best lens for travel

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by cathy_green, May 25, 2007.

  1. I have a rebel xti. I want the best lens for travelling (scenery and people
    pictures). I dont want to carry multiple lenses, and i want the camera to be
    as compact as possible as well as light weight. I have a 70/300 telephoto,
    which is great but too big for what i want. Any suggestions for a great all
    around canon lens? Thanks
  2. I recently bought a canon 50mm f1.4 and i have to admit i love it. was out playing with it last weekend and am very impressed with the image quality. Plus its pretty compact and light weight.

    Another option might be the sigma 30mm f1.4 which i hear is good and is next on my purchase list. Both lenses are about ?250 each.

    I have the canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS which is great, but a bit pricey and larger & heavier than I thought it was going to be.
  3. I think it depends. It depends on what you like to photograph, and how you like to photograph it.

    I tend to be a telephoto kind of guy. I like to take pieces out of the landscape and create images that often become almost abstract. Occasionally, I like the big picture, but it is often for "documenting" more than my personal photography.

    So I tend to ignore the extreme wide angle, and carry a combination of lenses that lets me go from "normal" to "long". I own a 17mm for special projects, but that's as wide as I ever go.

    So you need to think about what you want and carry what will work. Size and weight count a lot too for long carrying sessions. If you are not sure of your style yet, then the logical solution is a mid range zoom of about 20mm to 135mm or so. I advise you to avoid the "super zooms" simply because it is very difficult to build a good zoom that covers more than about 3x its shortest length. They exist, but are very expensive.
  4. If the 70-300 is too big for you, I think you're going to be limited to primes (assuming you care about image quality, and low light performance). 50mm on the XTi will act as a telephoto lens (not particularly good for scenery or groups of people, unless you can stand a large distance away from them).

    I would suggest either a 35mm, 28mm, or 24mm lens for you. Which one, depends mostly on your budget, and if you want the photos to be "wide angle"-ish or "standard".
  5. Hi Cathy, I feel like a broken record, having just suggested it in another thread but you might want to check out the 24-105mm f/4L IS. It's a relatively light lens that covers a useful focal length. It's an "L" lens, which means decent weather sealing and the Image Stabilization is very useful in low-light. IMHO, it's a great "walk around" lens. I own one and it's quite sharp and contrasty, even wide-open. Good luck!
  6. Sigma is releasing an 18-200mm OS (IS) lens in June in the Canon mount. There are always optical compromises in these wide range zooms. But it does have the convenience of not having to change lenses. And size and weight will be a good bit smaller then the 70-300.
  7. it


    This has been discussed here to death and back, but you probably want one fast prime (i.e. 50/1.4) and a zoom.
  8. If you are satisfied with its quality, the EFS 17-85 provides a nice all-in-one lens for many
    people. It is a fine lens if you aren't going to make really big prints and aren't bothered by
    the pincushion/barrel distortion issues, etc. You would probably like it just fine.

    A better lens, but one that has a shorter focal length range and a higher price, is the
    EFS17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. I understand that it is quite a fine lens.

    If you need more telephoto you might look at a prime that is not as heavy or expensive as
    the zooms or take a look at the 70-200 f/4 L - a truly fine lens at a decent price that is
    relatively inexpensive and not too large or heavy.

    I'll join the "broken record" chorus and sing the praises of the somewhat expensive buy
    very excellent 24-105 f/4 IS L - though I'll point out that you would probaby want to
    augment this lens with something providing a wider angle view as well.

  9. "broken record" Too, I love the 24-105, just add the efs 10-22, then you're set :)
  10. If compact and lightweight are the most important factors, I'd recommend the kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II) or the EF 50mm f/1.8 prime. The kit lens is pretty good actually, especially stopped down, and offers a decent zoom range. The 50mm is a lot faster, takes excellent photos even wide open, and saves you time thinking about which focal length to use. I'd stay away from all those IS/USM/L zooms as they are pretty heavy and large for a walkaround lens, which makes taking pictures less enjoyable.
  11. I just returned from a trip to Peru with a Tokina 12-24mm and Canon 50mm. There were moments when I wish I had brought my 70-200mm but not so much that I regretted it. This was using an Xti.
  12. Like Dan I would choose the EFS 17-85mm as a single lens to travel with. However I am a wide angle man myself and would never go without my EFS 10-22mm to suppliment my travels.
  13. In a city I often like the 17-40mm f4.0L. I haven't used the 17-85 but it sounds like a good choice if you don't mind an EF-S lens that can't be used on a full frame if you get one later. You could sample different ones by taking your camera to a photo shop and trying them.
  14. thank you all! This is very helpful.
  15. Some details worth mentioning:

