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Starter Lens for Canon 7D Mk2?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My daughter gave me a Canon 7D Mk2, body only for Christmas. I now need a lens, to start I want to get pics this winter of my son skiing, both free and racing. Since I'll only be dealing with one lens for the time being, I'm looking for input on where to invest my money on my first lens. I'm thinking a 70-200 2.8 zoom might be the best choice to get me started. Remember only one lens for now. Thoughts?

 

thanks

 

PS - My son is also into hockey, Mtn Biking , sports in general. Eventually I would like to experiment with wildlife and landscape photography. So feel free to recommend other lens in descending order.


Edited by mizzn44 - 1/4/16 at 7:32am
post #2 of 14

If I had just one lens from Canon, I'd go with the 24-105 f/4L IS USM, I feel it's a better range. That 70-200 2.8 is a really big hunk of glass that will be a royal pain to carry around while skiing. If you really need the reach, I'd go for the much smaller and lighter 70-200 f/4L... the 2.8 is nice for shallow DOF, but is that something you feel you need or want for ski photos?

post #3 of 14

What is your experience and comfort level with this type of camera? That has to factor into any decision. BTW, that is a very nice camera.

 

Agree with Whiteroom about the size and weight issues of the 2.8 70-200. In addition, hand holding that much mass will require some very high shutter speeds. Personally, I would not want to carry that much of an investment onto a ski hill. Great lens though, but, for the investment, I would want a more general first lens.

 

How about Canon's 18-135? See the review below. Less than half the price.

 

http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/18-135mm-stm.htm

post #4 of 14

Taking "ok" ski photos is possible with a small point and shoot camera or even a phone if you have one of the better ones.  But excellent ski photos requires a commitment to big glass, which is heavy, awkward and expensive.

 

My son rented a big lens for the last Gathering and I bought him a dedicated camera pack.  Here is a post I wrote about it...

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/133137/sitrep-2015-epicski-gathering-in-jackson-hole/120#post_1848478

post #5 of 14

Just for skiing, f2.8 lens is overkill. It's expensive, it's heavier (I'm not going for heavy, as it's still super light compared to other stuff I use :D), and it's bigger then f4.0 lens. And for outdoor sports, you don't really need 2.8 aperture. On the other side you mentioned hockey... I don't shoot some kid stuff, but from indoor sports it's always just top tier stuff (like KHL for ice hockey, Euroleague for basketball etc.) which means halls are super light, yet you still need f2.8 lens and relatively high iso (1600+). As soon as you go to lower level sport, it just means much much darker halls, where f2.8 lenses will help a lot compared to f4 lens. But it's up to you to decide, how much you will be shooting indoor, and if that justifies twice the price of 70-200/2.8 over 70-200/4.

Then there's another thing which noone seems to think of, when it comes to this. Camera's auto focus works much better with more light, so even if your aperture is closed to f16, auto focus still works at f2.8 (lens is closed down only at time when shutter button is pressed). So you get faster auto focus with f2.8 lens then with f4, and with darker places, this is quite important thing.

And for the end, forget about "just one lens" thing ;) It's not going to work, and it's not going to happen :) But there's also no need for whole closet of lenses. 70-200 is good on long end, but you will surely need something on wide end, especially for landscape. For normal holidays I normally take just 2 lenses with me... 17-40/4 and 70-200/2.8, everything else stays back home. I don't miss those 30mm between 40 and 70mm, but we are different, and this what I like is not necessarily this what you will like. :) So my suggestion would be 17-40/4 and 70-200... if 70-200 is f2.8 or 4.0 is up to you (look above). :)

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
 

Just for skiing, f2.8 lens is overkill. It's expensive, it's heavier (I'm not going for heavy, as it's still super light compared to other stuff I use :D), and it's bigger then f4.0 lens. And for outdoor sports, you don't really need 2.8 aperture. On the other side you mentioned hockey... I don't shoot some kid stuff, but from indoor sports it's always just top tier stuff (like KHL for ice hockey, Euroleague for basketball etc.) which means halls are super light, yet you still need f2.8 lens and relatively high iso (1600+). As soon as you go to lower level sport, it just means much much darker halls, where f2.8 lenses will help a lot compared to f4 lens. But it's up to you to decide, how much you will be shooting indoor, and if that justifies twice the price of 70-200/2.8 over 70-200/4.

Then there's another thing which noone seems to think of, when it comes to this. Camera's auto focus works much better with more light, so even if your aperture is closed to f16, auto focus still works at f2.8 (lens is closed down only at time when shutter button is pressed). So you get faster auto focus with f2.8 lens then with f4, and with darker places, this is quite important thing.

