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Author Topic: zoom lense advice  (Read 3411 times)

anthonyd

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zoom lense advice
« on: February 28, 2012, 09:38:42 AM »
Hello everybody,

I'm going on a business trip to Shanghai, China in May (my first time anywhere in Asia), so I'd like to go with the best equipment I can afford.

I own a 60D and the following lenses
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC
Canon 50 f/1.4
Canon 70-200 f/4.0

While I'm extremely happy with my two Canon lenses, the Tamron is just ok (especially after I bought the prime and made the mistake of comparing!)

So I was planning to rent a "normal range zoom" lens for the trip and I can't decide between the following three:
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS

The 17-55 is a perfect replacement for the Tamron, and according to several reviews the IQ is excellent.
The other two sacrifice the wide end (which I can compensate for by creating multi-picture panoramas) but they are both supposed to be excellent lenses and also:
a) the 24-70 bridges nicely the range all the way up to my 70-200
b) the 24-105 sacrifices some light as well, but its range makes it a very tempting choice for a walk around lens, which is what I'm missing the most.

and I guess I'll be doing mostly street photography, some landscapes/architecture and maybe some museums.

So, what do you suggest?

thanks,
Anthony

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zoom lense advice
« on: February 28, 2012, 09:38:42 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 09:51:01 AM »
Hands down, the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS.  IMO, it's the best general purpose zoom for APS-C.  You certainly won't miss the 55-70mm 'gap'.  The fast aperture will enable more creative shots, you will definitely want the wide end without having to stitch images (Shanghai is crowded, and stitching images with people walking through them doesn't work very well - you'd be setting yourself up for hours of Photoshop work). Also, the 17-55mm outperforms both the 24-105mm and 24-70mm L lenses when comparing them all on the same APS-C body.  Finally, you mention museums, and in many you cannot use flash nor set up a tripod, so the IS will be a big help there. 
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lexonio

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 02:57:29 PM »
I'm not the one to argue with Neuroanatomist, but I am using the 24-105mm on my 550D and I'm happy with it. So should you decide to choose the 24-105 (perhaps you're willing to go FF sooner or later) I think you won't be disappointed. But since Neuro suggested the 17-55, it's probably the best choice if you decide to stay APS-C.

philbob10

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 05:39:06 PM »
All three are great lenses, and you can't go wrong with any one in the bunch.  So long as you are never planning to step up to a full frame body and don't need weather sealing, the ef-s 17-55mm would be your best bet.

I've enjoyed using all three in the past, but since the EF-S is faster and has IS and still just as sharp, I'd have a hard time choosing if weather sealing wasn't a concern for me.  I currently own the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, but while borrowing the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 I never felt like the shift in focal range was as big of a deal on a cropped body.

Del

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 06:28:06 PM »
You did not mention if you were thinking of trading up to a FF body or not, cos' if you are then you should seriously consider the trade off between the EF-S 17-55 2.8 and the EF 24-70 2.8L.

Now I've seen some great pics and amazing HD video taken with the EF-S 17-55mm lens and I struggled with the choice between this lens and the 24-70 L, especially as I do a lot of video stuff on the streets, but 2 months ago, just a couple of days before Christmas I succumbed to the 24-70 f/2.8L which incidentally was only 100 euros more than the EF-S 17-55 (1000 vs 900 euros)... and I have to say that I'm glad that I did because the colour it takes requires almost zero correction in post & speed of AF is stunning.

Okay I get around the non-IS issue by using a monopod for video, but for handheld photos I always shoot in manual and set my aperture first if daylight/bright or shutter-speed first if ambient light is an issue and you can easily get away with 1/25th of a second on the L lens if you lean up against a lamppost or wall etc.

Neuro is dead right that on paper (at least) the EF-S 17-55mm 2.8 on a crop is technically a better lens not just IS but possibly sharper too, but for me the 24-70 is a keeper lens and should outlast several bodies and I love the colour it produces.

I also have the canon 50 1.4 and the IS version of the 70-200 f4L, and even though the latter is way sharper than the 24-70mm it seems cold (blue sometimes - have to adjust RGB curves in PS) when compared to the 24-70 2.8L. My 50 1.4 seems neutral color-wise, but the 24-70mm feels 'warm', dunno' does that make sense ???

jwong

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 06:41:57 PM »
Because you are renting the lens for your Shanghai trip, I vote for the ef-s 17-55 f/2.8.  It's a great lens for the crop body and the f/2.8 will come in handy when indoors.  The other choices might make sense if you were buying a lens and needed FF compatibility, but in this situation, the 17-55 is a great choice.

anthonyd

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 10:22:47 PM »
Thanks everybody for the responses, I'm glad I'm getting all this feedback.

