Recommended lenses for Canon 70D, T5i(700d) and other Rebels.
I see two groups of people watching this video – those that haven’t bought a camera yet and are wondering if they should buy the camera with a kit lens(18-55 STM or the 18-135 STM) or buy body only and purchase a “better” lens separately and those that have the 70D or other Canon DSLRs and are wondering what they should add to their collection or upgrade to.
To the first group -maybe you heard from a friend or read on the internet that the kits lenses are bad. At times in DSLR history that has been true but the 18-55 IS STM and the 18-135 IS STM lenses sold with the 70D and current rebel models are actually quite good and their value when bought with the camera is excellent – if you are new to DSLRS the kit lenses ARE a good place to start and especially if you want to do easy video with either camera the STM lenses are necessary for that silent autofocus. So if you haven’t bought the camera yet go ahead and buy with a kit lens – which one? 18-135 is a good travel and all around lens, nice for the family, capturing kids, vacations etc. The 18-55 STM saves you some money and is a little easier to leave behind if you think you might want to upgrade sooner rather than later. I do have another video that goes into the two choices in more detail 18-55 STM vs 18-135 STM. Keep reading though as there is good info ahead.
Those of you that already have the camera and are looking for the next lens – I am going to offer a recommendation or two in each of the following categories – Prime lenses (lenses that are fixed, don’t zoom), Walk-around lenses or general purpose lenses, telephoto and then your more specialty lenses like macro and wide angle. I did keep budget in mind and picked lenses that I feel offer a great value. I might throw out some terms or acronyms you are not familiar with -Use the following Lens Glossary if you need any more information on some of the acronyms and terms mentioned.
Recommended Prime Lenses for Canon 70D (and other crop sensor cameras)
The question I hear from many new DSLRS owners is “how do I get those blurred background images?” They are possible with the kit lenses but they are not always easy. Using a lens with a wide maximum aperture is the easiest way to achieve those images AND cheapest way to get those images is by using a prime lens. Canon’s 50 f/1.4 is excellent – sharp, responsive focus and that amazing wide aperture. An alternative is the 40mm f/2.8 – which is tiny,as equally sharp as the 50 f/1.4 but with a slightly wider focal length that if you are shooting indoors often you may find to be easier to work with and slightly more versatile.
Like I said the kit lenses do a very good job so to get MUCH better quality you have to spend a good bit more – there are lenses that are marginally better but few are better enough that their value outstrips the kit lenses- But when you add features and quality in the mix two stand out. The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 about $500 offers a good range and it offers a constant aperture of f/2.8 over that range, this lets in lots of light and allows good control of your depth of field. You can get creamy bokeh at f/2.8 in the 50-75 range. And most importantly this is a sharp lens for the money and is as sharp as lenses that cost 2x as much. The Tamron doesn’t have image stabilization and I think that is fine but if you want something similar WITH IS the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS (sigmas version of IS) is about $570. Please know that IS only really helps with non moving subjects at those slower shutter speeds.
- Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 (EF Compatible) – Buy on Amazon
- Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS (EF-S Compatible)- Buy on Amazon
The recent refresh of the 55-250 STM has created another budget lens that offers a serious value – I have a separate review of the new 55-250 STM – short review- the value is great, another STM so you have that silent AF for video and if you buy when you buy the camera and take advantage of the bundled savings you are getting a good zoom for less than $200! The next telephoto I’d recommend is a jump in price but the 70-200 f/4 is one of Canon’s most affordable L lenses – professional level lenses – very sharp, beautiful colors and contrast and versatile. 200mm at f/4 produces lovely bokeh.
With budget in mind the Canon 60mm macro is very good with excellent macro possibilities. This lens can also be used as a lovely portrait lens/head shots for tighter shots.
- Canon EF-S 60mm – Buy on Amazon
- Sigma 10-20mm (EF-S Compatible) – Buy on Amazon
There are more options out there – I have a 45 minute video where I share some thoughts on most of the current canon brand lenses – see the link below. Do you still wonder what lens is best for you? Give my Facebook page a like and let me know what type of photography you are into and how much you want to spend- I will respond with some suggestions.
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