Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Which lens for new Canon 7D

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    ABERDEEN SCOTLAND UK
    Posts
    12
    Real Name
    MIKE

    Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi,

    I am a new member (just joined today) and this is the first plea for help that I have posted.

    I have just lost all finacial control and purchased Canon's EOS 7D to compliment my EOS 400D a great camera in my view. I am just trying to find my way around the 7D and would welcome any comments you can give me regarding the pros, cons or tips on how to get the best from this camera.

    My present lenses are Canon's EF-S17-85MM F/4-5.6 IS USM which I enjoy although it is maybe a bit soft. I also have Canon's EF70-300MM F4-5.6 IS USM which only has occasional use and gives variable results, although that is maybe me and not the lens.

    I want to purchase a lens to take indoor or poor light portraits/unposed photographs of my grandchildren and friends without having to use flash.

    I am thinking of the Canon 50mm f/1.4 or the Canon 85mm f/1.8 or any alternatives that members may be able to suggest.

    Your comments and advice would be welcomed along with any views on upgrades on my existing lenses.

    I am as a senoir citizen on a tight budget (especially having purchased the 7D) and under the watchful eye of my good lady partner.

    Best wishes,

    Mike Webster

    Scotland UK

  2. #2
    arith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Burton on Trent, UK
    Posts
    4,788
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    The 50mm f1.8 is just as sharp as the f1.4 and it is only half a stop difference on speed. Care needs to be taken with it though since it is very cheap construction and you should be able to get new guaranteed for 65 inclusive. That's a few hundred saved isn't it. If you look at MTF charts you will see the 24mm and 28mm f2.8 primes are very good up to what the 7D can see, and as good as an L-type at f8. In fact they have photodoto ratings of 3.9 and 3.8 respectively but I think the 28mm is sharper on a cropped camera and at only 300 each saving thousands this time. I can't remember the 50mm photodoto rating but it was over 4.

    Now I'm interested in the 17-35mm canon because this is also an intermediate and cheap as chips, golden ones.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    606
    Real Name
    Peter

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi Mike,

    Welcome to the forum. I think you will struggle o get good shots of children indoors without either pushing the ISO to 800 or higher or using flash whichever lens you get. My keeper rate has improved since I started using the 580EX and Tamron 28-70 F2.8 as I no longer have to worry about kids movement or shooting against window light as the combination is intelligent enough to compensate the flash output to give me a good exposure.

    Peter

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    ABERDEEN SCOTLAND UK
    Posts
    12
    Real Name
    MIKE

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi Arith,

    Thanks for your comments which were very helpful.

    Can I ask what you think of the 7D and what you think of the other lenses I am using?

    Mike

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    ABERDEEN SCOTLAND UK
    Posts
    12
    Real Name
    MIKE

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Many thanks Peter.

    Mike

  6. #6
    arith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Burton on Trent, UK
    Posts
    4,788
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by MiKe Webster View Post
    Hi Arith,

    Thanks for your comments which were very helpful.

    Can I ask what you think of the 7D and what you think of the other lenses I am using?

    Mike
    quote
    Category 2 - midrange zooms.

    All lenses in this category have metal lens mounts, and come in two basic flavours - old-style lens barrel and new style. The old style feature hard textured plastic barrels with narrow focus rings and their AF/MF switches are low and sometimes difficult to adjust. The new style feature slightly more resilient shiny plastic with wider focus and zoom rings, often with lots of easy-grip ribbed rubber. The new style lenses also boast ring USM focus drives and easier to operate AF/MF switches.

    EF-S 10-22mm 3.5-4.5 USM, 77
    Unusually for a lens not marketed as L series, this lens contains a Super UD element and has very good image quality.

    EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS USM, 67

    EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM, 77
    This is an interesting lens since it actually has L-series image quality thanks in part to the use of UD glass. However, build quality is on par with better consumer lenses and not L series lenses.

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Burton on Trent, UK
    Posts
    4,788
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    I think the 7D is fantastic, it is probably what I'm going to get in the future.

    http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/lenses.html

    I mean't 20-35mm above but the 10-22mm looks better,

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    1,015
    Real Name
    Rick

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi, Mike; welcome!

    One thing I'd suggest is to check back through your photos and see what focal length you're using a lot. That should be in the EXIF data in your files, and should be visible in Photoshop or whatever you use to work on your images. You can also get a plug-in for IE or Firefox, and just browse the folders.

