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Thread: Purchasing 7D - please help with lenses!!!!

  1. #1
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    Purchasing 7D - please help with lenses!!!!

    Dearest All,

    I am just about to purchase my first slr and I have decided on the 7d. I was looking at the 60d, however, cause I have big hands I did struggle operating the double scroll pad on the rear effectively. Furthermore, I would rather outlay a bit more $$$$$ initially rather than updating in a year or two.

    Anyway, I'm heading over to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia at the end of January and I'm wondering what the best lenses would be, not only for this trip, but in the future if I wanted to photograph landscapes , buildings etc, and I would really love to get into nighttime photography of buildings and lights (eg like the hotels in Vegas)!

    I am wondering what lenses I should purchase - I have read all the reviews on this site and perused the sample photographs from each of the nominated lenses. But there is nothing better than personal reviews from people who
    have purchased and used them for the purpose I want to use them for!

    I was considering the following as the all purpose lens;
    15-85mm IS USM
    or would I be better opting for the 24-105mm F4L (I saw the various sample photos of this lens on this site and loved it) and also purchase the 10-22mm

    Or perhaps the 17-40 and 10-22 are they too close together?

    I also saw the sample pics of landscapes from the 70-200m F4 IS USM and liked these as well, but obviously this lens is a fair bit more expensive.

    Regardless of price - what are my best options?

    I will also buy either the 50mm 1.4 just to have another fixed option.

    I sincerely do appreciate your time and thoughts.



    So I am just wondering what combo I should go with???????????


    I waas just wondering

  2. #2
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    I would suggest a 17-50, either canon or third-party as a walk-around lens, and perhaps a 70-200 to be able to isolate objects that are further away. The 17-50mm lenses usually deliver great quality (at least the 2.8 versions of Canon and Tamron). I use my Tamron 17-50 2.8 non IS probably 90% of the time, and I shoot a lot of landscape. If you like night photography, concider getting a tripod. They don't have to cost too much if you are strong enough to carry some weight.

    Lars

  3. #3
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    You mentioned the 24-105. I have two of these and love them but I shoot full frame. With the crop sensor you will find 24 is not wide enough for landscapes. The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is your best bet.
    Mark
    Last edited by clemmb; 11-17-2011 at 10:06 PM.
    Mark

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums.

    I own the 7D myself and primarily use the EFS 15-85 and the EF 100-400L. Those two lenses cover a very large focal length range for me, but are both a little "slow," the 15-85 being f/3.5-5.6 and the 100-400L being f/4.5-5.6. But, I still am very happy with these lenses and consider it to be a great "two lens" kit on the 7D.

    That said, for general purpose lenses on a crop body such as the 7D, the EFS 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 and the EFS-17-55 f/2.8 are the most commonly recommended lenses (with perhaps the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-VC). The EFS-15-85 will give you a wider focal length range but the 17-55 will give you f/2.8 which allows both more light to hit your sensor and a more shallow DOF. Optically both are excellent. If you will be taking photos primarily in situations with plenty of light, I would recommend the 15-85 (which I have also used for night time street photography). But if you will be shooting indoors/in lower light, I would give strong consideration to the EFS 17-55.

    The EFS 10-22 has a maximum diagonal angle of view of 107 degrees at 10 mm, compared to 84 degrees for the 15-85, 78 degrees at 17-55 and 58 degrees for the 24-105 (all for cropped sensor bodies). So it depends upon if you want the extra range or not.

    If you need more reach, I would consider one of the many options Canon gives us including the several 70-200 mm L lenses, the 70-300 L, and the 100-400L. I went for as much reach as possible and got the 100-400L. But the 70-300L wasn't yet available, is weathersealed, has better AF and IS and is more compact/lighter.

