What Was the Best Lens of 2023?

2023 has been one of wildest and most exciting years in recent memory when it comes to lenses. If you missed out on some of it, check out this awesome video that discusses the best releases of the year. 

Coming to you from Christopher Frost, this fun video discusses his favorite lenses of 2023. My personal favorite release was the Canon RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM. I have really enjoyed seeing Canon push more and more boundaries of lens design with the RF mount, and this lens looks truly superlative. No doubt, its price can be a bit off-putting, but when you consider it's replacing a 300mm f/2.8 lens with far more versatility at not that much more cost, it becomes more impressive. That being said, the new RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS USM Z really has my eye, and I am strongly considering trading in my beloved RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM for one, as that extra range at both ends would be really nice to have. No matter what your favorite brand or release, though, it is hard to argue that 2023 has not been a really exciting year for lens nerds. I hope 2024 is just as exciting! Check out the video above for Frost's full list! 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I actually think that in this Year best lenses are 3 ones.,

1. Nikkor 135mm f/1.8 S-Line Plena.
2. Viltrox 75mm f/1.2 for FX mount.
3. Canon RF 24-105mm f2.8L.

I haven't actually received it yet (ships 12/14, so still 2023), but from the specs I'm guessing that the Canon RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM is going to my new favorite for my most common subject, wildlife. It would be nice if it were a bit faster (and an "L" build), but this seems like a good compromise for zoom range and weight.

As fate would have it I'm off to the mall today to buy that TTArtisans 100/2.8 bubble lens (Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan lookalike). Should be a fun lens for very little money (£95 over here - Shanghai).

Best lenses of 1923:

1. 18-inch f/3.5 Cooke Portrait Lens
2. 16-inch f/4 Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality
3. 19.5-inch f/4.5 Wollensak Velostigmat Series II w/ diffusion adjustment option

Definitely no Canon bias here . . .

OH these you mean Cooke SP3 Full-Frame 5-Lens Prime Set (25/32/50/75/100mm, Sony E)
Samyang XP 85mm f/1.2 Lens

All 3 Lenses list are amazing. Lord almighty are they expensive and gigantic. I ll take the Sigma 16-35 and Tamron 35-150. I ve been downsizing all my lenses. My largest is the Sigma 150-600. The one I use the most is my SIgma 28-70 2.8 Brilliant and tiny. I just can not imagine doing a job with the new Canon 24-105 2.8, I shoot a lot of theater and that thing would make me tap out after about 30 minutes.

That Canon is only .3 lbs heavier than that Tamron. :)