What lens to purchase for the 7D Im looking to take photos of landscapes, portraits, sports, general life in the city along with recording cinematic-type movies. That said, im looking to purchase lens that would compliment the 28-135mm kit that came with this product. Any suggestions?
What you've said you want to do can be accomplished using the lens you already have. A lens upgrade is usually built around two principles, use and handling, both of which depend on budget and need. When you look to upgrade your glass, you have to ask yourself what the lens will be used for, and how you require it to perform, then you need to know how much you are willing to invest and whether you really need it. Because as I said, everything you wish to do can be done with what you already have. There is a misconception that your next logical step is to upgrade your glass. While glass is important, it is not logical to want for a lens when you don't know why you need it, or why it costs what it does. The problem with many beginners is that they don't understand the why.
You need to understand that there is no one lens that will be specialized to do what you want, that compliments the lens you already have. In fact, you will likely be duplicating what it already does. So the question is, why do you need to duplicate what your current lens does. The obvious reason is speed. For example, the EF 50mm f/1.2L is supremely fast, it is good for portraits, editorial/lifestyle, and low light. It is highly regarded as one of the best lenses you can buy in terms of build and optical quality. Yet few lenses excel at more things than simply one or two, for example, 50mm f/1.2L isn't good for sports because it isn't particularly fast focusing. While it isn't wide, it can be used for landscapes given skill. But usually, a lens which is specialized for landscapes isn't very good for other, more common uses. Example being the 10-22mm mentioned by P. Strong. It's wide angle isn't good for portraits.
My point is, you have a lot of requirements in a single lens upgrade when most can be accomplished using the lens you already have. Because if you wish to upgrade, you will be making a tradeoff. And you may need consider multiple lenses to cover your needs. I recommend going through a catalog of a rental service, take some time and try different lenses out to know what is right for you.
You can use any lens to shoot the landscape... but my guideline is... if you find yourself wanting to look around and "take in" the scene when you're standing there... they you probably want to use a wide angle lens to capture the scene. If you take photos of the Grand Canyon with a lens that looks like you were looking through a soda straw then you you really aren't "taking in" much of the grandeur and your viewers would have a hard time realizing how spectacular the place is.
So while there is no 'rule' to use a wide-angle for landscape photographer... it's the type of lens most photographers will reach for.
Every lens is a trade-off... the lenses are optimized to excel in some area while trading off some other feature (hopefully not a critical feature for the type of shot you need to take.) Zoom lenses usually give up some focal ratio (they don't capture as much light) and zoom lenses needed to shoot in low light situations are very expensive. Super-zooms provide the convenience of allowing you to have just ONE lens... but it's "jack of all trades... master of none". Images are usually a bit soft and have other weaknesses with respect to optical quality (contrast, resolution, chromatic aberration, vignetting, etc.).
Some lenses compromise less than others... but they're generally not cheap. Also, some of the best zoom lenses are 'parfocal' -- meaning that as you zoom in or out, your subject remains focused (for most zoom lenses... if you change the focal length (zoom the lens) you'll have to re-focus your subject.) If you were shooting action at high speed (wildlife in action, or a sports game) then the ability to zoom in or out on a part of the action without THEN having to re-focus the lens after zooming might be pretty important. It'd also probably be important if you were shooting video.
It's easier to optimize the optics for just a single focal length than it is to optimize the optics for a whole range of focal lengths. For this reason, a prime lens (a lens that does not 'zoom') will almost always beat a zoom lens in every way EXCEPT for the fact that it can't zoom (convenience.)
For highest quality in a SINGLE lens, I'd probably recommend the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Great all-purpose walking-around lens. Extremely sharp, modest wide-angle, decent but not over-ambitious telephoto (in a single lens). It's also weather sealed to compliment your weather-sealed camera body.
For highest quality with a PAIR of lenses, I'd probably recommend the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (no IS) and also the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. Much more total range, able to shoot in lower light (by a full stop), but you do have to swap lenses.
For highest quality in a wide angle, I'd probably recommend the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM. The EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM will give you a wider angle, is pretty good, but not as good as the 16-35mm. Also note that if you ever wanted to upgrade your 7D body to a full frame model such as the 5D or 1Ds then an EF-S lens wont work on a full-frame body (or any body that doesn't have an APS-C size sensor... including the 1D which has an APS-H sensor.)