    Other things to consider, but a good flash will help with low-light/indoor photography. I actually think the flash on the 7D is pretty good, but mostly use it for fill-light. If you are truly in low light conditions, it has limited range. The second thing I would consider would be a good tripod. The IS on the 15-85 and the 17-55 is good enough, you can probably hand hold photos down to ~1/4 or 1/5 second range at the shortest focal length. But if you zoom at all or want longer exposures, you'll need a good tripod.

    Also, in case you haven't seen it yet, Bryan has his list of recommended lenses here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 11-17-2011 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Correct AOV at 10 mm for 1.6x body

  5. #5
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    IMO, the best general purpose zoom for an APS-C body like the 7D is the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, followed by the 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. Both deliver L-series optical quality, although the build is not up to L standards. The 24-105mm f/4L IS is a decent outdoor lens on the 7D, but optically a little worse than the 17-55mm, despite being an L-series lens. However, the 7D + 24-105mm gives you a weather-sealed combination. Then again...you're going to SE Asia in the dry season, when rain is pretty unlikely.

    I like the combination of the17-55mm f/2.8 with a 70-200mm L-series zoom, the f/4L IS if weight is a concern (likely for travel), else the f/2.8L IS II which gives you f/2.8 from 17-200mm. The 50mm f/1.4 is a good addition, but you might also consider the 35mm f/1.4L which would deliver a more 'normal' focal length on APS-C.

    There are two 'common' zoom combinations, the fast and the slow, for APS-C:

    Fast: EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
    Slow: EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS

    Personally, I prefer f/2.8 zooms, especially on the 7D where you have less flexibility on pushing the ISO up high.

    You don't mention a budget, except to say 'regardless of price'. If I was building a versatile travel kit around a 7D, I'd have an EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 (or possibly the Sigma 8-16mm), EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, possibly a 1.4x TC just in case, along with a 430EX II and a good, carbon fiber tripod. Don't worry about the overlap between the 10-22mm and the 17-55mm - the ultrawide 10-22mm is a special purpose lens.

    One other consideration, if money really isn't an object. You mention photographing buildings, and for that there's almost no better lens than a TS-E. A standard lens will give you substantial perspective distortion because you have to point it up toward the building, a TS-E lens corrects for that with shift. I use my TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II on a 5DII for architectural photography; on a 7D it would be too narrow, and I'd recommend the TS-E 17mm f/4L instead.
    Last edited by neuroanatomist; 11-17-2011 at 01:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    I use almost exclusively my 50mm and my 24-70mm for most portrait shots. Those would be the lenses on the top of my list. I own the 17-50mm from Tamron and it does as good as the bigger canon lens. I used that for many years and it works great. Unless you need the IS of the canon version, I would suggest going that route instead. Yes the AF is noisy, but unless your tracking college athletes running, I think it will be perfectly fine. I have 3 little ones and it does great catching their movements. The 50mm some say have issues with the focus breaking, but if you are careful with your equipment and mind what you do with it, you should be fine. I suggest getting the hood to protect the lens as it does expand with focusing. I have never taken the hood off that lens. I would also say that the 70-200 f/4 might not be a bad lens to get if your looking at increasing the length of your lenses. Just my thoughts.

  7. #7
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    Hi, I ended up with the 24-105/10-22 combo and like it a lot. When I finally upgraded from the 18-55 kit lens I wanted something substantially better and also some more reach. I went with the 24-105, and the year efter I got the 10-22. This is an expensive kit, but really good (in my opinion). But if the 15-85 had been out when I first was about to upgrade, I would likely have gone that way instead. Of course there are times when I wish the 24-105 wasn't limited to f/4, but you can't get it all and I've choosen longer reach.

    One thing though - when you say you're about to buy your first DSLR, my recommendation would be to take it easy with the big investments. Maybe the 18-135 kit would be a good start, and when you have learned what you're missing with that lens the answer to your questions may be answered "automatically". E.g. when you have built a library of lots of photos you can easily see what focal lengths you prefer.