Regarding FF bodies, I don't see myself owning one in the next 5 years, so I'll pretend that for now it's irrelevant.

And as jwong pointed out, I'll be just renting the lens for this trip, but really it's going to be an excuse for me to fall in love with it and buy it a few months later :-)

thanks again,
Anthony

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 10:22:47 PM »

AJ

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 11:34:51 PM »
I own Canon 17-55/2.8 IS and Tamron 17-50/2.8 non-VC.  I can tell you that in the middle of the range (24-35 mm) they are equally insanely sharp.  The Canon edges out the Tamron at 17 mm in the corners, and at 50 mm in the corners, plus 50 mm center wide-open.

The Tamron non-VC, in turn, is supposed to edge out the VC version.  So yes you'd be getting a little more sharpness.

In terms of color - my Canon has a slight green cast, and needs correction towards magenta.  Easily fixed in raw conversion.  Both lenses produce good (but not excellent) colors.  The Canon is a tad more contrasty, especially wide open but also stopped down.  But the Tamron colors look great too with a little extra contrast applied.

The Canon is a little more prone to flare.  The Canon has better bokeh, and I like its close focusing performance better.  Canon's AF is fast and silent, but both are very accurate.

jwong

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 07:02:51 PM »
Thanks everybody for the responses, I'm glad I'm getting all this feedback.

Regarding FF bodies, I don't see myself owning one in the next 5 years, so I'll pretend that for now it's irrelevant.

And as jwong pointed out, I'll be just renting the lens for this trip, but really it's going to be an excuse for me to fall in love with it and buy it a few months later :-)

thanks again,
Anthony

If you are willing to rent 2 instead of 1, you might also want to consider bringing an ultrawide lens.

Trovador

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 11:15:57 AM »
For travel to a crowded city I'd suggest adding a wide angle lens, such as the Canon 10-22.  It's on my camera (7D) 90% of the time even though I also own the 24-70 and the 70-200 2.8 IS II.  If I had only one lens, it would be the 10-22.
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squarebox

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2012, 12:03:34 AM »
This may be too wide for what you are thinking but the EF-S 10-22mm is an amazing lens.  What i love about it the most is that you can literally stand next to a building and get a shot with noone in it.  Makes for some great picks.  On my last trip out to England, Iceland, and France, this lens was on my camera 80% of the time.  In england and france it was just amazing for taking pictures of whole buildings in small crowded streets and in Iceland for breathtaking landscapes.
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ronderick

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2012, 02:01:03 AM »
My 2 cents:

Depending on your habit

If you enjoy traveling light and prefer not to carry too many lenses with you as you walk around the city, go for the 17-55. Like what neuro said, it's great for general purposes and should be able cover a lot of low light situations.

However, if ur bringing the 50 and the 70-200, I'd say go for the 10-22 if you want to take the picture of towering buildings and wide city scape shots. The bad part is that you'll be switching lenses quite often and must rely on the 50 for low light shots.
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Mike Ca

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2012, 03:42:56 AM »
I own a 60D and the EF 24-70 f/2.8. I also own the EF-S 10-22 and EF-S 15-85.  I have tried the EF-S 17-55 in a store once, but did not buy it.

IMHO the 24mm end of the 24-70 is just not wide enough for vacation travel. The 24-70 is a great lens, but on a crop camera it does not go wide enough. You need something that gets into the 15-18mm range. The other draw back of the 24-70 is it is a brick. It is a big, heavy lens to carry around all the time when traveling. The EF-S 17-55 is heavy, but not as heavy as the 24-70.

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2012, 03:42:56 AM »

birdman

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2012, 04:46:30 PM »
I would get a wide angle. The 10-22 is pretty good, I used to mate it with my 40d for good results. Lots of distortion though.

The Tokina 12-24 or 11-16 are great, too. The 12-24 is a best bargain IMHO
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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2012, 06:16:39 PM »
The 17-55mm is the first lens to get.  A 15-85mm has a wider zoom range and nice for walk-around.  The 24-105mm would mostly duplicate your 70-200.

I'd get the 17-55 to replace the 17-50, and keep the other two, or, if its too pricy, get the 15-85mm EF-s

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Re: zoom lense advice
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2012, 06:16:39 PM »