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Thread: Walkabout Lens

  1. #1

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    Walkabout Lens

    Hi all,

    I was wondering what a good but affordable walkabout lens would be for a Canon 7d. I'm looking for something with a bit of a wide angle side and a bit of a Zoom, preferably no more than 150mm.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Tobias - Are you restricted in terms of your budget, or is the sky the limit?

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Well I don't plan on buying it right away, kind of want to get a view of what I should save for and work from then. Preferably I don't want something cheap because I have an old kit lens that works as a walkabout lens but the quality is really not that great. So maybe some suggestions for mid range cost and top range cost would be great if that's possible.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    You're possibly not going to get what you want in one lens.

    The sort of range you're thinking about might be best covered in the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. But 24mm on a crop camera is not really taking you to the wide angle end of things. And 105mm does take you towards, but not quite up to, the 150mm you refer to (although if you thought about 150mm on a full-frame sensor camera - then your 105mm gives you the equivalent of 168mm).

    So, if it's one walkabout lens that we're talking about and that's the sort of range you want, then the 24-105 might be the way to think.

    If the price of that 'L' looks a bit eye-watering, you have the Canon EF-S 18-200 f3.5-5.6 IS or the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS.

    Some ideas to think about. There are of course, the other manufacturers - Sigma, Tamron, Tokina - but I'm not sure they have one lens that covers the sort of range you're thinking about.

    Maybe you have to re-think the range you want for a walkabout and think more like 18-55, or 24-70, etc.

    Lots to get your head around.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Well anything in between is what I am looking for, 150 was just the limit I actually wanted because anything larger and I might as well use my 70-300. I have looked at the 18-135 and the range seems very good. Which would you prefer, something as long as 135 or between 55 and 70?

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by TobyMac View Post
    Which would you prefer, something as long as 135 or between 55 and 70?
    I hope other people will come in and give their views on this question. It's one I find very hard to answer for the reason that I tend not to think about any lens in terms being a 'walkabout lens'. That's because I tend not to have a camera with me as I walk about. I am more a person who goes to a specific location for a specific shot and attaches whatever lens accordingly.

    There are many people on here who are experienced at making high quality images on the basis of a 'walkabout' approach and theit opinion would be valuable.

    But I can only speculate that if I was going out wandering about and just seeing what turned up, I would probably be thinking of something that was a bit wider (17/18mm) up to around 70mm.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Yeah I think I know what you mean, its something you need to find out by yourself. I mainly want something for if I take a walk in the city or go sightseeing somewhere. I hate going somewhere and then regretting not having a camera with me and missing something. I think the best thing to do actually is renting a couple of lenses and having some hands on time with them to figure it out by myself.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    I tend to use an 18-70mm as a walkabout,believe it or not my wife takes her 28-300mm wherever she goes.Got myself a Tamron 18-270mm,still getting used to it but it is quite compact,seeing you're in JHB the Tamron is not badly priced.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Nice to see a fellow Joburger to help out May I ask where you got the Tamron from, for some reason I can't really find Tamron anywhere here.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    I buy direct from importer-but google SA Camera to get prices.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Kamaraz in Rosebank or online ORMS in Cape Town are other options

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    sacamera doesn't sell Tamron, been looking there already, found a couple good deals

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    The EF-S 15-85 would be one to consider.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric M View Post
    The EF-S 15-85 would be one to consider.
    +1. Or if that's too rich for your blood, then a used copy of its predecessor, the EF-S 17-85 IS USM goes for about half the price here in the US.

    The top-of-the-line walkaround lenses are the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, the EF 24-70 f/2.8L USM, and the EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM. These all have four-figure prices, and the two L lenses are for full-frame/film cameras, so are not particularly wide on a crop. There's also the EF 16-35 f/2.8L II USM, but it's designed as an ultrawide for full frame, not a walkaround on a crop.

    The mid-range lenses are the EF 17-40 f/4L USM (which is also designed to be an ultrawide zoom for film/full frame, not so much a walkaround on crop) and the EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. The 15-85 is a refined version of the now discontinued EF-S 17-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. You could also look at the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, which is 3rd party alternative to the EF-S 17-55/2.8.

    The entry-level lenses are the EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS, and the EF-S 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 IS, which mostly differ only on focal length range. The lenses with the larger ranges are more expensive, but may also have a few more optical quality compromises to cover the larger range. The 18-135 is probably the "happy medium" in terms of price/quality. It is also a refined-for-crop-body design of the old EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, which was sold as a kit lens, but on a crop body basically lacked wide angle capability.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    +1 Eric. The 15-85 is my outdoor walk-around lens on my 50D. Optically excellent, particularly for a lens with such a large zoom ratio. (As a general rule, the larger the ratio, the more severe the optical compromises. That's why most of the best zooms have ranges of 3x or 4x.) Very good build quality, good IS, USM with full-time manual focusing. However, the drawback is that it is slow.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    +1. Or if that's too rich for your blood, then a used copy of its predecessor, the EF-S 17-85 IS USM goes for about half the price here in the US.
    I'd certainly endorse that comment if you wanted to pick up a relatively inexpensive lens. My dear old trusty 17-85 kit lens has served me very well and whenever my lust begins to overwhelm me for a 24-70 L (which it does at regular intervals), then I just look at the quality of stuff I've had out of the 17-85 and tell myself that I really do not need the 24-70 L (although I still want one)!

  17. #17

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    Thank you all, so much to think about and consider, but at least now I have something to aim for.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    In reality, I don't really think that there is one single lens that is perfect for walk-around uses.

    If you opt for a lens with an extended zoom range, such as the 18-135mm Canon or 18-270mm Tamron, you are working with a lens that has a fairly slow maximum aperture and perhaps slower autofocus and not the very highest image quality. However, these lenses do have a wonderful focal range.

    If you opt for a 24-105mm or 28-135mm lens, you may have a decent focal length at the long end but, are not quite wide enough (on a crop camera).

    On the other hand, if you opt for a lens such as the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS Canon or the 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron, you get a constant f/2.8 aperture, a very decent short side, quite speedy and accurate autofocus and excellent image quality, all at the cost of the long end. IMO, 50 or 55mm is quite short for a walk around lens.

    My solution is to use two cameras with a fast medium focal length zoom and a telephoto zoom.

    However, if I did not want to use two cameras, my solution would probably be the 24-105mm f/4L IS or even the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 (less expensive and probably of lesser quality) matched with a wide angle lens.

    IMO, you often have more time to switch lenses if you are in need of a wide angle than if you need the telephoto.

    However, that is just my style of shooting. In reviewing my focal length use; I shoot 2/3 of my images with the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 1/3 of my imagery with the 70-200mm f/4L IS. The percentage of use becomes skewed towards the 70-200mm lens if I am shooting a lot of portraits since that is my very favporite portrait lens.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    +1 to 24-105
    I love this lens; I can say that it was worth every cent I spent.
    Tamron 18-270 for me, always gave soft results and never focused accurately.

    And, if you need sometime a much wider angle, you can always stitch a couple photos.

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    Re: Walkabout Lens

    I acquired this for my T2i last week, and am quite pleased with it - I don't know the price in SA but it should be cheaper than the canon 18-135... and some say it's better. If you shoot RAW, you may want DxO to process the files.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sigma-18-125...pr_product_top

    and a dpreview bit -

    http://www.dpreview.com/products/com...tDir=ascending

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