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Author Topic: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip  (Read 6646 times)

Old Sarge

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A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« on: April 30, 2013, 08:45:01 AM »
First a little background: 1) I'm old. 2) My wife wishes to visit Israel (where she has previously gone on a mission trip but she wants a tour this time). My Pastor is planning a tour in 2014. 3) I dearly love L glass and constant apertures but my 70-200 II is a little on the heavy side. 4) I want to carry as little as possible.

Considering the above I am thinking about something like the Canon 18-200, Tamron 18-200 or 270, or something similar. If I do this my kit would probably be my 7D, this walk around lens, and my Tokina 11-16 2.8, and extra batteries. Carrying a flash unit is up in the air at this point.

So my question for you, my learned friends, is 1) are there better options for me? 2) do you have experiences with any of these lenses? Should I add a monopod to this list (even though my cf tripod is light weight I don't think I want to include it)?
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A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« on: April 30, 2013, 08:45:01 AM »

jasonsim

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 09:51:04 AM »
Is there a reason you think you need a focal length beyond 85mm or 105mm?  I've never been to that part of the world, but imagine that most of the photo opportunities will be on the wide to normal focal lengths.  Remember that the 7D is a crop body and will provide an effective 1.6x zoom on the lenses you decide to take on the trip.   If you are set on taking your Tokina 11-16mm, I'd recommend a 24-105mm f/4L IS zoom.  They can be had at very good prices for a lens that was sold as part of a kit; maybe better priced if you don't mind a slightly used lens.  I think you will find that 105mm on a 7D long enough and if not, you have 18MP to work with and crop.

If you wanted a one lens solution know that there are IQ compromises with any of the super zooms that you mention.  If again, you can live with 85mm on the long end, I would recommend the Canon 15-85mm EFS USM IS lens.  It is wide enough that you might just leave the Tokina at home and travel ultra light.  Maybe throw in a 40mm f/2.8 USM (cheap at $150) for the times you need a wider aperture. 

Good luck with whatever you choose and have a fun time in Israel!

Kind regards,
Jason S.
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Sella174

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 10:01:10 AM »
I'd go with the EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and the EF 100mm f/2 USM lenses.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 10:07:59 AM »
The 18-200mm is probably the best of a somewhat crowded APS-C superzoom field.  Still, there are a lot of optical trade offs (distortion at the wide end, softness at max aperture throughout the range, and significant focus breathing (with a moderately close subject, when I tested it at 200mm, the 18-200mm frames like ~155mm on the 70-200 II).  If you really believe you'll need the tele end, it's a decent option. Else, IMO the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is probably the best one-lens travel solution (and with 15mm, you might even consider leaving the 11-16mm at home).

I'd skip the monopod. Instead, pick up a Gorillapod SLR-Zoom with the ballhead. It supports a gripped 7D with 17-55/2.8 well.  Flexible, and would allow you to get in the picture (consider an RC-6 or RC-1 remote if you plan to do that).

Happy travels!
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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 10:16:40 AM »
Is there a reason you think you need a focal length beyond 85mm or 105mm?  I've never been to that part of the world, but imagine that most of the photo opportunities will be on the wide to normal focal lengths.  Remember that the 7D is a crop body and will provide an effective 1.6x zoom on the lenses you decide to take on the trip.   If you are set on taking your Tokina 11-16mm, I'd recommend a 24-105mm f/4L IS zoom.  They can be had at very good prices for a lens that was sold as part of a kit; maybe better priced if you don't mind a slightly used lens.  I think you will find that 105mm on a 7D long enough and if not, you have 18MP to work with and crop.

If you wanted a one lens solution know that there are IQ compromises with any of the super zooms that you mention.  If again, you can live with 85mm on the long end, I would recommend the Canon 15-85mm EFS USM IS lens.  It is wide enough that you might just leave the Tokina at home and travel ultra light.  Maybe throw in a 40mm f/2.8 USM (cheap at $150) for the times you need a wider aperture. 

Good luck with whatever you choose and have a fun time in Israel!

Kind regards,
Jason S.

+1. Great, well-thought post.
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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 10:20:39 AM »
The 18-200mm is probably the best of a somewhat crowded APS-C superzoom field.  Still, there are a lot of optical trade offs (distortion at the wide end, softness at max aperture throughout the range, and significant focus breathing (with a moderately close subject, when I tested it at 200mm, the 18-200mm frames like ~155mm on the 70-200 II).  If you really believe you'll need the tele end, it's a decent option. Else, IMO the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is probably the best one-lens travel solution (and with 15mm, you might even consider leaving the 11-16mm at home).

I'd skip the monopod. Instead, pick up a Gorillapod SLR-Zoom with the ballhead. It supports a gripped 7D with 17-55/2.8 well.  Flexible, and would allow you to get in the picture (consider an RC-6 or RC-1 remote if you plan to do that).

Happy travels!
I always vote for the 15-85 and will do that this time also, unless as Neuro says, you really need the reach. The 15-85 is a very good lens by any standard and will probably be perfect for 90% of your needs.

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 10:23:12 AM »
7D and the 15-85 is my standard walk-around kit. It will cover virtually everything you are likely to encounter on a tour. I have the Tokina 11-16, but seldom pack it when traveling. The 24mm equivalent of the 15-85 is more than adequate for most situations.

If I think I might be going someplace where there will be critters to take pictures of, I'll pack the 70-300 L, but I'm guessing that on a tour group to Israel that won't be the case. If you want a cheap, light longer lens solution, look at the 55-250 EF-S. It is very sharp (better than any of the Non L 70-300 lenses) and weighs almost nothing.

