I am all new to photography and about 3 weeks ago, I bought a Canon 7D Mark II body.

Up to now, I have been using a Canon 18-135 STM lens, which I borrowed from my friend.

I am thinking about buying a lens now, and since I mostly take landscape photos, I am thinking about buying a wide/normal angel prime lens.

So here are my criteria for the lens:

  • I need sharp images
  • It should be wide, since I take photos of large scenes
  • I take pictures at night or low light too

So, I really need your suggestions.

And here is what I came up with:

  • Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II
  • Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM
  • Canon EF-S 24mm f2.8 STM
  • Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM

The fact that my camera has a crop factor of 1.6 pushes me more toward the latter two ones.

  • By "nature photography" do you mean landscape photography?
    – inkista
    Nov 18 '15 at 0:10
  • "Nature Photos' is an exceedingly broad term. That could mean anything from a very wide landscape vista to a very close-up macro photo of plants or bugs to a very narrow telephoto view of a wild animal in its natural environment. Please be more specific about what type of "nature" subjects you wish to photograph.
    – Michael C
    Nov 18 '15 at 1:31
  • 4
    If you are mainly concerned with wide angle landscape photos, you probably bought the wrong camera. The 7DII is an excellent action/sports camera, perhaps the best APS-C camera in the world for action and sports. That is what it is designed to do. For wide angle "nature" landscapes a full frame model such as the 6D (which costs about the same as the 7DII) would serve you much better.
    – Michael C
    Nov 18 '15 at 1:35
  • 1
    I would agree with what @MichaelClark said, with the crop sensor you're loosing out on the wide end, even the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L will give you 27mm. I wouldn't think of the 50mm as landscape lenses either. Here is a link to PixelPeeper with a selection of photos from 8mm to 40mm on your camera to show you what kinda lenses get you which results.
    – MDschay
    Nov 18 '15 at 12:07
  • 1
    @MichaelClark 10-22mm works just fine and is nice on APS-C.
    – dpollitt
    Nov 18 '15 at 16:00

I think it's probably too early for you to be thinking about a specialist landscape lens or fast prime at this point. You might actually be better served to find a used 18-55 kit lens, while you learn your way around the camera and glass and landscape technique, and which focal lengths do what.

In my opinion, a "body only" option is generally not so much for a newb to pick a lens à la carte, so much as they are for folks who already have their glass to not end up with multiple kit lenses. A kit lens gives you something cheap to shoot with while you learn the ins and outs of focal length, max aperture, IS, and USM, and general shooting technique, so you've got time to gain enough experience to properly choose your first lens and save up for it.

With landscape shooting, night-time and low-light photography typically requires a sturdy tripod, rather than a fast lens with a larger maximum aperture.

And if you want a wider vista in the viewfinder, then a 24mm lens is still not particularly wide, yielding only a 35mm-equivalency on 1.6x crop. 24mm is really only wide on a full frame camera. The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens is a good purchase and good quality, but is more of a general-purpose, walkaround, street-shooting lens, rather than a dedicated landscape lens.

The low-cost (~$300) beginner's ultrawide-on-a-crop is probably the EF-S 10-18 IS STM. The general-purpose walkaround zoom that goes wide on a crop is the EF-S 15-85. The fast wide zoom for crop is the EF-S 17-55/2.8. Both of these lenses are in the $800 price range. And an 18-135 (as you know) gives you a much larger zoom range to work with, and costs less than either. So, you need to really know what your priorities and budget are going into lens shopping. Limiting yourself to only the $250 and under fast primes in Canon's lineup may not be getting you what you really want, here.

See also: Lens upgrade paths (sub $1000) for the EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens for Canon APS-C cameras

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