And for the end, forget about "just one lens" thing ;) It's not going to work, and it's not going to happen :) But there's also no need for whole closet of lenses. 70-200 is good on long end, but you will surely need something on wide end, especially for landscape. For normal holidays I normally take just 2 lenses with me... 17-40/4 and 70-200/2.8, everything else stays back home. I don't miss those 30mm between 40 and 70mm, but we are different, and this what I like is not necessarily this what you will like. :) So my suggestion would be 17-40/4 and 70-200... if 70-200 is f2.8 or 4.0 is up to you (look above). :)


Thanks great info, just what I was looking for. I know that 1 lens isn't going to cut it, I'm just looking for something to get me started. I'll add another lens later. Image stabilization or not, I'm guessing not a big deal?

post #7 of 14

Gonna chime in here and say the image stabilization can really help when shooting video.  Not familiar with Canon's though.

post #8 of 14

I am not a pro like Pirmoz, who gives a lot of great info, but, I would not buy a long lens without image stabilization. I use an 18-200 and it is difficult to hand hold and get sharp photos. There is a guideline that shutter speed should be 2x the focal length, so, shooting at 250 and 500 is needed, and, that usually means increasing ISO unless there is a lot of light. Those lenses are not "point and shoot" and it appears you are somewhat new to photography. That said, buy the best lens you can, and the 70-200 f4 IS does get good reviews. 

 

LOL, Pirmoz thinking on "heavy" is a lot different than most amateur photographers would would tell you. It's all relative, but, it is a fair amount of weight to keep rock steady.

post #9 of 14

It depends what you need this lens for. All my long lenses have IS, but honestly, it was never turned on yet. For sport, you are using so fast shutter time to freeze motion that shaking lens won't matter at all. Most of sport is shoot faster then 1/1000sec (unless you get a bit creative :) ), so for sport IS is not needed, and you want to have it off (auto focus works a bit faster, camera is a bit more responsive without IS on etc.). But since we hardly buy lenses just for one single purpose, IS is definitely worth having. But then again, both current models of 70-200, f2.8 and f4 have IS. As soon as you go a bit longer, it's pretty much impossible to get lens without IS nowadays, at least with higher end lenses.

post #10 of 14

Mizzn44

 

I am not familiar with Canon products, but I got a Nikkor 18-200 with VR ( Vibration Reduction)  for my Nikon D3100 last summer. It is a beautiful high quality lens and works great.  I'm not a pro by any means but I have messed around with cameras for decades.  The lens cost me big bucks, and it is heavy and awkward compared to smaller cameras - but that doesn't bother me (I'm such a stud, in MY mind anyway- HaHa.)  Where weight, size is a factor, I'll use my iPhone6 - had it about a year- which works great for what it is

 

For me, the Nikkor lens works great.   Maybe you can go to a local shop and look at their various Canon lenses to get a feel what you might be interested in.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuz a skier View Post
 

Mizzn44

 

I am not familiar with Canon products, but I got a Nikkor 18-200 with VR ( Vibration Reduction)  for my Nikon D3100 last summer. It is a beautiful high quality lens and works great.  I'm not a pro by any means but I have messed around with cameras for decades.  The lens cost me big bucks, and it is heavy and awkward compared to smaller cameras - but that doesn't bother me (I'm such a stud, in MY mind anyway- HaHa.)  Where weight, size is a factor, I'll use my iPhone6 - had it about a year- which works great for what it is

 

For me, the Nikkor lens works great.   Maybe you can go to a local shop and look at their various Canon lenses to get a feel what you might be interested in.

I have that same Nikon 3100 and 18-200 lens. In part, I remain with a 3100 is it's smaller size makes it comfortable to use. Make no mistake, the 3100 is far, far below the capability and physical size of a Canon 7D mkll. Nikon's new 3300, with lens,  is about 40% of the cost of the 7D mkll. A good friend has that Canon with the 70-200 is 2.8 is, I've used it several times, but, nowhere near enough to give it a review, or, to understand how to use it. Physically, it's a lot bigger and heavier, maybe I'm  a wimp, so I feel the weight especially if carrying it for an extended period.

 

Great suggestion  for the OP to get to a Canon dealer and experience the various lenses. Also, there are a ton of great reviews on the web for Canon products. Ken Rockwell reviews all the high end Canon gear, some don't like him, but, he knows a lot more than me. He is a fan of both Canon 70-200's, and , also our Nikon 18-200.

 

The Canon 7D is such a great camera, it hurts to think about putting a mediocre lens on it. It's a problem my wallet is glad that I do not have.:D I would search local Craigslist to find a cheaper used lens at lower focal length.

post #12 of 14

@mizzn44, I shoot primarily a 7d mk2 + 70-200 f2.8 ii, 70-200 f4L is, 400 f5.6, 100-400 ii, 300 f2.8 i, 500 f4

 

1. Rent from lens rentals.com, etc. Try stuff out.

 

2. I'd still recommend to start with with a used 70-200 f4L is. It's much lighter and still sharp as a tack. You will lose that stop of light for focusing, but in moderate and above light, you'll still be more than good with the autofocus. So all good for skiing. Although for hockey, expect ~3000+ iso to match a high shutter speed in non-pro rinks and with that (cropped canon sensor) expect lower quality photos. The cropped body is a little tight for hockey at 70mm, but still gets you 90% of your shots. Auto focus is okay, but keeper % will go down.

