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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Road Trip - Which Lens to Buy?
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07/26/2005 09:45:14 PM · #1
This is sort of a continuance of this thread, where you all convinced me to keep my current camera and focus on lenses.

My family will be taking a trip from southern California to eastern Washington State next month. We'll be driving and doing the "bed and breakfast" thing - going slow and enjoying the view. I'm going to buy ONE new lens for the trip and I intend for it to be a QUALITY one. That said, would you think I'll get more mileage out of a wide angle or a telephoto?

I'm interested to hear your takes on either type of lens (and please cap the price at somewhere less than $1500).

Message edited by author 2005-07-26 21:45:56.
07/26/2005 09:52:49 PM · #2
first question, do you care about weight, or the number of lenses? You can get 2 very nice lenses for under $1500.

Message edited by author 2005-07-26 21:53:42.
07/26/2005 09:54:25 PM · #3
I know it doesn't fit your request but if I were doing that. I would spend the 1500 on 2 lenses.

1. Canon 17-40 f/4L (680 bucks at BH)
2. either the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 (840)
or the Canon 70-200 f/4L USM (580)

just my 2 cents :dunno:

Message edited by author 2005-07-26 21:55:03.
07/26/2005 09:54:36 PM · #4
Originally posted by kyebosh:

first question, do you care about weight, or the number of lenses? You can get 2 very nice lenses for under $1500.

Not concerned too much about weight. I'm certainly open to interesting ideas.
07/26/2005 09:55:19 PM · #5
When I travelled the coast often there was a lot of mist which prevented good long distance shots, so I would suggest a wide angle. You can always crop if you want, but you can't make it wider.

I changed from the kit lens to the 17-85 EF-S IS (after trying a few others cheep Canon and various Sigma zooms) and was blown away. I suspect it is not as good at the 17-40 L, but it does have great sharpness, the IS really makes a big difference and the 85mm end produces some good results also.

07/26/2005 09:56:20 PM · #6
Wide angle or telephoto will depend on what you want to concentrate on.

Wide angle you could look at the Canon 17-40L or the Tokina 12-24
Zoom you could look at the 70-200 f4 L + 1.4x converter.

With your $1500 budget you could probably get both.

Message edited by author 2005-07-26 21:57:21.
07/26/2005 09:59:02 PM · #7
This one (100-300)
+

this one (17-35)

The 70-200LF4 is a good option as well as the 17-40LF4. The sigma is a great lens, and I personally love the tamron.

Message edited by author 2005-07-26 22:00:13.
07/26/2005 10:00:29 PM · #8
I can't really speak to the price or specific models, as I'm not that familiar with them, but I was in Eastern WA a couple months ago, and I didn't pull out my telephoto once, and cursed myself several times for having a wide end of only 28mm. I would think that on a trip along the CA coast and the WA wine country, having only 1 option, that the panorama capabilities of a wide-angle would be your best bet.
07/26/2005 10:04:59 PM · #9
Oh my god, get a W I D E angle!!! Wide angle R O C K s!!!
07/26/2005 10:06:15 PM · #10
Originally posted by TobyF:

I can't really speak to the price or specific models, as I'm not that familiar with them, but I was in Eastern WA a couple months ago, and I didn't pull out my telephoto once, and cursed myself several times for having a wide end of only 28mm. I would think that on a trip along the CA coast and the WA wine country, having only 1 option, that the panorama capabilities of a wide-angle would be your best bet.

yes, if you're outdoors most of the time you're using wide angle. If you're gonna head out to someplace wide open, like a desert for example, you can get away with the 70-200/100-300 as a main lens, seriously.
07/26/2005 10:32:36 PM · #11
Why one lens? You cannot do everything with one lens. If you want one lens, then I'd recommend a 18-200mm lens by Tamron or Sigma. These lenses will cover everything from wide angle totelephoto. What you pay for this range is lots of distortion, slow aperature, and softness past 100mm.

Before you start asking for advice, ask yourself first what kind of things you like to shoot. Tightly framed portraits of strangers you meet on the way? Lots of close cityscape? Vast landscapes? Most good lenses are fairly specialized and cannot do everything well. I think unless you have an idea of a type of photography you want to do with a lens, our recommendations will not be very useful. For example, someone telling you to get a Canon 70-200L while you really want to do macro shot of flowers is useless information. You have a price point so that's a good start. Do you want one $1500 ish lens? If so why? Or do you want to spend that much and cover a range? Do you want to shoot macro? Do you want to shoot in dark places? Do you want to use your kit and the 50mm lens?

Now if you want to shoot landscape and want a wide angle zoom. I'd recommend Canon 10-22 ($800)or Tokina 12-24 ($500). Very good performance from these lenses.

If you want a general walking around lens with more wide coverage so you can take landscapes and portraits from close up, I'd recommend Canon 17-40L ($700), Canon 16-35L ($1200), Canon 24-70L ($1200), Tamron 17-35 ($500), Sigma 18-50 EX ($500), Tamron 28-75 ($450), Canon 28-135IS ($500).

If you want long telephoto, I'd recommend Canon 70-200 f4L ($600), Sigma 70-200EX ($800), Canon 70-200 f2.8 ($1200/1600 for IS), Sigma 120-300 EX ($1900), or my favorite Sigma 50-500 ($1000).

As yourself what is it that you want your lens to do and how much you want to spend and how many lens you want to carry with you. Once we know that, then we'll be able to offer you more appropriate advice. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of people telling you to get the lens that they have.

As for me, if I were you, I'd ditch the kit lens, keep the 50, get a Tokina 12-24($500), Tamron 28-75 ($450), Canon 70-200 f4L (under $600).
That would fit your $1500 limit and you would have a lens collection that can be used for excellent landscapes, excellent general walking around photos, and excellent tele for portraits/distant subjects, and the 50 can be used for portraits close up and dimly lit places.

Good luck

Message edited by author 2005-07-26 22:37:39.
07/26/2005 10:51:38 PM · #12
I guess it all depends on how you like the kit lens. If the kit lens is performing to satisfaction for WA, then go for a telephoto. You can get the non-IS version of the Canon 70-200/2.8 for well under your limit. It is incredibly versatile and a stunning performer. Whether you find it too heavy is a matter of personal preference. I personally don't, some do.
If the kit lens is something you're not entirely satisfied with, then consider the 17-40L. I don't think I'd spring for the 16-35, for WA the extra stop is not as important as for the tele end. The 17-40 is an exceptional performer by all accounts (I have never owned or used it, so I am reporting 2nd hand info) and is one of the better values in the Canon "L" stable. With regard to the "ultra-wides," my personal preference is to avoid them, since they have their own type of distortion, dramatically stretching objects horizontally at the left and right edges of the frame. I prefer stitching panos when I want a REALLY wide view.
As suggested above, if you want to consider two lenses, and you don't feel you'll need f/2.8 speed at the tele end, consider getting both the 17-40 and the 70-200 f/4. The f/4 version of the 70-200 is optically every bit as good as the 2.8 version, and it's considerably lighter and smaller.

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