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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???

 
gabebalazs
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Dec 31, 2013 08:48 |  #31

gocolts wrote in post #16566348 (external link)
Sure- I'd love to see some of your recent 18-250 shots from Florida, especially as my wife and I are taking a little vacation down to South Beach in February, and I bought her a newest version Sigma 18-250 to use on her SL1 for the trip....which she has subsequently told me was "too big" for her SL1, hence it being for sale on the B & S boards currently (for only $250!). Maybe a few shots of the area with the lens will convince her otherwise on it.

Plus, all this theory talk on what these lenses can and can't do isn't nearly as relevant as some actual images from the lenses.

I'll post a few soon.


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gabebalazs
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Dec 31, 2013 09:26 |  #32

Here are a few photos from the Sigma 18-250 OS MACRO.

Again, everybody should keep in mind that when I took these I was in a "tourist" status (with my wife) and not a professional photographer. The Florida trip was my honeymoon, and not a dedicated photography adventure with multiple lenses, bodies, tripods etc. And this is what this Sigma 18-250 OS MACRO was designed for (mine is latest version, that's important to point out. Previous ones were inferior.)
I do need to disclose though that being a bird photographer I did take along my birding lens, which did see some action in the Keys, especially at the wild bird center in Key Largo. So when it comes to critical shots, I do use the right tool. (But that was only a few hours during the whole trip.)

But again, when I'm a tourist I often like to quickly go from 18mm to a telephoto shot. A lot of things interest me. Besides the normal wide angle photos, I also kind of like compressed space (?) telephoto landscape shots, as well as wildlife of course (birds especially), so this lens fits me when I'm a tourist. I am willing to trade a bit of IQ (compared to a dedicated prime) for convenience and versatility on these trips. Generally, changing lenses is perfectly fine with me (I have a bunch of them) but sometimes, in certain situations, there is no time to switch on these tourist trips.

The following photos are from Florida and NYC. NYC before Christmas is not really a photographer-friendly city, so walking up and down Manhattan with a bunch of lenses, a tripod, etc. is not my idea of having fun. But others may think otherwise and I accept that.

All these photos were taken with my 70D + Sigma 18-250 OS MACRO. None of these photos are really excellent, I admit. But we had fun walking around NYC (a lot) and FL and they provide us with great memories.

Florida sunset:

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmasunset2.jpg



A tern flying by. I was photographing the beach but this nice tern came out of nowhere. This is one of the situations that I've been talking about. There is no way I could have switched from a wide angle prime to a telephoto lens and take this shot.
I quickly snapped this shot at 250mm, cropped about 40% and processed:

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmatern.jpg


Another sunset, this time at Downtown Disney:

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmasunset3.jpg


A shot of an ibis' beautiful blue eye. 250mm, 50% crop, processed.

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmaibis.jpg


Another sunset, 250mm about 60% crop:

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmasunset1.jpg


Now to NYC. 22mm

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmamanhattan.jpg

43mm:

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmanyc.jpg

And a 155mm zoom to the ESB from the Brooklyn Bridge, just because I liked the shot:

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmaesb.jpg

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Ilovetheleafs
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Dec 31, 2013 10:30 |  #33

I personally love my Sigma 18 - 200. It was the first lens I bought. I use it at all focal lengths available. So if you find you need longer than 85 go for it. However, if you find that you use the wide end (sub 18) more you might enjoy your 15 - 85 more. However, my eventual work around is to get a 10 - 20 / 22 for the wider end and use my flash for extra light.


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eddieb1
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Dec 31, 2013 10:59 |  #34

jbrackjr wrote in post #16565796 (external link)
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

Yes sir. Couldn't agree more.




  
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Lbsimon
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Dec 31, 2013 12:02 |  #35

It looks like this forum is full of elitists who think that if somebody is not using only a single prime, or does not like changing lenses, deserves only a P&S. "I'd rather have no shots than less than perfect shots" seems to be the motto.

My main hobby is travel photography (European towns), and my main lens is 15-85. I usually complement it with a 30 mm prime and sometimes an ultrawide. But my wife refuses to give up her Canon 18-200 because she does not like to carry extra weight, because she does not like changing lenses as she wants to enjoy her vacation. We both do not like P&S because of a shutter lag, no decent control of the DOF, etc., even though I can stick it in a pocket for a restaurant or similar.

