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Archive 2012 · Travel lens conundrum
  
 
foldack
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Travel lens conundrum


I've travelled extensively, and have usually lugged along a collection of Canon L-series primes and/or zooms. The size of the collection always depends on the mode of tranport.

Car=big
Feet=Not as big

So I'm going back to India in April, and I just feel tired thinking about carrying all that crap, and having to change lenses while getting bumped around in the most crowded country on the planet.

This may sound barking mad, but has anyone used or have anything good to say about Canon's EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS? I know it's a big step down in quality (and a little step up in ISO), but the weight and convenience is hard to deny.

Years ago, I went around the world with an old manula focus Tamron 28-200, and the price of convenience was basically having to use 200 film and settle for photos which were not razor sharp much of the time. ISO is no longer as much of an issue, but is the IQ of this lens at all decent?

Thanks




Feb 07, 2012 at 10:01 PM
surf monkey
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Travel lens conundrum


If you're use to Ls get the 15-85.
Reviews on the 18-135 say that it's good stopped down.
Reviews on the 15-85 say it's better all around and the wide angle is useful for tight spaces and large architecture.



Feb 07, 2012 at 11:37 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Travel lens conundrum


My idea of a lightweight kit is a Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 and a 10-22mm f3.5 lens with a crop camera. I can get by without the 23-49mm segment and having a full frame equivalent of 80-240mm f2.8 with a lens as small and light as the Sigma zoom is great for travel photography. It provides 4 times as much light to the AF sensors for better low light autofocus and I can use 1/4 the ISO setting as with a f5.6 zoom lens.

Most f3.5~5.6 are f5.6 at 1/3 of the range or starting at 50mm with a 18-135mm type of lens. VR is of little use if you and or your subjects are in motion. You need the faster shutter speeds enabled by the f2.8 zoom.



Feb 09, 2012 at 08:18 AM
taemo
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Travel lens conundrum


when out travelling, my 2 lenses of choice are:
24-105 f4L IS
35 f2
the 24-105 for everything and 35 for low light.

to answer the OPs question, what other lenses do you have?
the 18-135 is a beginner lens, provides decent travelling shots but IMO the 15-85 is better because of the it's wide angle 15mm



Feb 09, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Travel lens conundrum


For croppers, I love to travel with either the 15-85 IS USM or 17-55 2.8 IS USM. Both are equally sharp but I tend to favor the 15-85 due to its increased zoom range (especially the wide side), better flare control and better IS. Of course, if you need F2.8, nothing else in this class will do.

http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/canon_efs15-85.htm

http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/canon_efs17-55.htm



Feb 09, 2012 at 08:54 AM
dhphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Travel lens conundrum


I have tried to build travel kits over the years and if weight is the issue my advice is to go for the best IQ at the lowest weight and for me that's:

550D/T2i, Tamron 17-50 non-VC, Canon 55-250IS.

Light, reasonably cheap and in skilled hands (and RAW) excellent IQ all the way from 17mm to 250mm. I often take a 50 1.8II as well in case I want a moderate prime for portraits.
For me the 15-85mm is miles too slow.



Feb 09, 2012 at 08:54 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Travel lens conundrum


Voigtlander have excellent travel lenses for Canon mount. 20/3,5---40/2---90/3,5 they are very small and light. And the IQ is very good


Feb 09, 2012 at 09:01 AM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Travel lens conundrum


I've been thinking the same thing too. For me, I'm trying to device between:

Option A: 16-35mm, 24-70, and 100-400 or...

Option B: 16-35mm, 35mm, 50mm macro, and 85mm (or 135mm)

I'm 80% leaning towards option A but a little voice in the back of my head is telling me option B may result in more keepers.



Feb 09, 2012 at 09:28 AM
dgdg
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Travel lens conundrum


Lars Johnsson wrote:
Voigtlander have excellent travel lenses for Canon mount. 20/3,5---40/2---90/3,5 they are very small and light. And the IQ is very good


I have the 20mm for my 5D. It is a great pancake lens and the only thing I have that is wide. I don't need autofocus for wide angle lens anyway and it doesn't weigh down my bag. Sure a wide angle zoom would be nice, but since I am not a photojournalist, I'd probably use the widest focal length most of the time anyway.



Feb 09, 2012 at 08:50 PM
 

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Jeff
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Travel lens conundrum


Welcome to the FM Forums, eh?

For a travel APS-C kit, the 10-22, 15-85, 70-200/4, plus any flavor of low-light lens you might need is hard to beat, at least assuming you want to carry 3+ lenses.

As far as the optical quality of the 15-85 goes, it really would have to depend on how the images will be output. If you are looking at getting consistently good 12x18" prints, I'd think you'd have few issues with a recent body. If you are talking about lots of enlargements of 20x30" or more, you might start to find the 15-85 lacking compared to L glass.

But, as you know, the camera/lens that you use is the one that is best for the trip, and the logistics of traveling with camera equipment in a country like India cannot be casually ignored.

Have a great trip.

-J



Feb 09, 2012 at 09:15 PM
foldack
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Travel lens conundrum


taemo wrote:
to answer the OPs question, what other lenses do you have?
-------

Doh! Minor omission!

I use a 5D II, and have 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8, Sigma 85 1.4, 100mm 2.8 macro (no need for that), as well as several older minor deities from years ago.

I toyed with the idea of renting the Canon 28-300 just to lug it around for a week to see what it's like, but I know it weighs half a pound more than my 70-200, and really defeats the purpose.

A few years back, I spent a few months in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia with just a 30D
...Show more



Feb 09, 2012 at 09:41 PM
CW100
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Travel lens conundrum


foldack wrote:
then most of the lens mentioned, 18-135, 15-85, 17-55, etc. won't work with your camera



Feb 10, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Travel lens conundrum


For travel with APS-C camera, I love the 15-85 IS (equiv. to 24-136mm). Great coverage and excellent IQ. Very convenient and not heavy or bulky -- can use on-camera flash without lenshood.


Feb 10, 2012 at 03:14 PM
fixedgearmike
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Travel lens conundrum


this is why I bought a leica...

Seriously, for India (where I go 3 or 4 times a year), consider a micro 4/3 like the GFx, a 20mm-ish pancake and a decent zoom. Small cameras get less attention and you might get more keepers !



Feb 10, 2012 at 03:35 PM
foldack
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Travel lens conundrum


Funny, I've actually been sniffing around some of the Olympus and Sony et al micros and APSs. Very attractive.


Feb 10, 2012 at 03:38 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Travel lens conundrum


Light and good for travel are, of course, completely relative. I've done a lot of traveling with a 1DsII with three lenses, 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200 all f/2.8. One is on the camera (generally the 24-70) and the other two in a light 3 pouch, over the shoulder bag. I can shove the entire kit into the bag when I just need to move the stuff.

Obviously this isn't really light weight, but I find with the camera on a good strap and the comfortable side shoulder pack, I can walk for hours.

What do I really want for travel? A digital range finder and 2-3 lenses. For whatever reason Leica has not responded to my requests to "demo" their gear and give them a report. Wonder why?

Robert



Feb 10, 2012 at 03:49 PM
DLP
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Travel lens conundrum


17-55 and 70-200 f4IS for me. It's a great all around light kit that gives me a lot of flexibility. Variable app glass is a last choice for me and I find a 2 lens kit very easy to travel with.

Dave



Feb 10, 2012 at 04:20 PM





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