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I have an almost 10 year old Canon Digital Rebel camera which came with this lens: EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 ⌀58mm.

Then a few years ago we bought a zoom lens EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III ⌀58mm.

I have recently decided to upgrade the body and purchase the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. I noticed that the lens that generally comes with it is an ef-s 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 ⌀67mm IS STM.

I have decided on a Canon again mostly because I was hoping to keep the same lenses and decided on the 7D to take advantage of the video. A lot of the use of this camera is to take pictures of our kids playing sports.

My question is, can I use the old lenses with this new model? And if so, how much quality would I be losing by doing so? It seems that the ⌀67mm difference might be important also?

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    Note, you don't need a 7D to take video(every current Canon DSLR can). You may be better suited with a different body that is cheaper and spend more on lenses. But without more info on what you shoot that can't be determined here. – dpollitt Nov 28 '15 at 4:49
  • I am mostly interested in shooting outdoor sports (soccer and baseball) in generally sunny S. California. :) Since it looks like I need a full upgrade I don't need to stick to Canon anymore. – DavidR Nov 29 '15 at 20:56
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They'll fit and work on the 7D Mark II but...

It is almost a waste of money to spend it on the 7D Mark II if these two lenses are all you'll ever use on it. You would see a much better improvement in your images, especially of sports, by spending the same money on a good lens or two and using them with your current body.

For about the current going rate of a 7DII you can pick up both an EF 70-200mm f/4 L (about $600 USD) and and an APS-C only 17-50/55mm f/2.8 from the likes of Tamron or Sigma. I've owned an SP Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II (currently about $500) for years and it is every bit as good optically as the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 (that goes for around $780 USD these days). These lenses will give you much better optical quality for still photos with your older digital Rebel than the current lenses you are using would on a new 7D Mark II.

For video the newer STM offerings are going to allow you to harness the capabilities of the 7D Mark II. The kit 18-135 STM is a good deal at only $350 over the price of the body only 7DII. For getting the reach you need for sports you may also want to consider the newer EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 STM. At about $300 USD it is much better optically than the 75-300 (the poorest image quality of any lenses Canon currently sells) and gives you Image Stabilization (that is much more important for shooting video of sports than for shooting stills of sports) and STM focusing that allows for smoother and nearly silent autofocus while the video is recording.

The 7D Mark II is the best APS-C sports camera (for taking stills) on the market right now. I own one and use it to shoot sports all of the time. But to take full advantage of its capabilities you need large aperture, constant aperture lenses that also have ring type USM focus motors and excellent optical image quality. You also need to be committed to spending a lot of time learning and using the advanced and highly configurable AF system to fully harness its capabilities. Unless you're committed to eventually hanging those types of lenses on your 7DII and putting a lot of time and effort into training yourself to harness those capabilities the 7DII is probably overkill for you. With your current lenses or even the newer EF-S lenses with STM focusing you can probably do just as well, especially in terms of shooting video, with one of the newer Rebels such as the T5i/700D or T6i/750D for about half the price of the 7DII.

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... can I use the old lenses with this new model?

Yes. The 7DMkII is a "crop" body, so it can use both EF and EF-S lenses. It's only if you move to a full-frame body like the 5D/6D bodies that you can no longer use EF-S lenses.

And if so, how much quality would I be losing by doing so?

Since both of those are considered to be entry-level kit lenses, you're unlikely to be losing much quality, because there's not a whole lot of quality to lose. ;) However, given the processor and sensor improvements between the 300D and the 7DMkII, you may actually see far more flaws. The 6MP to 20MP resolution increase, in particular, may point up a few more lens shortcomings.

In addition both of those lenses as entry-level lenses have been replaced in the intervening decade. The current 18-55 kit lens is probably the fifth or sixth iteration of that lens, and now sports both IS (stabilization) and STM (a step focus motor). And the 75-300 III has been replaced by three lenses: the EF-S 55-250 IS (cheap entry-level), the 70-300 IS USM (mid-grade; improved optics and updated IS over the 75-300 III IS USM), and the 70-300L IS USM (pro-grade; improved optics over the 70-300).

