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Thread started 21 Apr 2012 (Saturday) 06:09
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What lenses would bring for a road trip across the US (~$1000-1500 budget)

 
pixelsoldier
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Apr 21, 2012 06:09 |  #1

This summer I will be going on a road trip across the West Coast of America, possibly venturing into the Southwest. I currently own a T1i with the 18-55 IS kit lens and the 55-250 IS. I've saved up around $2000 (not sure I want to blow it all though) and want to purchase some new gear for this trip as it will be the last proper trip that I will have for a while.

My question to you is, what lenses would you bring on a road trip if you had a budget of ~$1500 and wanted to get the most out of your money? I would prefer to hear suggestions for a crop body but any suggestions are welcome. Bare in mind that I want to use these lenses after the trip as well as I intend to continue photography as a hobby.


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Naturalist
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Apr 21, 2012 06:17 |  #2

Well, you have the focal lengths covered from 18-250mm so why do you feel something is lacking?

That said, I would take the $1500 and get CP and ND filters, tripod, remote, and a speedlite - but you may already have these?


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pixelsoldier
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Apr 21, 2012 06:33 |  #3

Naturalist wrote in post #14302414 (external link)
Well, you have the focal lengths covered from 18-250mm so why do you feel something is lacking?

That said, I would take the $1500 and get CP and ND filters, tripod, remote, and a speedlite - but you may already have these?

Yeah, I will definitely be buying a good tripod, a remote and some filters.

I know that I have the focal lengths covered, but I want better quality lenses (like everyone else here I imagine). I have used what I have for a year and am ready to move up a level.


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Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/pixelsoldier/ (external link)

  
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Sirrith
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Apr 21, 2012 06:40 |  #4

sigma 10-20 ~$450, Good CF tripod ~$400, tripod head ~$200, sigma 17-70 OS or tamron 17-50 2.8 ~$450 = ~$1500

Filter set etc... ~$100-500


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mjmackinnon
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Apr 21, 2012 07:01 |  #5

You would help out a lot to better define what you would like to be photographing in this Road Trip. Like, if you are going to be visiting every church from hear to there, then a wide angle fast lens would do you wonders. If you are looking to shoot birds, then something with more reach is well in order.

I bought a speedlight flash for a photography class 3 years ago, and I can count on one hand how many times I have used it since. I have a tripod that is rock solid but weighs a tonne, and wished I had spent the money on an ultralight carbon fibre one rather than a flash.

Take some time looking through the Lens Sample Photo Archive. and you might find that just about every lens there is takes some amazing photographs. Some times getting a better lens is just an itch.


My Flickr (external link) - Canon EOS 5Diii | EF 50f/1.4 | EF 24-105 f/4L IS| EF 100-400L IS | EF 70-200f/4L |430 EX II | Elinchrom BX500Ri
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pixelsoldier
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Apr 21, 2012 08:32 |  #6

mjmackinnon wrote in post #14302489 (external link)
You would help out a lot to better define what you would like to be photographing in this Road Trip. Like, if you are going to be visiting every church from hear to there, then a wide angle fast lens would do you wonders. If you are looking to shoot birds, then something with more reach is well in order.

I bought a speedlight flash for a photography class 3 years ago, and I can count on one hand how many times I have used it since. I have a tripod that is rock solid but weighs a tonne, and wished I had spent the money on an ultralight carbon fibre one rather than a flash.

Take some time looking through the Lens Sample Photo Archive. and you might find that just about every lens there is takes some amazing photographs. Some times getting a better lens is just an itch.

I'll probably be shooting a bit of everything seeing as I will be exposed to so many different things to photograph.

At the moment, I'm thinking of getting a UWA and a 17-50 2.8 along with a tripod, shutter release and will keep my 55-250. If I have some money left over I might want to get a cheap prime as well.

As for people suggesting not to bother buying new lenses, I find this a bit ridiculous as I bought my DSLR to take better quality photos. Yes, I know that better lenses don't make better photos, however you can't deny that they help.


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mannetti21
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Apr 21, 2012 08:44 |  #7

Canon 15-85mm ($700 new) + Sigma 30 1.4 ($489 new) = $1189

Those are two lens that you will continue to use well beyond the purposes of your trip. I still regret selling my 15-85.

The canon can stay on your camera 75% of the time, and the Sigma can be used indoors for any museums, night outings, or whenever you want to employ a very thin DOF.


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highergr0und
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Apr 21, 2012 09:00 |  #8

No matter what, I would get a UWA, probably sigma 10-20 to fit the budget.

The 55-250 is a great budget zoom, so keeping it is spot on.

As for the 18-55 range...... I would be torn. Getting a decent 17-50 like the sigma OS along with a cheap prime like the 50 1.8 for real low light is a valid option. That sigma will give you good stability shooting interiors but might not be fast enough for people in low light. The 50 1.8 is fun.

On the other hand, the kit lens actually is actually pretty good and a really good, fast prime like the sigma 30 1.4 would be fun on top of it. That's probably the better people shooting setup, plus that prime just makes shooting fun and will get you moving around to compose shots. Sometimes it's fun to be constrained and forced to be creative as opposed to being able to twist a dial and take the same shot as everyone else.

Then a few filters and a decent tripod will fill up your budget...... I chose the 30 1.4 over a 17-50, but still may get one someday. My next lens will either be a true macro or a 17-50


T3i, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 30 1.4, 18-55 kit, 55-250, YN-565, a few books, some software, and a desire to get good.....

