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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 24 Jan 2017 (Tuesday) 02:17
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Advice Needed

 
chrobak
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Jan 24, 2017 02:17 |  #1

Hello all,

I have been into photography now for a few years and I am looking to start upgrading from my kit lenses and get some nicer glass. I am doing a month long camper van trip through Africa with a buddy and Im using that as an excuse to get a few new lenses.... but not break the bank. I am huge outdoors person and take photos of most of my adventures. Anyways, here is what I'm currently using... don't laugh

Canon EOS rebel t3i APS-C 1.6x (will upgrade in the future)
Canon 18-55mm EFS f/3.5-5.6 IS II
Canon 75-300 EF f/4-5.6 III
Canon 50mm prime f/1.8

I recently purchased the 50mm 1.8 prime lens and have found I absolutely love the image quality and don't even touch my 18-55 kit lens anymore. I am looking at buying 3 lenses for my overall needs (possibly 4)

Here is what im considering (want these lenses to be in my bag for a while and cover a wide angle to telephoto range):


WIDE ANGLE (mainly for daytime landscape but really want to get into astrophotography):

Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 (16-30mm on APS-C) $299
PROS:
- high quality for the price
- image stabalization
CONS:
-not great in low light

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (24mm on APS-C) $325
PROS:
- one of the best budget astophotography lenses for the price
- nice wide open aperture at 2.8
- nice sharp landscape images during daytime
CONS:
- no auto focus
- prime lens (not a big deal as i like prime but its nice to have some flexibility

WALK AROUND LENS:
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (28-80mm on APS-C) $299
PROS:
- decent zoom range
- great image quality for the price
CONS:
- no IS
- not a huge focal range

Canon 24mm f/2.8 "pancake" (38mm on APS-C) $149
PROS:
- great image quality
- very good price
- compact size easy to bring along (not a hassle)
CONS:
- haven't heard too many aside from vignetting etc....

TELEPHOTO:
canon 70-200 f/4 L series $599
PROS:
- L series glass
- f/4 though whole zoom range
- 1/2 the price of the same lens with IS
CONS:
-no IS (not sure if this is a huge deal, as i dont want to dish out another 600$ for it)
-at f/4 may not work great in low lit conditions


I cant buy all these lenses, but these are the ones after doing a lot of research im considering. If you have better recommendations, please that's why I'm posting :D. any advice or feedback is welcome. I don't think ill be buying a full frame in the foreseeable future but i will be looking to upgrade to the canon 70-80d eventually.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!




  
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Benitoite
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Jan 24, 2017 02:39 |  #2

I have the same gear you have and added the 10-18, which has been doing fine with low light night street scenes. Also got the efs 24 pancake, which i adore as a walk around. Yes there is some vignette and distortion but most raw converters can help with that if needed.

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chauncey
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Jan 24, 2017 05:46 |  #3

Your trip, for most of us, is a trip of a lifetime and you're short-changing it with mediocre lenses.
Don't buy a wide angle lens, too much distortion...instead use photomerge with a high end 300 mm lens.
Choose a lens based on it's mtf tables...http://learn.usa.canon​.com …/reading_MTF_ch​arts.shtml (external link)
http://www.the-digital-picture.com …LIComp=0&APICom​p=0&CT=AVG (external link)
I use nothing but a 300 mm f/2.8 or a 185 macro lens.

All that presupposes that superior image quality is your goal, but, if they're going to be for web display only...anything will work.


The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
A man's worth should be judged, not when he basks in the sun, but how he faces the storm.

My stuff...http://1x.com/member/c​hauncey43 (external link)

  
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Bassat
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Jan 24, 2017 06:20 |  #4

Nothing wrong with the T3i. If you are happy with it, keep it, use it, love it. A friend of mine uses nothing but a T3i, 10-18 STM,18-55 II, 55-250 II to record her travels. She has been all over the planet. Talent serves her a lot better than a more expensive camera could.

Consider a used 10-22 instead of the 10-18. More useful range, 2/3 stop faster, no IS.

14mm f/2.8, nearly in-correctable mustache distortion, not wide on APS-C. Consider the Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 FE. Or just use the 10-18/10-22. The 10-22 is wider and only 2/3 stop slower.

