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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:14 pm 
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Hi Everyone.

I'm new to the forums today and have 'recently' started getting into SLR Photography. I had a Canon 500D brought for me a couple of years ago and it came with a standard lens EFS 18-55mm.

I have been saving to try to buy the best lenses that i can afford as I'm going away for a month to the states come April - May. I'm taking a month out and starting a road trip from LA up to San Fran, Napa through Yosemite down into Death Valley onto Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley then heading up to Utah for the Bonneville Salt Flats, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. I know what you thinking, big trip right!

Well this is where i need some advice, as it looks like i need to buy several new lenses. I need something for a general point and shoot, portrait but also wide landscapes and scenery (sometimes at night), I'm also into Wildlife and Sports. Obviously this trip has a lot of things to see and do and i really want to get the best out of it photography wise, I'm a little confused as there are so many lenses, so I need ask how many lenses do you actually need for a bare minimum. Finally, recommendations of lenses that i should be thinking about as a definite first choice.

I'm probably going to buy one and then rent the others or vise versa so any advice is really really appreciated.

Thank you.

Moosic :)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:46 pm 
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There are a lot of options, and narrowing them down isn't easy. For starters, what's your budget? Is there a limit to how much you actually want to carry around?

As an outside option, how about getting a compact camera to supplement?

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:00 pm 
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Thanks for the reply. No budget, would be prepared to pay or rent for the duration.

Would rather use the SLR for the trip rather than a compact camera.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Well, you could get decent focal length coverage and low light performance on a crop sensor with:

Tokina 11-16mm f2.8
Canon 17-55mm f2.8
Canon 70-200mm f2.8

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:30 pm 
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for your message. So would the lenses you specified be the best that you could buy at present?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:20 pm 
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for general purpose flexibility and bang for you buck, I would look at the Canon 15-85 is usm and then the Tamron 70-300SP VC USD.
Low light the Sigma 30 1.4, portrait canon 85 1.8 and or if you like the 100L Macro 2.8 as a macro/portrait lens.

While 2.8 aperture lenses are nice, they are also big and heavy and expensive.

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Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:44 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, will look more into those.

If money was no object, what would be your first choices for general purpose flexibility?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Location: Speyer (Germany)
Probably exactly what maxjj said: A Canon 15-85mm (very useful range from wide angle to portrait, sharper and faster than the standard 18-55mm lens) and a Tamron 70-300mm VC (payable, not too big and heavy but still very good and sharp). A Canon 70-300mm L lens would be much heavier and much more expensive for slightly more sharpness. The Canon 100-400mm offers a higher reach but it's... well... big and heavy. Here it is on my 500D:
Image

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Canon EOS 500D + Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Canon EOS 33v
Canon EF 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 USM + EF 24-105mm 4L IS USM + EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 50mm 1.8 II + EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM + Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II + Nissin Speedlite Di 466


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:46 am 
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moosic wrote:
So would the lenses you specified be the best that you could buy at present?

No. IMO they represent the best compromise between focal length coverage and low-light performance. Or as you said, "general purpose flexibility". There are longer lenses, there are brighter lenses, there are lighter lenses, there are cheaper lenses. But they'll entail some compromises. Which could be fine, but you have to decide whether the compromise would be worth it for you. Or you could be more specific in your needs. e.g. which sports? Hockey has different requirements than skiing, for example.

Mark


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:40 pm 
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My road trip around the states will involve plenty of landscapes and scenery grand canyon, monument valley etc. National parks likes Yellowstone, grand Tetons so wildlife also. Also portrait and city life photographs will be taken. Money is no problem, I'm after the best that there is possible.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Location: SE Texas
moosic wrote:
My road trip around the states will involve plenty of landscapes and scenery grand canyon, monument valley etc. National parks likes Yellowstone, grand Tetons so wildlife also. Also portrait and city life photographs will be taken. Money is no problem, I'm after the best that there is possible.


This is a very, very broad range of shooting, and the "best possible" lenses will cost thousands of dollars, and the strength of a sherpa to carry. Your camera, itself, is not "best possible," so that leaves us wondering what you mean.

At the ultra-wide end, one of my favorites, for a cropped-frame-sensor body, the EF-S 10-22mm, is a logical choice, but ultra-wide does not suit everyone. Two more "best possible" zoom lenses, to complete the middle and longer ranges, would be the EF 24-70mm 2.8L II, and the EF 70-200mm 2.8L II, with Image Stabilization. Look at the prices and weights of the latter two, and let us know if "best possible" is still your goal. Even if renting/borrowing, the weight is still an issue.

The EF-S 15-85mm, mentioned previously, goes quite wide, and zooms to 85mm, making it, perhaps, a better choice, covering the wide and middle ranges, in one lens. A 70-200mm, with a maximum constant aperture of f/4, might be a reasonable companion lens for the longer end, unless you want more than 200mm on the long end.

