I need help picking a lens! [time sensitive]

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by zachary_goldman, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Hey!
    I've got a question about photography and I'm hoping you can help me out!
    Over the past 3 to 4 years I've picked up a few lenses. I'm now trying to get to a more professional level. I am currently using a Canon 70D. My main interests are animals, wildlife, and landscapes.
    So with that background, I'm looking for the best lens I can get with a budget of around $1200 (maybe more of needed). I'm going on vacation to the Caribbean and want something that can capture people and the environment. I've heard that the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L is great, however, I've also heard that it doesn't go well with the Canon 70D. Any recommendations or advice?
    I was also looking at these:
    - Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8
    - Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L
    - Tamron Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto AF 28-75mm f/2.8
    - Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 (I just feel like 55 is not enough though)
  2. The 24-104 f/4 L is a great lens. However, on your APS-C body it is not that wide. This is true for all lenses that start at 24mm or longer. So if you need to cover the wide angle, then you can either combine it with an ultrawide lens such as the EF-S 10-22, or look at a lens starting with a shorter focal length.
  3. another consideration would be the Canon EF-S 15-85mm wide enough and longer than the 55mm f2.8 :)
  4. Probably it will help if you list the lenses you currently own, and in which way you feel they're insufficient for what you try to achieve. Getting newer, more expensive, lenses isn't always the right answer to the question, after all.
  5. The range you will probably use the most is the length of 28-80mm (17-50mm * 1.6 APS-C factor). I use the Canon 17-55mm 2.8 lens but if I went out today to get a lens in this range I would get the Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 EX DC lens which is lighter than my Canon and a great bargain right now. http://www.adorama.com/SG1750EOSK.html If you are concerned about longer and can't zoom with your feet supplement the Sigma 17-50mm with the very fine Canon 55-250mm IS STM lens that has incredible image quality for the price. A very light weight two lens solution for a wide range of focal length. Good luck!
  6. Landscape and wildlife are at opposite ends of the spectrum IMHO. To get one lens that does it all does not exist and many of us wish it did. For landscapes you want wide angle and your crop sensor camera is already cutting the sides compared to a full frame, the 17-55 will give you the widest shots on your list and you may want to consider something wider like a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II. It a nice lens and reasonably priced.
    For wildlife and looking for more professional shots you want a good zoom to get you close to the wildlife. None of the lenses on your list are going to make the grade unless you are lucky enough to have wild life within 10 feet of your lens. The Canon 100-400 L would get you in the ball park as entry level or a 150-600mm with several options. Bob Atkins has an article here on PN comparing 150-600mm, the Sigma and Tamron versions. LINK.
    All of the lenses on your list can take nice photos, they are all different tools which have their best uses. For wildlife there may be times you get the lucky shot with a 105mm lens and wildlife not aware you are there walk out of the bush right in front of you. Most of the time the wildlife will not be close. Not having the lens you need will be disappointing. If you are looking for those stunning professional shots you need a lens that will get up close when you can not which will be most of the time. If you are going out for wildlife and want those detailed shots where you can count the hairs on a big cat, bear, elk, moose, deer, wolves, squirrels or the feathers on a bird, take the tool for the job. A 400mm lens is an entry level birding lens. I have the 100-400mm L, I get a lot of nice shots with it but there are still many times it doesn't get me close enough.
    Here are some shots I have taken with a 100-400 L on a crop sensor camera, a 7D,
    Some times you can get lucky with a shorter lens, this was taken with a Canon 6D and a Tamron 70-200mm. I walked up this Blue Heron and startled it. I had about 2 seconds from realizing what was happening, raise the camera and catch this guy before it vanished into the woods.
    Just my opinion.
    Happy shooting with what ever you choose.
    Cheers - Mark
  7. I agree with Wouter ... it would be helpful to know what lenses you already own so that we can make better suggestions.
    Meanwhile, I can't help but recommend the Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. There's a fancier lens with "L" glass, but this one would only run about $600 new and would leave you cash for something else. I love this lens! It provides great clarity and can be used for anything from portraits to macro shots of insects or flowers. It's also great for wildlife.
    Hope this helps.
  8. The 24-105L offers a very convenient range of focal length for FF cameras. Arguably, this lens was made with FF in mind. If I had something like a 5D, I would definitely want a 24-105L as a walk around lens. Since I shoot exclusively APS-C, I use a EFs 15-85, which is the equivalent of the 24-105L in the APS-C world. If I lost my EFs 15-85 tomorrow, I'd go right ahead and pick up another one.
    Previously I used a EFs 17-85 for some years, and was quite happy with that lens as well, but it sure is nice to have that extra bit of room at the wide end, for those time when you don't want to carry a EFs 10-22 or don't have the time to swap lenses.
    17-55 is very short at the long end. I'd be worried I might find swapping lenses a full time job!
  9. There is no one lens that will adequately cover your range of interests. Like others have said, you need to let everyone know what lenses you already own, so we can see what gaps in coverage you have. Generally speaking, most people lack coverage at the ends of the range, where landscape and wildlife photograph tend to be the most demanding anyway.
    And NO lens will automatically make your work look more "professional."
  10. You're clearly not that deep into wildlife so far, give your selection of lenses. Given your up coming trip, and your desire to get a more professional lens. Since you're getting serious, I think it's time to move up to the best quality lens that you can afford. The EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM is an excellent lens that will be stellar on your current body and any future body. I own full-frame and crop-sensor and agree that the excellent 24-105mm is not wide enough on a crop-sensor body. YMMV, but I own a 15mm, the 24-105mm, a 70-200mm and the 500/f4L II and the 1.4x and 2.0x TCs and I never grab my 7D MkII for landscape work.
    I think you should buy a lens like the 16-35mm and start saving for a 70-200/f4L IS and then the extenders. Your 70D has excellent high-ISO performance, so f/4 is all you need. Consider buying used from a reputable dealer.
  11. Thanks for your help everyone! I can't really respond to everyone, but I read all of your replies. I think I'm going to settle with:
    • Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS
    • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L
    • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens
    - I'm also going to sell some of my lenses that I don't use.

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