The other day I went to town and only when I pulled a camera from a bag I realized that instead of the 15-85 I had the 60mm lens attached. Of course I tried to make the best of the situation, trying "artistic" shots, but it was not something I wanted to do, it was way too restrictive.

There is nothing wrong using a superzoom on a trip. Very often the convenience beats the quality, and the quality of modern superzoom is good enough if you do not want to blow the print to 20x30, or inspect under a 100% magnification.

No intent to offend anybody, just my opinion.


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ejenner
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Dec 31, 2013 12:38 as a reply to  @ Lbsimon's post |  #36

Those Sig shots look pretty darn good at screen resolution. I guess without a detailed comparison it's hard to tell exactly how good they are. I use my 70-200 f4 IS with a 1.4 at f5.6 and while it's perfectly decent for me, it's not exactly super-sharp. I'll bet IQ of at least some of the superzooms would be fine for me, question is whether I'd actually use one much.

Obviously it's just another option which may or may not work for a particular person.

However, I think what makes it difficult to asses is the lack of conversation and examples (both good and bad). I guess this is because these lenses are not so popular amongst folks that post here (although I haven't looked at the lens sample archives).

Also, with this type of lens for me the IQ SOOC is not so important (e.g. distortion, CA) if it can be corrected in PP while maintaining reasonable sharpness. Although there are some cases where gear does make a difference, I would think a good photog should be able to get decent shots (and 19" printable) with at least some of these superzooms.

The fact that Gabe has one, uses it and finds it acceptable is a good enough recommendation in my book. We (well I haven't) just don't see much discussion on the forum about these lenses for 'good' photographers that use them. Usually the threads end with 'don't bother'.


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gabebalazs
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Dec 31, 2013 12:49 |  #37

My Sigma's IQ is far from perfect, and I'm fully aware of that. But I pretty much agree with the last few posts.
To me personally, the versatility of the lens and quick accessibility of various focal lengths are more important than a small improvement in IQ. Small because just like Lbsimon mentioned, most of us do not intend to blow up our vacation photos to 20x30. I know that the quality of my Sigma is plenty good to produce excellent 8x10 and even 13x19 (tested that). Of course I know that "small" is a relative term, but I do take pride in my work (especially my nature shots and real estate photo work) and consider myself critical enough to judge the quality of a lens.

So in conclusion, even though I fully accept that a good 35mm prime for instance produces better photos than my Sigma, only a tiny fraction of my vacation photos are shot at or near 35mm. And I'm not going to give up those "other" shots, shot at various other focal lengths. I wonder how a 35mm crop would have managed to take 80% of my vacations shots... :) Like I said, I want to select what I want to shoot and have the right focal length at my disposal and not my prime selecting for me what's available. When I shoot portraits, I only use primes, different tools for different jobs.

I do consider the 15-85mm a very good lens for vacations too, never owned one but I know it's pretty good quality and the range is nice too being 15mm at the wide end, especially if someone is not interested in compressed landscape photos or wildlife.

Anyway, here are a few 100% crops from my Sigma (from the 20mp 70D). Granted, these are center or near center crops, the extreme corners are understandably softer (no one can expect $1500 prime quality from a $350 superzoom). But this quality is perfectly fine for me on a vacation.

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmabridgecrop.jpg

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmaibiscrop.jpg

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/sigmamanhattancrop.jpg

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cdifoto
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Dec 31, 2013 12:55 |  #38

Those look perfectly fine to me. I've gotten worse out of my 135L and still sold them in print form. Misfocus usually, but still.


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ejenner
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Dec 31, 2013 13:09 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #39

Right, I'm buying that lens. I just got a 5DIII for $2700 so what the heck.

What does it is thinking back to hiking with the family around Moab. I wanted to take the 7D rather than the 5DII because of the AF, but paired with the 24-105, I found I was swapping lenses a lot (to the 10-22). I'd probably still pair up the superzoom with the 10-22, but 18mm would be wide enough not to have to swap too much. I could see myself lightening up my bag on a number of occasions.

Yes, I could get a higher quality 17-50/55 for the 7D, but for the range and how much I'd use it, it has never seemed worth it.

