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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #1
i-G12
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Default Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

I am buying my first DSLR and have decided on a T4i. I have been using a G-12 for the last couple of years and while I'm pretty happy with what it does I need to upgrade as I will be taking a trip to Africa next year and want more flexibility and range.

What do I shoot? I'm pretty much a recreational photo guy, nothing too specific or fancy. Mostly walk around stuff, vacations, pets, landscapes and that sort of thing.

Initially I was intent on buying the T4i with the 18-135 STM kit lens. I was/am intrigued by the continuous AF feature in movie mode and that is why I was picking the 18-135 STM. Now I'm wondering just how much video I would actually take with my DSLR. I currently use a Canon camcorder (VIXIA HF S20) which gives me adequate results for my short movies so I really wonder if I would actually use the T4i for movies or if it's just a gimmick I "think I need".

As for my trip to Africa I have decided I will rent a 100-400L as it would be a one time deal for me and not sure I'd really have that much use for a lens like that after the trip and frankly don't want $1,600 sitting around collecting dust.

So that brings me to the burning question...if not the 18-135 STM then what? The more I read these forums the more I'm drawn to the 24-105L. Seems to be a great lens for what I do although it's really not so good for much indoors. Frankly I don't take that many pictures indoors so maybe it's not a big deal. Maybe the 24-105 + flash would get the job done. Dunno.

For those who have travelled to Africa do you think the combination of a 24-105 + 100-400 would be adequate? Not wanting to lug around a huge lens but still want some ability to get up close and personal with the animals.

Whatcha think? Thoughts? Suggestions? All appreciated.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #2
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

One thing to consider if the battery grip and extra battery as using the video drains it fast and also heats up the camera. I used my T2i to film my daughter and about 20 min of video killed the battery.

The 100-400L is a nice lens and would be great for wildlife. The other I can't speak for but any L series if good.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #3
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

Many of us think the best general purpose zoom for a crop body is the Canon 15-85 IS. 24mm on a crop will limit your landscape shooting ability, while 15mm is really very nice for landscapes. Also, the 15-85 is very sharp with beautiful IQ. The 15-85 plus the 100-400 should cover almost everything.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

Quote:
Originally Posted by HughR View Post
Many of us think the best general purpose zoom for a crop body is the Canon 15-85 IS. 24mm on a crop will limit your landscape shooting ability, while 15mm is really very nice for landscapes. Also, the 15-85 is very sharp with beautiful IQ. The 15-85 plus the 100-400 should cover almost everything.
Another nice lens to consider. Thank you Hugh.

So what am I going to be missing with the 15-85? Not sure which situations I would require the 105 reach.

The G-12 has a zoom range of 6.1 to 30.5 (28-140 equivalent). I seem to have done fine with that so maybe the 15-85 would be a better alternative. What about the size and weight of the 15-85 vs the 24-105? Think I may have to take a trip to the camera store to tocuh and feel both of those lenses!

Any more opinions would surely be welcomed!
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #5
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

BTW, is the lens hood for the 15-85 pretty much a necessity? I see it appears to be an add on.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

Quote:
Originally Posted by i-G12 View Post
BTW, is the lens hood for the 15-85 pretty much a necessity? I see it appears to be an add on.
Yes. A lens hood will keep stray light from hitting the lens, which will help with contrast. It also helps to protect the lens, so you can skip the UV filter. I have a lens hood for every one of my lenses -- except for the 10-22mm, where the lens doesn't offer much protection or blocking of stray light.

The difference between 85mm and 105mm is not that much at the long end when comparing the 15-85 with the 24-105, but the difference between 15mm and 24mm at the wide end is huge. I love the 24-105 on a FF body, but it's not wide enough for me on a crop.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

Canon 17-55mm 2.8 IS
or Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 OS
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #8
Keyan
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

If video isn't something you think you will use it for...why not a T3i? It's hundreds less that you can spend on lenses. Just tossing that out there. If you want the latest and greatest at this point in time then go for the T4i, the all cross type AF can be a huge plus if you plan on using focus points outside of center.

What do you think you will be shooting most of the time, not just on your trip? Mostly outdoors during the day? Then the suggestion of the 15-85 is a good one. If you end up doing more indoors you can always pick up a good flash to go with it. The Canon EF-S 17-55 is one of the best "crop body only" lenses out there for a standard zoom, but if you don't plan on needing its wide 2.8 constant aperture (which is most useful in lower light) you may not need it.

