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Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-18-2016

Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

 

I recently bought a Canon 70D that came with an 18-135 mm lens. I can afford to get one additional lens right now, and I'm curious what 2nd lens people would recommend? 

 

My first inclination was the get something as different as possible to the kit lens. Perhaps Canon's 10-18mm or 10-22mm at the wide end (both seem to have good reviews), or else a good telephoto lens. 

 

My local camera store is recommending I buy a used 20-35mm for $150. It looks like a good lens for the price, but I notice it's within the range of my existing kit lens. I know kit lenses have a bad reputation, so should my higher priority be to get a good general lens that can kind of "replace" the kit lens so to speak (as the camera store seems to suggest)? Or get something different? (Like a telephoto or a very wide.) 

 

 

In case it makes any difference, I'm using the camera mostly to shoot video. And I'm about the take it traveling abroad, so versatility, ruggedness, and low light capabilities are all pluses. 

 

Really appreciate any help! 

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Posts: 12,280
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

Not knowing anything about you except what you wrote, "I'm using the camera mostly to shoot video. ... traveling abroad ..."

 

I would get the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens.  If you just jump on a lens and buy it, it will probably be the wrong one.  Try to make a list of requirements first.  Then make a decision.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,831
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

I wouldn't say kit lenses have a bad reputation... especially the 18-135 STM (if you have the new STM).

 

One big advantage of many of the higher end L series zooms is having a constant focal ratio available.  The entry-level zooms all have variable focal ratios and most are f/3.5-5.6 (f/5.6 when zoomed to max.)  f/5.6 isn't particularly friendly for shooting in low light.  

 

An f/2.8 zoom literally collects four times more light.  A lens such as the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM would be great... but it's not cheap.  If funds are limited, consider a prime (non-zoom) lens with a low focal ratio.  For example, the new EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is only $125 (a bargain).  But 50mm is a slightly narrow angle of view on a 70D body (meaning you'd be filming tighter shots or you'd have to move back farther to get more in the shot.)  There are some lower focal length zooms with low focal ratios but not at the $125 price point.

 

The 20-35mm lens that the camera shop suggested is probably not going to provide any benefit at all.  Canon did make an EF 20-35mm f/2.8L USM, but at $150, I'm guessing this is the Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM -- which isn't going to do anything for you that your current 18-135mm lens isn't doing.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,411
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

[ Edited ]

Spend a little time using the 18-135 in situations you are most likely to use the camera. Then evaluate your images and see what's lacking. Are you not getting wide enough or not getting close enough?

 

once you know that you can decide the best lens to get. The 10-18 EF-S is a nice lens. 

 

My  experience traveling in Europe is wider is better.  But if travel abroad is not a mainstay of your photography then maybe a rental is better. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

Different does not only refer to the focal length of a lens.  I assure you that you would get dramatically different images using an f/1.8 or lower f/number lens at any length (35mm or 50mm or 85mm for example) even though all those focal lengths fall within your 18-135mm kit zoom. 

 

F/number refers to the lens's aperture, and a bigger aperture is, counter intuitively, connoted by a lower f/number. 

 

A bigger aperture, liked/1.4 or f/1.8, allows much more light into the camera, so you are able to use a faster shutter speed, avoiding blurry images and avoiding having to hike the ISO sensitivity, which creates noise and lowers detail. Much more light as in 4x or 8x more than a kit zoom lets in. 

 

Lenses with apertures this big are virtually all fixed focal length (non-zooming), called Primes.

 

Another interesting thing about a big aperture is what it does to increase/improve out of focus highlights (bokeh!) and, also, the fact that at large apertures your depth of field in focus is a very much thinner. With a thin DOF you can blur away distracting or ugly backgrounds, making the subject pop out. 

 

If you would use the wide angle 10-22mm type lens a lot then that is certainly a fine choice, but assuming like everyone you frequently shoot indoors you would benefit enormously from the low light capabilities of a prime. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

To take Scott's advice a step further, you could opt for the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon, and have both.  Zoom and fast.  I do not own or have I used this lens so I can not recommend it personally.  But it is in the 'Art' line so it is probably very good.

It seems both Canon and Nikon are in catch up mode in this area of lens production.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-18-2016

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

Thank you all so much for the suggestions, ideas and information! This is very helpful!

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

Ha. Yes. That Sigma lens is the only one, and is the only reason why I had to say "virtually" all lenses with f/1.8 or bigger apertures are primes. What an accomplishment by Sigma on that one.  If I had a 70d I might very well look at that lens pretty hard. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Posts: 12,280
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Best 2nd Lens for a 70D?

Actually Scott I didn't realize that was a crop lens. Since I am not interested in getting that focal length. Thanks for the heads up. I just assumed all Art was FF.
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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