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Best Lens for Canon 7D

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  • Best Lens for Canon 7D

    Hello All,

    I'm planning to pick up a Canon 7D, probably with the 15-85mm lens since it seems to be a decent lens for my intended use and the price is right for me. But before I buy anything I'm researching and considering all options. So I'm curious what lens(es) other 7D owners prefer to use with this body - or even other comparable crop-sensor bodies for that matter.

    What lens do you find yourself picking up most often? Why do you like it? What pros and cons do you find with it? What sacrifices come with it, and are they worth it? Do you find that online reviews accurately represent it? (That's important to me, since it is likely that I may not be able to try before I buy unless I travel to a larger city to make my purchase.)

    I'm mostly just looking for opinions here, or even links to reviews that you think are the most accurate, or photos taken with a 15-85mm. Any information would be great!

    Thanks in advance,
    Selena
    Canon 7D, 15-85mm, 50mm f/1.4, 8mm Samyang Fisheye, 430 EX II... and some other lenses and stuff.
    My flickr
    "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera."
    - Lewis Wickes Hine

  • #2
    For reviews see this site.

    Canon & Nikon Digital SLR Camera & Lens Reviews

    I own a 40D and would be happy to have the 15-85 (I own it's predecessor, the 17-85) as a general purpose lens.

    Due to the subjects I shoot, my most used lens is the Canon 100-400, and it is great for just reaching and "grabbing" things, however it is not realy wide, or physically compact. Reviews are generally on the mark..
    Flickr stream.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/34094515@N00/

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    • #3
      Thanks for the link for the reviews - it's helpful to know what sites others trust. And also good to know that the 15-85 measures up to its predecessor. So far I think it's my best option for an all around general purpose lens.

      And since you mentioned it, I checked out the 100-400 as well. I see what you mean about it reaching out and "grabbing". Now I have another lens on my wish list... At this rate I'm going to have to tell my kids one day, "Sorry kidlets, no college or university for you... Mama needed some new gear." LOL

      Thanks again for your input, I appreciate it!
      Selena
      Canon 7D, 15-85mm, 50mm f/1.4, 8mm Samyang Fisheye, 430 EX II... and some other lenses and stuff.
      My flickr
      "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera."
      - Lewis Wickes Hine

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      • #4
        I've got a 40D and the 17-85. I really love the range in that lens, and I've got no complaints about focus speed or operation, but I've recently found myself coveting the 15-85 because it's supposed to be a fair bit sharper than the older lens. The biggest drawback of the 15-85, IMO, is that it's still a relatively slow (optically) lens.

        This is why you'll also see lenses like Canon's 17-55 f/2.8 or Tamron's 17-50 f/2.8 mentioned as options for this sort of application. I think you might want to look at Canon's 17-40, 24-70 and 24-105 lenses, as these usually end up somewhere in the conversation when you're considering a wide-ish zoom. Personally, I think I'd put a fair bit of weight on whether you think you need the extra optical speed of a 2.8 lens. If you think you can get by without those extra stops, though, the 15-85 looks like a really solid option. With any luck, I'll find out someday. ;-)
        David Lambert
        lambertpix.com
        More photos on Flickr and 500px

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        • #5
          I personally won't be satisfied with 15-85 range as a general purpose. I'd find the range too limiting. That's why when I got my 7D, I got it with the 18-135 which IMO is a much better general purpose lens.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by AshNZ View Post
            I personally won't be satisfied with 15-85 range as a general purpose. I'd find the range too limiting. That's why when I got my 7D, I got it with the 18-135 which IMO is a much better general purpose lens.
            Except the 15-85 goes significantly wider and has better image quality.
            I am responsible for what I say; not what you understand.
            adammontpetit.com
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            • #7
              Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
              Except the 15-85 goes significantly wider and has better image quality.
              I'm not doubting that. But when talking general purpose, by which I mean everyday photos around family, kids etc, I'd find the upper limit of 85 too limiting. Just something for OP to consider.
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              • #8
                I've been renting a Carl ZEISS Planar T* Telephoto lens - 85 mm - F/1.4 - Canon EF mount and it is my favorite lens. You have to at least rent one, it is an amazing lens. If you get the 7D I think this would be a favorite of yours too.
                Canon 60D, G12, Leica V-LUX 20, Canon 10-22mm EF-S, 18-135mm EF-S IS, 100mm EF Macro, 15-85mm EF-S IS, 50mm EF f1.4, 70-200mm EF f2.8L IS II, Satechi WR-C100, Gitzo, Sunpak, Manfrotto, Sunbounce, Colormunki,
                Checkout My Photography Blog

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dlambert View Post
                  I've got a 40D and the 17-85. I really love the range in that lens, and I've got no complaints about focus speed or operation, but I've recently found myself coveting the 15-85 because it's supposed to be a fair bit sharper than the older lens. The biggest drawback of the 15-85, IMO, is that it's still a relatively slow (optically) lens.

