Photography gear can be expensive, especially these days, and especially if you’re in the market for professional-level equipment. But if you hunt around and keep an open mind, you can find new cameras and lenses that offer quality and affordability.
Commercial beauty and portrait photographer Zach Sutton, who is the editor of Lensrentals’ blog, is someone always on the lookout for a good deal. In March, he compared a 10-year-old Canon 5D III against the current 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100S and found that the older and less expensive Canon more than held its own.
If you own a mirrorless camera and are shopping for a new lens that won’t break the bank, Sutton has produced an excellent guide to the Best Budget Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras for 2022. Sutton recommends over a dozen affordable lenses for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm mirrorless cameras in the story.
We’ve narrowed down his list to the five best budget lenses for mirrorless cameras in 2022. Click the links to either buy or rent these reasonably priced and surprisingly compact optics, which should find a favored spot in your camera bag next to your higher-end glass.
“It’s without question, mirrorless is the future for photography,” Sutton writes. “And while the mirrorless platforms have several advantages over the DSLR platforms, one stark disadvantage is the cost. Often the mirrorless cameras require a bit more electronics on them, adding to their initial cost. Furthermore, the costs of mirrorless platforms continue its ramp upward when you start looking at their lens lineups. Looking at the increased prices across the board, I figured it was time to start looking at some more affordable options for each of the platforms.”
Canon RF Mount: Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM ($399)
“To top our list for the RF platform is the Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM,” Sutton writes. “While a variable aperture might not sound appealing to you (where the lowest possible aperture changes based on your focal length zoom), this lens has really great sharpness and gives you a broad focal length making it a perfect ‘all-rounder’ lens to carry with you. Pair that with the built-in image stabilization, lightweight design, and sub-$400 price tag, it’s really worth giving the Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 STM a look as a great carry-around lens that offers a lot of versatility.”
Rent the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM from Lensrentals here.
Nikon Z Mount: Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 ($396)
“A kit lens that is regularly paired with the Nikon Z5 and others, the Nikon 24-50mm f/4-6.3 is a great little lens for the price. It’s not particularly fast, and the focal length is pretty short, especially when compared to kit lenses, but at only $400 (and quite a bit less than that on the used market), it’s hard to turn this lens down. Its lightweight design makes it a really great carry-around lens, that has a focal range that can cover the majority of your needs.”
Rent the Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 from Lensrentals here.