I have used a 100-400 and now own a 70-300L. The 70-300L is a great lens on the lighter crop bodies, particularly the rebel series as it is much shorter (by about 2 inches) and lighter than the 100-400 with a newer image stabilization system, extremely fast auto focus, and great IQ wide open. The 100-400 was introduced in 1998, while the 70-300 was released in 2010. I would go to your local camera shop and see if they have both of these lenses in stock and give them both a look.

Here are a couple of samples from the 70-300L:


Rhino by slcko, on Flickr


Zebra by slcko, on Flickr


Flower and Water by slcko, on Flickr
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyan View Post
If video isn't something you think you will use it for...why not a T3i? It's hundreds less that you can spend on lenses. Just tossing that out there. If you want the latest and greatest at this point in time then go for the T4i, the all cross type AF can be a huge plus if you plan on using focus points outside of center.

What do you think you will be shooting most of the time, not just on your trip? Mostly outdoors during the day? Then the suggestion of the 15-85 is a good one. If you end up doing more indoors you can always pick up a good flash to go with it. The Canon EF-S 17-55 is one of the best "crop body only" lenses out there for a standard zoom, but if you don't plan on needing its wide 2.8 constant aperture (which is most useful in lower light) you may not need it.

I have used a 100-400 and now own a 70-300L. The 70-300L is a great lens on the lighter crop bodies, particularly the rebel series as it is much shorter (by about 2 inches) and lighter than the 100-400 with a newer image stabilization system, extremely fast auto focus, and great IQ wide open. The 100-400 was introduced in 1998, while the 70-300 was released in 2010. I would go to your local camera shop and see if they have both of these lenses in stock and give them both a look.
Thank you Keyan.

Very helpful and more to consider for both my primary lens and the ultimate rental for the trip.

I'm thinking I take a lot more photos outside than inside so the faster lens may not be that important. Have to consider that though.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

Oh and nice photos! Thanks for sharing those.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

Quote:
Originally Posted by HughR View Post
Many of us think the best general purpose zoom for a crop body is the Canon 15-85 IS. 24mm on a crop will limit your landscape shooting ability, while 15mm is really very nice for landscapes. Also, the 15-85 is very sharp with beautiful IQ. The 15-85 plus the 100-400 should cover almost everything.
I second the 15-85 recommendation as a great walk-around lens for crop body. It has great IQ and IS performance. The only downsides are variable aperture, lack of weather sealing and well, being a crop only lens
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

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Originally Posted by amirg View Post
I second the 15-85 recommendation as a great walk-around lens for crop body. It has great IQ and IS performance. The only downsides are variable aperture, lack of weather sealing and well, being a crop only lens
agreed, 15-85 over a 24-105 on a crop.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

I love the 24-105, especially the focal range, on my 50D. Flash is required in my home even when using an f/2.8 lens.

This is a recent thread you might want to read: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/....php?t=1209060
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

While you believe that you are very happy shooting video on your current rig, consider that having the T4i will allow you to carry a single camera vs two. This past month we took the kids to Disneyland and I ended up shooting more gigs of video than I did stills through my 60D. My 17-50 f/2.8 rarley left my camera body; the speed at which it transitioned between full daylight and virtual darkness on some of the rides astounded me. I tested both my 10-20 and my 17-50 on the new Cars ride; both were like watching a syndicated movie when I reviewed them at home on our 55" flatscreen.

Long end you cannot go wrong with the 100-400; it seems to be a staple in most wildlife photographers must have.
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Old 24th of July 2012 (Tue)   #15
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Default Re: Help me choose a lens for my new T4i

I 3rd the 15-85. I have a 28-75 and 28 just isn't wide enough on a crop body so I would have issue taking a 24-105 and nothing wider.
The 15-85 has great IQ and the range is great for "walk-around". The 18-135 has an STM motor, so you may want to see review videos or try it out to see if its snappy enough for photo. It would really suck to constantly miss moments on a trip by a fraction of a second.

I'm not entirely impressed with the video focusing of the STM lenses for video with every review I've seen. I'd probably go with a T3i if it allowed me more money for a lens choice.
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