 

2.1 Don't let me talk you out of the 2.8. If you have the money, buy them both.

 

3. Back button auto-focus that thing.

 

4. I really only shoot wildlife, so if you're interested in that, I recommend you save your money with a f4L so you go in on the longer side. Although, the 400 f5.6 is a value lens that I love for wildlife.

 

5.  I am not crazy with the 17-40/4 on a cropped body. There are way better options. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

 

My son rented a big lens for the last Gathering and I bought him a dedicated camera pack. 

 

I loved shooting with the 70-300 f/4-5.6L that I rented. It has a great range on the 5D3 I was shooting with, and with the bright, high contrast conditions on the snow I generally wasn't missing the additional stops from the 70-200. It's considerably shorter physically than both the 70-200 Ls, and falls between them in weight. 

 

If I had to pick only one lens between the three of them to use all the time, I would still go with the 70-200 f/2.8L (which I shot with two Gatherings ago) but it was a heavy beast to ski with. If I could purchase a dedicated ski telephoto, the 70-300L would be it.

 

Last year I paired it with the 16-35L on the hill, and tossed my nifty fifty in for a walk-around lens. All the shots in this album are with those three lenses, and mostly the first two.

I was able to get all of that into the belt pack of my MindShift Rotation Pro, which definitely wouldn't have happened with either 70-200L. All the shots in this album are with those two lenses.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
 

Just for skiing, f2.8 lens is overkill. It's expensive, it's heavier (I'm not going for heavy, as it's still super light compared to other stuff I use :D), and it's bigger then f4.0 lens. And for outdoor sports, you don't really need 2.8 aperture. On the other side you mentioned hockey... I don't shoot some kid stuff, but from indoor sports it's always just top tier stuff (like KHL for ice hockey, Euroleague for basketball etc.) which means halls are super light, yet you still need f2.8 lens and relatively high iso (1600+). As soon as you go to lower level sport, it just means much much darker halls, where f2.8 lenses will help a lot compared to f4 lens. But it's up to you to decide, how much you will be shooting indoor, and if that justifies twice the price of 70-200/2.8 over 70-200/4.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spooky View Post
 

@mizzn44, I shoot primarily a 7d mk2 + 70-200 f2.8 ii, 70-200 f4L is, 400 f5.6, 100-400 ii, 300 f2.8 i, 500 f4

 

1. Rent from lens rentals.com, etc. Try stuff out.

 

3. Back button auto-focus that thing.

 

5.  I am not crazy with the 17-40/4 on a cropped body. There are way better options. 

 

Totally agree with @primoz and @Spooky, and with these three points especially!! Back button focus changed my shooting for the better. And rentals are a godsend.

 

What would you go with on a crop body instead? I used to have a Tamron 10-24 when I had a Canon XSi, and I hear great things about the Tokina 11-16, but those aren't really the same range as the 17-40 on a crop. Looking back I wish I'd saved up some more and bought a 16-35 at the time.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchstix View Post
 

 

I loved shooting with the 70-300 f/4-5.6L that I rented. It has a great range on the 5D3 I was shooting with, and with the bright, high contrast conditions on the snow I generally wasn't missing the additional stops from the 70-200. It's considerably shorter physically than both the 70-200 Ls, and falls between them in weight. 

 

If I had to pick only one lens between the three of them to use all the time, I would still go with the 70-200 f/2.8L (which I shot with two Gatherings ago) but it was a heavy beast to ski with. If I could purchase a dedicated ski telephoto, the 70-300L would be it.

 

Last year I paired it with the 16-35L on the hill, and tossed my nifty fifty in for a walk-around lens. All the shots in this album are with those three lenses, and mostly the first two.

I was able to get all of that into the belt pack of my MindShift Rotation Pro, which definitely wouldn't have happened with either 70-200L. All the shots in this album are with those two lenses.

 

 

Totally agree with @primoz and @Spooky, and with these three points especially!! Back button focus changed my shooting for the better. And rentals are a godsend.

 

What would you go with on a crop body instead? I used to have a Tamron 10-24 when I had a Canon XSi, and I hear great things about the Tokina 11-16, but those aren't really the same range as the 17-40 on a crop. Looking back I wish I'd saved up some more and bought a 16-35 at the time.

 

That bag is awesome. I was wondering what that was.

 

17-40 are just odd zooms, plus of those wide lenses don't preform cost wise compared to even the simple kit lens. I'd hate to agree with Ken, but 10-22 or the kit lens are just better options. Although, if you have the cash to spend...yes 16-35 on any camera. Not a big fan of apc-s bodies for anything other than wildlife...as you can see above, I don't even have a canon lens below 70.

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