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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:31 am 
Hello,

I'm headed to Africa and have limited weight and luggage space. I want to bring only one lens for my Canon 400D I will probably be shooting lots of people shots, some action shots, wildlife shots, and I'm really not sure of what else. I am looking at Sigma and Tamron 18-200mm and also the canon 28-200mm. Any other suggestions welcome. I like the option of the wider angle a bit more and I want the option of Image stabilization. This is a new camera for me so I'm just looking for some good advice from people with much more experience than I have. I have checked out numerous threads and reviews and just want to make the most informed decision.

Thanks and I appreciate any advice,

Bruce


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:16 am 
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Hi Bruce,

A warm welcome to the CameraLabs forums.

In what follows please bear in mind I haven't played with any of the lenses I am about to mention.

Between the Tamron and the Sigma I would likely opt for the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS, reviewed here at PhotoZone, simply to take advantage of IS (or OS in Sigma-speak) at the long end where you are probably going to be hand-holding the camera while on safari. If the OS version is out of budget then have a look at Gordon's review of the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC here and the Tamron AF 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD IF here. Unfortunately, PhotoZone hasn't tested the EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM so it's difficult to make comparisons. I get a sense that the lens performance isn't stunning but probably fairly reflects its price but there is no IS. :idea:

I know you stated at the start that you only wanted to take one lens with you. If you already have the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens, which is pretty small, light and easily packed in the case, then you might get much more bang for your buck if you invest in a lens such as the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, reviewed here. Optically it seems in a different league to the Sigma, it's cheaper, it benefits from IS and reaches out to 300mm (480mm full-frame equivalent) which is going to be really useful on safari while at the other end of the scale 70mm is likely to be wide enough for closer wildlife. Obviously, with regard to dust, you would have to choose your moments carefully when changing over to and from the kit lens for the big landscape shots. Yet another possibility for a second lens is the cheaper EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS but no reviews appear to be available for this one yet.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:46 am 
Bob,

Thanks for the info. I haven't actually bought the camera yet, but from what I have been reading the kit lens isn't the greatest lens. So I was just going to buy the body with a pretty good zoom lense for this trip and then get another lens later. I have read several review and threads that suggest upgrading the kit lens and I think that's what I'll do when I get back. I have been kinda leaning toward the Sigma DC OS, so this even gives me a little more of a nudge in that direction.

Thanks,
Bruce


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:09 am 
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Hi Bruce,

While it's true that the kit lens isn't the best one could argue that it is pretty good value when purchased with the camera. It also means that if, in a year or two, you decide to upgrade the body you can more easily sell on the old body if you can also sell it with a lens.

You might find it interesting to compare the PhotoZone reviews for the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II and Sigma AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS. The resolution graphs show that the Sigma lens tested has some real issues at around 35mm focal length. My untutored reading of these two test results shows that where the focal lengths of the two lenses overlap the Canon kit lens holds up its head pretty well. Then have another look at the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. :idea:

You can probably see where I am going with this, albeit working entirely from the reviews mentioned above. While I am not suggesting that the Sigma is a bad choice the 400D + kit lens + EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is cheaper than a 400D + the Sigma, it gives you a better telephoto capability and optics which are generally as good or sharper. If you decide to upgrade the kit lens later (see Gordon's kit lens upgrade group test) then the 400D itself becomes more saleable should you wish to upgrade the body. Set against this rosy picture is the disadvantage of carrying two lenses, the need to change lenses with the possibility of losing a shot while you are doing so and the care needed to minimise dust.

By the way, you haven't mentioned a time frame for your purchase. If it's fairly imminent then don't forget the current Canon cashback promotions. I don't know your country but here in the UK there are currently rebates on the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM as well as the 400D itself. If you are looking at a slightly longer timescale then it is widely expected that the 400D successor will be available by the Spring.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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