And to top it all, neither of your lenses is particularly well suited for sports shooting, which is not an entry-level subject. Sports tends to require autofocus speed. The 7DMkII can certainly deliver on the body side of the equation for that, but you will most typically want a ring-type USM lens for that on the lens side (with video, STM can be more useful; while a little slower, focusing will be smoother). And if the sports are indoors or at night, you'll probably want a lens with as wide a max. aperture as possible. And good telephoto zooms that do that on the Canon side of the fence tend to be white and cost four figures. Sports and wildlife are two areas where the gear costs are not modest.

IS (stabilization) may or may not be key, depending on how long your lens is, what the lighting conditions are for the specific sport, and whether you plan to shoot videos or stills. With video, IS can help smooth out panning. With stills, sports typically requires higher shutter speeds to "freeze" the action, so you may be up and over 1/focal_length (a rule of thumb shutter speed target to mitigate handheld camera shake blur; i.e., with a 300mm lens, you want to be faster than 1/300s) most of the time, anyway. If we're talking soccer, a 75-300 may be ok. But indoor hockey, swimming, or basketball, probably not.

It seems that the Φ67mm difference might be important also?

Well, it simply means you can't use the 58mm filters you already own without vignetting. You'll have to buy 67mm filters, but with a step-down ring, you could use 67mm filters on your other lenses without vignetting. Of course, if you end up getting a white L lens, chances are you'll need 77mm (or larger) filters for it.

If you want to decrease repeated filter purchases, purchase the largest size you need, and then the appropriate step-down rings. Unfortunately, the larger the filter size, the more expensive filers get, too.

  • IS is important when talking about shooting video of sports. Just as STM helps smooth out the focusing, IS helps smooth out panning movements of the camera. – Michael C Nov 29 '15 at 14:08
  • @MichaelClark Thanks. I'm not a video shooter, so I forget about these things. I'll add a note. – inkista Nov 29 '15 at 14:20
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Yes, your old lenses will work, but just as your camera is now outdated, so are your lenses.

For many years now digital camera technology constantly improved with each passing year.

Lens technology did not change much from year to year. That has recently changed though and there have been some big advancements in lens technology over the last few years. Both of your lenses lack Image Stabilization and the improved optics of today's lenses.

The 18-135mm STM is only about $350 when purchased with a new 7D Mk II. That is a bargain because it normally sells for about $550 on it's own.

You won't be able to use your old 58mm filters on the 18-135mm STM and will have to buy 67mm filters instead. Unless you have dozens of various 58mm filters, I wouldn't worry about the difference in filter size.

The 7D Mk II is a wonderful camera and you owe it to yourself to get it with one of the new lenses.

You mention that you would like to shoot some video with your new 7D Mk II. Image Stabilization and STM Auto Focus and almost mandatory when shooting video. Using your old lenses for video will be frustrating and you will probably not like the results.

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Yes, you can. I did a similar upgrade from a Rebel XTi to a Canon 7D Mk I a few years ago. As long as they are EF or EF-S mount lenses, they will work with the 7D and all other Canon DSLRs that I'm aware of. Also, if you decided to go mirrorless in the future and try out the EOS-M line, they have adapters so you can use your EF and EF-S mount lenses with those as well.

I should add that I still have the Rebel body and my spouse and I often shoot together and swap lenses. We have the 18-55 kit lens from the Rebel, the 24-70mm f2.8L, and a 70-300mm f4-5.6 (I think?). I recently borrowed my brother's Canon 20mm wide angle and 100mm macro, and they both worked on both bodies, as well.

As far as quality goes, I wouldn't expect to lose any quality from changing bodies. Both cameras have an APS-C sensor, you'll see the same amount of the frame on both cameras.

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Your lenses will work at least as well as they did on the Rebel because the sensor on the 7D II is so much better. Your old lenses used filters with a diameter of 58 mm, while the kit lens sold with the 7D II requires filters with a 67mm diameter. The lenses you have may or may not be as good as the EF-S 18-135mm, but the main reason for the difference in filter diameter is that the current kit lens has larger diameter elements than the old lenses you have, so it needs larger diameter filters.

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