The best lens for Canon 70D
is also the best lens for Canon 7D MKII.
Canon 70D and Canon 7D MK2 are top models of the Canon cameras with an APS-C sensor. These advanced SLR cameras are intended for advanced amateurs and prosumers. They place high demands on lenses and therefore come at a higher price, in a larger size and at a heavier weight.
Best Lenses for Canon 70D or 7D MK2:
Kit lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM
Kit lens upgrade:Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 Contemporary
Low Light: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Macro: Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
Macro: Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
Wide angle: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
Telephoto: Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
Standard & bokeh: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art
Who wants to get that close??
The Canon 70D (the body currently costs around 940 euros) will be offered in combination with a Canon EF-S 18-135 mm IS STM (kit price 1200 euros) or for less than 900 euros with a Canon EF-S 18-55 mm IS STM. In terms of image quality, the two lenses aren't that different from each other, so if you have the money to spare, choose the extra zoom range of the 18-135 mm. But if you think that lens is too expensive, or the 18-135 mm is a bit too large, then you still have very good image quality with the standard 18-55 mm IS STM.
Many advanced amateurs and prosumers exchange their kit lens after a while for a more expensive zoom lens. Possible reasons for this are:
We consider all zoom lenses with a zoom range of 5 or more as super-zooms. With such a zoom lens, the shortest focal distance and the longest focal distance are so different that you can photograph throughout your whole vacation without having to change lenses once. A super-zoom is longer—especially when you zoom out to the longest focal distance—and heavier than a kit lens, but much smaller and lighter than a set of zoom lenses. The image quality of a super-zoom is a bit lower than that of the kit lens, since the greater the zoom range, the more compromises have to be made in the design of the lens. That's why we refrain from naming a specific super-zoom as our choice. It's the experienced amateurs who initially expect miracles from this kind of lens, just to toss out the super-zoom after a critical examination. The image quality differences between the super-zooms that we've reviewed are small. Every lens has its own strong and weak points. For Canon APS-C, we've reviewed the following super-zooms (disregarding the older types):
With a shorter focal distance, the chance is great when photographing live subjects that you'll scare off your subject when you come close to get the shot. Another disadvantage of a macro lens with a relatively short focal distance is that you're standing so close to the subject that you end up blocking the light. Therefore, macro lenses with a focal distance greater than 100 mm are preferred. We've reviewed the following macro lenses:
The Canon EF-S 60 mm Macro USM aims highest in terms of image quality. We chose the qualitatively comparable Sigma 105 mm f/2.8 for its longer focal distance and the fact that this lens can also be used on a camera with a full-frame sensor. If you ever want to switch to a Canon 6D or a Canon 5D MK3, then you don't have to purchase a new macro lens.
If you want let an impressively wide overview come into its own, then choose a lens with a focal distance of 15 mm or less. Then, on an APS-C sensor, you get a field of view that corresponds with a 24 mm lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor.
A really great wide-angle zoom that we can advise for every Canon 70D owner is the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. The construction quality is not comparable with that of more expensive lenses, but for a very attractive price, you get solid optical performance, a quiet AF step motor for video and built-in image stabilization. We've reviewed the following wide-angle zoom lenses:
If you're thinking about a Canon Fisheye lens, then think about the Canon 8-15 mm. This Fisheye zoom lens can also be used on a camera with a full-frame sensor, in case you ever want to switch from your Canon 7D MK2 or Canon 7D to a Canon 6D or 5D MK3. The construction quality of the Canon 8-15 mm is beyond reproach, and you make great, characteristic Fisheye pictures with it. This is lens, however, is not inexpensive.
A good portrait lens is bright and has a focal distance of 85 mm or more (converted to a full-frame sensor). When you make a portrait in which you leave a bit of space around the model, then a 50 mm standard lens—with which the field of view corresponds with 80 mm on full-frame—is an attractive option for photographers with an APS-C camera. The first lens that you think about there is the Canon 50 mm f/1.8, which is very attractively priced. We have not yet reviewed this lens. Of the standard lenses that we've reviewed (Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, Canon 50 mm f/1.2L, Tamron 60 mm f/2 Di II LD IF Macro), we suggest the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art due to its high image quality, great bokeh and high sharpness.
While we had an opening for the best telephoto lens (with a focal distance of at least 200 mm) for the Canon 70D, for the 7D we have multiple suitable candidates. That mostly has to do with the available budget. Owners of a Canon 7D Mark 2 are, we think, well prepared to put down more than a thousand euros for a good telephoto lens. In that case, there are several candidates that come to the fore from the selection of lenses that we have so far reviewed for Canon APS-C cameras.
The Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6L IS USM is the winner from this group because the zoom range is greater and the price is significantly lower than Canon's 70-200 mm. If the 70-300 mm is over your budget, then the Sigma is an attractive option with a store price under a thousand euros.
Experienced photographers like to work, due to creative considerations, with a fixed focus. Because you can't zoom in or out, a fixed focus forces you to think more about the composition of a photo. We have so far reviewed 9 lenses with a fixed focus (and 33 zoom lenses) on a camera with an APS-C sensor:
|Several of these lenses are absolute gems when it comes to image quality. Users or a Canon 70D or Canon 7D MK2 often photograph in RAW. The Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 comes out on top in our reviews on a Canon camera with an APS-C. ||Concert photography and night photography place heavy demands on lenses when it comes to internal reflections. Because a photo often has darker parts and includes a bright light source, ghosts and reduced contrast result from internal reflections more so with concert shots or night photos. The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and the Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 Art score very well on this point. Both lenses deliver very good image quality starting at full aperture, which is an extra plus point when you photograph in low light. The construction quality of both lenses is fantastic. The higher brightness, the shorter focal distance, the lower price and the lower weight of the Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 Art win the recommendation for the Sigma for night photography and concert photography. |
Do you want the same beautiful background blur as in the shots of photographers with an expensive full-frame camera and an expensive, heavy, bright f/2.8 lens? You don't have to trade in your Canon 70D or Canon 7D MK2 with a Canon 6D, if you just choose a good, bright lens of f/2 or lower.