                  This is why you'll also see lenses like Canon's 17-55 f/2.8 or Tamron's 17-50 f/2.8 mentioned as options for this sort of application. I think you might want to look at Canon's 17-40, 24-70 and 24-105 lenses, as these usually end up somewhere in the conversation when you're considering a wide-ish zoom. Personally, I think I'd put a fair bit of weight on whether you think you need the extra optical speed of a 2.8 lens. If you think you can get by without those extra stops, though, the 15-85 looks like a really solid option. With any luck, I'll find out someday. ;-)
                  This is one of the things that I keep coming back to when I look at the 15-85, I know I will be more than satisfied with its focal length and sharpness (I've been making do with my kit lens long enough that this is a significant step up), my only real concern is that the max aperture is only f/3.5 and that it's variable. However, I do have a 50mm 1.4 that I use when I find myself in low light situations - it's a bit tricky in small spaces, but great for me in every other way.

                  What I'm really seeing is that every lens has its sacrifice - price, weight, speed, sharpness, etc. I have read over and over that there's no such thing as the perfect lens but I keep hoping to find it! Realistically, I could probably be happy with almost all of the lenses people have suggested here, but the discussion has just confirmed for me that I will likely be happiest with the 15-85.

                  Thanks again for the discussion and suggestions!
                  Selena
                  Canon 7D, 15-85mm, 50mm f/1.4, 8mm Samyang Fisheye, 430 EX II... and some other lenses and stuff.
                  My flickr
                  "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera."
                  - Lewis Wickes Hine

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                  • #10
                    I use my Canon 7D for four types of photography:
                    1. General family and friends gatherings, both indoors and out doors.
                    2. Some creative and experimental photography.
                    3. General photography during travels.
                    4. Wildlife and bird photography.
                    So the following lenses serve all my needs:
                    1. Canon EFS 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM - this is an excellent general purpose lens. The EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 is marginally better in sharpness and in low light but the extra wide angle and zoom of 15-85 are more handy when you are sightseeing outdoors- especially landscapes, and buildings etc.. For the difference in price I got a good flash to use in low light!!
                    2. Canon 35mm 1.4L - A superb lens by any standards. Excellent for all types of creative experiments, in indoors low light, portraits and what not. You can take real sharp quality pictures with it. Better than the Canon 24mm 1.4 or the 50 mm 1.4 primes i tested. A 50mm is said to be the equivalent of how the human eye sees a scene. But on the 1.6 cropped 7d, the 50mm is like 85 where as the 35 mm is like 55mm.
                    3. Canon 100-400L IS USM - A great zoom lens which gives excellent sharp pictures. Birds 100 yards away can be captured in great detail.
                    Hope this helps you.

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                    • #11
                      I would also back the 15-85mm as the best option for a crop walk around lens if you prefer the "one lens" option in those situations. It has the IQ and durability of an L and is quite compact considering it is around a 5x zoom. The main drawback is that it is not suited for indoors or low light, or situations where you want crazy background blur.

                      I used a 15-85mm for shooting outdoor events but found in the long run, it did not match my shooting style. Since I am also planning to go full frame with the 6d, i sold mine and now go with either a 17-40 or 70-200 as a walkaround zoom should i need one, or just use a long prime. For my style of shooting that suits better then a "super zoom".
                      Prints available through PI Creative Arts. Represented by FIRSTL*GHT, a Division of Design Pics Inc.
                      Canon 6D... EF 135mm f/2L, EF 100mm f/2.8L MACRO, MP-E 65mm MACRO, EF 85mm f/1.8, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Sigmalux, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG, Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, EF 200mm F/2.8L, Lensbaby Composer Pro 50mm/Edge 80/Fisheye
                      ZENFOLIO!....500Px

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                      • #12
                        My style of walkabout shooting is "long" rather than "wide" - I have a 24-105/4 on a 40D. Suits me perfectly. And it's a superb lens, with a fixed aperture throughout the range, IS and ridiculously fast auto-focus (compared to EF-S lenses that I've used. It's heavier and bigger than the other lenses mentioned here (15-85, 17-85) and about the same size as the 17-55/2.8.

                        Since your question is "which lens do you pick up most often?", that's now become my 100/2.8 macro (since the 24-105 is in for repairs...). The 100mm is superb for portraits, and at f/2.8 the bokeh is to die for! Also, it means I don't have to change lenses when I want to get up close to something since it's a macro lens too

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                        • #13
                          Well,maybe u can buy a wide angle lens,I really like Zeiss lenses. I love the color and contrast they offer. True, they can be a little expensive, but you can get them built with a Canon mount so theyíll fit right on your 5D body. If you have a limited budget I would recommend getting the Tokina 11-16mm. Itís a popular lens amongst DSLR indie filmmakers and itís been used in some of the most breathtaking work Iíve seen.
                          Hello,tips.

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                          • #14
                            There are so many great replies here. Like many have said, it really depends on what your shooting, how, where, etc. As a novice that is just getting into photography, I wanted to have a lens that is well rounded and can be used in a wider set of situations. That is basically what you start with, but then it's important to branch out slowly (as funds permit) to the next most useful lens. I stumbled upon this threat and there are many great suggestions. For me, I guess I trust the masses or sheer numbers to go along with any one person's opinion. So after reading all these educated suggestions, I also checked out Amazon for less sophisticated advice and just raw numbers. These 3 are the most common choices there:

                            Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

                            Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens

                            Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom

                            Thanks eveybody for your great replies and this site is SUCH a good resource!

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