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Canon Announces New List of Recommended Lenses For New 5DS

By Anthony Thurston on July 1st 2015

The 50MP 5DS and 5DS R are here, and the million dollar question for Canon and other DSLR owners is how current lenses will perform on such a high-resolution sensor. Higher megapixels seems to be the trend for the higher end cameras right now, but what would be the point if all your lenses ‘held back’ your new 50MP sensor?


To help with this, Canon announced their list of ‘recommended lenses’ for the Canon 5DS and 5DS R. Interestingly enough, the lenses cover a wide spectrum of ages (in terms of when each lens was announced), and is not limited to lenses produced in the last couple of years.

An interesting note, Canon’s old 50mm F/1.8 II is on the list, but the freshly released 50mm F/1.8 STM did not make the cut. This could be an oversight by whomever did the press release, but it is curious for sure.

Canon’s Recommended Lenses for the 5DS and 5DS R

Zoom Lenses

Wide Angle Primes

Standard Primes

Telephoto Primes

It would seem, assuming this list is made from lenses tested on the new camera and proved to perform up to Canon standards, that the general worry about lenses resolving on newer high-resolution sensors is mostly misplaced.

What are your thoughts on this recommended list of lenses from Canon? Does it surprise you to see such a wide spread of lens ages on this list? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via TDP]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Branko Sreckovic

    ‘What are your thoughts on this recommended list of lenses from Canon? Does it surprise you to see such a wide spread of lens ages on this list? ‘

    List of recommended lenses could be surprise only for people far away from photography and for naive.
    I mean what else they could list? Did they invent new chemical formula for the very new superb glass to mate with new superb sensors?
    Do we need ‘new superb’ sensors with mediocre picture processors or we need ‘ordinary’ not so highly pixel populated sensors with superb processors? C’mon…

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  2. Samuel Sandoval

    Why wasn’t 24-105 f4 in the list…?

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  3. adam sanford

    All lenses benefit from the added pixels, but the degree with which they benefit is very nicely surveyed by Uncle Rog. If you want to go a level deeper than Canon’s mysteriously generated list, here you go:

    A previously gold-standard level lens of short, mid, and longer FL were tested against a so-so older 50 prime. 5D3 vs. 5DS vs. 5DSr. It’s a must-read if you are considering a move to the 5DS or 5DSr.

    In short — EVERY lens will utilize those added pixels and you will see finer detail in your pictures if you peep / blow things up. But the *degree* to that improvement is a function of the lens and where in the frame you are looking. In his test, Roger stated that all the lenses he tested got a noticeable improvement in the frame center, but only the better glass saw similar improvements in the corners.

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  4. Phil Bautista

    RECOMMENDED. You can still use other EF mount lenses. They probably just won’t resolve that well. Just sad to see the 24-105/4 L IS not on the list. I guess that means it was really more of a kit lens than an L lens.

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  5. Jay Floops

    Can you perhaps link to the original source at Canon which provided this official list of recommended lenses?

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  6. robert s

    basically buy anything and as many from the list because canon says so and youll be fine.

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    • John Nucifora

      Agreed, this really isn’t worth posting in such detail. It could have been easily summed up by saying, “Works with all modern Canon lenses!”.

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  7. Anders Madsen


    Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II? Really? Well, at f/5.6 – f/8 perhaps, but definitely not wide open at 50 mm, that is for sure.

    I’m not sure I would put to much faith into this list, to be honest – or at least some better kind of indication of what qualified the lenses to be there.

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  8. Justin Haugen

    $140 for a 4 day rental on This camera will be so easy to budget into shoots that would require it’s use. I have no reason to buy it, but I can definitely find reasons to rent one!

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  9. Colin Woods

    Interesting list. I’d be curious to see a similar list for Nikon, though just out of interest as my 24MP D750 is more than enough resolution for me. In fact I have a print from my D300 (12MP) that is 9 x 5 feet and it’s plenty sharp enough unless you look at it from a few feet away. My D750 is miles better than the D300 with AF, high ISO and dynamic range. The extra pixels are just a happy bonus.

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  10. Timothy Going

    Personally I don’t see the need for that high a megapixel count. To me 24 is the maximum practical usage I could see, and anything after that is just taking up space. If you really need that much resolution why not just go to film? But thats just me.

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    • Justin Haugen

      Commercial clients. For 95% of my work I have no need for that many megapixels. There will be jobs that call for me to rent this camera and I’m pleased that it exists for those clients. I’ve had an interest in renting medium format gear, but now I can rent a 5DS and pair it with my lens collection.

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    • Timothy Going

      True I guess. Though I’ve never had a commercial client complain about 24. Then again I am not the market that this camera is geared towards.

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    • Dave Haynie

      You really don’t get that much effective resolution from 35mm film. Maybe if you can still get something in the ISO25-40 range. When I first got into digital, I was shooting film and scanning it on a 10Mpixel scanner. The grain limits were pretty obvious for any color or monochrome negative film I was shooting. The old Kodachrome 25 stuff, that scanned in pretty grain-free, suggesting more resolution might be there. And in those days, I was only shooting with Zuiko primes, so hey, could be. Never became a huge issue.

      But there is kind of this mythology around film that’s not quite in keeping with the realities of film. I did some math, ages ago, and basically, between the specs on the lenses I knew about and any film I could find specs on, I couldn’t expect more than maybe 30Mpixel-equivalent on 35mm given the best possible scenario. And that involved a Leica lens I couldn’t afford!

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  11. Jimmy Arcade

    So much for my 24-105 mm f/4L… Not that I could afford this camera to begin with.

    The extra mega-pixels would be nice, though.

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    • Justin Haugen

      I’m really surprised to see the 50mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.4. The 50 1.4 shows its age on the 5Dmk3.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Same deal here… kind of a bummer that other L glass didn’t make the cut. On the other hand, a couple of my non-L primes are on the list. I’m not buying this camera, but it’s nice to know I was right about those particular lenses.

      The 20Mpixel on my 6D is usually plenty. And when it’s not, I combine 5, 10, 100 of them to make a larger image. I have found a few situation in which the “very still only” 40Mpixel-ish mode on my OM-D E-M5II was useful, but most of the time, one or more 16Mpixel images is enough for my purposes. Though I can understand why some want the “full 50” in one shot, it’s not something that floats my boat.

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