Holiday Gift Guide 2016 - 2017: Top 10 DSLR and Mirrorless Camera Lenses

Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM

Available for both Canon and Nikon cameras, this option from Sigma is a fairly competitive option for those on a budget. The focal range of 18 - 250mm will instantly give any DSLR a lot more versatility, and will make for a great travel lens without adding too much bulk to the camera. There could be a wider aperture here to let more light in, but given the price and its versatility, there's little to complain about here.

Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

A good option for our FujiFilm friends, this Fujinon XF lens has a great focal range from a wide 18mm all the way to a telephoto 135mm. Fuji's lenses usually excel with wider apertures than this has to offer, but the Japanese brand has a reputation to uphold and this is one lens that won't disappoint. A great way of adding some more versatility to a FujiFilm Mirrorless camera, without adding too much bulk or adding yet another Prime lens to someone's kit, this is a pricey yet competitive option.

Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

Prime lenses like these can often be pricey additions to anyone's camera arsenal, but this option from Canon is a pleasant exception to that rule. Its 50mm focal length and wide, fast f/1.8 aperture are features that should make any photographer excited, especially when its under $200. A perfect gift for someone that keeps on jabbering about how good fast primes are, as well as a great portrait lens, the Canon 50mm STM is well worth considering, perhaps even just on account of its low price.

Sony SEL1018 10-18mm

In the Mirrorless world, things are a little different, and its Sony that mostly rules the roost. This 10 - 18mm wide-angle lens is an excellent E-mount addition to anyone with an NEX or more modern Alpha camera. For taking breathtaking landscapes, as well as getting up close to your subject, this is a great lens that adds something of a fast prime to a Mirrorless setup, it just needs a wider aperture, which is sadly stuck at f/4.0. Few lenses will offer this wide a focal length at this price, and to get it from Sony is of course, something of a bonus, too.

Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2

Another excellent option for Fujifilm users, the Fujinon XF 56mm is an absolute gem. The super-speedy f/1.2 aperture and Prime 56mm come together to make this a real dream to shoot with. Bokeh and excellent portraits are what this lens was made to achieve, and for the majority of users, this is what they'll be expecting. Of course, Fuji are more than happy to make users pay for this great experience, and the Fujinon XF 56mm is not cheap, but then neither are many lenses with this sort of specification and the results to go with it.

Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3

Another E-mount option for those with a Sony Mirrorless camera, this one is all about adding some zoom options to your camera. With a focal range of 55 to 210mm, and an acceptable aperture range to match, this is a nice and versatile lens for anyone to have at their disposal. It's also available in a silver color as well, which will appeal to Sony fans with one of the few options that came in silver. While this does add some bulk to a Sony Mirrorless camera, it doesn't hurt to have a little more heft when trying to get that perfect shot.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116

Available in both options for both Canon and Nikon cameras, the Tokina 11-16mm is a great wide-angle lens for DSLRs. It takes in a huge amount of information, and the results look good, too. With a speedy autofocus motor and a price tag that isn't too high, this is a great option for someone that has just started out and in need of some more lenses, but doesn't have the budget to support pricey options just yet. A good-looking lens that's versatile and well worth looking into, this option from Tokina won't let you down.

Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D

This is a rare treat for Nikon fans here, a quality first-party Prime lens that doesn't cost the earth. At under $200, this is a great option for both FX and DX format DSLRs, and it's a nice and compact lens, all the while offering autofocus. Perfect for travel photography as well as close-ups and portraits, the Nikkor 50mm here is well worth considering, regardless of whether or not the person you're buying for has a newer or older Nikon, as this is a lens that will work with the majority of Nikon cameras out there.

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ

Olympus might not be at the top of the camera tree any more, but they have a lot going for them where glass is concerned, with this lens being a great example of that. This 12 - 50mm is a really versatile option to look out for. It has great macro performance as well as wide-angle support, making this a sort of double-duty pulling lens for an Olympus or compatible micro four-thirds camera.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED 

Nikon cameras are well-known for their dominance in the wildlife world, and having a telephoto lens is a crucial part of getting shots like that. This 55 - 300mm telephoto lens from Nikon is exactly the sort of thing any budding wildlife photographer will need in their arsenal. With vibration reduction and autofocus, this is the sort of lens that will give budding wildlife photographers, as well those in need of another lens a lot to write home about. It's not too expensive either, which makes a change for a first-party lens such as this.

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About the Author
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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.