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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 July 11th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #1
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I Need Help Choosing A Zoom For The 7D

I've been using mostly primes (Nikons and rented Canon Ls) on my 7D so far. The one zoom I borrowed, a 24-70L lens seemed a bit muddy compared to the primes, at least through the Z Finder. But I need a zoom for day exterior shooting, in situations when there's no time to swap lenses. I ordered a the 17-55 EF-S from B&H, but now as I await delivery, I'm having 2nd thoughts as I read up on mechanical failures and dust issues with that lens. Also, one of the things I like about the 7D is the sealed body, so it would be nice to have an equally water resistant lens up front. I notice the 17-40 4L is much cheaper and has the L build quality. My question is should I be looking at that lens over the 17-55? What about the 16-35 2.8L? Is it that much better? Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Other factors which I should have considered, but didn't, are the ease of manual focus and zooming on the 3 lenses. I really appreciate the solidity and "feel" of the L lenses I've tried so far.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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Get out your Visa Card!

I would consider the 17-40 f4, but better yet is a 10-22 f3.5-4.5 gives a solid wide view even with the 1.6 conversion factor. I hear decent things about the Tokina Version of the super wide but personally I would stick with Canon.
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Other lens' you should have in your kit- a 50 mm (I use the 1.8 cause I'm on a tight budget -the 1.4 is even better) a 70-200 2.8 is a must have (f 4 might be ok, but the 2.8 non IS is a great lens and reasonable) a 1.4x matched converter will round out your kit with almost no loss in sharpness.

You will need a pretty solid tripod for the tele-zoom, if you don't have one you can pick them up for cheap on ebay. I use a Bogen 3221 with fairly cheap video head.

This is a pretty standard basic pro photo-j still shooting setup and should serve you well for video as well.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #3
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Evan, I've got the 17-55mm Canon zoom with my 7D, and I personally love it. I bought it primarily because I wanted a starter lens that could go fairly wide, and also because I wanted to shoot shallow DOF. It's not crazy shallow (I've got a 50 1.4 for that), but it's very decent. I haven't had any mechanical problems with it yet, nor do I have dust issues. But I can't speak for the other recommendations either!

just my 2 cents.

Nik
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:34 AM   #4
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Evan,

I bought the Tamron AF SP 17-50/2,8 XR Di-II VC LD Aspherical (IF) for my 7D, weights in for half the price as the Canon lens. Got stabilizer and performs really well. Wonderful for Photography as well. Well build with a solid feel to it. Read up on on a review here: Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD IF Lens Review
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:47 AM   #5
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I have the 17-55mm, I would say the image is very good but not spectacular (but i only really use old Nikon primes as a comparison which to me look really much better)

Since buying the 17-55 about 4 months ago I have had a LOT of dust build up inside.. (how will it be after a couple of years!?)

In the last weeks the IS has completely malfunctioned. In a couple of focal distances it goes completely wild jumping all over the place, estimated repair cost from Canon - e200.

Still it is a very handy lens but I'm thinking to repair it, sell it and move on..

Cheers,
Manus
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Old July 12th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #6
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The 17-55 ef-s 2.8 works great for me. It's about 2years old now, but I don't have the dust issues at all. I might be a little more careful than others, but I've shot out in the desert a lot. If you get another lens, I would get the 70-200 f/2.8. I hate all of the variable aperture lenses out there.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #7
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yeah i've heard about the dust issue before but maybe they fixed it at a certain point in the production history and i've been unlucky with mine generally!
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Old July 13th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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Before this thread I had a 17-55 on order. Reading about experiences with it here and also elsewhere online, made me rethink. When it arrived last night I sent it back to B&H Photo unopened. Luckily they have a simple and painless return process. It would probably have been fine, but dust, high mechanical failure rate and weather sealing were big concerns for me and the consumer grade build and feel would have gotten to me as well over time, I'm pretty sure. One of the things that makes the 7D so exciting to me (aside form the images) is that it feels like a real camera in the hands, solid and sturdy. L lenses and the Nikons I'm using share that feel. As it stands now I'm leaning towards the 16-35 2.8$. I may go for the 17-40 since it's so much less money, but I know I've eliminated the EF-S lens. There's probably a 24-70 in my future too, but I'm hoping to make do without that for a while.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #9
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Hi Evan

I have both 16-35L and 24-70L and they are superb. I was Nikon man for many years and always looked down at Canon but since I switched I'm blown away by the quality of recent Canon glass. 16-35 gives you approx 25mm (in full frame terms) on 7D which is pretty good. Also there will be times when you will wish for 2.8. Wide open the lenses are sharp with very little distortion and at f4 they are amazing.

