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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-17-2014

Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

I know a lot of people debate about getting a camera with a kit lens or getting the body and then a better lens. I am not asking about that. The deal I am getting through Adorama is for the body only so I have to get a separate lens. For right now I just want the best possible "general" lens I can get for a decent price. So I am considering getting the normal 18-55 STM lens that would normally come with the kit but I wanted some opinions about if there was anything better for the price or around the price. This is canons rebate form with some lenses and I would also consider 3rd party lens suggestions. http://www.adorama.com/pdfs/rebates/Canon_MIR_Nov_2014.pdf

 

If you had to get the body only please let me know what you would get for a general lens. If there is something similar to the kit lens price (or a little higher) that is better I would like to get that. Thank you!!

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Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

There really isn't a best lens.  There are so many options out there that you have to choose which is best for you and your needs.  I will, however, steer you away from the kit lens.  It's really not that good, it's not durable, and it's money that could be spent elsewhere.  If you're ok with a lower quality lens like this at least get something like the 18-135.  The image quality isn't spectacular, but at least you get a wide focal length range.

 

The next step up are lenses like the 17-55 2.8 and 15-85.  Both are EF-S lenses, but regarded for good image quality.  The 17-55 gives you shorter range, but a constant 2.8 aperture.  On the other side, you get more range with the 15-85 but you don't get the wide(ish) f/2.8 , nor the constant aperture.

 

The problem with both of these lenses is that they put you into another price category (they MSRP around $800, but you could get them refurbished or used for less).  For the same price you could get the 24-105 L.  It's a kit lens for full frame cameras so a lot of people buy the kit then sell off the lens, brand new.  You can get great deals ($600) on a really good lens.  Much better build quality than the above, and good image quality.  The downside is that 24mm isn't very wide on a crop sensor.  But you could supplement with the 10-18 or 10-22 if you really wanted the wide side.

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎10-19-2014

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

[ Edited ]

How are you planning to use the camera? What do you anticipate being your primary subjects? What lenses do you already own if any?  What is your budget?  Would you be comfortable buying previously owned from a reputable seller like KEH.com?

 

good glass is expensive for a reason and they couldn't get the price if the lenses didn't deliver.  Previously owned L series can be had for "reasonable" prices and pretty much all the major retailers (Adorama, B&H, Roberts Imaging) have used departments.  KEH specializes in used.   I am a wildlife biologist by education and my very first lens was the old, manual focus 50mm f:3.5 macro.  Unbelievably sharp, but one did need light and good camera technique when using good old Kodachrome 25.  Perhaps a couple of prime lenses instead of a zoom might be a better choice.  Prime lenses, esp the L series tend to be optically better than the zooms (even the L series). 

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Posts: 13,159
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

There are some really good choices out there for lenses but the EFS 18-55mm is one I would not even consider.  Especially for a EOS 70D.  It is a step up camera compared to the Rebel line for which the above lens is intended.  It is always best to keep your equipment level in quality terms.

And if there is a "kit" out there that you like, that is the "best way" to get the lens the cheapest.

The EF 24-105mm f4 L is the best buy in the Canon line.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,849
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM offers an f/2.8 focal ratio available at all focal lengths in the zoom range.  This boosts performance in lower light and also allows for a narrower depth of field (when you want to deliberately blur the background but have a tack-sharp subject -- although that works better at longer focal lengths because depth of field naturally gets broader at short focal lengths.)  USM lenses have very fast focusing motors.  USM lenses allow for continuous manual focus at all times -- even when the camera has auto-focus swtiched on.  This is because the focus ring has a clutch which allows the ring to slip (intentionally) against the focusing mechanism -- so you can't hurt it if the camera wants to go one way and you want focus to go the other way.  Lenses which regaular auto-focus motors should not be manually focused unless you switch off the AF system to avoid damaging the mechanism.

 

The STM lenses are faster to focus than the standard kit lenses.  They're not quite as fast as USM but much faster than standard focusing motors.  The focus performance is great for video.  The STM is also designed to be extremely quiet -- so quiet that if you record video using the internal microphone the camera will not be able to pick up noise from the focus motors (sometimes it can... but it's very faint.)

 

STM lenses are "focus by wire".  There is no mechanical connection between the focus ring on the lens barrel and the actual focus mechanism inside.  Instead it senses that you are turning the focus ring and the motors move focus with you.  This means you get "full time" manual focus even when the lens is in AF mode... but the lens has to be "awake" for this to work.   If you release the shutter button... after a few seconds the camera's metering and focus system goes to sleep (but the camera stays on) -- this saves power of course -- but it also means that turning the focus ring does nothing.  You have to touch any button that wakes up the focus or metering system (e.g. half-press the shutter will do this) and then the STM lens will follow your focus changes.

 

The EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is going to be a bit more versatile than the 17-55... given it extends the focal length of the lens by another 70mm.  This makes it a nice all-around general purpose lens without going overboard.