    • Lens Weight
      (pounds) Length
      (inches) Price
      (US $) Diff
      (weight) Diff
      (length) Diff
      EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
      EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM​
      EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM​
      Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC IF​
      EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM​
      EF 17-40mm f/4L USM​
      EF 35mm f/2.0​
      EF 28mm f/2.8​
      EF 24mm f/2.8​
  16. Cathy, IMO, based upon your original requirements, the EF 28mm f/2.8 stands out amongst the rest.
  17. The XTI comes with a decent zoom lens.
    It can. You can also buy the XTi without it.
  18. Uh, M. Barbu, you are missing some lenses:

    • Lens Weight
      (pounds) Length
      (inches) Price
      (US $) Diff
      (weight) Diff
      (length) Diff
      EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
      EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II​
      EF 20mm f/2.8 USM​
      EF 50mm f/1.8 II​
      EF 85mm f/1.8 USM​
      EF 100mm f/2 USM​
    If it comes to compactness, it's hard to beat prime lenses. The kit lens is also a lightweight choice, but image quality is lower than with any other lens above (which may or may not matter in real life), and it is much slower, too (not much of an issue unless you shoot available light or most of your pictures indoors).
    Personally, I am more a portrait lens kind of guy and often opt for the versatile EF 50mm for my walk-around lens.
  19. Uh, M. Barbu, you are missing some lenses:
    Hmm... I didn't know about the EF 20mm f/2.8 USM. Thanks! :) for 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm, while those are terrific lenses, I don't think they would be prudent choices for "travelling (scenery and people pictures)" (equivalent of 80mm, 136mm, and 160mm).
  20. I recently completed a year-long round-the-world trip, with a 10D and I have to accept I was travelling heavy (photo-wise). I made do with a 28-105mm, a 20mm prime and a 75-300mm IS. And I would rank their use in that order. The 75-300mm I only used on wildlife shots. Most days I would just take the 28-105 or the 20mm (depends on where I was going). I don't think I could have carried a better combination, all non-L so were lighter and I had no weather sealing problems at all (no shooting in the pouring rain either, but no problem with drizzles). If I had another go at it I would probably take those again, unless I upgraded to a full sensor (5D here I go), then I would check out a 24-105 as I get a wider angle than with my trusty 20mm on the 10D. Also, you'll learn some nice trick to make the most of the available angle while on the road... all part of the fun! Having limited choices forces you to plan out your shots a step further. Hope it helps!
  21. for 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm, while those are terrific lenses, I don't think they would be prudent choices for "travelling (scenery and people pictures)" (equivalent of 80mm, 136mm, and 160mm).
    Well, it depends on the definition of people pictures. For street portraiture, these lenses are awesome tools that focus fast and don't draw much attention since they're pretty short for their long reach (when compared to the very intimidating L zooms). The larger aperture leads to wonderful separation of subject and background, which can create powerful images. The 20mm, on the other hand, is not a natural choice for the most flattering head-and-shoulder portraits, if you know what I mean (but it's a fine though flare-prone lens nevertheless).
  22. Bueh, so what do you think for a one-lens solution that needs to address landscapes as well as people? 35mm f/2?
  23. That's not my call. I can only suggest what I would do, Cathy must make up her own mind. If she needs more than one focal length and still wants the lightest and most compact lens, the kit zoom is the best option. But if image quality and speed come into consideration, all those bigger, more expensive and heavier zooms should be kept in mind. Soon there is a plethora of terrific lens from which to choose, and she needs to make her own decision where her priorities lie.

    As I said, I'm more into portraiture and small angles-of-view, so I shoot most of my stuff with the lenses I recommended -- yes, even when traveling. But for someone who wants to shoot his/her own landscape pictures, all those wide angles need to be considered. The 35mm f/2 is not that great for people shots, and not that wide for scenery (the typical "boring normal lens dilemma"), so I'd rather give it a miss, but maybe it's a good compromise for the original poster. On the other hand, SLR photography is all about having the option of multiple lenses, so it sounds pretty strange to choose only one (not two or three) lens.

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