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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 17 Oct 2011 (Monday) 15:11
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Toss-up: Backpacking Lens

 
Adventure ­ Sworn
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Oct 17, 2011 15:11 |  #1

Hey guys. I'm into the outdoors, backpacking, and documenting my trips. I know many will recommend a smaller camera for this use, but I'm getting a Canon T3i to replace my Canon SD1400 IS.

I'm curious as to what lens I should get (yes, I've read the stickies :p). I can only settle with one all-purpose lens for the outdoors, and bringing two lenses isn't an option. And it must be useful for HD video recording, as well as photography.

I'm willing to hear some advice from you fellas, as I'm quite new to the world of DSLRs. I've done a bit of forum browsing and am still stuck. My friend recommends a Sigma lens, but through my own research I'm a hair leaned towards a Canon lens.

The three factors:

  • It must be affordable (under $400 for me)
  • Relatively light-weight
  • Very versatile, for close-ups, landscapes, and some wildlife photography.


I am not done researching, but currently it's a toss-up between the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens, and a Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II. A Canon EF 50mm f1.4 is up in the air as well. Let me know if I'm right in these choices.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that the Sigma has the Canon in terms of versatility, but it's quite heavy, and more expensive.

So the dreaded question; any recommendations?



  
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hania
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Oct 17, 2011 15:36 |  #2

Adventure Sworn wrote in post #13262875 (external link)
Hey guys. I'm into the outdoors, backpacking, and documenting my trips. I know many will recommend a smaller camera for this use, but I'm getting a Canon T3i to replace my Canon SD1400 IS.

I'm curious as to what lens I should get (yes, I've read the stickies :p). I can only settle with one all-purpose lens for the outdoors, and bringing two lenses isn't an option. And it must be useful for HD video recording, as well as photography.

I'm willing to hear some advice from you fellas, as I'm quite new to the world of DSLRs. I've done a bit of forum browsing and am still stuck. My friend recommends a Sigma lens, but through my own research I'm a hair leaned towards a Canon lens.

The three factors:
  • It must be affordable (under $400 for me)
  • Relatively light-weight
  • Very versatile, for close-ups, landscapes, and some wildlife photography.


I am not done researching, but currently it's a toss-up between the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens, and a Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II. A Canon EF 50mm f1.4 is up in the air as well. Let me know if I'm right in these choices.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that the Sigma has the Canon in terms of versatility, but it's quite heavy, and more expensive.

So the dreaded question; any recommendations?

My daughter went on her gap year with a canon 450 and a canon 55-250.

Never came off the camera (that was the general idea!) so no dust problems; incredible versatile lens.

Not sure about the weight, but she managed fine.

About £160 in uk, so should be within your budget in the US.

She went to Australia, New Zealand, Peru,Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil - the photos were amazing.

PS polariser a good addition also.


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Stir ­ Fry ­ A ­ Lot
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Oct 17, 2011 15:41 as a reply to  @ hania's post |  #3

18-135 macro or the 17/70


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maxxjr
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Oct 17, 2011 15:46 |  #4

Adventure Sworn wrote in post #13262875 (external link)
Hey guys. I'm into the outdoors, backpacking, and documenting my trips. I know many will recommend a smaller camera for this use, but I'm getting a Canon T3i to replace my Canon SD1400 IS.

I'm curious as to what lens I should get (yes, I've read the stickies :p). I can only settle with one all-purpose lens for the outdoors, and bringing two lenses isn't an option. And it must be useful for HD video recording, as well as photography.

I'm willing to hear some advice from you fellas, as I'm quite new to the world of DSLRs. I've done a bit of forum browsing and am still stuck. My friend recommends a Sigma lens, but through my own research I'm a hair leaned towards a Canon lens.

The three factors:
  • It must be affordable (under $400 for me)
  • Relatively light-weight
  • Very versatile, for close-ups, landscapes, and some wildlife photography.


I am not done researching, but currently it's a toss-up between the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens, and a Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II. A Canon EF 50mm f1.4 is up in the air as well. Let me know if I'm right in these choices.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it would seem that the Sigma has the Canon in terms of versatility, but it's quite heavy, and more expensive.