    As you know, a 50mm lens on an APS-C sensor has the field of view of an 80mm lens on a 35mm film camera. 80mm isn't bad for a portrait setup, but may be a bit tight for snapshots. I find that when I'm taking a quick shot of pets, or family around the table, my lens (a 17-55 EF-S) is usually toward the lower end. I just checked back through 20-30 images, and the only picture of a person/pet I found at 50mm was a shot of a my son-in-law from across the room (3.7m). Most of the indoor shots of family and pets are at 17 to 35mm.

    I agree with Peter about shooting without flash. I just turned on my camera, and in <P> mode with auto ISO, it set up 1/45, f/2.8 (wide open for this lens), ISO 1600. This is indoors with some light coming in the windows on an overcast day, and a reading lamp over my shoulder.

    If you don't like the harsh effect of the flash, you could get the 580EX, or at least the 430, so you can bounce it off the ceiling. The 580 is better for two reasons: it's weather-proofed better, as is your new camera, and it's more powerful for better bounce. Or maybe get a Gary Fong lightsphere: I haven't used it, but I've seen it recommended here.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,483
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Bottom Line: You cannot get a more cost effective lens for low light shooting than the "Nifty-Fifty", 50mm f/1.8 Mark II. It has a cult following since it provides marvelous image quality when measured against the price. It is also quite light in weight. Since buying photo equipment is always a series of choices and compromises, there are some downsides to the "Nifty-Fifty" however, when measured against the price, perhaps the downsides would not be a deal breaker:

    1. The build is not extremely sturdy and the lens will not survive a bit of knocking about. But, as long as you are reasonably careful, this should not be a problem.

    2. There is no focus scale on this lens. This might or might not be a problem depending on how often you use the focus scale.

    3. The lens has only five blades in its aperture and thus the diaphragm is not a smooth circle. This often results in a ragged bokeh (Bokeh is the subjective quality of the looks of the out of focus areas) which may or may not be a problem for you.

    4. The autofocus is not USM and can, under low light situations, tend to hunt. This is probably my greatest gripe against this lens but, again measured against the price the low light focusing might or might not be a deal breaker.

    The final "problem" with this lens is not specific to the "Nifty-Fifty" but with all prime (non-zoom) lenses of this focal length. Although the equivalent 80mm is great for head and shoulders portraiture, it is often a little narrow to shoot kids indoors. I have found the prime lens of this focal length somewhat restrictive when shooting fast moving kids. It is not always possible to be in the right spot for the image you want and it is often too narrow a view..

    What do I do? I will use a 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens and a flash and will bounce the flash using a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro. ( www.dembflashproducts.com ). This combination will provide excellent lighting without the harsh look of straight on flash or the red eye effect of the built-in flash unit. There is a less expensive close equivalent of the Demb Flash Diffuser Pro available in the U.K. but, I don't remember the name. You can also fabricate a flash diffuser which will do an excellent job in softening the bounced light of the flash to a pleasing effect ( http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/ ).

    Your 17-85mm lens would be perfectly adequate for use with flash but, if you are not satisfied with the quality of the imagery you get from that lens, a reasonably priced substitute would be the 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron.

    Probably the best flash for your needs would be the Canon 430EX but, there are several third party flashes on the market that are less expensive and which are reported to do a decent job. I would just ensure that the flash I selected has TTL or ETTL capability and also has the capability to rotate the head as well as tilt the head for bounce flash work. I would also read reviews from other owners and see if there are significant problems reported regarding the flash you are considering. There is another reasonably inexpensive solution to flash photography, a used Canon 420EX. This is an older flash but, I will often use mine for the type of photography you are considering because it is lightweight. It does a nice job. I would not consider the 270EX because that flash cannot rotate for bounce in the vertical position and is quite underpowered for general use with a DSLR camera.

    Here is a neat website that provides a lot of interesting information on the creative use of flash.

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-pho...hy-techniques/
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 10th March 2010 at 02:29 PM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    1,015
    Real Name
    Rick

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I would just ensure that the flash I selected has TTL or ETTL capability and also has the capability to rotate the head as well as tilt the head for bounce flash work. I would also read reviews from other owners and see if there are significant problems reported regarding the lens you are considering.
    This is a really important point that I missed. For what you want to do, Mike, you want to make sure a flash has TTL, preferably (I think) ETTL II. You're not planning on posing shots and adjusting the exposure, so you want the camera to meter the flash as well as possible to get the exposure right the first time.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  11. #11
    arith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Burton on Trent, UK
    Posts
    4,788
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    I guess you will be using the flash indoors, and the cheapest is the Jessops 360AFCD which zooms up to 85mm but is not the sturdiest, however at 80 is about 500 cheaper than a 580. Next up is the Nissin Di622 which is over twice the price but build quality is excellent. It is the equivalent to a 430 but don't plan setting it off by wireless remote however it always fires off an eTTL when set as slave.

