Travel Lens Dilemma

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by leonachi, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Not sure what route to take. Currently I shoot with three lenses - 28 2.8, 50
    1.8II, and a 70-210 3.5-4.5. I realize these aren't professional lenses but I
    shoot purely for fun on a very limited budget. In fact, my camera is a used
    D30 dinosaur(and other than the inexcusable auto focus) it does what I need it
    to do.

    My dilemma is that I would like to take my camera with me on vacation, but
    don't want to lug all three lenses and keep on switching lenses on the fly
    anymore. Ideally, I am looking for one lens that would address most of my
    needs (I take lots of landscapes, urban streetscapes and family shots when
    traveling). I was thinking of the 28-135 IS, but wonder whether it's wide
    enough (plus I heard the quality can vary depending on the copy you have). My
    other option is to bite the bullet and save up for a 17-40L. But I wonder
    whether this gives me enough range or whether I'll end up needing to bring my
    other lenses anyway, and perhaps am best to stick with what I have (and
    strengthen my shoulder)? Unfortunately, something like a 24-105L is simply out
    of my price range.

    I know there are other lenses out there in my price range (Sigma, Tamron,
    etc.), but I'd rather invest in the best quality I can afford.

    28-135 IS ?
    17-40L ?
    or stick with my current collection?

    Any advice (or suggestions for alternatives) is appreciated.

  2. I have the same issue with traveling. I'd like to stick to a single lens, but I always seemed to feel something was missing.....for me. Last year, I used my 17-40mm and a 50 1.8 and I found the combination quite workable. I like having at least one lens that I can use in very low light. I recently purchased an 85 1.8 to fill out a 3 lens set for travel. Honestly, though, I could get by with just the 17-40mm. If absolute quality isn't a criteria, the 17-85mm IS lens is also nice and covers plenty of range all by its self. My brother in law is a frequent traveler and swears by that lens.
  3. Well,I have the 10D and 30D + the Sigma 28-70 2.8,Canon 17-40L and Canon 70-200 f4L but when I want to travel really light I just take my Canon S3IS.Picture quality is very good and the 12x zoom comes in handy.
  4. For me, the 28-135 was wide enough on film, has the magic of IS, and is possibly the best consumer-grade zoom around. But it's nowhere near wide enough on 1.6-crop. So I added the 17-40. Note that I said added; the 17-40 doesn't go anywhere near long enough to be a one-lens solution, but the two lenses together cover a very useful range of focal lengths.
    I considered the 17-85 but decided to go with the L lens. The 17-85 isn't an option for you as your body is three generations too old. For an older (i.e. not compatible with EF-S) 1.6-crop body, Canon doesn't have anything which (for my needs) would constitute a one-lens solution. I don't pay much attention to the third parties so I can't offer advice on whether any of them would constitute a single-lens solution which meets your "best quality I can afford" requirement (and I agree with you: better to buy the best quality you can afford than to settle for so-so).
  5. My solution:
    When i travel, i take as much kit as will fit in a large Lightware case. Then, while i'm there, i
    choose the one camera+lens i feel is appropriate for each situation. I always travel with
    multiple systems - medium format, 35mm SLR, 35mm rangefinder, digital SLR, pocket film
    camera.... Too much, i know. But, there's no need to "strengthen my shoulder" since i'm
    never out walking with more than one camera and one lens. If you're happy with your current
    lens lineup, you would need to invest only in a transport solution for the gear. Your 'burden'
    is felt only during travel to and from the destination - not during the entire stay.
  6. My other option is to bite the bullet and save up for a 17-40L.
    I was going to suggest the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, until I read that. If you're only going to have one lens, I think you'll want a zoom. I also think you should get the fastest zoom you can afford, that is as wide as you need it to be. Since you have a D30, I think you're going to want to consider lenses wider than 28mm, since it's sensor is smaller than APS-C.
  7. I travel several times per year, and take much the same type of shots you describe here with my 5D. I used to take a whole army of lenses on my trips but found the only 2 that I ever used were the 17-40 F4L plus 24-105 F4L IS. And of these 2, I used the 17-40 the most.

    So thesedays, I take JUST these 2 as my main lenses - I never need anything longer or wider. I'll also throw in the 50mm F1.8II for low light use (it's so small and light as to be hardly noticeable, and the quality is great).

