Author Topic: Need gear advice...
deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
In the hope that many of you still lurk here, I've come for advice.

I'm heading to Asia in a two weeks. Will be working, but I'd still like to bring my camera (Canon). Problem is that due to a lack of space and since I'm not there to be a tourist, I don't think I want to bring more than a single lens. I need a balance between small size and being able to take both wide-angle landscapes and close-up portraits. Any suggestions on a lens?

Now to make it even more difficult: I'm strongly considering jumping ship to Nikon when I upgrade to a more professional camera. From my window shopping on the internet, I greatly prefer the interface of the high-end Nikons to the high-end Canons.

I'm looking at getting this once I can justify that kind of investment in this hobby:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/635648-REG/Nikon_9740_D300s_SLR_Digital_Camera.html

The point is, while I still need to get my hands on some high-end Nikons and Canons to see if I really like the interface better (and then decide if interface is reason enough to jump ship as it can change with future models), I'm a bit weary about spending too much on a new lens when they may all have to be replaced soon.

Summary: Need a good all-purpose lens for travel photography with a Canon camera. Small size would be nice. Don't want to go too high end because I may end up switching brands in the near future.

Any ideas?

 

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-Dirtbrother- 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
I have been a canon user for about 5 years now and i have thought about trying out Nikon but personally i never loved their interface, although granted i haven't really used a current high end nikon, however i wasn't fond of my photo teachers full frame pro body about 3 years ago.

The things about Nikon that i find attractive are the fact that you can get their high end full frame sensor with the high end AF system in a 12mp body that scores very high in image quality and high iso performance in the d700 at a mid level price.

The things i like about Canon are the interface and the ergonomics as well as the optical qualities. To me they are a little too obsessed with the mega pixel race and i would rather see some of their L glass updated, i hear great things about the 70-200 2.8 L version 2 but it sure is pricey, seems a lot of their staple lenses are 10 years old or more. I actually dislike how much emphasis has been placed on the mega pixel war for canon. I'd would have rather seen a body with the full frame of the 5d with some of the bells and whistles of the 7d in the 14-16mp range. I rarely print anything, and never print anything huge so 20mp just seems over the top.

Anyways as for lenses it's hard to say. I'm going to assume you are on a 1.6 crop factor sensor so something like the 24-105 f4 wouldn't give you enough on the wide end. Something like the 17-85 f4-5.6 seen here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/351548-USA/Canon_9517A002BA_EF_S_17_85mm_f_4_5_6_IS.html

It's got a decent range even after the 1.6x crop of the compact sensors, it appears to be small and light as well which is perfect for traveling. If you are on a 5d or something then you would need something completely different though.

 

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Raiztlin 
Title: Dick Tracy
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Subject: Need gear advice...
There is only one thing, and one thing only I envy the Canon users. The 70-200 f/4 IS. I want that for nikon. NOW! grin

I'm currently using a Nikon D300, and I've very happy with it. I chose Nikon because I like their ergonomics better, but thats very individual, you'll just have to handle them and see for yourself.


As for a lens for a trip, you have two choices.

1. Buy an all-purpose lens, like the 18-200. It isn't very good at anything, but decent for most things. Buy Canon, not off-brand, as you'll get more money back for a Canon if you re-sell it.
2. Bring two lenses, one for the wide angles and one telezoom. You'll get better image qual, especially at the wide angles.

If you don't want to lose money on this project, buy a used canon lens, and as long as you don't use it as a hammer, you'll get your money back if you decide to sell it later. happy

 

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Nakal 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
I just recommended the 70-200L F/4 to a friend going to Australia. (along with the kit lens on a T2i). For $600, that is a hell of a price for an L series.

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
I get a semi-chubby just thinking about it. grin

Nikon has a good alternative for the 70-200 f2.8 (esp now that the new version is here) but none for the f/4. I want a small well performing 70-200 as well. QQ

My 55-200 f/4-5.6 is good, don't get me wrong, but it is noticably worse then canons 70-200 f/4, especially at wide open apertures.