After breaking the S95 hiking, and falling (but not braking) square on the 7D with the 24-105 (what a tough lens), I'd rather not take the 5DIII out for that sort of stuff. So for $350 this seems like it would be worth it.


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Dec 31, 2013 13:13 |  #40

Lbsimon wrote in post #16566851 (external link)
It looks like this forum is full of elitists who think that if somebody is not using only a single prime, or does not like changing lenses, deserves only a P&S. "I'd rather have no shots than less than perfect shots" seems to be the motto.

My main hobby is travel photography (European towns), and my main lens is 15-85. I usually complement it with a 30 mm prime and sometimes an ultrawide. But my wife refuses to give up her Canon 18-200 because she does not like to carry extra weight, because she does not like changing lenses as she wants to enjoy her vacation. We both do not like P&S because of a shutter lag, no decent control of the DOF, etc., even though I can stick it in a pocket for a restaurant or similar.

The other day I went to town and only when I pulled a camera from a bag I realized that instead of the 15-85 I had the 60mm lens attached. Of course I tried to make the best of the situation, trying "artistic" shots, but it was not something I wanted to do, it was way too restrictive.

There is nothing wrong using a superzoom on a trip. Very often the convenience beats the quality, and the quality of modern superzoom is good enough if you do not want to blow the print to 20x30, or inspect under a 100% magnification.

No intent to offend anybody, just my opinion.

Heya,

I wouldn't say elitists. Sure, there may be a waft of that floating around by some. But there's also a very valid point about putting so much into dSLR and lenses, to only carry around something that isn't that much better than what most good P&S's can do (and frankly there are some really good P&S's, this is not to be dismissive, this is to explain that they can do the same images as lots of these superzooms minus the long end of the superzoom, but in a super light pocket-size package). I would more appropriately say that there are people being critical. I think it comes down to what you tolerate. Personally, if someone has `L glass, I assume they are critical of quality. Just an example. Me, I'm critical of sharpness. I've used my superzoom (55-250) and while it's a good lens and every now I get some great photos from it, it's definitely not on par with even a basic prime. I find myself walking around with a prime because I can't afford awesome `L zooms that have near prime sharpness, in a convenient zoom form, with very close wide apertures. I just can't roll a $6~10,000 lens. But a $500 prime? I can at least do that. And a good prime does the image quality, sometimes better, than `L glass. Anyways, long story short, it comes down to preference for all of this. I don't think it's out of line to be critical of quality, considering this forum is nothing but people trying to have better quality photographs than what their cellphone's produce. Right?

Very best,


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Dec 31, 2013 13:28 |  #41

^^ well put.


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jbrackjr
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Dec 31, 2013 13:46 |  #42

Gabe, very nice shots. I would be happy with that lens as well. Might step up from my 18-200 just for the extra range!:lol:


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gocolts
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Dec 31, 2013 14:25 |  #43

Thanks for posting the shots, Gabe. Those look great to me.

I showed them to my wife who said "those look great, but the lens is still to big/heavy for my SL1". So...looks like the Sigma remains on the B & S boards for $250 if anyone is interested. :)

I have an old 35-350L that I use on my 6D, which works great, but it's just so big. Really wish I had more of an excuse to hold onto the Sigma as it really is a solid feeling lens that is obviously capable of great results.




  
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gabebalazs
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Dec 31, 2013 14:31 |  #44

You're welcome. $250 is a very good price, someone should buy it soon.
Except for the 40mm pancake I think everything seems to be big on the SL1 :) (maybe the 35 f/2 is another that isn't too big)


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Dec 31, 2013 14:36 |  #45

gocolts wrote in post #16567248 (external link)
Thanks for posting the shots, Gabe. Those look great to me.

I showed them to my wife who said "those look great, but the lens is still to big/heavy for my SL1". So...looks like the Sigma remains on the B & S boards for $250 if anyone is interested. :)

I have an old 35-350L that I use on my 6D, which works great, but it's just so big. Really wish I had more of an excuse to hold onto the Sigma as it really is a solid feeling lens that is obviously capable of great results.

The older 70-200 F4L is very light weight for it's length and quality and aperture. It's big on the SL1, but everything is pretty big on that little camera. You can have the 70-200F4L for like $450~750 depend on used/new.

Very best,


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