    If I were in your shoes, I'd go with the 17-40 F4L (it's a GREAT lens) and the 50mm F1.8II. This kit would serve your needs adequately, and wouldn't be too bulky either.

    Oh, and have a great holiday/vacation !

  8. As for the focal range: Do you need anything wider than the 28/2.8 that you have now?

    If not. . .the 28-135/IS will be perfect.

    Note that since this lens is significantly slower than your primes. . .it will not help your AF system one wit. BUT. . having image stabilization will open up many picture taking opportunities.

    For most vacation situations. . .. you probably don't need the 70-210 long gun.

    The 17-40/4L and 50/1.8 is a potent combination. Definately a great way to go.
  9. The 17-85 is an EF-S lens and won't fit the D30, so that one is out!

    As someone lese said, if you're ahppy with the 28mm as your widest lens, the 28-135 is a good buy.

    Otherwise you might look at some 3rd party lenses. Their APS-C digital lenses (like the Tamron 17-50/2.8 or 18-250/3.5-6.3) will all fit on a D30 and will give you decent wideangle coverage.
  10. I think you're right in trying to come up with one lens if you can. I ended up buying the 24-105 specifically for travel. I'm very happy with that decision.

    My copy of the 28-135 is capable of taking some great pictures. It's also capable of taking some real stinkers. I know it's probably my technique, something I'm doing wrong, but I've just never been comfortable taking it out for critical use. So, if you go with this lens, consider buying it somewhere where you can easily return it if need be. Get it well in advance of your travel and give it a real workout to see if it will work for you.
  11. I had the same dilemma about 6 months ago before heading to south america for 3 months. I was shooting with an Elan 7 at the time. I didn't want to take my 28-135 simply because of the size, as I wanted to draw as little attention to my camera gear as possible.

    So I decided to take my 28/2.8, 50/1.8 and 85/1.8. Whichever two I wasn't using at the time stayed in a Lowepro LC1 (hidden in my daypack). It was certainly an inconvenience to change lenses when needed, and i certainly missed some opportunities for good candid pictures, but I dealt with it, and still got some fantastic shots.

    I did, however realize very quickly that most of my shots were scenic ones, so I ended up using my 28/2.8 about 90% of the time.

    I have a 30D now, and know that if I was going to be traveling soon, that I would surely invest in a 17-40 (i'm saving up anyway), as I know that I would miss the width not offered by the 28/2.8 or 28-135 on a cropped body.

    So, I third the recommendation made by Mark and Jim, get the 17-40 for scenic, and take the 50/1.8 for some medium telephoto and lowlight abilities.
  12. I 2nd the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. It's cheaper than the Canon 17-40L, has 10mm more reach and is 1 stop better than the f/4 of the Canon. If you could afford it, the 17-40 is a better way to go but for the best bang for the buck, I'd go with the Tamron.
  13. Count me in as another vote for the "28mm is not wide enough on a crop frame body" camp. And anyone who says different is nuts! That, or they're just different than me. Choose which one you want. :)

    Considering your camera cannot take EF-S lenses, and you want a one lens solution, buy the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. It is the best option. The Canon offerings either have limited range, limited aperture, or don't fit on your camera.
  14. "... urban streetscapes ..." but your widest lens is 28mm on 1.6-factor? You're missing out. Being unable to use EF-S lenses on the D30 is certainly a limitation, and you might well find that a s/h 20D - not a big-money purchase at all - would also open your eyes to how much improvement has been made in the 1.6-factor range since the D30. Even so, I suspect that there's no one-lens solution that will entirely satisfy you if you are used to taking advantage of the speed of your prime lenses - although there again, the improvements in image quality between the D30 and the 20D allow the use of much higher ISO settings, thereby reducing the need for very fast lenses (unless you need narrow DOF). A 20D and an EF-S 17~55/2.8IS looks like a pretty good combination for much of what you want, and if you are determined to hang on to the D30 then you may need to look at off-brand lenses as suggested by Jim.
  15. I wouldn't be surprised if you leave the 70-210 on your camera most of the time when on
    holiday. Its quite a good lens in my view and the range is useful for travel. You two primes
    are small and useful so keep them in you pocket for occasional wide or low light use.
    Problem solved - save your hard earned.
  16. How about a 28-105. Good all rounder for travel, USM and not expensive. Just a thought.

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