Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

Started Nov 22, 2010 | Discussions
xlr8or New Member • Posts: 22
Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

I'm having trouble deciding on a lens for a Canon 7D that I'm planning to purchase. Here are the lenses in no certain order that I'm interested in:

Canon 24-70 f/2.8L
Canon 24-105 f/4.0L IS
Canon 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC
Tamron 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 VC

My top three needs in a lens are 1. Tack sharpness, 2. build quality (I want something that will last), 3. Freedom from Chromatic Aberration, and 4. Image Stabilization (I really don't need this, but it would be nice to have).

I'm concerned that there are negatives in all the review that I read about each of these lenses. I would like to have a good all around zoom to start out with on my 7D that will show off the capabilities of the camera. I will primarily be using the camera for candid family shots and for outdoor scenic shots. The Canon 24-70 f/2.8L seems to have a number of negative comments about sharpness. How well do these lenses stack up against each other and which one would you recommend (and why)? Are there others not on the list above that I should consider?

Thanks

PC Wheeler
PC Wheeler Forum Pro • Posts: 17,843
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

xlr8or wrote:

I'm having trouble deciding on a lens for a Canon 7D that I'm planning to purchase. Here are the lenses in no certain order that I'm interested in:

Canon 24-70 f/2.8L
Canon 24-105 f/4.0L IS
Canon 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC
Tamron 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 VC

The first three will not take you very wide on a crop camera like the 7D.

I've heard the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is a good lens if you get a good copy.

The 18-270 is a good general purpose lens (I prefer the Canon 18-200IS after using both) but you will compromise IQ and resolution -- the latter being one reason to buy a 7D in the first place.

My walkaround lens for the 7D is the Canon 15-85, equiv to 24-135 on a full frame camera. I've been very happy with this as my go-everywhere lens.

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mjlamoon Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D - My Choice

It is always difficult to decide which lens and after many years I am still not to sure.

With my 7D I find that my preferred lens is the Canon 24 - 105L IS for Landscape / People / Buildings etc. I have tried the other IS canon lens and always come back to this one however I usually carry the Sigma 8 -16 zoom as well, its great for landscape and close ups. Take a look at juzaphoto.com he is a 7D user and favours the 24-105 in many shots. Also I have posted many on pbase.com/mjlamoon.

Just have fun with whichever lens you choose!
--
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PerKristian New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

I was struggling to decide on which standard zoom lens to get for my 7D as I had an old 24-85. I found that to be to long in the wide end and was therefore opting for the 17-40, 15-85 and the 17-55, all of which has their strengths and weaknesses. I ended up with the 17-55 which I am pleased with so far. The lack of reach in the long end is not a big problem (I also has the 70-200 f4 non IS), fixed aperture through the entire range is a huge benefit and the IS is a great bonus. It is quite pricy but the IQ improvement on the 17-55 held against the old 24-85 is significant. In Norway the lens is quite hard to find for sale used, which for me is an indication that the users seems to be quite happy with the lens.
PK

OP xlr8or New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

PC Wheeler wrote:

The first three will not take you very wide on a crop camera like the 7D.

I've heard the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is a good lens if you get a good copy.

The 18-270 is a good general purpose lens (I prefer the Canon 18-200IS after using both) but you will compromise IQ and resolution -- the latter being one reason to buy a 7D in the first place.

My walkaround lens for the 7D is the Canon 15-85, equiv to 24-135 on a full frame camera. I've been very happy with this as my go-everywhere lens.

For those that have experience with both the Canon 15-85 IS and the Canon 17-55 IS, which has the better IQ? Again, sharpness and freedom from chromatic aberration are my key points for a lens. How are the build quality for these lenses for general walk-around use?

Thanks!

Chris DeVeau Contributing Member • Posts: 730
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

Try the 17-55. It's a gorgeous lens but of course the reach is week so you'll need to supplement with a zoom of some type at some point in time.
--
Chris

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OP xlr8or New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

For those that have experience with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, is it really as soft as many say it is? How does the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L compare to the other standard/tele zooms that I mentioned?

