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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 30 Dec 2013 (Monday) 21:51
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Am I nuts? Superzoom for travel???

 
markeb
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Dec 30, 2013 21:51 |  #1

I'm a member on a travel forum, and just saw a question from a user on that forum about a superzoom. My immediate gut reaction is "no", but I read the question, headed to B&H, and suddenly realized that the Sigma 18-250 OS HSM is on sale for $349! through tomorrow night.

I have a very good Canon 15-85 and Sigma 17-50. But I do travel, go to baseball games, etc., where the ability to take one good, even if not great, lens would be a great option.

Talk me on or off the cliff here folks! This is, from all indications, a very good lens (recognizing its limitations), and what appears to be a very good price.

Thoughts?

(For the record, the 55-250 hasn't seen the light of day in over a year. It needs to move on.)


T2i 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 30 mm f/1.4, Canon 60 mm f/2.8 Macro, Canon 15-85 IS USM, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX HSM OS, 430EX II S95 G7X

  
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Charlie
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Dec 30, 2013 21:55 |  #2

no your not crazy, wish there was a slowish superzoom for FF, 24/28-300, and even a little slower on FF would be nice.


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maverick75
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Dec 30, 2013 22:01 |  #3

You're crazy, challenge yourself by taking just your 30mm 1.4.


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cdifoto
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Dec 30, 2013 22:05 |  #4

I can see the appeal. It's not often we make "art" when we travel so convenience is uber important. I'd want to bring a quick wide/normal prime though anyway for use in cafes and such.


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markeb
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Dec 30, 2013 22:05 |  #5

maverick75 wrote in post #16565734 (external link)
You're crazy, challenge yourself by taking just your 30mm 1.4.

Well, there is that, isn't there? :)


T2i 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 30 mm f/1.4, Canon 60 mm f/2.8 Macro, Canon 15-85 IS USM, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX HSM OS, 430EX II S95 G7X

  
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kin2son
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Dec 30, 2013 22:11 |  #6
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maverick75 wrote in post #16565734 (external link)
You're crazy, challenge yourself by taking just your 30mm 1.4.

I like that.

Imo it's a lot more challenging but rewarding at the same time to travel with a prime.

Some people think they'll need all focal length covered, fact is you don't.

People need to understand that it isn't always about quantity but quality ;)

Personally I rather have no shot than a crappy useless junk shot (that's reserved for smartphone :p).

My colleague did similar with Tamron 18-270, came back so disappointed with all the shots....as superzoom is nothing but compromise.

He sold the lens as soon as he got back and bought a 24-105, he was so much happier since then.


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gabebalazs
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Dec 30, 2013 22:16 |  #7

Not crazy :) But it's just my opinion.

Even though my lens and body arsenal is pretty good, 90% of the time I used my 70D and Sigma 18-250 OS MACRO on our recent trip to NYC and Florida. That is of course when I wasn't shooting birds...

I knew I wasn't going to print most (if any) of my casual vacation photos large, so the 70D + Sigma superzoom did a great job. Sharpness is pretty good, range is excellent, HSM AF is fast, OS is great, CA and distortion is fixed in post. The lens even performed well for videos that I shot. I found that when I'm on vacation and I'm not shooting something specific (like the Grand Canyon for awesome landscape shots), I constantly need a wide range of focal lengths. Wide for city architecture, then a quick zoom in for something in the distance. Then back to a wide shot, etc. I could carry 2 bodies and 2 lenses (or more) and alternate, but I just refuse to do that on my honeymoon, that's not the point of our trip. But like I said that's just me.

I did have my 6D and 24-105L with me also on both trips. But most of the time that combo stayed in the bag, unless my wife wanted something to shoot with.

The only critical shots on my trip were Florida birds and for that I was prepared with my Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS + various teleconverters. If I had been planning on shooting landscapes, I would have used better equipment for that too. But for Disney, walking around in Key West etc. I just went for convenience and compact size (for a DSLR rig) but still got more than decent quality. I'm very happy with my pictures.


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Charlie
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Dec 30, 2013 22:21 |  #8

kin2son wrote in post #16565754 (external link)
I like that.

Imo it's a lot more challenging but rewarding at the same time to travel with a prime.

Some people think they'll need all focal length covered, fact is you don't.

People need to understand that it isn't always about quantity but quality ;)

Personally I rather have no shot than a crappy useless junk shot (that's reserved for smartphone :p).

My colleague did similar with Tamron 18-270, came back so disappointed with all the shots....as superzoom is nothing but compromise.

He sold the lens as soon as he got back and bought a 24-105, he was so much happier since then.

if you go with only primes, you're severely limited with the landscapes you can take. I tend to travel with 1 fast prime, and 1 standard zoom.... best of both worlds, but would love something with crazy range. Ever watch scott kelby use the 28-300 nikon? pretty good stuff.


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cdifoto
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Dec 30, 2013 22:25 |  #9

kin2son wrote in post #16565754 (external link)
I like that.

Imo it's a lot more challenging but rewarding at the same time to travel with a prime.

Some people think they'll need all focal length covered, fact is you don't.

People need to understand that it isn't always about quantity but quality ;)

Personally I rather have no shot than a crappy useless junk shot (that's reserved for smartphone :p).

My colleague did similar with Tamron 18-270, came back so disappointed with all the shots....as superzoom is nothing but compromise.

He sold the lens as soon as he got back and bought a 24-105, he was so much happier since then.

Did your colleague pixel peep without post processing? Or was he/she expecting the lens convenience to be a substitute for creativity? OR did he/she just take sooooo many spray & pray that the gems got lost in the pile of junk?


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MalVeauX
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Dec 30, 2013 22:27 |  #10

Heya,

I'd take a decent prime and an average zoom.
Or I'd take two very good primes.

Super zooms are only good for zooming. Might as well just take a nice point & shoot if you really want convenience. That's just my opinion though, I'm sure great photos can be had with some of those 18-200+ zooms. Personally I won't use them though. Not sharp enough. I'm a prime junky.

Very best,


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jbrackjr
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Dec 30, 2013 22:32 |  #11

I can spend hours just setting up a hummingbird shot. No problem that's fun. When on vacation, I don't spend time setting up shots. I'm a damn tourist and having fun taking snap shots with my 60D and 18-200...:lol: Makes me happy. YMMV


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gabebalazs
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Dec 30, 2013 22:36 |  #12

Yeah Jim, I feel the same. I personally like to be in control and determine what I want to shot and not the other way around, meaning I don't want to be restricted to shoot only what my lens allows me to. I should be dictating what I want to shoot and how I want to compose and not my lens should dictate what's available to shoot based on one focal length. Yes, I can zoom in and out with my feet, but not always and that's limited too, plus not all trips are dedicated all-out artistic adventures. :)

Taking a couple primes is still better than just taking one that has been suggested before. I feel one 30mm prime is just very restricting. Yes, I could find cool shots to shoot with a 30mm, I just don't want to be forced and restricted to only those shots when there are a lot more cool stuff around to shoot at other focal lengths.

My Sigma 18-250 OS MACRO is pretty sharp (the newest model, which DPreview declared very good, and best of the superzooms). If requested I could post shots here along with 100% crops. I've shot about 3000 pictures during the last 3 weeks on 2 different trips (NYC and Florida).


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markeb
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Dec 30, 2013 23:00 |  #13

Interesting responses!

One of my first posts, over three years ago, was looking at a couple of superzooms. I was talked off the ledge, and went with the standard "starter set": 18-55/55-250 and went forth and took pictures. Eventually, I picked up the 15-85, and then the 30, and then the 17-50. Those have become my core lenses. The 60mm macro is largely a macro lens, although I have used it for some limited portrait work (mostly on our cats!).

I've played with the "good lenses" for my APS-C body. The 15-85 spends 85-90% of the time on my T2i, and would likely spend similar time on a 70D or even a 7D somewhere down the line. It's a great lens, and I'm not going to confuse it, or the 30 or 60 primes with a general purpose superzoom!

There are times when I just want to get a shot. I'm not trying to be artistic or perfect. That's where I see something like the 18-250 being useful; bright daylight at the ballpark, walking around Midtown or downtown DC, etc. I take a lot of shots where I just want to capture the moment. That's where I can see the utility of the 18-250; a baseball game where I really can't take a big bag of gear; a midday trip through Manhattan where a big bag of gear would be unwieldy, etc.

Appreciate the thoughts. This may well be a punt situation and let it ride, but it's an intriguing lens for it's purpose!


T2i 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 30 mm f/1.4, Canon 60 mm f/2.8 Macro, Canon 15-85 IS USM, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX HSM OS, 430EX II S95 G7X

  
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Dec 30, 2013 23:41 |  #14

if you never use the 55-250mm now, i wonder just how much you really need the telephoto end...maybe the 15-85mm is all the reach you need...or even just an 18-135mm STM?

there are many people that think taking an SLR on vacation is a bad idea...but i figure if you just have one superzoom type lens, than it really becomes more like a slightly larger point and shoot

myself, i don't think i could ever do it...but i have no problem having a small sling bag with 3 lenses and a camera in it...usually covers all my traveling well enough...but i also don't take it everywhere i go when on vacation...if i had kids, and was doing a family trip, and documenting the kids, i'd for sure rock a one lens solution


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ejenner
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Dec 31, 2013 00:22 as a reply to  @ DreDaze's post |  #15

I've thought about this too but either I'm 'taking photos' and have my camera backpack with several lenses and tripod, or I'm not and I just take my S100 for snaps.

If I can't be bothered to change lenses, then I have to question myself as to whether the shot is worth even taking.

I guess I'm more of an 'all-or-nothing' type. But I can see the point of a superzoom.

What about one of those small superzoom P&S thingies? If those are a lot worse than a DSLR+superzoom then how bad can the DSLR/superzoom IQ be? I'd print shots from my S100 (I guess I can/do shoot raw which helps in PP).


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