If you ever in the future decide to go with 5D you will already have some nice glass. L glass doesn't depreciate as much as EF-S. I had pricey 12-24 AFS Nikon and when I sold it I took a beating. Ever since I followed Royal Navy motto which goes something like "We always buy 1st class since we can't afford anything else". Good luck with your selection!
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Old July 15th, 2010, 06:35 AM   #10
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I just pulled the trigger on a 16-35 L. It should arrive by Friday. A 4 day job came up and and the camera rental will more than cover it. If the project falls through I can always return the lens. I'm really looking forward to having a zoom on the camera and hopefully won't be too disappointed in the quality versus the primes I have.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 02:50 AM   #11
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17-55 2.8 wrong lens?

Evan, I recently purchased a used Canon 17-55 2.8 and have been absolutely delighted with it. It has a bit of dust under the element that does not affect the image at all. A simple fix is available here: YouTube - Cleaning dust from w/in the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.

The advantages of the 17-55 over the 16-35L are price, added focal length, and most of all- the Stabilization feature. Does stabilization make a difference?:
. No doubt, the 16-35 is heavier, sealed, and better built, but the IS feature ALONE on the 18-55 in my mind makes this lens the best midrange zoom for the 7D period. I'm sorry the few of the posters that had issues with it may have dissuaded you from what probably would have been an excellent choice.

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Old July 16th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #12
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Canon 17-55mm 2.8 wrong lens? Hmmm

Evan, I recently purchased a used Canon 17-55 2.8 and have been absolutely delighted with it. It has a bit of dust under the element that does not affect the image at all. A simple fix is available here: YouTube - Cleaning dust from w/in the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.

The advantages of the 17-55 over the 16-35L are price, added focal length, and most of all- the Stabilization feature. Does stabilization make a difference?:
. No doubt, the 16-35 is heavier, sealed, and better built, but the IS feature ALONE on the 18-55 in my mind makes this lens the best midrange zoom for the 7D period. I'm sorry the few of the posters that had issues with it may have dissuaded you from what probably would have been an excellent choice.

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Old July 16th, 2010, 05:42 AM   #13
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I have 2 of the Tamron 17-50 VC's and like them. Here's a good website for research:

Lens Reviews - SLRgear.com!
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Old July 16th, 2010, 07:11 AM   #14
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Mike, thanks for the links. Great to see IS in action, and the first video was interesting too. I'm still conflicted about my choice--so many difficult decisions, choices and options with these cameras. My 16-35 arrives today. I'll have to see how it handles and performs for me. Aside from build and weather sealing, my hope is that it will become part of my long term package, something I can hang on to when I eventually go to a camera with a FF sensor. Also, even though I'm a 7D owner, I'm sometimes required to work with the 5D, so it will be useful to have a lens package that's fully compatible with both cameras--then I just have to rent a body. I do like the extra range on the 17-55 though.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #15
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I think that 16-35 is your best bet. I haven't used it personally, but what I've seen from the lens looks great. As you've noticed, the zooms aren't going to be as good as your primes, but for a zoom it's pretty nice and wide enough for the 7D. I recently moved from the 7D to the 5D, and as you've stated, getting lenses compatible with the bigger chip is important--I had no early plans to do go to the 5D.

One thing I've discovered about still camera zooms is that they are most definitely not calibrated in T-stops. An f2.8 on a zoom is often significantly different from an f2.8 on a prime. And zooms from different manufacturers will vary in that regard as well.
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