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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 31 Dec 2011 (Saturday) 13:46
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What lenses do you have and why?

Senior Member
260 posts
Joined Jan 2009
Location: Kansas
Dec 31, 2011 13:46 |  #1

I see a lot of people here asking what lens they should get, and several what lenses would you own, but I didn’t see a thread quite like this so I thought I’d start one. Post what you have and why you have it.


I’ve been in the DSLR game since my Rebel XT and have gone through I’d say about a dozen lenses over time, including the none IS kit lens, the nifty fifty, Canon 28-85mm USM ,and Sigma 70-300 APO. After 7 years I’ve pretty much settled down with the following for my 7D:

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 – This is my standard do everything walk around lens. I used the 17-85 for several years and loved it, but found myself renting the 17-55 way too often for weddings so I finally bit the bullet and couldn’t be happier. It’s a perfect lens for weddings, indoor family shots, and general walk around photography. Come car show season, this is the lens glued to my camera. The f/2.8 is just enough to isolate when you need it, and with the higher ISO capabilities of the 7D you can use it indoors without flash and get great results. If I could only have 2 lenses it would be this and the 70-200 4L IS, they both are fantastic to use.

Canon EF 70-200mm 4L IS – This is my lens for hockey and auto racing. Fantastic image quality, the IS is a boon, and it’s plenty fast with enough light which hockey and auto racing have, so the II is out of the question. The lens handles great and is fairly compact. I typically have it with me when I walk the dog. If you like action shots of your dog, this is the lens to have. I keep saying I’m going to give a go at BIF but haven’t done that yet. And I’ll admit, it feels nice owning an L. The results from this lens always make me smile.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm – 95% of the time the 17-55 works just great for wide angle. But when I need to go a little wider, this lens rocks. I’m no landscape photographer by any means, but it’s great for using when going out on walks, and it is fun to use with the dog. However, this lens requires the most thought with composition. It’s really easy to get a fugly shot , especially at 10mm. The 2 axis viewfinder level on the 7D has made my life a lot easier with this lens and now it’s a joy to use. I only wish I had this one when I was back in Europe. It would have been a hoot when going to castles.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 – Great for basketball and is very quick and compact. It’s about the perfect focal length for courtside. When I shoot basketball, this is all I bring. I’ve also used it for portraits but really I mainly use it for indoor sports. By far not my most used lens, but I love it when I need it.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 – My play lens. Had it 4 years ago, front focused like no other, but I missed it so much I just got another one, and a good copy at that. This is the lens I use when I go on walks and try to be creative. It acts like a normal 50 lens on the 7D so it is very versatile and the f1.4 can really isolate the subjects. On paper, there is no way I can justify this lens over the 17-55, but I have a ton of fun with it. This is not a lens for anything that moves fast, as the AF is iffy at best and the 17-55 is just better in those instances. And when I want a perfect shot, I always take 2 and refocus in between shots, because this lens does miss focus at f/1.4. But when it does hit focus the results are amazing, the bokeh and colors are beautiful. I love this lens despite its shortcomings and the only thing that could pry it from my hand would be Canon 30mm f/1.4 USM, which I don’t see ever coming to fruition. (external link)

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Desert ­ Pictures
163 posts
Joined Nov 2011
Location: Mesa, AZ
Dec 31, 2011 20:15 |  #2

This won't take long (LOL). I mistakenly started with cropped sensors and because I always used a 35mm as a "leave it on the camera" lens back in my film days, bought a 24mm for the 38mm view on the 40D. Had a 60mm Macro for close up work and the excellent 135/2L for a tele.

Then I discovered FF and bought a 5Dclassic. The 60 is an EF-S and won't work on the 5D so I traded it on Canon's 100/2.8L IS Macro. So...right now it's the 24, 100 & 135. I only foresee two changes any time soon. I may trade the 24 for a 35, again for an all the time lens on the camera and I want something long for wildlife (mostly birds). Gotta finish paying for the Macro first! (smile)


Prime Lens Guy

Senior Member
554 posts
Joined Mar 2010
Dec 31, 2011 21:00 |  #3

I have an embarassingly long list of lenses that I've gone through and need to go through, in rough chronological order of acquisition. Everything has been shot on a 40D (APS-C):

50 mm/1.8 and 85/1.8 - bought simultaneously. I wanted to shoot indoor volleyball so the 85 was the suggested lens, and the 50 was cheap and more suited for general purpose work. These days I hardly use the 85 (see below) and I only keep the 50 because it's cheap ... and I've also mounted the 50 on an EOS film camera too. The 85 is such a honey to use though and it still does come in handy every now and then. I cannot overstress how nice it is to use - pick it up, frame and shoot. Autofocus is the fastest of any of my lenses. I carry the 85 when I want lightweight telephoto.

