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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old November 24th, 2009, 10:25 PM   #1
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Lens Recommendation for 7D

Looking to purchase a 7D in the next few weeks for split photography/video (50/50) use. I'm looking for somebody here to nudge me in the right direction in regards to which type of lens I should be looking to purchase as I undersrtand the "kit" lens is not very good.

I'm doing my best to learn all the terminology discussed here in these forums regarding focal length, f-stops, etc, etc but without anything to trial hands on, I'm finding it difficult to make this decision.

My application is fairly narrow. I have attached samples of the types of shots that I'll be making. I'm looking for something that will give me some depth of field on subjects that will typically be about 1-3' tall, 1-2' wide and be placed in a setting where they'll take up 75% of the image. Because I don't know lense talk, this is the only way I can describe what I'm trying to do. In my other need, I would be taking pictures in garden settings while focusing on one plant or flower (see image4). This would be about as wide as I would get in these garden settings.

So I'm pretty sure I do not need a wide angle lense, but probably not a macro lens either. Really something in between but closer to the macro then the wide. :)

Can you help me out? Thanks! :)

Jon
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Lens Recommendation for 7D-image_1.jpg   Lens Recommendation for 7D-image_2.jpg  

Lens Recommendation for 7D-image_3.jpg   Lens Recommendation for 7D-image_4-gardensetting.jpg  

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Old November 24th, 2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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Many different lenses would work for this application. I recommend a tripod, as that would let you stop the aperture down as much as you'd like to keep the whole plant in focus. You don't need an expensive lens with a large aperture for this application, but you will want great sharpness.

If you don't need a zoom, consider the 85mm f/1.8. This lens has few flaws, will give you the telephoto look that you want, and is available at a reasonable price.

But frankly, lots of lenses would do the job. You could get the 70-200 f/4 IS zoom. Or how about the 24-105mm f/4 IS zoom? You could also do the job with the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro.

There are so many options that you should probably be asking yourself what your second most important application is, beyond still lifes. One lens can probably cover plants as well as something else, be it low light for video, macro capability, IS for handheld video, or a zoom to meet your video goals.

But if you want the very best lens for the plant photos above at the best price, I'd go with the 85/1.8 - assuming that you can back up as needed to get the shot. Otherwise, go for a zoom.

If you can backup far enough, another option is the 200mm f/2.8L. This lens is really gorgeous, and can cut the edge of a flower with a knife.

I took the following photo with that lens from about five feet: http://fairhurst.com/photos/june_2009_200mm/Flowers.JPG

(Note that if you shut down the aperture, you can get much deeper focus than I show here.)
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Old November 25th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Jon. Your shot of that flower is, in my opinion, stunning and definately representative of the types of garden shots I'm looking to achieve. With that being said, would the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens that ships with the camera be sufficient for this purpose as well as the shots similiar to the ones I laid out above?

Jon
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Old November 25th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Since none of us know exactly what conditions you are going to be shooting in, and the goal you wish to achieve with these images its going to be very hard for us to recommend a lens for you and you loving it.

What I would suggest is to stick with the kit lens when it comes and don't buy another lens just yet. Take a lot of pictures, learn what focal length you shoot at the most, what aperture you shoot at and what shutter speed is most frequent when you are behind the camera. Define your look first.

With that information you might find out that you almost always shoot at 85, in which case get the 85 prime, you might notice that you never shoot below 5.6 which would mean you could save some money and not get a super fast lens. You might notice that you are always shooting at or around 1/60th shutter, which means you might want to invest in some kind of lens with IS.

So my recommendation would be, play around, learn yourself and your style and how you want to shoot. Then maybe you will have learned enough to know what lens you want on your own, but if not come back and tell us what you do most often and we'll be more then happy to help you pick a lens based on what you need.

