the EF-S 10-22mm, 15-85mm and 17-55 for example don't really exist (and where similar EF lenses like the 16-35mm or 17-40mm exist, they have other trade-offs like much smaller zoom range and much bigger price-tags). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2014 at 6:17

It's not necessarily true to say that an EF-S lens on an APS-C body (such as the EOS 7D) will be inferior to an EF lens which has an equivalent angle-of-view on a full-frame body (such as the EOS 5D Mk II).

For instance, the EF-S 10-22mm lens is highly regarded, and some even rate it as better than the EF 17-40mm L-series lens. (To be fair, both are about the same price.)

Similarly, the EF-S 17-55mm lens is often said to be as good as an L-series lens in terms of optical performance. (Again, the price reflects this quality.)

If you're a fan of comparing raw optical performance of Canon lenses, take a look at lens review sites such as:

Of course, most of these sites will remind you that lens quality is less important than just getting out there and taking interesting pictures.


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