7D and Lens selection

Started Jan 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
crazybadger Senior Member • Posts: 1,391
Re: 7D and Lens selection

yycPhotog wrote:

crazybadger wrote:

TomJ wrote:

You have received some good suggestions already...here's my addition. I'm an avid birder and own a pair of 7Ds. I find the 400mm f/5.6 to be my favorite birding lens with the camera. I use mine on a sturdy Manfrotto tripod exclusively with a gimbal head. While it is certainly possible to hand hold this little 400 mm, I get the best results when used on the tripod often with a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter. The lens will auto focus with the Kenko converter. The better the light, the more reliable the focus. I believe with a Canon 1.4x you will need to tape the pins on the converter for the camera to focus.

Other lenses that I own and use with the 7D for birds and wildlife are the 100-400 mm and the 70-300L mm. In my view, 300 mm is about the absolute minimum for birding and it's frequently too short, but it's a great travel lens and if you can get physically close to your targets, it is fast to focus, sharp, and easy to hand hold. The best all around lens I own for birding is the 100-400 mm. If I could only have one birding lens this would be it. I've had mine over 8 years (long before the 7D appeared on the scene). Perhaps a tad less sharp than the 400 mm f/5.6 and somewhat slower to focus, but is still a very capable performer.

Note, you may need to spend a bit of time "dialing in" which ever lens you get for the 7D using the micro autofocus adjustment capability of the camera. And then do a little research as to which autofocus parameters to use for your intended purpose. The 7Ds autofocus is fast and accurate, in my experience, but it must be set up properly to get the most out of it.

Best of luck with your 7D.


I have the same group of lenses and would agree with everything Tom said except my usage maybe differs a little with regard the 400 5.6. For me, one of the beauties of the 400 is just how good it is for hand holding when shooting BIF. If I know I am going in an area where the light is good and I will likely see BIF I grab my 400. The speed of focus, relatively light weight, and sharpness is pretty tough to beat. But for most other things the range and quality of the 100-400 (if I need reach) or 70-300L (if I want to travel light) is pretty tough to beat.

Cheers Mike

PS...I know you didn't ask about wide angles but since you did say you were new and looking for lenses in general, the 15-85 is a really nice lens as well. The 100-400 (or 70-300L if you want to travel light) with a 15-85 does make a very nice 2 lens team I find. Again...just my experience.

Thanks for the information. Currently I have an old Rebel XTi, which isn't bad at 8 MP, but definitely need something better. I've attached a few

pics to give an idea of what I am currently taking pictures of.

Also, thanks for the information about an all purpose wide angle. I thought about after that maybe I should have asked....

Nice shots.

I think the xti was the camera that got me back into photogrpahy after years off. Was a great little camera. But I'll think you'll really appreciate the step up to the 7D when you get it. Its a great camera. Some take to it very quickly but it actually took me a little time to really get the most out of it. I found the extra AF settings and higher pixel density a little less forgiving of mistakes than my 40D. So I needed to take a few weeks of just playing around with some of the AF settings, and being more careful of my technique (especially when using the 400mm lenses). But the effort was well worth it. I think you will really notice a difference, especially with one of the new lenses you are looking at.

Good luck.

Cheers Mike

 crazybadger's gear list:crazybadger's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.5 1-5x Macro +3 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow