Why is the title of this article so obvious? Mostly because I want you all to know that the lenses I am about to talk about are ones I only have experience with on the Canon 7D. Different cameras may produce different results although I am sure the only difference will be the focal length if shooting with the 5D Mark II. In my experience so far primes are the best due to the speed of the glass and how crisp your images will be.
Ok so lets start off with the first lens I shot with. The Canon EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6. How do I put this… DO NOT BUY THIS LENS FOR VIDEO. I got some really good stills with this lens but with the 3.5-5.6 f/stop, it doesn’t give you the depth of field control that makes this camera so amazing. And forgot about shooting in low light situations. My other big problem I had with this lens was focusing (in video mode only). When subjects would move and even when the camera moved, it seemed to soften the image. Not at all what I would expect from a lens costing $409.95.
The first “good” lens I decided to go with is the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. This lens is great and selling at only $439.00 makes it a very good deal. The tight focus ring makes it easier to rack focus and I like the heavy design. With the 1.6 crop, this makes the 30mm a 48mm. For me, this my go to lens for initial shots. A little wide for portraits but the perfect lens for medium shots and even wide shots. Bottom line; perfect for your first lens and can get almost every shot you’ll want although you’ll want to look into something larger for close ups.
The second lens I got was specifically for a job with MetaMedia in CT. You may have read my blog post. I looked all day for the perfect 85mm for the right price. I know I needed something with an f/stop under 2.0. I first looked at Sigma lenses due to my success with the 30mm but found nothing. After looking through the Canon L-series I realized I couldn’t pay $2,000 for a lens. I heard many good reviews about Nikkon lenses and how some even say it is the best glass. I found the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8. This was paired with the Bower lens converter so it will fit on my 7D. It is a little more expensive than others but I’ve seen cheaper ones break on set. Not good. This lens is amazing. I have nothing bad to say about it. I got some amazing results and it is the perfect portrait and close up lens. It can even been used for extreme close ups.
The last lens I got was something I picked up last week. I hadn’t planned on getting another lens but the deal was too good. I went to Penn Camera and couldn’t get my eyes of the used lenses they carried. I knew I needed a 50mm so I looked at everyone they carried. I went straight for the Nikkor lenses because of how much I love the 85. I found an old film lens that had an f/stop of 1.4 and after testing it on some Nikon (proud to be a Canon body owner) I decided I would take it home and test it on the 7D. Oh did I mention, it was only $60!!! After shooting some video I was convinced this was just as good as the 85. That night I ordered another Bower lens converter and a Light Craft Workshop fader ND.
I hope this helps out those new to shooting with HDSLRs and even those looking to add to their lens collection. Anyone on a small budget should look into getting used lenses at a local camera shop. I know that Penn Camera has a two week return policy and I am sure most shops will have something similar. Any further questions please comment or email me at Ruscher.R@gmail.com