  8. #8
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cls View Post
    Maybe the 18-135 kit would be a good start, and when you have learned what you're missing with that lens the answer to your questions may be answered "automatically". E.g. when you have built a library of lots of photos you can easily see what focal lengths you prefer.
    That's a great point. For example, with my 24-105mm lens, the distribution of shots by focal length looks like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    From that one could conclude that I need both a wider and a longer lens, and perhaps that if I was looking to add a prime, I should be looking in the 24-60mm range rather than at the top end. Of course, for me such an analysis is confounded by the fact that I already have several prime lenses within that range or as well as zooms that overlap portions of it.

    Other zoom lenses show a similar pattern for me, similar weighting toward the two extreme ends of the zoom range, and a spread through the intermediate focal lengths, with the combined frequency at the two ends exceeding the balance of the shots. One exception is the 100-400mm, with the vast majority (80%) of shots at 400mm (so...perhaps I need a longer lens...but then again, only 10% of my pictures are shot with the 100-400mm...).

    OTOH, the OP is visiting some interesting places in the near future, and IMO it's probably better to take lenses that will give the best IQ possible. The 18-135mm is a decent lens, but not at its best until it's stopped down beyond it's already-slow wide open apertures, and that best is short of other lens' wide-open performance. If, later on, it semes other focal lengths would be better suited, the lens(es) can be sold - and the lenses we're discussing (17-55mm, 10-22mm, 70-200 L's) hold their value very well. Notably, the 18-135mm does not have a high resale value (nor do any kit lenses, since the market is set by the discounted kit price, not the lens-only price - and that applies to the 24-105mm f/4L IS as well - the best time to buy a new one is with a 5DII!).

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=weewillo;60625]

    Anyway, I'm heading over to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia at the end of January and I'm wondering what the best lenses would be, not only for this trip, but in the future if I wanted to photograph landscapes , buildings etc, and I would really love to get into nighttime photography of buildings and lights (eg like the hotels in Vegas)!


    Regardless of price - what are my best options?
    [QUOTE]

    For what you are wanting to do, and taking in to account "Regardless of price - what are my best options?" I would say go with a 5D II instead of the 7D. The TSE 24mm lens Neuro recommended, and get a good tripod. The lens, camera and tripod are going to cost you just short of 5 grand. If I were going to vietnam, thailand and cambodia I think a 70-200F 2.8L II would be in order to. That would add another 2 grand, plus if you wanted some shorter lenses you could either use a few good primes or something like the 24-70mm F2.8L (I am not a big fan of that lens but it really is one of the few options in the range). The 5D II is just better at landscapes and night work.

    Now if price matters: I think everyone has given you good advice so far for getting set up with the 7D and it will be about half the price of the 5D II. Do keep in mind if you ever want to migrate to a full frame body the EF-S lenses wont work on full frame. Lenses do hold there value, but you will loose some off retail. If you build your kit off EF-S lenses and you decide you want a 5D II, it really puts you back at square one.

    Some advice, buy your body to go with your lenses. What I mean by this is that your lenses will last for years and years. If you go for the 7D, the body will be replaced in a year or two, then it's replacement will last a few years and be replaced. Camera bodies are like computers any more, they loose there value faster than lenses and new technology renders them yesterdays news.

    Good Luck
    Rick
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 11-17-2011 at 10:00 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cls View Post

    One thing though - when you say you're about to buy your first DSLR, my recommendation would be to take it easy with the big investments. Maybe the 18-135 kit would be a good start, and when you have learned what you're missing with that lens the answer to your questions may be answered "automatically". E.g. when you have built a library of lots of photos you can easily see what focal lengths you prefer.
    I would almost agree with that advice, had I not bought the 50D (before the 7D existed), and within 5 months decided that was not the way to go and bought a 5D II. I ended up with a 50D kit that cost about $1,500 bucks that ended up being a backup camera for a while till I gave it to my brother. Overall I ended up with about $4,000 in miss steps, some of which are still sitting in my safe and need to be sold.
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 11-17-2011 at 10:01 PM.

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