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Thanks for the input guys. Going to hit up a camera shop and play with the 70-200 and 18-200 lenses and see which works better for what I want. Also to get a feel for the weight and size to see if it's travel friendly. An L lens for $600 is hard as hell to pass up, but I'm not sure how well a 70 would work for landscapes. Maybe I'll give up and just bring the super wide angle Sigma lens I have as well...

 

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Nakal 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Well a small lens should not be that much more cumbersome. I say bring 2 lenses happy

 

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Raiztlin 
Title: Dick Tracy
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Nakal posted:
Well a small lens should not be that much more cumbersome. I say bring 2 lenses happy


I agree.

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Problem is the second lens would be my Sigma 10-20, which is pretty bulky. The 70-200 f/4L is a pretty massive bastard though...

Edit:

Any suggestions on a soft case that could hold a DSLR and attached lens? I don't want to bring my full camera back-pack, but I would like to keep it in some sort of protection for when I put it into a normal backpack.

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Aww, crap.

Just stumbled on this:
http://www.adorama.com/Als/ProductPage/INKD300SKA.html

Trying to keep a tight grip on my wallet, but this is rather perfect. Hmmm.

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
It's a Sign!

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
So I've decided to put off the switch to Nikon until I force myself to spend more time going out and taking photos, but I'm relatively certain the switch is coming.

For this trip, I think I've narrowed it down to one of two lenses. (For reference, I'm using a Canon XSi.)

Canon 24-105 f/4L IS ($1050)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/397662-GREY/Canon_0344B002AA_24_105mm_f_4L_IS_USM.html

Canon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 IS ($600)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/582444-USA/Canon_2752B002_EF_S_18_200mm_f_3_5_5_6_IS.html

Leaning toward the 18-200. It's cheaper, faster, and has a larger range. It let's me test whether I'd want a 18-200 lens when I switch brands and feels like less of a waste to invest in when I will be selling it in the near future. I passed on the 70-200 lens because it lacks IS and I don't plan to take a tripod with me.

The 24-105 is a nicer lens and has a wider angle (though I'm not sure if this holds true on compact XSi sensor). Not sure if it's worth the extra $400 though, especially if I plan to sell it soon. Any final input?

 

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Raiztlin 
Title: Dick Tracy
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Subject: Need gear advice...
24mm isn't very wide-angle on a crop-sensor.

I usually say that 30-50mm on crop is normal, anything lower is wide angle and anything above is tele.

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
By normal. I mean rougly what you can see with your bare eye. (on fullformat this is around 50mm)

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Raiztlin posted:
24mm isn't very wide-angle on a crop-sensor.

I usually say that 30-50mm on crop is normal, anything lower is wide angle and anything above is tele.


I was basing it on the specifications. It lists an 80 degree view. It's not the 100+ degrees of a Sigma 10-20, but it's actually larger than the 18-200's angle (though I'm not sure if using a full size sensor lens on a cropped sensor drops the view). Maybe I'm reading that specification wrong?

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
You are.


it's like this:

these are the two lenses, and a tree you want to shoot:


-------------------24mm/80 degree angle
-----------------------\
....................................................................A pretty tree you want to take a picture of!

-------------18mm/60 degree angle
-----------------\


So even if the 24mm has a greater angle, you'll still get more at lesser focal lengths (at the same distance), simply because you won't get as "close" to the object you're photographing.

 

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-Dirtbrother- 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
The 24-105 f4l is an amazing piece of glass.....on a full frame. It will still take great pictures on a crop camera but you will probably want something wider, in the 17mm range.

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Thanks, raiztlin. I hadn't considered the "how close are you?" aspect. Well, I guess that settles it. A Canon 18-200 it shall be.

Now to get back into photography to the point that I can justify buying a D300 or 700. tongue

I do love my Canon XSi, though. It's served me well...

