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Thread: Considering new walkabout lens

  1. #1
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Considering new walkabout lens

    Hi,

    I am considering a new walkabout lens.

    My standard kit is a Canon 600D, Sigma 17-70mm and Tamron 70-300mm. I am happy with both lenses.

    Then a few months ago I decided to buy a Tamron 18-270mm as a walkabout lens when I wanted more reach than I can get with the Sigma. I knew about the compromises inherent in "super zooms" but decided I could live with them. Unfortunately, I can't! The IQ just isn't good enough, and so the lens sits on teh shelf gathering dust.

    So I am re-thinking that maybe a lens in the 18-200mm would be a better compromise. Any thoughts on the candidates from Canon or 3rd party manufacturers? I am trying to find reviews, but without much success, and CiC feedback is better! Thanks for any help.

    Dave

  2. #2
    GrahamS's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Dave, in my opinion, no superzoom will match your Sigma 17-70, which has superb optical performance. If you want the convenience of a superzoom you will have to trade off some image quality. If you were going to take holiday snapshots and print 6x4 or view on a computer screen, an 18-200 or 18-270 will do the job, which is what it is designed for. However, if you want to realise the highest IQ possible for critical use, you will have to stick to suitable lenses such as your Sigma 17-70.

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    If you need a wide range zoom, IMO, the way to achieve this is to carry a pair of camera bodies with a mid-range zoom on one body and a longer zoom on the second camera.

    I have now elevated my kit to a pair of Canon 7D bodies. However I did quite well using a Canon 30D and 40D wearing the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L Is lenses. See my China galleries at: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/ all the images in those galleries were shot with the above mentioned 2-camera, 2-lens kit...

    The advantage of a two body kit is that I have a focal range of 17-200mm at my finger tips (I do not miss the 55-70mm gap between the two lenses). I have a constant f/2.8 aperture in my mid-range zoom, a constant f/4 aperture in my telephoto zoom, excellent image quality, IS and auto-focus in the entire zoom range.

    The disadvantages are:
    1. Extra weight, although I can carry the 70-200mm f/4L IS and a second 1.6x body at the same weight as an 70-200mm f/2.8L series lens alone.
    2. Extra cost, although a used 40D as a second body is relatively reasonable.

    I carry my two cameras + lenses in one of two ways:

    1. OPTECH Dual Harness
    2. Neck strap for the camera with 17-55mm lens and holster pouch for my longer lens.

    There is another great advantage of traveling with a pair of cameras: insurance against missing photo opportunities due to camera failure...

  4. #4
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    I like my Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM. It's not as sharp as my primes ( <3! ), but still kicks out good photos when I only want to take one lens (rare) or need a very specific zoom level. Sharpness falls off a lot when you go wider than f5.6, so it's definitely not a low-light lens, but it covers a respectable range at good quality and an excellent price (~480USD new, ~320USD refurbished from B&H). I also have a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4.0-5.6 IS II, but that's a much lower-quality lens (possibly worse than your Tamron 18-70mm), and probably a little long at the wide end to make good walkabout glass. Not recommended.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcprowe
    The advantage of a two body kit is that I have a focal range of 17-200mm at my finger tips (I do not miss the 55-70mm gap between the two lenses). I have a constant f/2.8 aperture in my mid-range zoom, a constant f/4 aperture in my telephoto zoom, excellent image quality, IS and auto-focus in the entire zoom range.
    I recently read a piece which opined that anything in the medium zoom range (say, 35mm to 100mm) produces a rather uninteresting perspective. It encouraged the reader to use shorter-than-usual and longer-than-usual lenses to achieve more interesting effects. It struck me as a pretty good way to force one into new perspectives - maybe that's part of why you don't miss 55-70mm (though that's a very narrow range). Personally, my favorite lenses are my Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 and my Canon 100mm f2.0 USM, so maybe there's something in this theory.

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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Currently I have a 600D and as a decent compromise I've been using a Canon EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens as a walkabout. I've been very pleased with the results many times.

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    If you need a wide range zoom, IMO, the way to achieve this is to carry a pair of camera bodies with a mid-range zoom on one body and a longer zoom on the second camera.

    I have now elevated my kit to a pair of Canon 7D bodies. However I did quite well using a Canon 30D and 40D wearing the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L Is lenses. See my China galleries at: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/ all the images in those galleries were shot with the above mentioned 2-camera, 2-lens kit...

    The advantage of a two body kit is that I have a focal range of 17-200mm at my finger tips (I do not miss the 55-70mm gap between the two lenses). I have a constant f/2.8 aperture in my mid-range zoom, a constant f/4 aperture in my telephoto zoom, excellent image quality, IS and auto-focus in the entire zoom range.

    The disadvantages are:
    1. Extra weight, although I can carry the 70-200mm f/4L IS and a second 1.6x body at the same weight as an 70-200mm f/2.8L series lens alone.
    2. Extra cost, although a used 40D as a second body is relatively reasonable.

