Best Gear

10 Best Lenses for Canon EOS 7D Mark II

canon-eos-7d-ii-best-lensesWe selected the 10 best lenses for Canon EOS 7D Mark II, a camera that’s ready to shoot in almost any situation, so it only makes so sense to invest in lenses that will allow you to fully use the 7D’s potential.

What did we look for? Image quality, overall usability (can be used for many situations), price and whether all of that gives you the best value for your money. There’s a ton of affordable lenses that are just as good, if not even better, than lenses that are double the price.

Prime lenses we covered:
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM

Zoom lenses we covered:
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

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The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is the best-selling lens from Canon, which already says a lot. It’s affordable, compact and delivers high quality images.

What makes it so special?

First, the f/1.8 aperture is extremely big and lets in a ton of light, which means you will be able to shoot at night and not get blurry shots. This is great for indoor photography, as well as shooting without a flash which can often make your shots look bad.

Another reason why f/1.8 is so good is because it allows you to completely blur the background, making your subject stand out (called shallow depth of field). It’s the easiest and quickest way to make your shots look professional.

It focuses quickly and silently (it’s not as quiet as many more expensive lenses though), and is great for video focusing thanks to the STM, which stands for a Stepping Motor. Since the Canon 7D II has Dual Pixel AF technology, this combination is great for recording serious videos.

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 is simply the best you can get for the money. Bokeh, colors and image quality are great for the price.

Who is this lens good for? Everyone. The 50mm focal length is truly good for almost all types of photography, from food, portrait, street, product, low light, animal, to sports and travel photography.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

canon-efs-24mm-2.8-lensThe Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM might look weird compared to other lenses, but there’s a name for this style; we call them “pancake” lenses due to their short and compact design.

While it looks like a lot of it is missing, that’s not the case with its performance. Great colors, sharpness and quality, and fast auto focus. It’s a lot of wider than the 50mm above and comes with a slightly smaller aperture (f/2.8), but that’s still considered big.

It’s a perfect match for all APS-C cameras (which the 7D II is) since it allows you to travel light. It features both STM and FTM (Full Time Manual focus) so you can focus manually despite having the lens set to AF, which can save a few seconds.

If you’re into landscape photography or just want something wide but can’t spend too much, or are looking for a great gift, this is it.

Who is this lens for? It’s great for landscape shooters, club/indoor photographers and street/travel photographers.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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How to describe the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM? Beautiful colors, razor sharp images, superb quality, creamy bokeh and most importantly, affordable! For less than $400 (at Amazon) you get one of the sharpest prime lenses Canon has ever made.

Featuring an Ultra Sonic Motor, it’ll quickly focus on your subject even in darker conditions. With f/1.8 and 85mm focal length, you can’t even imagine what kind of amazing photographs you’ll be able to take!

Where this lens truly shines at is portrait, wedding and concert photography.

Often shoot in low light? At f/1.8 you’ll be able to get crisp shots without having to raise your ISO speed to extreme sensitivities, although the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is good at handling those speeds.

Who is this lens for? Portrait, concert, street, animal and even sport photographers. If you’ve never used anything but your kit lens, you’ll be blown away by what the 85mm f/1.8 can do. Hands down my favorite prime lens for price/performance, I’ve been using it for years and love it.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

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Macro lenses are notorious for being sharp, and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro is no exception! The focal length is perfect; not too short so you won’t easily scare your subjects, and not too long either (even when on an APS-C camera).

A lot of people think macro lenses are only for small products or animals, but you could honestly use this lens for almost anything, from portraits to sports. With f/2.8 maximum aperture and telephoto length, your backgrounds will look creamy and colorful, and you will also be able to shoot in darker conditions.

It features Hybrid Image Stabilization which will make your life easier since you won’t always need a tripod in order to get sharp photographs. Depending on your work style, this feature alone could be worth getting the lens, especially if you take pictures of lots of different subjects and want to travel light.

Focusing wise, the Ring USM offers very quick and silent auto focus, a must for photographing in the nature. If you want a cheaper, but just as sharp macro lens with no IS, check out the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro that goes for around $600.

Who is this lens for? Portrait, product, bugs, animal photographers. I’ve used it for sports and action as well (subjects far away) and had no complaints regarding the AF speed.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Best Zoom Lenses for Canon EOS 7D II

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

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If you’re looking for a good and affordable wide angle lens, get the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. It’s an excellent choice for landscape, architecture or real estate photography.

It replaces the older and more expensive 10-22mm. The 10-18mm comes with Image Stabilization up to 4 stops, an STM motor for silent and accurate auto focus (this applies to videos as well) and the same high image quality. You do lose 4mm on the telephoto end, but these improvements are worth it (plus, you’re paying less).

The Image Stabilization is perfect for those who plan on shooting at night or generally without a tripod, as you can shoot with speeds you otherwise couldn’t. With wide angle lenses you can also expect to have most of your shots quite sharp because of the small depth of field (something that naturally comes with a wide field of view, despite the aperture size).

Who is this lens for? At such wide angles, you see the whole world differently, which is why I think every photographer should own a wideangle lens! It’s great for landscape, traveling, architecture, real estate, clubs/indoor and group shots.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

canon-18-135mm-telephoto-lensThe Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is a kit lens that gives more reach and better quality than the default 18-55mm. You get the same aperture sizes, just 80mm more zoom, faster auto focus and improved build quality.