So the dreaded question; any recommendations?

For "versatile" + wildlife, you may want some options with more focal length. There are the Sigma 18-200mm, Canon 18-135, and a couple of others in that price range. But added focal length adds size and weight. Shorter focal length zooms will generally make fewer compromises for image quality.

My "keep it light" kit for hiking is the 10-22 and 55-250. The 18-55 + 55-250 will be lighter still, around your price target for both, and only a few ounces more than the Sigma 17-70 that you are considering. ...except two lenses take up more room, and I understand that constraint.




  
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gremlin75
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Oct 17, 2011 16:29 as a reply to  @ maxxjr's post |  #5

My last backpacking trip I took My sigma 17-70 f2.8-4, canon 70-200 f4, and 2x teleconverter. Of those all I used was the 17-70.

I found that on the trail there really are not many clear shots past the 70mm focal length. Really it all depends on where you'll be backpacking at.

If you think you'll be in more open areas where shots of wild life at a distance are possible I'd look into a sigma 18-250 or tamron 18-270. If you don't think you'll have those type of shots I'd stick with that sigma 17-70. Just my opinion.




  
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stover98074
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Oct 17, 2011 16:40 |  #6

I do day hikes and still prefer a shoter lens in my pack. Something about a longer lens and how it can take up space.

I prefer manual focus lenses and a favorite is a 105 2.5 Nikkor on a Canon body. Canon makes a good macro lens that is 100 2.8.

This photo was taken at the top of a hike in the mountains with a Super Takumar 50 1.4 lens. I had some light weight M42 tubes for close up. This is a small, lightweight package. A lot of videographers will also use MF lenses on their dSLR cameras.

IMAGE: http://stover98074.smugmug.com/photos/947141626_7tDap-S.jpg

I would also pack a small bean bag or a bag of rice to use as a make shift support for longer exposures.


.

Canon XSI, Asahi Pentax Auto Bellows, 50 Fujinon EP, 80 El Nikkor, 105 El Nikkor, 135 Fujinon EP
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gonzogolf
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Oct 17, 2011 16:48 |  #7

I'd skip the 50 1.8 for this purpose. Its a nice beginner prime but its a uninspiring focal length for a backpacking lens, and honestly its not the most durable lens ever made.




  
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Adventure ­ Sworn
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
3 posts
Joined Oct 2011
     
Oct 17, 2011 16:50 |  #8

Thanks a ton for all of the input guys. A great first impression of this forum. :)

When it comes to Wildlife photography, I am often within 40 yards of the animals, sometimes significantly closer. But even then it's not enough for the crap zoom on my Canon 1400 IS point & shoot. Other than wildlife shots, I basically go for a lot of close-ups & landscape photography (as well as misc shots of bushcraft & the campsite). So although I like the idea of being able to zoom in to a distant animal across a lake, etc., the opportunity doesn't pop up terribly often.

To give you an idea as to what kind of photos I take, here's an old album I took one camping trip. Try to not to make fun of my point & shoot skills, I'm new to this heh: http://s826.photobucke​t.com …ushcraft%20011/​?start=all (external link) So whatever lens would work best for this style is probably what I'm after.

Thanks again guys, big help.

Cody




  
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Sirrith
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Oct 17, 2011 17:01 |  #9

For closeups and landscape and backpacking, the 17-70 OS is pretty much the perfect lens on a budget and as a single lens solution.

One thing you might want to do is also get a 55-250 to complement it and for the wildlife shots. The 2 lenses are light, small, and relatively inexpensive.

If I'm going out and only want to take a single lens with me, the 17-70 is pretty much always my top choice. Here are some shots taken with it, the sort you might take on a backpacking trip:

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6104/6217471240_62de3d13c4_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/6​217471240/  (external link)
IMG_9174 (external link) by noobographer (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6132/5954381726_2977c9f47a_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/5​954381726/  (external link)
IMG_7090 (external link) by noobographer (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6046/6216953425_7afd592d95_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/6​216953425/  (external link)
IMG_9215 (external link) by noobographer (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6029/5953822257_89b255ba7c_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …s/noobography/5​953822257/  (external link)
IMG_7119 (external link) by noobographer (external link), on Flickr

-Tom
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Craign
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Oct 17, 2011 17:05 |  #10

Maybe something like this: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Auto Focus Lens - Refurbished for $329.95 http://www.adorama.com​/CA18135ISR.html (external link)
I know nothing about this lens except the price and focal length seem to fit your needs.