    I carry my two cameras + lenses in one of two ways:

    1. OPTECH Dual Harness
    2. Neck strap for the camera with 17-55mm lens and holster pouch for my longer lens.

    There is another great advantage of traveling with a pair of cameras: insurance against missing photo opportunities due to camera failure...
    I like the idea of a two camera setup, I usually do so, only problem is which two lenses to take especially if you have a specialty lens (wide-angle or macro) in your arsenal. Sometimes a third lens is always good to add to your pack just in case.

  7. #7
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    My wife uses a 18-135 on her T2i in auto mode and comes out with quite a few sharp, good IQ photos that she is happy with.

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I like the idea of a two camera setup, I usually do so, only problem is which two lenses to take especially if you have a specialty lens (wide-angle or macro) in your arsenal. Sometimes a third lens is always good to add to your pack just in case.
    I decide which lenses to take by trying to foresee what and where I will be shooting. The 17-55mm + 70-200mm combination is a do-everything focal range. With the exception of wildlife and macro work, I could just about cover everything I need using these two lenses. Adding a 1.4x TC will increase the versatility at minimum extra weight. I occasionally carry a 300mm f/4L IS plus the 70-200mm f/4L IS. This is a nice sports and action combination for a 1.6x crop DSLR.

    I will bring a 12-24mm f/4 Tokina on my trip to Venice, cruise to Croatia and Greece and trip to Istanbul. I think that it will come in handy shooting the back canals of Venice and in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. However, with an f/4 aperture, I don't think it would be the ticket for venues like Istanbul's Spice Market. However, I also think that it may come in handy for some shipboard shots. OTOH, I brought the 12-24mm Tokina to China and used it almost not at all. Many days it resided in the safe in my hotel room...

    I am thinking of using the 70-200mm + 1.4x TC for some shots of and across the Bosphorus. My Istanbul hotel is located right on the Bosphorus and there seem to be some great views looking back on the Sultanahmed area from the other side of the Bosphorus. The Venice hotel has a view of one of the smaller canals. The 12-24mm shoul be good for that venue.

    Even though I am not looking forward to shipboard time, it will be easier not having to go through airport security when traveling from city to city...

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    I think that you are just throwing good money after bad considering yet another less capable lens, which mainly covers the 17 to 70 range and then only, relatively a little bit longer. There just seems no upside to me:

    Carry the two lenses you already have and spend nothing OR buy another camera and carry both as Richard suggests.

    In any event, sell the paperweight.

    WW

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Lots of photographers seem to end up with multiple consumer grade lenses that duplicate focal lengths. I have no problem with lenses which overlap at one end or another, that is often a good thing when shooting with a single body because you end up switching lenses less often. However, IMO, having two or three lenses of basically the same focal length and producing basically the same image quality is not smart money management.

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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    walkabout lens?

    usually, nikkor 18-55mm. & 55 - 200mm ( both VR so no need to carry xtra weight tripod) .

  12. #12
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Thanks very much for the feedback.

    I think I will stick with what I have, and try to offload the 18-270.

    My reason for wanting a single lens is to reduce weight, so although I can see the attractions of a dual body solution it wouldn't work for me right now. If ever I do upgrade my body (camera, that is, though I couldn't half do with an upgrade too ) though, I can think of some occasions when it would be the way to go.

    If ever I did want to dip back in that water, then a refurbished EF 18-135mm would be the likely choice, but I don't think that I will.

    Cheers,

    Dave

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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Thanks very much for the feedback.

    I think I will stick with what I have, and try to offload the 18-270.

    My reason for wanting a single lens is to reduce weight, so although I can see the attractions of a dual body solution it wouldn't work for me right now. If ever I do upgrade my body (camera, that is, though I couldn't half do with an upgrade too ) though, I can think of some occasions when it would be the way to go.

    If ever I did want to dip back in that water, then a refurbished EF 18-135mm would be the likely choice, but I don't think that I will.

    Cheers,

    Dave

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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    I own a Nikon and use a 18-200 lens and love it! I rarely take it off. I also carry with me a 35mm 1.8 for indoor shoots. I am just a amateur. I am looking for a longer lens though to use for wildlife have not decided on it though.

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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    You do not mention budget. Can you stretch to an L lens. The 24-105mm is one of the best 'walkabout' lenses from Canon.

  16. #16
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Considering new walkabout lens

    Thanks for the suggestion, Grierson. It wasn't one I'd considered. I did some reading up and it's obviously an excellent piece of glass. If it fitted exactly what I was looking for I might even stretch to the price (though in all honesty I don't think I am an "L" class photographer).

    However, on a crop frame camera I think I would find 24mm too long for interior shots. I work on the basis that if your lens is a bit lacking at the long end, you can get somewhere by cropping, but at the short end there is not a lot you can do.

    Thanks again,

    Dave

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