18-55 - initially needed to cover the wider end of standard range of focal lengths. After a few weeks of use it's been sitting in a drawer. To be sold, maybe when I sell my camera body. Not worth much anyways.

24-105L - Wanted the tele, loved the IS, and the red ring was and is tempting. It's a joy to hold and use. IS and IQ are nice. The unfortunately downside is that the focal length range doesn't end up working for me. At first, the long end was very nice. However, 24 mm on APS-C is not wide enough for me as a standard zoom and once I got a proper telephoto 70-200, this has seen almost no use in my hands - it's constantly been lent to friends. I'll probably be selling it.

Tamron 17-50 2.8 - bought for the wide aperture and a range of focal lengths that includes some wide angles, sacrificing the tele. Handy for general photography and beach vball when I have courtside access. Less conspicuous than the 24-105. Excellent FL range for my use, as one should and would expect. The opposite-turning zoom ring throws me off sometimes. The AF is noisy and nasty but fast and it's been overall fine in my use. IQ has been good. Having bought a proper telephoto, it provides what I need out of a standard zoom. It feels like a compromise, but I will probably keep as I can't really justify moving to the canon 17-55 2.8.

Canon 70-200 2.8 IS - held my breath and splurged on it to shoot indoor and outdoor sports and motorsports where I have pretty good access. What can you say about this lens that hasn't been said already? Large, heavy and highly conspicuous but fast AF, good IS and a very handy telephoto. To be sold as a year later, I couldn't resist the deal on the 70-200 IS II.

Canon 70-300 4-5.6 II USM and Canon 28-90 3.5-5.6 - Bought as part of a film camera bundle that some guy was selling on craigslist. I never shot with these aside from a few test shots. Sold, netting a small profit.

set of three Kenko extension tubes - bought as part of that film camera bundle. Haven't had much of a chance to experiment with these guys yet, but hey, I'm well ahead on that whole bundle so I'm not complaining! :)

Tamron 1.4 TC - given to me by a friend. Haven't used it much but when attached to my 70-200, it looks like I should stop down by a stop to reduce IQ loss.

Canon 10-22 3.5-4.5 - Bought this because I was constantly borrowing my friend's and really liked it. Haven't had much chance to shoot with my own, because I've lent it to another friend, but a keeper. Looking forward to having this full time.

Canon 28mm 1.8 and 70-200 2.8 ISII - 70-200 *sigh*, a definite splurge because I am WEAK and pixel-peeped my 70-200's shots. Weakweakweak. Oh well. It's a nice lens to have... in my experience and for what I want to shoot.

For the 28 1.8, I wanted to experiment and work on my "eye" with a fast normal prime (I remember liking shooting with the 50 1.8, but found the FL too long for general photography). This is new, so results TBA. I may eventually make this as part of standard kit with 10-22, eliminating a standard zoom.

... that's a LOT of lenses and much of it has been on learning and discovering what suits my shooting style. The only thing that feels like a bit of a misstep was the 24-105, but that's only because I never anticipating going nuts on a 70-200 and removing the tele advantage that the 24-105 gave me.

Cream of the Crop
5,517 posts
Gallery: 8 photos
Likes: 753
Joined Aug 2009
Dec 31, 2011 21:08 |  #4

In order of acquisition:

50mm f/1.4 - First lens I bought when I got the 5D. Great lens when I want something small or I need big apertures. Its the fastest lens I own by 2 stops. For some reason, I just enjoy the simplicity of a small, fast, prime.

24-105 - First zoom I bought. Great all-around lens. If I can only carry one lens, this is usually it. The IS helps when I'm forced to use a slow shutter speed but mostly, I'm using a flash so the relatively slow f/4 typically isn't a problem.

100-400 - Needed more reach than the 24-105 and wanted a two lens setup to cover 24-400mm. Its my biggest and heaviest lens by far and doesn't get a ton of use but when I need it, its great. It usually stays at home unless I'm sure I'll need it though. Mostly used for wild life lately.

17-40 - First used lens I bought. Added because I wanted an ultrawide zoom. Picked over the 16-35 because it was half the cost and shared the 77mm filter with my other zooms. Not a lens I carry all the time but good to have in the arsenal. I've used it for landscapes, interiors, and big things like planes on the ground. Some times I'll carry just the 17-40 and either the 70-200 or 100-400.