Canon 7D Mark II w/Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip; Canon EOS 50D w/Canon Battery Grip; Canon SL1; Tokina 12mm - 24mm f/4 PRO DX II; Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS; Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS; Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS; Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM; Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM; Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; Canon Extender EF 2x II; Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
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DreDaze
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Oct 17, 2011 17:10 |  #11

the sigma 17-70mm will give you the exact same view as your old P&S(28-112mm 35mm equivalent)...if that works for you i think it's a good choice...if i were in your shoes though, i'd get a small bag, and carry at least one more lens...


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crn3371
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Oct 17, 2011 17:10 |  #12

I'd look into one of the 18-200/300 range of superzooms.




  
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Rocky ­ Rhode
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Oct 17, 2011 17:34 as a reply to  @ crn3371's post |  #13

When I go backpacking I stay true to the mantra; an ounce on your back will equate to a pound on your feet. That said I would never take my DSLR with me, and in fact I never have. My typical base weight including food for a week long trip will stay under 25lbs. ((using 1.75 lbs/day food))

My next backpacking camera will be the Fuji X100; I currently carry an inexpensive P&S that has captured some amazing photographs at 14,000' along the John Muir Trail.: (yes I will post some when I get home from work since many will say, "without a photo it never happened")


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redflash
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Oct 17, 2011 17:52 |  #14

I'd got for either the Sigma 17-70, Canon 15-85 or Canon 18-135. Wouldn't worry about primes if you don't want to be changing lenses or carrying too much. 18-135 is nice and cheap as well.

Enjoy the trip


Canon 60D Gripped Tamron 17-50 (non-VC) | 18-55 | 18-135 | Nifty50 | 70-200 f2.8 L IS Mk II | YN565 | ManFriday | Carry Speed Strap
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Delija
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Oct 17, 2011 17:56 as a reply to  @ Sirrith's post |  #15

I know this won't answer the question, but in all honesty, and with more years of using a camera than I like to think about, I just don't see a single reason to use an SLR camera for back-packing or any kind of travel. I always want to travel light and I own 6 SLR cameras and NEVER take them anywhere other than to use for work. They are large and heavy and aside from that, using a single "one lens that does it all' defeats the purpose of a camera that's versatility comes from the ability to change lenses. As soon as you put a zoom lens on the camera with a large range of focal lengths, you defeat the purpose of having a camera with interchangeable lenses. A lens like the 18-200 can't be very good at anything - just a compromise at any focal length.

Having said that, there's no need for great quality lenses for casual photos taken on trips - so the quality of a cheap "do it all" lens is fine for your purpose, but the need for taking a large camera (even a Rebel is large compared to a non SLR camera) plus a large lens (maybe light in weight, but still bulky) makes no sense. A camera like the SX 150 with a 12x zoom will give the same zoom range as an 18-200 lens (actually a bit more) - and takes up no space in comparison. I think there's also a compact Canon with an 18x zoom too (not sure) - Going a bit larger in size, but still smaller than any Rebel, there's the SX 30 and SX40 IS cameras with a 35x zoom - a "full frame" equivalent of a 24-840mm lens.....and the newer SX 40 is capable of taking bursts at a rate of 10 frames per second. And the cost is probably less than half what the Rebel would cost without any lens.


I don't think I own a single SLR lens that doesn't weigh more alone than the entire SX10...

If I were "forced" to use an SLR with one lens, I guess the 17-70 would be a decent choice and the Canon 28-135 is another -
You could buy a used SX30 IS, take it on your trip and sell it when you get back for probably very close to the same price - possibly even more. Used cameras are cheap to buy and easy to sell. Like renting a camera for next to nothing.


Wow, what a nice picture! You must have a really great camera!

  
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Toss-up: Backpacking Lens
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