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Thread: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

  1. #1

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    General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Recently I bought Canon 7D body but delayed the decision regarding the kit lens.The Canon shop offers following general purpose lenses with the body as a package,

    1)15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

    2)17-40mm L series f/4 lens.

    Would like to opt for a lens which is very sharp for landscapes and nature photography, my main interests, and also good enough for indoor and group pictures.

    Would appreciate if some one advises/guides me about these two lenses.

    I have 50mm f/1.8, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS and 100-400mm IS lens.

    Thanks,
    Nitin

  2. #2

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
    Recently I bought Canon 7D body but delayed the decision regarding the kit lens.The Canon shop offers following general purpose lenses with the body as a package,

    1)15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

    2)17-40mm L series f/4 lens.

    Would like to opt for a lens which is very sharp for landscapes and nature photography, my main interests, and also good enough for indoor and group pictures.

    Would appreciate if some one advises/guides me about these two lenses.

    I have 50mm f/1.8, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS and 100-400mm IS lens.

    Thanks,
    Nitin
    Hi Nitin,

    Welcome to CiC if I haven't said it before

    The EF17-40mm F4.0L was "kinda" superceeded by the EF16-35mm F2.8L USM, but still makes for a great landscape lens. Depending on your style, it could well work well for you as a nature lens as well. People often mis-understand how to use wide angle lenses ... what you DON'T do is simply point them at the horison and capture a wide field of view (because all of the detail will be so small it'll generally be boring boring boring) - what you SHOULD do with them is find something in the foreground (flower / plant etc) and use the WA lans to get agressively close to it, for a unique perspective.

    Other than that, you've got a few minor holes in your focal length range that something like an EF24-70mm F2.8L USM would probably fill, but I'd probably hold back and see if you need anything in that range.

    In terms of "sharpness", 80% of the sharpness of any image is correct sharpening as part of your workflow; the lens actually contributes far less than most people think. Happy to point you at more sharpening info if you'd like to learn more.

  3. #3

    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    I'd take the 15-85 over the 17-40.

    I regret not getting the 15-85 with my 7D.....I still have my old 17-85 and as I rarely use a standard zoom figured it would be good enough. I was wrong!

    The 17-40 is a wide lens for full frame and feels rather limited as a standard lens on APS-C. If you're planning on going full frame it might make sense to put up with it for a while but as a long term solution on APS-C I'd much rather have the more modern and more versatile standard lens designed for the format.

  4. #4

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    I use the 17-40 as a replacement for the 18-55 on the 50D

    My general walkabout is the 24-105 which has enough reach for a lot of use and is F4 through the range for those darker days - and it has a short minimum focus - good enough for larger flowers when out walking.

  5. #5
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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    The 17-40mm f/4L is a decent lens but, I don't really like it for a crop camera because it is actually more of a mid-range zoom on the crop format and as a mid-range zoom the f/4 aperture is just too slow while the 40mm long side is really too short. I tried to use the 17-40L in combination with the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens and I was constantly trying to squeeze more length out of the 17-40L and stretch the short side of the 70-200L. It was a frustrating combination; the gap between 40mm and 70mm was too large and was an area in which I frequently shoot.

    I love the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens as a general purpose mid-range zoom for a 1.6x camera. The equivalent 27.2mm short end is wide enough for most of my work. I don't often need a wider lens because I consider an UWA lens as a specialty tool rather than an every-day landscape lens (see Colin's comments regarding the use of UWA lenses in landscape photography). The 55mm long end gives me just enough extra length to feel comfortable shooting (88mm equivalent). IMO, the 88mm equivalent is more useful than the rather lukewarm 64mm equivalent of the 17-40L. I don't seem to miss the 55mm to 70mm gap as much as I missed the gap between 40mm and 70mm. However, I do enjoy using the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens in combination with a longer lens. I use the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens as a partner to the 17-55mm and your 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS lens should make an equally good partner. I have no hesitation about going just about anywhere with the combination of these two lenses. See my China galleries shot exclusively with the 17-55mm and 70-200mm lenses. http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/

    Where the 17-55mm lens really stands out is in its constant f/2.8 aperture and great IS. The lens, although producing excellent image quality in bright light shooting; comes into its own when shooting in lower light levels. I seldom need a faster lens.

    I just love the 17-55mm IS lens on a 1.6x camera, especially when teamed up with a longer lens. However, when I am constricted by weight, I will confidently shoot with the 17-55mm alone. I am anticipating a trip to New York City this coming week and will be delivering a Maltese puppy to his new owners. I will have a day or two to shoot in the city but, the weather will be frigid and might just be a bit snowy. I am taking only the 17-55mm lens on my 40D and feel confident that I will not lose out on too many shots. If I could anticipate better weather (equating to more walk around shooting) I would definitely bring the 70-200L also.