15mm fisheye - Fun little lens I picked up used, not knowing if I'd keep it. Still have it. Doesn't get a ton of use but it comes out when I'm in the mood.

70-200 f/4 - Also purchased used. Added because I wanted more reach than the 24-105 but without the bulk of the 100-400. Very sharp lens and surprisingly, I don't really miss the IS. I like that its small enough to throw in my bag just in case, without feeling like I'm lugging a brick around. Nice working distance for shooing kids.

100mm macro - My latest purchase, also used. I don't do too much macro but its nice to have the capability. I actually use it more for portraits than macro. I wouldn't have bought it if it was strictly a macro lens. Its very sharp at 2.8 even if the auto-focus is a bit slow.

Absolutely ­ Fabulous
1,699 posts
Joined Dec 2009
Dec 31, 2011 21:13 |  #5

85L: cause it's the best and it's a b*tch to get off and on

shortest reply yet!

http://www.belovedlove​ (external link)my website (external link)

Cream of the Crop
44,642 posts
Likes: 134
Joined Dec 2010
Dec 31, 2011 21:16 |  #6

I'm a lensaholic, gots lots of them.

1,920 posts
Likes: 16
Joined Jan 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Dec 31, 2011 21:19 |  #7

17-40 - It was the first L lens I owned, and was a great walkaround on my 10D (Which didn't accept EF-S glass). Now, I use it for landscapes for for all of my wide-angle needs.

35L - Incredible environmental portrait lens. My most used lens.

Sigma 50 - IMHO, this is the best value in 50mm lenses right now. If you get a copy that focuses properly (which isn't that hard, if you simply try the lens out first), you get 50L-esque image quality for a fraction of the price.

85L - It's a beast. A simply incredible portrait lens, which I've found myself using more and more for other purposes.

Street and editorial photography in Toronto, Canada (external link)
Mirrorless: Fujifilm X-Pro1
Film: Leica MP | Leica M2 | CV Nokton 35/1.4 | CV Nokton 40 f/1.4 | Leitz Summitar 50 f/2 | Canon 50 f/1.2 LTM | Mamiya 7 | Mamiya 80 f/4.0 | Mamiya 150 f/4.5 | Mamiya 43 f/4.5
How to get good colour from C-41 film scans (external link)

Digitizing film with a digital camera (external link)

4,628 posts
Likes: 9
Joined Jan 2007
Location: Sweden/France
Jan 01, 2012 04:57 |  #8

35L: environmental portraits, walk around
Sigma 85: indoor portraits
135L: outdoor portraits, candids
24-105L: one lens solution, when needed
70-200/2.8 L IS II: outdoor portraits and great for events (concerts, weddings, etc)
70-300L: great lens, very sharp, compact, but I probably do not need it...
100 Macro: for the occasional macro

5D mkIII ; 17-40L ; 24-105L ; 70-200L II ; 70-300L ; 35L ; Σ85/1.4 ; 135L ; 100macro ; Kenko 1.4x ; 2x mkIII ; 580EXII
M5 ; M1 ; 11-22 ; 18-150 ; 22/2.0 ; EF adapter; Manfrotto LED
Benron Tripod; ThinkTank, Lowepro and Crumpler bags; Fjällräven backpack

1,775 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Likes: 8
Joined Apr 2006
Location: UK
Jan 01, 2012 05:46 |  #9

I made a good justification each time I bought a lens. Now I find I have too many and hardly ever get to use them. I would like to trim down to possibly just two lenses and try and be a little more creative.

Nikon D850, 85mm f/1.4G
EF17-40 f/4.0 L, EF135 f/2.0L EF200 f/2.8L

EF24-105L, EF100 f/2.8L Macro. EOS-M, 22mm f/2
Hasselblad 500C/M, Planar 80mm f/2.8

222 posts
Gallery: 35 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 67
Joined Sep 2010
Location: Charlottetown PEI
Jan 01, 2012 05:58 |  #10

First the bodies- 5D Mkii and 50D

The Lenses-
24-105 came with the 5D as a kit, most used lens. I've looked at swapping it out for the faster 24-70 but the IO from both is about the same and I opted for the longer range and IS.

70-200 2.8 Mkii -
Because it's the best

For landscapes. Got this over the 16-35 2.8 because of the $$ and I like the commonn 77mm filter size.