Thanks

Andrew_WOT Contributing Member • Posts: 521
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

Not sure about that, it's quite sharp even wide open. Of course if AF is off it will be soft, nailing AF across all zoom range might require trip or two to Canon Service Center.

xlr8or wrote:

For those that have experience with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, is it really as soft as many say it is? How does the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L compare to the other standard/tele zooms that I mentioned?

Thanks

NottsPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,532
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

The 24-70 L is probably the best GP lens that Canon do.... its way better than the 7d needs!

Its as sharp as a tack... Great lens! I use mine on the 7d, 5dmk2, and 1dsmk2 and have never been dissapointed. Despite dropping it off of the back of a hiways agency lorry it is stick sharp.

BUT .. its not a great lens on the 7d as its not wide enough or long enough...

I would recommend the 17-55 2.8 by Canon... which gives that exta width you need...

If you wan the L build quality... then the 17-40 4 is a good lens as well..

Really though, if you read all the reviews you will never buy a lens.... they can always find something to humm and haw over..... but most of it is so finnicky that its just pointless..

I dont like Tamron/Sygma etal... they dont hold there value like the TOR Own brand lenses... and if you have a High end camera... stick a nice lens on it... in the end I think that the own brand lenses are actually better value due to the higher residuals.
--
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ManuelRaposo Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

The Canon EFS 17-55/2.8IS is the best lens you can buy for using with the 7D. I sold mine to buy the 15-85, and I'm regreting the move. The pictures taken with the 17-55 always came out very sharp and CA free. The only weekness is flare (15-85 is better in this department).

xlr8or wrote:

PC Wheeler wrote:

The first three will not take you very wide on a crop camera like the 7D.

I've heard the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is a good lens if you get a good copy.

The 18-270 is a good general purpose lens (I prefer the Canon 18-200IS after using both) but you will compromise IQ and resolution -- the latter being one reason to buy a 7D in the first place.

My walkaround lens for the 7D is the Canon 15-85, equiv to 24-135 on a full frame camera. I've been very happy with this as my go-everywhere lens.

For those that have experience with both the Canon 15-85 IS and the Canon 17-55 IS, which has the better IQ? Again, sharpness and freedom from chromatic aberration are my key points for a lens. How are the build quality for these lenses for general walk-around use?

Thanks!

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bhollis
bhollis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,446
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

xlr8or wrote:

For those that have experience with both the Canon 15-85 IS and the Canon 17-55 IS, which has the better IQ? Again, sharpness and freedom from chromatic aberration are my key points for a lens. How are the build quality for these lenses for general walk-around use?

Thanks!

I don't have the 17-55, but do own the 15-85. I did a lot of research on both lenses before buying.

The prevailing view is that the 17-55 has a very slight edge on IQ, but not enough to make this the determining factor in selecting between the two lenses. The determining factor should be which is most important to you: the 17-55's constant 2.8 aperture, or the 15-85's significantly wider zoom range.

As for build quality, neither is L quality, but both are good. Most folks view the 15-85 has having a little better build quality. FWIW, I also own a 35 f/1.4L, and consider the 15-85's build quality as only very slightly inferior.

Overall, I've been very pleased with the results my 15-85 is giving me. Here are a couple of recent samples taken with my 7D and 15-85.

PC Wheeler
PC Wheeler Forum Pro • Posts: 17,843
Re: Standard/Tele Zooms for Canon 7D

xlr8or wrote:

For those that have experience with both the Canon 15-85 IS and the Canon 17-55 IS, which has the better IQ? Again, sharpness and freedom from chromatic aberration are my key points for a lens. How are the build quality for these lenses for general walk-around use?

Both have excellent build quality. I've owned and used both with the 7D; sold the 17-55 because I found it was tad too short in reach for my walkaround needs.

17-55: Slightly better, though not much, IQ; less range, wide and long. Heavy and fat (not usable with internal flash). At f/2.8 great for low light.

15-85: Better range, not as fast but the 7D doesn't need as fast. Better walkaround for my needs.

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