  
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Harpo63
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Apr 21, 2012 09:02 |  #9

pixelsoldier wrote in post #14302733 (external link)
As for people suggesting not to bother buying new lenses, I find this a bit ridiculous as I bought my DSLR to take better quality photos. Yes, I know that better lenses don't make better photos, however you can't deny that they help.

True… I went from a T2i and bought L lenses as I went along and could afford it. Then upgraded to the 5D3 with another L lens. Im not done yet. I have found my keeper rates have gone up with the L lenses compared to the 18-135mm EF-S kit lens even on the T2i, but with your limited budget, you are not giving yourself alot of breathing room for some critical things that make a difference between not as sharp vs real sharp photos. I find myself saying I need to use my tripod more for landscapes even with the L lenses because it does make a difference.

I bought a cheap filter system to start with and feel I wasted my money and should have saved up for better quality filters. I had a cheap tripod to start with. Too much lens wobble. So I bought a CF quality travel tripod and ballhead. Im currently saving up for quality filters (will use the cheap ones for now) I agree with the first response you got from Naturalist. For the trip you plan, a good tripod, ballhead and filters are essential. You CAN take good quality pics with what you have, and I agree you COULD get better quality pics with improved lenses, even more so with a better quality camera body… as long as your skills progress as well...

BUT, it looks like as you improve your skills, and want to upgrade to better equipment, your pocketbook did not get the memo and is not keeping up with you.

There are some trips on my bucket list I am postponing until I get a "few more things"


5D3 : 16-35 f4 L : 24-70 f2.8 II L : 70-200 f2.8 II L : 50mm f1.4 : 600EX-RT

  
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rwhardy
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Apr 21, 2012 09:13 |  #10

ef-s 10-22 and either ef 300f/4 is or ef 400 f/5.6 (i have the 300 f/4 and the ex 1.4 ii if i really want to reach out there). may be pushing the edge on your budget with those two but they are lenses you will use for more than just this trip. buy used and you can come in under budget even with the t/c if you shop around.




  
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James504
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Apr 21, 2012 09:25 |  #11
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bring a nifty fifty and give me $900 for the advice....under budget!!!!




  
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rwhardy
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Apr 21, 2012 09:38 |  #12

just re-read original post. it would be tough to do all that on 1500.00 i read the 2000.00. i bought the 300 f/4 is and the 1.4 ex ii with boxes and all the goodies for 1100.00 then i paid 650.00 for the 10-22 with box and goodies. i don't care about the boxes and other stuff but i don't think you can buy that combo without them any cheaper.
still get the ef-s 10-22 and get the 400 f/5.6 instead i think used you can do it for 1500.00. you're giving up is but i don't know how much that really matters to you. you have pretty good glass and the only gap is from 250-400. it sounds big but i think just about anything that requires more than 250 can be captured with 400.




  
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mjmackinnon
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Apr 21, 2012 12:58 |  #13

pixelsoldier wrote in post #14302733 (external link)
I'll probably be shooting a bit of everything seeing as I will be exposed to so many different things to photograph.

At the moment, I'm thinking of getting a UWA and a 17-50 2.8 along with a tripod, shutter release and will keep my 55-250. If I have some money left over I might want to get a cheap prime as well.

As for people suggesting not to bother buying new lenses, I find this a bit ridiculous as I bought my DSLR to take better quality photos. Yes, I know that better lenses don't make better photos, however you can't deny that they help.

The one think that i have found from a long list of experience. You are better to to do one thing well than trying to do everything. It takes time and a whole lot of practice to become perfect.

Any comment about better lenses has to be taken with the grain of salt. I bought a whole bunch of L lenses to use with my 50D. They gave a marginal improvement, but nothing to rave about. Once i upgraded to the new 5D3, then the lenses gave me the improvement that I was expecting. Even perfect optics can only resolve to what the sensor is capable of. Not to say that it's not worth buying good optics. For me, I believe it was a fantastic investment as I now have both the lenses and a camera that can get the most, along with years of experience on composing a good shot to make it worth having them.

I personally don't like the nifty-50 lens, and think it's throwing away a good $100+ dollars better spent on something better. That lens on a crop just didn't work for me. I'd say get a 35mm prime as it's focal length is just more enjoyable. But if you are getting a 17-50f/2.8 then it becomes a bit more redundant. I'd suggest saving the money for the trip, or put it aside for a 70-200f/4L. There is a lens that you'd keep for a lifetime.


My Flickr (external link) - Canon EOS 5Diii | EF 50f/1.4 | EF 24-105 f/4L IS| EF 100-400L IS | EF 70-200f/4L |430 EX II | Elinchrom BX500Ri
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AbPho
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Apr 21, 2012 13:07 |  #14

Have you considered adding a macro lens to your list? Something in the 50-60mm range will double as a decent go anywhere lens but lets you focus really close when the time comes up.

On a recent trip I wanted a prime lens, relatively fast aperture, and a macro lens. I bought a used Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro lens. It was compact and took great pictures. When I got back I sold it for a small loss. It was well worth the difference to have on my trip. A piece of white plastic was used as a diffuser for the pop up flash when shooting at 1:1. Made for some really awesome shots that I would not have been able to take otherwise.


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RPCrowe
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Apr 21, 2012 15:11 as a reply to  @ AbPho's post |  #15

Everyone is ready and willing to spend your money! So, I will take a stab at it also...

I would invest in a good mid-range zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture to replace your 18-55mm kit lens. Add a decent trpod and a 430EXii speedlite along with a CPL filter for each lens.

Combined with your present 55250mm lens, the above should set you up quite well for most photo venues...


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What lenses would bring for a road trip across the US (~$1000-1500 budget)
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