However, I feel like I can't just write a post when somebody asks for a recommendation and not even offer them one at all, so I like and think the 100mm F2.8L macro from cannon is a great lens, you can get really close to your subject (macro) but you can step back a lot too and get a nice shot. You can find it here: Canon | EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens | 3554B002 | B&H Photo
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Old November 25th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #5
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Thank you Louis very much. What you are saying makes 100% perfect sense and I will certainly travel down that road. Your recomendation is a good one too. I should have probably said that when I'm not shooting in the garden (early morning or late afternoon) the rest of the photography is probably going to be under lights, on a tripod, in a controlled environment, etc.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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I've had a lot of good use out of the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 and a friend loves his 12-24mm f/4. Other than that, the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L is a strong choice as well. I haven't found a mid-range zoom that I love yet.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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There are dozens of "lens recommendation" threads in here. I'd recommend doing a search and reading through some of them. They're very detailed.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin View Post
...would the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens that ships with the camera be sufficient for this purpose as well as the shots similiar to the ones I laid out above?
The 28-135mm isn't as sharp as the 200L, but it will cover the range you need on your crop sensor camera. (The 200L on my 5D gives a similar view as 135mm on your camera.) I agree that the kit zoom is a great place to start, until you learn you preferences. Once you know what you really want, then upgrade to a prime and/or L glass for the ultimate sharpness.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Sanders View Post
There are dozens of "lens recommendation" threads in here. I'd recommend doing a search and reading through some of them. They're very detailed.
Yes, my previous search only revealed recommendations based on what I perceived as not really relevant to my need. Mostly recommendations focused on topic such as the quality of the glass, price, build quality, zoom ability, whether it should have IS or not, how good the quality is at the edges, etc, etc. My search didn't reveal any information that gave a completely novice photographer a direction to go when trying to shoot a specific types of objects from a fairly consistent distance.

For a guy like me, dropping $2K on a camera plus the potential of another $500 - $1000 for a lens is a pretty serious investment. I felt I put a good amount of effort into my original post to not waste anybodys time. If you felt otherwise, my apologies.

Jon
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Old November 25th, 2009, 07:37 PM   #10
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No apologies required -- on the contrary your initial post and image attachments are greatly appreciated. Many thanks,
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Old November 28th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #11
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That Canon 100mm Macro is a great lens, and they just came out with a L version, but the regular version is quite excellent.

You may find that the 100mm is more flexible, as you will not run into problems with a minimum focusing distance. So no matter how you frame up the image, you should be able to get your focus even on very tight shots.

The 70-200 f4 is about the same price and I think it is a very good lens that you can still hand hold. But you will not have the same closeup flexibility as the 100mm.

The bokeh of some lenses (search that on wikipeida) is a bit nicer than others, and I have my own favorites, but that 100mm is pretty nice, I'd love to try the new 100mm L macro.

Do understand one thing, that these lenses are a real investment. If you dont beat them up, they will essentially last you forever. I still use the 17-40, and 70-200 that I bought almost 7 years ago with my Canon 10D. That camera is lord knows where, but lenses are still very useful and great glass. So take my word for it, don't cheap out on the lenses, get the best you can afford. Dont get two decent lenses, get one great one, then get another great one at a later date. In the end you will have a more complete and high end kit that you can get many years of use from.

Last edited by Cris Daniels; November 28th, 2009 at 10:14 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old November 28th, 2009, 12:22 PM   #12
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Cris,

Thanks for the reply. That is frankly a big help. I went to B&H and read some of the 30 glowing reviews of the 100mm L series IS. What impressed me the most was that so many of the people had said they shoot flowers with them. I'm not looking for an extreme macro type lens as I want my customers to be able to see the flower along with the entire plant however seeing as how this lens evidently works well as a 'portrait' lens as well, that tells me I should be able to shoot my baskets, containers, and some garden shots with the subjects the size I need them.

Wow, $1000 for a lens alone, but I head the advise of others here who have told me that this is the type of investment that can last 5, 7, 10+ years and I get that. Thank you all so much again.

Jon
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Old November 28th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #13
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Recently I had the chance to spend some time with the new EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS, and I can confirm the buzz. It's an amazing lens and definitely well worth the money in my opinion.
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Lens Recommendation for 7D-img_0003.jpg   Lens Recommendation for 7D-img_9931.jpg  

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Old November 28th, 2009, 02:42 PM   #14
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Okay, now that I seem to be in the ballpark with the type of lens I'm going to need. Now, how do I protect it? Considering a $1,000 lens, does it make sense - as it typically does with video cams - to buy a $30 HOYA u/v type filter to put on the front of this thing right out of the box to serve as protection from dust/scratches to the lens?

Jon
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Old November 28th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #15
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I have always bought the best quality filters available for both still and video cameras. A $30 filter might be OK for a small home movie camera, but not for anything with a decent lens. Just my opinion.
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