If you really want to take an all-in-one, I'd suggest renting the Tamron 18-270 and see if you find it sharp enough for your purposes. You can rent it for a week from Lens Rentals for under $50. To my way of thinking, the loss of 3 mm at the wide end is pretty significant, but you may not feel that way.
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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 10:23:12 AM »

Don Haines

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 10:42:12 AM »
I have the 18-200. It sits on a shelf most of the time and I use a 17-55 and a 70-200 F4 as my walkabout lenses.... Except when I go backpacking.  For backpacking I think the 18-200 is the ideal single lens solution for an APS-C camera. Note that the focal length changes very easily..... Angle the lens down and out it goes....point it up and it slides down to wide angle.... I use a broccoli rubber band around the lens barrel to add extra friction, which solves the problem.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 11:19:02 AM by Don Haines »
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bholliman

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 11:01:37 AM »
IMO the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is probably the best one-lens travel solution (and with 15mm, you might even consider leaving the 11-16mm at home).

I always vote for the 15-85 and will do that this time also, unless as Neuro says, you really need the reach. The 15-85 is a very good lens by any standard and will probably be perfect for 90% of your needs.

+1 The EF-S 15-85mm is a great all walk around lens.  I've found its range is great for 98% of the things I normally shoot on vacation.
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JPAZ

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2013, 12:00:00 PM »
Looking back through my many years of crop photos while traveling, the (originally 17-85) 15-85 was my "go to" for over 80% of my photos.  My entire kit was 10-22 + 15-85 + 70-200 but the 70-200 stayed at home a lot.  I concur with everyone's thoughts about the 15-85.  You will find Israel fascinating.  Have a great trip.
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sootzzs

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2013, 12:10:16 PM »
7D and the 15-85 is my standard walk-around kit. It will cover virtually everything you are likely to encounter on a tour. I have the Tokina 11-16, but seldom pack it when traveling. The 24mm equivalent of the 15-85 is more than adequate for most situations.

If I think I might be going someplace where there will be critters to take pictures of, I'll pack the 70-300 L, but I'm guessing that on a tour group to Israel that won't be the case. If you want a cheap, light longer lens solution, look at the 55-250 EF-S. It is very sharp (better than any of the Non L 70-300 lenses) and weighs almost nothing.

Totally agree. I own both the 15-85 and the 55-250. I use them on 60D for 90% of my shots (75% them with 15-85). 55-250 is a great, very light and sharp zoom. A bit plasticky, but works great. Actually I do ponder should I buy the 11-16 tokina next. Will it get any use when I have 15-85?
I would add some fast wide prime to your kit though. Ancient cities and temples tend to be dark (old Jerusalem is for sure). The new Sigma 35 1.4 seems like a great lens in this respect (and many other).

Have a great trip and enjoy Israel! I would gladly answer your questions about it, if you have some.

jubal

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 12:28:04 PM »
I just got back from Hawaii and rented the Sigma 17-50 2.8 from lensrentals.com. It was delivered to the FedEx office at the airport so it was super convenient. You would need to check if they ship to your destination.

I have a 60D and 17-50 was great for almost every situation. I also had my 70-300 (non L) with me and only put it on the camera twice and only ended up using three of the shoots for my vacation album. The 2.8 and Sigma OS (IS) was great for many night shots even with my 430EXII turned off. I would consider the Canon 17-55 2.8 for my next trip but the added expense was a deterrent in case it got damaged or stolen; especially considering all the review state that the image quality is basically a wash. The reason that I did not go with the 24-70 or 24-105 is because with the crop sensor I find that about half of my shots are taken between 17-24. 24 is just not wide enough for a walk around lens (for me).

I know you are only asking about lenses but the best thing I bought for my camera to use it on sightseeing trips is the Black Rapid RS4 strap. It's got a zipper pouch to hold some lens wipes and an extra memory card. It allows me to carry the camera all day even with a flash attached without it becoming uncomfortable towards the end of the day. I find that I don't even bring a back pack on many days which is great if you are doing a lot of maneuvering in tight our crowded spaces.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 01:25:26 PM by jubal »

jarede

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 01:12:30 PM »
I am in a very similar boat to Old Sarge and will traveling for 3 weeks in and around Germany.  I don't want to have to carry a lot since we are backpacking (not camping, just traveling on our own via train mostly).

I am going to be using a 7D also.  I have been looking at the Canon 17-55mm.  It doesn't have the same range as the 18-85 others have mentioned already, but that f2.8 is very attractive (not only for this trip, but for a great lens to add to my kit after).  Has anyone had experience traveling with this lens?  Did you miss that 15-17mm or 55-85mm range at all?

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 01:12:30 PM »

Rocky

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 01:47:25 PM »
For one lens solution, 15-85 mm is your best bet. Do not get the 40/2.8. It is only one stop faster than the 15-85 and it is not wide enough get a 28/1.8 or instead for low light application. With IS on the 15-85 mm, you may not even need a fast lens for inside shots, assuming that your hands are sturdy enough.  I was there with 17-40 mm and a 28-135 mm on a crop body.  I end up used the 17-40 mm 90% of the time.  The main use of the 28-135 mm is for distant snap shot of people.  My standard travel kit also includes a good binocular. Also practice photo stitching. There are a few occasion that even 11 mm is not wide enough.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 02:09:33 PM by Rocky »

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 01:53:15 PM »
My Pastor is planning a tour in 2014.

There's a lot of time between now and then, I'd hold off on purchases for a while yet.  Next, I'd think about buying a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera and two lenses; in 6-12 months the tech will have improved quite a bit.  If you are concerned with gear weight now, your concern may be greater a year from now.  Don't let the burden of your gear reduce your enjoyment of the trip.

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Re: A Walk Around Lens for a Trip
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 01:53:15 PM »