Personally, I do not often use zoom lenses, other than my previously-mentioned EF-S 10-22mm. I should mention that such ultra-wide lenses are best used with something interesting in the foreground, not to simply "take in" distant subjects. I will often tote two camera bodies, one with a wider lens than the other.

This leaves a portrait lens as the remaining concern. It would help us if you would be more specific, as there are different portrait styles.

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Canon 7D2/7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6/D700/FM3A/1Dx/Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, 45mm 2.8 AI-P, Micro 60/2.8G; Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:53 am 
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moosic wrote:
My road trip around the states will involve plenty of landscapes and scenery grand canyon, monument valley etc. National parks likes Yellowstone, grand Tetons so wildlife also. Also portrait and city life photographs will be taken. Money is no problem, I'm after the best that there is possible.

OK, so no sports, then? Well, the same goes for wildlife. e.g. a bird in flight has different requirements than a deer/moose/elk in the woods. And "city life" could be anything from (close-up) candids in a dimly lit bar to someone sitting at a bus stop across the street at noon.

Plus all the stuff RexGig said - Mark


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:58 pm 
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Ok, I’m still undecided but I took the plunge on the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM just for a general purpose walk around lens.

The other two I lenses I am interested in are the recommended wide angle EF-S 10-22mm and the EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens.

The questions I want to ask are

1: Is there another telephoto lens better than the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM?

2: I was quite interested in purchasing the CANON EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens but need advice weather this would be a better alternative than the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM that I purchased.

Thanks in Advance :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:28 pm 
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moosic wrote:
1: Is there another telephoto lens better than the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM?


How do you define "better"?

I'd imagine it's a sharp lens but I'd probably prefer the flexibility of a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L for the sake of argument.

moosic wrote:
2: I was quite interested in purchasing the CANON EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens but need advice weather this would be a better alternative than the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM that I purchased.


It's definitely a sharper lens though I have no complaints about my 15-85mm but 9mm can be pretty significant with wider-angle shooting. You need to determine if that difference will be a problem or not.

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DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:44 pm 
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moosic wrote:

1: Is there another telephoto lens better than the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM?

2: I was quite interested in purchasing the CANON EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens but need advice weather this would be a better alternative than the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM that I purchased.

Thanks in Advance :)


1. Well, yes, the EF 200mm f/2 L will be "better" in several ways, but do you want to tote the much greater weight, and spend several thousand US dollars? I lust for a 200mm f/2, either Canon or Nikon, but I do not shoot runway models, nor desire to carry so much weight very far, so the practicality of such a purchase makes such an acquisition unlikely. I am unfamiliar with the EF 200mm f/2.8 L II, but really like the Nikkor 180mm 2.8D, so I think an f/2.8 prime lens of this focal length is quite nice to have.

2. Considering the 1.6x crop factor, 24-70mm is no longer wide-angle on your camera, and your camera does not have weather-resistance to match that of the lens. Your camera has a smaller sensor than 35mm format, a.k.a. cropped-frame, which means 24mm to 70mm becomes "normal" to moderate telephoto. The 15-85mm lens was designed to pair well with cameras such as yours. The 24-70mm focal range, for most shooters, is generally better-suited to "full-frame" cameras, i.e., 35mm format, such as the 6D, 5D Mark III, and 1D X.

Notably, multiplying 15mm by the 1.6x crop factor is 24mm, and multiplying 85mm by the same factor is 136mm. The 15-85mm, on your camera, starts at the same/equivalent angle of view as the 24-70mm on a full-fame camera.

Intended usage is the key. A wedding/event photographer may find a 24-70mm 2.8L II and a 70-200mm 2.8L II to be an ideal combination for a wedding or similar event, using a 5D Mark III or 1D X body. This covers wide-angle to telephoto. In a smaller venue, the same photographer may not need the longer lens, and use just the 24-70mm 2.8L II.

When that same 24-70mm lens is mounted on your cropped-frame camera body, the angle of view becomes equivalent to 38-112mm. 38mm is not wide-angle, which may be OK when walking about, but in an enclosed space, might make achieving the desired framing problematic.

Try a training exercise, by using your 15-85mm in similar conditions as you might encounter during your anticipated destinations in the USA. The USA is not another planet. Some of the open spaces may, indeed, be very open, of course, so totally duplicating all the conditions near your home may not be possible. Coastal towns, and large cities, especially the latter, tend to be much the same, world-wide.

Before you buy an assortment of lenses, consider your travel conditions, and travel companions. If you will be on foot for extended periods, the weight of multiple heavy lenses could be torture, especially if one is not well-conditioned beforehand. Non-photographers do not tend to like waiting while one swaps lenses.

I have never used the EF-S 15-85mm, but it seems, to me, to be an excellent travel lens on a cropped-frame body, covering all but quite specialized needs.

_________________
Canon 7D2/7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6/D700/FM3A/1Dx/Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, 45mm 2.8 AI-P, Micro 60/2.8G; Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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