This is a perfect lens if you just want something to use in all different types of situations, whether it’s traveling, indoor shooting, sports, weddings, landscape. Auto focus is fast and quite silent, so it’s a good choice for action or pets/kids running around too.

A lot of people own one do-it-all lens, even if they have plenty of other choices. Sometimes you just want to travel light and not worry about switching lenses.

Thanks to the STM technology, you can also record videos without having any noise from the actual focusing, but personally I recommend you to use the manual mode when shooting something more serious.

Who is this lens for? Anyone who likes using a single lens (like the 18-55mm) but wants much more zoom and improved image quality. From 18 to 135mm is where 99% of photography happens.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is your best choice for the 7D II if you want to photograph wildlife, sports or things that are quite far away without breaking the bank.

If you own the 18-55mm kit lens or are also planning on buying the 50mm prime above, this telephoto lens continues right where they both stop, so you’re covered on all ends!

First of all, it’s not heavy (13.2oz/375g) like the majority of telephoto lenses, meaning you won’t be tired after shooting with it for hours. It obviously doesn’t come with the best build design but then again, it feels solid and well-built.

It’s also got Image Stabilization that helps up to 3.5 stops so you can shoot with 1/30 instead of 1/250 and still except solid results with no blur. Like the rest of Canon’s new lenses, it features STM for good video performance.

Who is this lens for?  Anyone who feels their current lens just doesn’t get them close enough. Length wise, it’s great for races, outdoor sports (indoors you’ll have to increase your ISO speed), pets and wild animals, but 250mm might still be a bit short for serious bird photography.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

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The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the most expensive and best 70-200mm lens from Canon (out of 4 versions, ranging from $600 to $2,000). There are two f/4 versions and two f/2.8 versions, one with and without Image Stabilization.

Why would you spend so much on a lens?

If you want the best telephoto lens for weddings, sports or animals (whether you’re a professional or a hobby shooter) and never ever upgrade again (because you won’t have to) then get yourself the 70-200mm f/2.8. Image quality and sharpness are fantastic, auto focus speed is blazing fast and the build quality is also top notch.

It’s packed with USM and IS, but if you need the cheaper version without IS, check out the 70-200mm f/2.8L USM here. How to know which one to get? If you rarely shoot indoors, or are happy using high ISO speeds on your 7D II, then get the non-IS version and save some money.

If you do weddings and indoor sports, then the IS version is probably a must, because every little bit of light/stability helps.

If you don’t need image stabilization, check out the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM here. It’s a bit cheaper and lighter.

Who is this lens for? Sports, portraits, anything outdoor, animals (200mm is too short for serious wildlife), landscape, traveling (although not as light as many other lenses).

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM

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The Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM is truly a wildlife photographer’s dream come true.

It comes with Optical Stabilization (like Canon’s IS) which is a must because after carrying the lens for hours, you won’t be able to be super steady, especially at 600mm. The further you zoom, the more your movement can be seen. Sigma’s OS helps you up to 4 stops, which at 600mm makes a huge difference.

For fast and accurate focusing you got the Hyper Sonic Motor, similar to Canon’s USM. It’s a must for birds and any fast moving subject, and combined with the 7D Mark II’s 65-AF points you’re ready to get some amazing wildlife shots.

Again, telephoto zoom lenses are heavy, the 150-600mm weighs 68.1oz (1930g) but is still the lightest lens that can reach 600mm.

Who is this lens for? Wildlife, bird, moon, outdoor sports photographers. Don’t expect to use it indoors without significantly raising your ISO speed. For $1,000 the image quality and zoom are simply perfect.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSMsigma-18-35mm-1.8-zoom-lens

A couple of years ago, large apertures were only possible on prime lenses, but Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM changed that in 2013. You’re looking at an optically superb, wide-to-standard large aperture lens that could save you a lot of money and weight (1 zoom with f/1.8 instead of 3 primes with f/1.8).

Not familiar with Sigma’s terms? The lens features HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), which means the lens is very quick and accurate at focusing. You can also expect beautiful background blur thanks to 9 diaphragm blades, especially when wide open.

Besides amazing quality in still photography, the lens is perfect for videos as well, thanks to its smooth focus and zoom rings. There’s absolutely no focusing issues for stills or videos on the Canon EOS 7D II, it behaves like the rest of Canon’s lenses.

It weighs 1.79 pounds (810 grams) and is quite long, meaning your neck will probably get tired after a couple of hours of shooting. If you want ‘pancake’ like lenses (24mm f/2.8 STM) and something super light, the Sigma 18-35mm is not for you. However, in a way, it’s like 3 x f/1.8 lenses in one so it’s just something you have to live with.

Who is this lens for? Anyone who shoots around the 18-35mm range but wants to stick with 1, high quality lens that offers f/1.8. That includes street, night, sky, club and indoor photography, but it’s just as good for traveling if you’re okay with carrying it for such long periods.

You can buy it at Amazon or read more reviews here.

3 More Recommended Lenses for 7D Mark II

canon-ef-100-400mm-f4.5-5.6l-is-ii-usm-telephotoLooking for some more lenses, or perhaps already own a few that we recommend? Here are our top picks if you’re willing to spend a bit more to get even better image quality.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM – An excellent walk-around lens that covers the lengths most of us use on a daily basis. With excellent image quality, a large f/2.8 aperture and USM focusing, you’re ready to shoot in any situation.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM – Better colors and sharpness compared to the 150-600, but more expensive and 200mm less reach.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM – Sharper and cheaper than Canon’s more expensive 35mm version, brilliant for portraits, kids, street and indoor photography.