 

I stay away from the "super zoom" lenses... these are lenses that offer a VERY broad zoom range from short to long.  E.g. an 18-270mm is a "super zoom".  These lenses are convenient but that's the only thing they have going for them.  It's difficult to make a lens with a very ambitious zoom range AND have very good optics at the same time.  Lenses are often a game of trade-offs... part of the reason your camera allows you to swap lenses is because no single lens is ever the "best" at everything.  Buying a super-zoom where one lens "does it all" is a bit counter to the whole point of having a removeable lens camera.  You end up with a single lens which tries to be "jack of all trade ... master of none".  

 

Zoom lenses with less ambitious zoom ranges tend to have better optics.  e.g. if you divide the high end value of the range by the low end value of the range (e.g. 55 ÷ 18) and it divides in some 3-5 times... that's great!  If it divides in less then 10 times (e.g. 135 ÷ 18 = 7.5), that's good.  If it divides more than 10 times then the lens is a "super zoom" (e.g. 270 ÷ 18 = 15) and the optical quality starts to get mushy on these things.

 

With that said, times are changing and optics are getting better.  Todays entry-level lenses are pretty good compared to even some fairly expensive glass of past years.  Once a lens is designed it will likely sell for years and years without an update.  Lenses designed within the past few years tend to be a bit better than the lenses of just a decade ago (assuming the lenses are in the same class.)

 

I left out Canon's "L" series lenses... these are Canon's highest end lenses.  But there is a rule that to qualify as an "L" series lens, in addition to having higher end build, optics, and other areas of performance, the L lenses also have to work on EVERY Canon EOS body, film or digital, past or present (and presumably future).  Since EF-S lenses cannot work on film or full-frame bodies, they don't qualify as "L" series regardless of their quality.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎10-19-2014

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

[ Edited ]

The 24-105 F:4 L is a good general lens, but it is too short to really reach out and on an APS-C body, not wide enough in tight quarters, and at F:4 a bit slow (but I carry several flashes including a Quantum Q-flash).  It is my general use lens and I use it for most of my people photography and also for livestock.  You still haven't told us how you are going to be using the camera.  Snapshots of kids, family, and friends?  Daughter's highschool basketball games?  Son's soccer matches?  Landscapes?  Birds?  Portraits?  Each of these would lead to a different recommendation.   A bit more input would lead to a better response on the part of those reading here. 

 

 I also will again strongly recommend that you consider perviously owned glass.  You can even get good results on ebay (just be sure that the seller has a good return policy).  I bought my first 600 used, I bought my studio lights on ebay, one of. my 550EX's is used, one of my bodies is a refurb, and a friend who frequently shoots with me loves the 300 F:4 IS L which he  purchased used  (it is a great lens for wildlife and candids of his grand kids).   As an aside, in my opinion, the 300 F:4 IS L is the BEST entry level nature photography lens out there (and can be had used for well under $1000.00) 

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎01-19-2014

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

If you're interested in the 70D for video making you might want to consider the two different (at least two) auto focus types in Canon lenses, STM and USM. For video, USM offers distinct advantages that you might not consider if your "focus" is on still photography.

 

http://petapixel.com/2013/08/26/video-comparing-canons-usm-and-stm-lenses-using-the-70ds-dual-pixel-...

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,558
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.


@cale_kat wrote:

If you're interested in the 70D for video making you might want to consider the two different (at least two) auto focus types in Canon lenses, STM and USM. For video, USM offers distinct advantages that you might not consider if your "focus" is on still photography.

 

http://petapixel.com/2013/08/26/video-comparing-canons-usm-and-stm-lenses-using-the-70ds-dual-pixel-...


The other way around, I think. (And the article you linked to seems to confirm that.)

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎01-19-2014

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

Thanks for the correction.
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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-17-2014

Re: Buying a 70D body this week. Any lens suggestions would be VERY helpful.

wow thank you to everyone who responded right away!. I guess I should have put a little more detail in there. I am coming from an older Olympus E-500. I am going with canon for one because I like the 70D and also because my g/f recently bought an SL1 so we can share lenses.

 

It's been so long since I was really "into it" so it's hard to say exactly what I want to shoot. It will really be an all around camera for me. I like doing landscapes/night photography and I also ride BMX so it will be used to take pics/vids for that occasionally. It really will be just about everywhere with me..

family parties, holidays, pictures of my nephew and cousins

 

That's why I used the word "general" when asking about a lens..I do care a lot about image quality and also don't think I need/want a huge zoom right now. My g/f currently has 3 lenses

 

-Canon 15-55 STM (kit)

-Canon 50mm f/1.8

-Tamron 28-75 f/2.8

 

I might just order the body tonight and continue to do some research..for now I was thinking somewhere in the $300-$350 range for my first lens. I'm sure the 15-55 is decent enough but doesn't make sense to buy another when she already has one. Just want the best possible balance between image quality and reach for this price range. Constant aperture would be nice but I don't think I will find that at my price

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