    Both have GN around 44 @ 105mm 100 iso and around 36 at 50mm I think

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    606
    Real Name
    Peter

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    This is a really important point that I missed. For what you want to do, Mike, you want to make sure a flash has TTL, preferably (I think) ETTL II. You're not planning on posing shots and adjusting the exposure, so you want the camera to meter the flash as well as possible to get the exposure right the first time.

    Cheers,
    Rick
    With the 5dII, not sure about the 7D, another good reason for using the 58EXii or 430EXII is that the camera can set the flash whuch saves time fiddling with flash controls.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,363

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    I can't add anything to what 'the others' have said regarding another lens; but your Canon 70-300 should be a reliable lens which gives reasonable quality.

    But, like most other mid price zooms, try to avoid the extremes of lens size and work mostly in the F8 - F14 range. Even with IS, keep a reasonable shutter speed at 300 mm (say 1/200 minimum) or use a tripod. You may find that turning off IS works better on a tripod.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi Mike,

    The best way to take outdoor portraits (as opposed to outdoor "candids") is to invest just a few $$$ in a 5 in 1 reflector / diffuser (they're about 1m wide and come with white / gold / silver / black, and translucent surfaces.

    Trick is to position subject in shade near the sun - and then reflect light back onto them - or if they're in dappled light (say under a tree) then use the diffuser. Not a big fan of shorter focal lengths like 50mm for portraiture (even on crop-factor cameras) personally - I prefer longer lengths (85mm minimum on a CF camera) for closer up (head and shoulders) type work as the compression is far more pleasing.

    Here's one of my #1 daughter taken a week or two ago outside using just a diffuser (it was supposed to have fill-flash as well, but I'd forgotten to turn on the transmitter, so this was just diffuser at this stage).

    Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Shot at 110mm on a FF camera (approx 70mm lens needed on a 1.6x CF camera).

    Hope this helps

  15. #15
    flipmode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    100
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi Mike,

    I'm also new and just joined today. I currently shoot with my 50mm f/1.8 aka "nifty fifty" and absolutely love it. If you're on a tight budget this $100 lens will go a long way. I bought this similarly to what you mentioned about wanting to take photos of the kids indoors. It does a great job assuming you can get some good window light in the room where you are shooting.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    ABERDEEN SCOTLAND UK
    Posts
    12
    Real Name
    MIKE

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Thanks for all the helpfull advice.

    Best wishes,

    Mike

  17. #17
    wilgk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    2,408
    Real Name
    Kay

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi Mike
    Like you I have a new 7D - purchased mainly for sports/action photography
    I use for indoors the 85mm 1.8 I find it excellent for this application & have used it at Dance/Music concerts & Indoor Equestrian - anywhere you don't want to use a flash.
    Now if I can just figure out how to upload pictures onto the message - so they son't have ll the tinypic advert stuff I'll be set :-)
    I am saving for a 'fast' zoom now too, if that's any help.

    Which lens for new Canon 7D
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 15th March 2010 at 10:03 AM.

  18. #18

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi Mike

    Sorry to come late to the party. If you haven't already made your decision I'd recommend the 50mm f/1.4. I find it works well for pics of the wee yins

    I got the 7D for low ISO macro work but I'm stunned at what it can do in poor light - I took this the other night at ISO 6400 and f/1.4 on my 50mm (1/160th on the shutter speed)
    Which lens for new Canon 7D

    No flash...just energy saving lighbulbs several metres from the subject

    Cheers,
    Andy

  19. #19
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,483
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Something which I neglected to mention in my previous posting.

    The 7D has remote flash triggering. If you set up a flash to bounce off the ceiling in one part of the room, it will boost the illumination throughout the room. And... with the light being bounced off the ceiling, it will look pretty natural.

    I will frequently use this technique with my 550EX on my camera set at a low setting and my 420EX somewhere else in the room as a slave to boost the overall illumination.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    ABERDEEN SCOTLAND UK
    Posts
    12
    Real Name
    MIKE

    Re: Which lens for new Canon 7D

    Hi,

    I just got back into the website to find that I had even more replies so thanks a lot for that.

    I actually finishe up with the 50mm 1.8 but then went daft and got the 60mm 2.8

    I find that the 60mm f2.8 is the sharpest lens I have come across.
    I would welcome any comments on this.
    Best wishes,

    Mike Webster

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •