short-mid range zoom lens suggestions for Canon 7D

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short-mid range zoom lens suggestions for Canon 7D

Post by AndyO'Connor »

I've asked this question before regarding Canon 17-55 EF-S or Canon 17-40L, and since then, I rented a 24-105L, which was pretty decent from 24-70ish but was obviously softer than my 100mm 2.8L macro. I would still consider purchasing the 24-105L for a good price, but since I really would only use it from 24-70 is, I was wondering if anyone has used the Tamron 24-70 SP 2.8 lens? That is around the same price as the 24-105L, is a stop faster, and doesn't have "wasted" focal lengths that I wouldn't use it for, and from all the reviews I've read, it's nearly as sharp as the Canon 24-70 2.8L II which is twice the cost. The EF-S 17-55 gets high marks, but I'm worried about it not being weather sealed and have read the some copies suffer from lens creep, and they are dust magnets. Since I like taking pictures here in Washington where the air is wet ~300 days a year, and the other 65 days I spend it in dusty desert locations, I think I would push the 17-55 to its limits rather quickly in terms of wear and tear. Any insight from users of any lens in the ~17-70 range, chime in. I will eventually just rent the Tamron and see if I like it better than the 24-105, but most reviews don't have a herper's mindset. I still plan on buying a 300mm f4L, and a Tokina 11-16 for super wide on this camera, but I'm mostly concerned with general purpose, walking around, pictures of other herpers, etc. so need something between 20 and 80mm (cropped)

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Re: short-mid range zoom lens suggestions for Canon 7D

Post by fvachss »

I don't know a lot about the non-CANON lenses, but these are my opinions of the Canon options:

I'd just look for a used 17-55 and not worry about dust. It takes a *whole lot* of dust before it will affect your pictures. The main problem would be in resale value to finicky purchasers. Buy one that's "pre-dusted" for (relatively) cheap and problem solved.

I've owned both the 17-55 and 24-70(I) at one time of another and really believe the 17-55 is the better (sharper and cheaper) lens on a crop body. That said the 17-55 feels like any other lightweight EF-S lens while the 24-70 is a main-battle-tank. Unless you're really planning to bash your equipment around I don't think it's worth the extra weight and expense, but it is a very durable option - and bargains are probably available now that version II is out. FWIW I certainly wouldn't cough up the money for the new version of the 24-70 on a crop body as you're paying for improved edge performance you'll never see.

Though this won't work for some folks, you might consider just getting a midrange prime (35/2, 50/1.4 or 60/2.8) instead of a zoom. They have obvious limitations compared to a zoom (though you can do quick multishot panos to make them wider when needed), but they are all sharp, quick to focus and provide better size and speed (or macro range) compared to the zooms. If you're not a prime shooter by inclination then don't bother with this approach, but carrying a little mid-range prime is often all I need between an ultrawide and a tele.

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