Tamron 90mm
An economical entry into the world of macro

300 f/4.0
Mounted on the 50D this gives me the most reach I have. I might trade it in on a 1.4X converter someday.

Zeiss 21mm
For landscapes cause the 24-105 sucks at 24mm and the 17-40 is only marginally better. An extravagance but a mighty nice one.

Canon 135L
On the way from B&H to give me little more speed inside and for portraits

Gear List: 5D MkIV, Canon 1Dx , 16-35 Mk II, 24-70 MkII, 70-200 f/2.8 MkII, 300 f/2.8 IS, 135 f/2.0, Zeiss 21 f/2.8, Sigma 35 f/1.4 Art, Zeiss 50 f/2.0, Tamron 90 f/2.8, Canon 14 f/2.8L, Canon 15 f/2.8 Fisheye

1,064 posts
Gallery: 418 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 2192
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Lincolnshire UK, Live in Scotland
Jan 01, 2012 06:00 |  #11

rick_reno wrote in post #13627519 (external link)
I'm a lensaholic, gots lots of them.

Me too. Sure is nice though :D

Very lucky to have a lot of nice toys :)
Flickr Site (external link)

2,484 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Mar 2007
Location: middle east
Jan 01, 2012 06:13 |  #12

28-75: my first lens that i bought with the 7d. at first was highly used until i got the 24-105. now when i expect to need the extra stop and can deal with the focal lengths. still pretty loud AF.
100 macro: for my macro love. added tubes for that love as well, reversal rings and a 50 1.8 for that too (to reverse)
50 1.8 - i dabbled in the prime with this. not impressed by the focal length but love the sharpness at 2.8 and higher. almost never used. one day will consider getting a wider and a longer prime. not soon though.
10-22 for those wide shots and the shots i want to distort on purpose. kind of fun. not used very often though. i tend to use it on the 10mm side and the 22mm side and not so much in the middle.
55-250 - i needed a long lens. it is really nice for what it is, but now i have replaced it with the 70-200 f4is.
70-200 f4is - newest acquisition. i like the lens - but still getting to know it. I don't tend to shoot so long most of the time.
next lens on the block - mpe 65 is the next one most likely.

50 1.8 II, MP-E65, 85 II, 100 IS
8-15 FE, 10-22, 16-35 IS, 24-105, 70-200 f4IS, 100-400 ii, tamron 28-75 2.8
600 ex-rt, 055xproB/488rc2/Sirui k40x, kenko extens tubes

137 posts
Joined May 2009
Location: Ky
Jan 01, 2012 20:28 |  #13

Check the signature. Poor man's way to cover ranges with decently fast lenses. Tamron's don't focus as fast but image quality with mine are great. Picked up the Sigma 50 and the Canon 85 for indoor sports. The only thing I want to add is a Sigma 30. Have one at work and it is perfect on a crop.

Ron Weaver
Canon 7D, 50D, 1D classic, Sigma 50 1.4, Canon 85 1.8, Tamron 17-50 2.8, 28-75 2.8, Canon 70-200L 2.8 non IS
Nissan 622, Vivitar 383, Yongnuo 560 (3)

Cream of the Crop
44,642 posts
Likes: 134
Joined Dec 2010
Jan 01, 2012 20:33 |  #14

big_g wrote in post #13628521 (external link)
Me too. Sure is nice though :D

Only problem is deciding which ones to take if I'm heading out for a week or two.

1,195 posts
Likes: 73
Joined Mar 2007
Jan 01, 2012 21:21 as a reply to  @ rick_reno's post |  #15

35L: low light and indoor portrait, when I need to get up-close-and-personal with the subject. 85L can be too long for indoor and the 24L II was way too wide, 35L is just right for me. This is the last lens I bought about two weeks ago, it complete the entire kit.

85L II: this is THE portrait lens, attached to my 5D2 most of the time, very comfortable shooting with it @f/1.2~1.4, AF is fast enough for what I shoot, bokeh and color better than 85 1.8 it replaced.

17-40: hiking, landscape and large group portrait, very light and compact, love this little lens.

70-200 2.8 IS II: outdoor portrait, candid, whenever I need more reach or looking for perspective compression. This is the best zoom lens i ever own, use it the least but it always get the job done. Image quality is superior to the MK1 and 4.0 IS I also owned in the past.

5D Mark III, Samyang 14mm, 35LII, 85L II, 100L IS Macro, 24-105L, 70-200L 2.8 IS II. 580EX, AB400, AB800.

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What lenses do you have and why?
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
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