The highest quality (rectilinear) wide-angle lens Canon makes is the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM... but be warned... it's not cheap.
If you can afford it nothing could be better than EF-S 17-55 2.8 for 7D. It covers a good range for Landscapes and Portraits. Ans ofcourse because of 2.8 aperture size you get good bokeh while shooting portraits.
I have 50mm 1.8 too but believe me it is not good for landscapes. 1.6 crop factor makes it 50*1.6mm.
T.Vu: For the 7D with the 1.6 crop, you want nothing longer than 17 or 18 for your wide angle end! 28 is right out! I LOVE my Tammy 28 - 75 f/2.8, but there's no IS on it :-( - -ALSO: it's NOT wide enough OR long enough to make a great walk-around. Regarding the 18-135 - - I don't think 135 is long enough for all-purpose walk-around. 200 is about the shortest I'd go on that end. . If you want a jack of all trades (master of none though!) get the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. I fretted over the Tammy 18-270 and the Sigma - what - 18-250 or so - I think. After reviewing comparison images, settled on the Canon. Yep - - you will get some pincushioning and barrel at the extremes (can be calibrated and corrected in Photoshop with a free lens compensation plug-in!!) - however - please note! I took the 18-200 on a 1-week trip overseas, along with my Tokina 12-24 (just in case). I never ONCE needed to put the 12-24 on the camera - the 18-200 did it all. Although I spent about 5 hours creating the lens calibration plug-in, I haven't felt the need to use it on ANY of the photos I've taken with the lens. . Please note! I am just a hobbyist photographer - and a little CA or distortion is NOT going to make or break my photos. So the tradeoffs of having a single walk-around lens that fills the bill 90+% of the time without the hassle factor of a lens swap and possible missed shot MORE than makes up for a slight peripheral fall-off in sharpness. Yes - - if I HAVE to - - I'll switch to either a more restricted zoom range lens, or a Prime, however, most of the time - it's the 18-200 that is on my 7D.
If you prefer wide zooms, look for a ultra wide zoom to complement what you already have. Find one that fits your needs no matter who the manufacturer is. With two lenses you could have a whole range of focal lenghts covered from 10mm to 135mm. 10mm may seem impractical but remember that your smaller camera sensor has a multiplier effect that doesn't really give you that wide a range. Jim Salih
I also have Canon 7D. I am into same dilemma since I also shoot landscapes. However, we all shoot other pictures and most of us like me are constrained by budget. I liked Joseph's response which is very logical- what do you need it for? I almost purchased 10-22 but realized that is it worth spending over $900 for that glass when your use of that is limited to landscapes. I have 18-200 which I love. I have shot landscapes, portraits and close ups (like macro) and am pretty satisfied with the results. I would like to ask the experts that if Canon 50mm 1.8 be used for landscapes?
I have a t3i. My lenses, which will all work on the 7D, include a Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM MACRO (nature/sports), Canon 28-105 f3.5-4.5 USM MACRO (general outdoor daylight), Canon 50 f1.4 (indoor/outdoor portrait and night shots), Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5 IS kit lens (general purpose and landscape) and a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (indoor group, architecture, lower light landscape). My next lens will be the Canon 17-55 f2.8 EF-S (indoor photagraphy and general purpose) to replace the 18-55. I use the different ones for the different reasons. There is some overlap. With a 7D which I plan to add at some point as well I would fee comfortable in adding L series telephoto as the weather seal would be from the camera through the lens. My first L would be the 100-400 F4-F5.6 for nature/sports photos to replace my 70-300.
For zoom, the 70-300 L series is fantastic. Every day lens the EF-S 17-55; for wide EF-S 10-22mm. For amazing bokeh and low light, 50mm 1.4. FWIW, I own all of these and feel my kit is just about complete. A cheaper version of the Canon EF-S 17-55 is the Tamron 17-50 2.8; I had one of these and the shots I took with it were very, very close to the Canon lens; the only reason I sold it was the autofocus isn't ultrasonic, so its fairly loud - if that isn't an issue for you, the Tamron is great value for money.