    UPDATE: Back from my trip... I carried only one lens, the 17-55mm and because we were hit by a blizzard which dropped about 18-inches (about .5 meter - give or take) of snow, I did not make it down to New York City from where I was staying. I did shoot some interiors of the mansion which I was visiting (a $25 million U.S. dollar property) and was able to squeak by with the 17mm end of the lens I carried. I wish that I had brought my 12-24mm Tokina on the trip. That is a great lens for indoor shoots. The f/4 aperture doesn't bother me since I most often use bounce flash and smaller apertures to get better depth of field.

    The main drawback to many photographers is the high cost of the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. However, I keep my gear for long periods of time. I actually kept shooting with manual focus Canon film cameras and skipped an entire generation of EOS film cameras. You appear to enjoy good equipment and when kept over a long period of time, the amortized cost of the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens doesn't seem that bad - especially for the capabilities it brings...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 17th January 2011 at 12:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
    Recently I bought Canon 7D body but delayed the decision regarding the kit lens.The Canon shop offers following general purpose lenses with the body as a package,

    1)15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

    2)17-40mm L series f/4 lens.

    Would like to opt for a lens which is very sharp for landscapes and nature photography, my main interests, and also good enough for indoor and group pictures.

    Would appreciate if some one advises/guides me about these two lenses.

    I have 50mm f/1.8, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS and 100-400mm IS lens.

    Thanks,
    Nitin
    I would take the 17-40mm L series f/4 lens, mainly because its higher built quality (L), the full frame argument and also the better aperture rate.

    br otmar

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Hi Colin,
    Thank you so much for the inputs. Yes, I would like to learn more about the sharpening as some of my cityscapes and architectural pictures (I used 18-55mm kit lens with 550D body then) quality was not as good as I would like it to be and presumed that my lens was responsible for it!!
    I am not considering 24-70mm focal length at this moment.
    Cheers,
    Nitin

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    thank you so much Otmar.

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Thank you so much RP. The information is so useful and will certainly try out 17-55mm f/2.8 at Canon lounge this week end.
    Have a good trip to New york.
    Nitin

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Thank you so much Kent for the information.

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
    Hi Colin,
    Thank you so much for the inputs. Yes, I would like to learn more about the sharpening as some of my cityscapes and architectural pictures (I used 18-55mm kit lens with 550D body then) quality was not as good as I would like it to be and presumed that my lens was responsible for it!!
    Hi Nitin,

    We had a good introductory discussion of it here. Perhaps have a read through, and then when you're ready, start a new thread - post some example images - and we'll do our best to help you.

  12. #12
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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
    Recently I bought Canon 7D body but delayed the decision regarding the kit lens.The Canon shop offers following general purpose lenses with the body as a package,

    1)15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

    2)17-40mm L series f/4 lens.

    Would like to opt for a lens which is very sharp for landscapes and nature photography, my main interests, and also good enough for indoor and group pictures.

    Would appreciate if some one advises/guides me about these two lenses.

    I have 50mm f/1.8, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS and 100-400mm IS lens.

    Thanks,
    Nitin
    Personally I think the "best" general purpose lens for the 7D (or in my case the 30D) is the EFS 17-55 f/2.8.

    Very few zooms lenses have the optics of this lens. It's not an "L" lens in construction, but most owners refer to its "L" lens optics.

    The uses you mention are what I use it for.

    Glenn

  13. #13

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    General purpose lens for Canon 7DHi Colin,
    have attached a recent image taken with Canon 7D , 100-400mm IS lens. I used f/5.6 aperture priority setting with ISO-800 to compensate for poor light. Other settings were--spot metering, single point focus and focal length -400mm. The image quality is not good in terms of sharpness. What could have gone wrong/how I can improve the sharpness for bird photography?
    Thanks,
    Nitin
    Last edited by Nitin; 10th January 2011 at 07:52 AM.

  14. #14

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
    have attached a recent image taken with Canon 7D
    Where?

  15. #15

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    hi Colin, I am still struggling with the CIC upload process. Earlier uploaded on 'click here to upload photos from your computer' but the image did not appear on the thread. Now, I have uploaded on 'Manage attachments'.

    grey-bird74.jpg

    grey-bird73.jpg

    Thanks,
    Nitin
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 10th January 2011 at 12:30 PM. Reason: add image inlines

  16. #16
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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitin View Post
    hi Colin, I am still struggling with the CIC upload process. Earlier uploaded on 'click here to upload photos from your computer' but the image did not appear on the thread. Now, I have uploaded on 'Manage attachments'.

    Thanks,
    Nitin
    Hi Nitin,

    I agree the Success' message is a little mis-leading (and beyond CiC control) - you missed out steps 5 - 7 in the whole process, as documented here.

    Also, for the attached thumbnails, you missed out steps 10 - 14 in the whole process, as documented here, which is why they are not bigger.

    I will do this for you now, don't worry, these two things catch quite a few people out (even me when I started - that's why I wrote it up).

    Cheers,

  17. #17

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    Re: General purpose lens for Canon 7D

    Thanks, Dave. I could upload the images following the steps mentioned in your post. I have also created the album! I tried to copy and paste the images from my flicker account using the 'post images from web site' but was unsuccessful.

    How do I upload images for January 2011 competition? Is it the same process?

    Thanks,

    Nitin

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