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New lens for new 7D?


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Initial post: Aug 23, 2012 4:38:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2012 4:47:11 PM PDT
BRKLYN says:
I'm stepping up to a 7D from my trusty xTi. Yes it's old but that thing still takes pretty great photos and it's been all over the world with me. But it's time. I will keep the xTi as a 2nd/backup body but I'm so excited for the 7D.

My question is, with my current collection of lenses, what would you add? I would like something versatile. As stated, I travel and try not to take more than 2 lenses with me. I also am considering doing a little wedding photography on the side.

Current lenses:
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras
good all around lens but find it can be a bit slow to focus and can be a bit soft.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
probably my favorite lens and the cheapest. a must if you don't already have.

Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
this is a really sharp lens but i don't use it as much as I thought I would

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX Digital Zoom Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
if you're looking for a wide, this is the one.

Lenses I'm considering:
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

I don't know if I *need* either but I would like to add a new lens to the collection. Thoughts?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 6:27:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2012 6:27:59 PM PDT
I had the 18-200 but decided to go with the 15-85mm IS for travel with my 7D. The lens is very sharp, the IS works quite well and I LOVE the extra-wide end (it would have made The perfect 7D kit lens). I find I really don't need anything longer than 85mm for -most- of my travels. The 15-85 worked out quite well in China (but, to be honest, I've been carrying an Olympus PEN more often for travel these days - much easier on the old shoulders and dragging through airports).

Other lenses to consider:
Canon 70-200 f/4L IS - excellent image quality and not too large or heavy
Tokina 10-17mm fisheye zoom - lots of fun!
Canon 85mm f/1.8 - this one produces images that always surprise me

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 9:33:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2012 9:35:08 PM PDT
Given the list of lenses you already possess, neither of the ones under consideration really draw /me/...

The Tokina 11-16 is both wider and faster then the 15-85 (overlapping at the bottom end), and the Tamron 28-75 is faster over much of the 15-85 range (basically, between the Tokina and the Tamron, you are only missing coverage of 16-28, and 75-85. The only thing the 15-85 really gets you is the USM motor.

The 24-105 is a desirable L lens, and constant aperture -- but the 28-75 is a whole stop faster in its range, and even the the 18-200 may be faster up to 40-50mm. Again, the bonus of the 24-105 is the USM motor.

If you were talking about obtaining a pair of lenses, from scratch... Well...

I might consider the Tokina 12-24 f4 (I own the first generation, they've supposedly improved the coatings) AND the EF 24-105 f4. That would give you continuous coverage from very wide (12mm) through to medium telephoto (105mm). It does give up real low-light capability (both are constant f4) but are still a stop faster than any variable aperture lens. (I have to confess my fastest lenses are f2.8: the Tamron 28-75, and the EF-S 60mm Macro).

What focal lengths do your existing photos tend to report were used? If you tend to do a lot of shooting at the upper end of the range, looking for a long telephoto might be justified (I don't know if Canon has improved coatings on the 100-300 f3.5-5.6 USM -- that's a 20 year old design [mine was bought for an EOS 10s film body) but something in that range might be nice... A 70-200 f2.8, combined with the Tamron 28-75 would give you a reasonably fast range from short-normal to telephoto.

Guess what I'm saying is that I'd not be looking at anything that overlaps the range you already have covered unless it gives you a constant aperture low-light (f2.8) capability (and you already have the middle covered with the 28-75).

Do you have a good shoe flash (430EX-II)?

Have you had shots where the sky is too bright, or the ground too dark? High quality gradated neutral density filters might be an option.

Have you ever wanted to shoot something rather small? (say just one small flower)... An f2.8 macro lens might be a choice.

Posted on Aug 23, 2012 10:22:07 PM PDT
BRKLYN says:
Tech Guy & Dennis - thanks so much for your responses. Both are very helpful.

I guess I'm considering replacing the 18-200 as the every day lens. I like it a lot but there are times where it's a frustrating lens. Perhaps the new body will give it new life so I'll see how that works out.

If I do decide to replace it, most of my super zoom needs are taken care of by my SX40 these days. It's my "easy" camera with great range. It takes really great photos and perfect for baseball games (where I need fast zoom action) or time when taking the DSLR is questionable. I was recently in Costa Rica and I was definitely not going to carry that outfit hiking up a mountain. But coming back from my trip where I used the SX40 a lot, I did notice that my photos had a different feel. I don't know how to describe. Maybe I shoot differently with it. Who knows.

That said, if the 18-200 performs better on the 7D (arriving tomorrow!) I think I might get that 85mm prime. I do have the Speedlite 430EX. I don't use the flash a lot though. I've always leaned towards the natural light in most of my photography. And I can't use them in concerts when I'm in the pit or I'm outside. I need to use it if I start taking wedding photos though. haha.

When I take the 18-200 out, I probably just use the zoom because it's there. But I tend to shoot wider and really don't use the 100mm+ range. I do like the option to zoom that much but again, I probably only use it because it's there. I don't do a whole lot of macro photography but I've found the 50mm works pretty well for that. Mostly, it's street photography and landscapes.

I'm going to think about it before I buy and report back. But again, thank you both for the thoughtful responses.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2012 11:02:09 AM PDT
Well, costly, but the Tokina 11-16 AND the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 would give you a decent pair for very wide to short portrait telephoto with good low-light capability. I doubt if anyone would ever complain about missing the gap between 16mm and 17mm <G>

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2012 2:27:00 PM PDT
"I also am considering doing a little wedding photography on the side."

Why? You really are not describing the sort of kit that a wedding photographer would be starting out with. You don't mention flashes, tripods, wireless triggers, etc. I would suggest you try working as an assistant to a wedding photographer before you put yourself in the position of trying to shoot a wedding for real. It is high stress photography, and more likely to get you sued than any other photo work out there. If you blow a portrait shoot, you can offer to re-shoot and all is well. the wedding only happens once.

Versitile? Your current lenses cover 11-200 mm, you are set for focal lengths. It's time to move up in quality. The 24-105L will help you out in that regard. If you need to go longer, one of the 70-200L lenses is the answer, which one depends on your budget, and tolerance for carrying heavy stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2012 3:21:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2012 3:34:06 PM PDT
BRKLYN says:
Sir, it's a hobby. I have a FT job. My friends ask me to shoot their weddings. I turn them down I have a standard hot-shoe flash and a couple of tripods. The remote I have is for my old camera. None of it is pro eq. What I have told them is that I will bring the camera to the wedding and shoot what I can in addition to their pro-photos and lean more towards the candids. But thank you for your input. I'll keep it in mind.

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 4:42:32 PM PDT
S. Owens says:
My thought is that you are "missing" that faster long telephoto especially if it's the 18-200 that gives you the most grief. Perhaps the 70-200 f4 isn't too big or heavy but all of the 2.8s are big enough that they aren't that easy to carry around even if they take good pictures.

Looking at your choices I'd go with the 24-105 but that is because I don't shoot so much on the wide end but often find myself wanting to reach a bit further then the 70mm my current standard zoom reaches. I recently took my cheap camera to a cousin's wedding and got some decent pictures with my Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 but I know there are times I wanted both faster and longer. A good flash would also have been great but I wasn't trying to be obtrusive and using a flash tends to announce your actions.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 3:41:08 AM PST
Michael C says:
I'm just reading this three months later and my thought is the higher resolution of the 7D will expose the flaws of the 18-200 in ways the XTi couldn't. I've owned both, and found I needed to upgrade several lenses when I moved from the 10MP XTi to the 15MP 50D. What did you find when you tried the 18-200 on the 7D? What, if any, lens did you decide on?