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
On the off chance that anyone still cares about this thread: tongue

I went and played around with some of the higher end Nikon and Canon cameras. I've realized that while I think Nikon's are aesthetically superior (I hate that multi-thousand dollar Canon's have a cheap looking plastic shutter button and the giant black wheel to control things), I found the Canon's more intuitive to use. More importantly, the angle on the shutter button of Canon's (versus the completely vertical shutter button on Nikons) feels more comfortable.

In short, I remembered why I chose a Canon in the first place and think I will stick with them. The good news is I can now justify investing in a good Canon lens to take with me.

 

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-Foxy- 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
got your asbestos suit ready? ;p

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
-Foxy- posted:
got your asbestos suit ready? ;p


Only need it for raiztlin. The Canon users will support me. Now to decide between 24-105 f/4L IS USM and 24-70 f/2.8L IS USM. grin

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
So I just realized the 24-70 f/2.8L does not have IS. Is it just not viewed as a needed feature when you have a 2.8 aperture or have they just not made one? I was all ready to order it, but the lack of IS threw me off...

 

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-Dirtbrother- 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Well in a perfect world you would always have ideal lighting and could always shoot wide open with a fast shutter so you wouldn't notice not having IS much, but in reality there are always times that you will stop down and would be able to take advantage of having IS. Personally i wouldn't mind giving up IS and i would consider packing a monopod or something to help if you have to stop down a lot.

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Makes sense.

Well, I've basically narrowed it down to:

EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Autofocus Lens $1300
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Zoom Lens $1100



In terms of a good general purpose travel lens for an XSi, I think the EF-S 17-55 lens wins. But for some reason I'm really tempted to get the EF lens. Probably a mix of a few things: like the heavier duty construction, like the ability to use on a full-frame camera if I get one, like that I'm gaining a lens that reaches into a new focal range rather than an upgrade to my kit lens, and probably just a bit of marketing working on me and wanting the L lens.

I suck at these decisions...

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Ok, mandatory comment:

The reason you find Canons more intuitive, is that you're used to it. Both Nikon and Canon have excellent setups and its all a matter of what you're used to.

As for ergonomics, as I said, I like Nikons better, many do not. We're all different, and thats why there is a market for more then one manufacturer. happy


Ok, on towards your question:

I have a 17-55 f/2.8 and it is by far my most used lens. With that said, I really really want a 24-70 f/2.8.
The cons are;
1. It is alot more expencive (about twice the price)
2. It's almost double the weight.


As for IS, I don't have VR on my 17-55, and I don't miss it. However, 70mm is a bit more tele. In practice that means you're going from 1/60th of a second to 1/70th of a second as slowest shuttertime for handheld pictures.

 

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deadcactus 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
So I went for the 24-70.

I'm going to bring it and my 18-55 kit lens with me on the trip. Worst case, I ordered from Amazon and have 30 days to return the lens if it doesn't work out.

Mainly decided that I'd rather invest in a great lens that adds to my tools than to upgrade a tool I already have. Also the construction and weather proofing sold me on it since I tend to drag my camera to developing countries...

On Nikon vs Canon:
Intuitive was the wrong word. I had no problem figuring out how to do whatever I wanted on either brand's cameras. I just meant the Canon was set-up closest to how I would have designed camera controls. The Nikons are great and there are some things I'm jealous about in their lens line (Nikon 14-24), the Canons just fit me better.

 

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Bean_counter 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
I love my 24-70L It is the lens I leave on my camera all the time.

 

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kashani 
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Subject: Need gear advice...
Well you lost me until you decided to stay with Canon tongue

I recommend 2 lens as well, I have only 2 lens and I have never found a situation yet (although it will happen to me sooner or later), that I needed more then I had.
I carry my Canon 24-70 L 2.8 and my 70-200 L IS 2.8 (My workhorse), if you get 2 lens in that range you should me fine.
Although I am eyeing the Canon 100mm Macro 2.8 alot right now and I shall possess it! drooling
Have fun on your trip I am envious to say the least!

 

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