A friend and I have been volunteering for the past 3 years as event photographers for a few different charities. We shoot their galas, fund raising events, etc... We are getting busier and the schedule has been getting pretty full. We mostly shoot in event spaces like banquet halls and similar venues. We're also starting to get requests to do other types of work like sporting events outside, shows, etc...
Right now I'm shooting with the EF-S 17-55 2.8 on a 7D MKII. I would like to upgrade the glass if I could. While the image quality can be amazing out of the lens, I find sometimes it can be a little off. Also, the autofocus can be a bit of a pain and it doesn't always focus where I need it to. I'm also starting to find the reach to not be long enough at times when you're trying to do candids or isolation shots in a group/crowd. Ideally I would love to get the EF 28-70 2.8 L but seeing as this venture isn't bringing in money at this point, it's a little bit pricey for me right now.
Are they any suggestions on something that would be a good replacement for the 17-55 that would be almost "L-level"?
While I primarily shoot events, I do want to start expanding on my portfolio and would like to get into portraits (yes I know...a prime!) and landscapes.
Thanks in advance!