If you were talking about a FF body, I would heartily recommend the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS. It stays on my 5DII most of the time. I do have the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, but I only pull it out when I really need the f/2.8. The 24-105 has a reputation as being much more rugged and tolerant of heavy use. Due to the design, the front elements get de-centered very easily when the 24-70 is bumped, not to mention dropped. But on your 7D the 24-105 effectively becomes a 40-170 which is great if you want the extra reach but not so great if you want any wide angle at all. And like all zoom lenses that start out at moderate WA and go all the way to moderate telephoto, the EF 24-105mm f/4L does have a few design compromises. On the 7D you're not getting the benefit of the wide end, but you are also benefiting from cropping off the edges where most of the relatively minor problems are. I've never really used the 24-105 on my crop bodies because I usually have a telephoto mounted on the 7D.
For a crop body walk around lens, the 15-85 makes the most sense to me. But since you already have the WA Tokina and the 28-75 Tamron, if you retire the 18-200 the hole in your kit is going to be on the telephoto end. The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS I used on the XTi did VERY well for a sub $300 lens in daylight, even on the 50D until I replaced it with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II because I needed the low light performance. The EF-S 55-250mm is much lighter and less conspicuous when traveling, but not suitable at all for a wedding unless it is outdoors during the day.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 9:51:10 AM PST
Lou T says:
If you're going to do Nature/Wildlife you should have at least a 300mm lens, preferably 400mm. I have a 7D and the 18-200mm EF-S lens is my general duty lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 8:21:58 PM PST
Jeff Stanley says:
The 28-300 L is the way to go for a do all lens. It is so usable for so many things. I have one welded to my 50D.

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 9:44:23 AM PST
Michael C says:
The Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens is one of the best all around lenses available, but it still falls victim to the "jack of all trades, master of none" syndrome. With a FF body, the range of focal lengths is pretty much everything you need. With a 1.6X crop body the equivalent angle of view is 45-480mm, which covers the medium to telephoto range rather nicely at the expense no wide angle capability at all. The OP has mentioned he rarely uses focal lengths above 100mm.
The price you pay for all that range in terms of image quality compared to zoom lenses like the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras or the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras: barrel distortion on the wide end and pincushion from about 50mm to 300mm, heavier vignetting and CA at both focal length extremes, and narrower apertures that vary with the focal length which make it difficult in low light situations (like a wedding) where you would normally set the Tv and Av manually and zoom while shooting without worrying about the aperture changing as you go from wide to telephoto. Some shooters don't like the push/pull design of the 28-300, for others it is no big deal. Another thing you give up is compatibility with Canon's extenders, which are popular with many wildlife photographers. For the price, I don't the 28-300 offers enough over the 18-200 on a crop body to make the switch. Like Paul said above, you've got the focal lengths covered - you need to step up the quality.
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras has excellent image quality and a constant f/4 aperture that will let you shoot in manual mode much easier than with a variable aperture lens. And the IS allows you to slow the Tv down in low light as long as the subject isn't moving fast. The Tamron SP 24-70mm Di VC USD Canon Mount AFA007C-700 is a much better lens than your Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, as is the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens, but it isn't cheap and has no IS.

Posted on Feb 17, 2013 6:31:21 PM PST
Zach S. says:
I'd look at an 17-50 f/2.8 class lens (Tamron makes a nice one with VC, Canon's is also excellent but expensive), a 70-200 f/2.8 or f/4... Again the Canon one is excellent, I have the Sigma version which is also a great lens. The reason I suggest this in spite of your 28-75 is it's more of a general use lens on your APS-C camera body. I'd recommend that sort of lens over a 15-85, etc. because I'd rather have a faster lens than broader zoom range.

If you plan on shooting weddings you'll need a good, fast, standard zoom, atleast 2 bodies, multiple flashes, light stands, remote triggers, fast lenses and multiple cards for each body. I'd recommend that if you have the 7D keeping that Rebel body to back it up if you don't want to spend a lot on a second body. When I shoot events I generally wear two bodies, one with either a standard zoom on it (sometimes for a low light portion of the even, I'll swap that for my 30 1.4), and the other with either a telephoto or ultra wide, depending on what I need for the shots I'm shooting.

I don't particularly like the 18-200 and other "vacation" lenses, the Canon one is probably better than most, but all of them have huge optical compromises to get that kind of zoom range. You certainly would NOT bring that to shoot a wedding.

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 1:39:15 PM PST
I would say get a fast prime. Zoom lenses are great but getting something like the rokinon 35mm 1.4 and a focus screen will only set you back around 600, manual focus can be a lot of fun (I'm not kidding, there's something to it), and the image quality is spectacular. Fast and superfast lenses can be gorgeous and a prime will challenge your shooting abilities in a great way.
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Discussion in:  Canon forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Aug 23, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 26, 2013

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