Tamron 17-50, the f/2.8 is handy in low-light, the lens struggles to focus in low light. Just use the 18-55 II. The 17-50 adds nothing to your bag.

24mm f/2.8. Why bother, your 18-55 is f/4 at 24mm. 1 stop is just not worth paying for.

Nothing wrong with the 70-200 non-IS. If you stretch your budget, get the 70-300L instead of the 70-200 IS. For a trip like this, you'll be starving for focal length at 200mm.

Buy hoods for all your lenses. Buy a decent tripod. Have fun.




  
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DrMitch
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Jan 24, 2017 07:28 |  #5

Africa?
I'd consider the following:

100-400 f4.5L (there are a few used ones for sale on this forum) - you could sell it when you get back and not lose any $$ on it!

17-50 2.8 - I have found a 2.8 walk-around zoom invaluable in low light shooting people (Tamron 17-50, Sigma for instance), otherwise, your 18-55 IS with a tripod should suffice.

10-20 range lens is great, but I'd put the 100-400 higher on the list if you plan on capturing wildlife.

50 1.8

If you could afford one "new" lens, I'd go for the 100-400. Can be found for under $800.


I have a photographic memory, just wish I'd remember to take the lens cap off more often! :oops:
7DII - Canon 70-200/2.8 II - 85 1.8 - 1.4x II - Sigma 18-35 ART - 10-20 - 17-50/2.8OS - Tokina 11-16/2.8 - F-Stop Lotus Backpack - ThinkTank Speed Racer V2 - Tamrac Velocity 8x - Peak Design Slide & Capture Pro
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kf095
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Jan 24, 2017 10:09 |  #6

70-200 F4 L is good investment for trip like this. To get close pictures of animals. IS version is much more expensive, but more effective in low light.
24 2.8 is the only lens I have on my t1i for now. (70-200 seats unused for couple of years now).
I would skip Tamron non-IS lens and get latest Canon 18-55 STM, which is great improvement over II.
Honestly, 18-55 STM and 70-200 F4 is enough for trip like yours. I'd rather recommend second used camera similar to yours, to have 18-55 on one and 70-200 on another one.
Switching multiple lenses on single camera during trip like yours is no fun.


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ksbal
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Jan 24, 2017 11:00 |  #7

Personally, I would go with the 24mm pancake, 50mm and zoom with the feet. Stitch in post if you need wider.
And the 70-200 f4 and still toss in the 70-300 Just in case for more reach.

70-200L is on ebay under 400 used. (wow!)

honestly, I would go with the lenses you have, other than adding the 24mm prime, and consider adding another body instead so you have better low light abilities, IF you shoot manual or know how to get good image quality in poor light.

A month long trip should have lots of opportunities in good light, so you may be good as is.

Yes, all the lenses could be better, and ones mentioned will have better image quality. .but... are you after memories? or putting huge prints on the wall? What happens if the gear gets stolen? dropped? dusty and dirty? Rather have that happen to a cheap kit than your new-to-you keeper kit. Are you ok with maybe not getting great shots in low light if you get great shots in good light?

Image stabilization is not overated, BUT if you pay attention to your shutter speed, and have good technique it can be compensated for.. I would not let that be the determining factor, particularly on wide angle lenses.

I'd get a better higher iso body, or at least another t3i - 7DII if you can swing it, put the 70-300 on that body, the wide angle on the t3i and go have fun. 7D2 used is selling under $800 if you are patient. So is the 6D for that matter, if you use center point only anyways. 7D2 gets a nod for fps and much better weather sealing, 6D for image quality and higher iso quality.. 70D is a good camera, but image quality is dependent on where you set the iso, DR flops around oddly - but it is nice for video. Cheap used on ebay too.

TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di is one to consider as well. yes, only good in good light, but with that range you should be able to get any critter close up.

You have a ton of options here, and no right or wrong, I would say what is the thing you want to be sure to capture, and build based on that.


Godox/Flashpoint r2 system, plus some canon stuff.

  
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chrobak
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Jan 24, 2017 13:36 as a reply to  @ ksbal's post |  #8

Thanks for the info ksbal, some great info. It's true I am mainly after memories. The reason I dont want to dish out heaps of cash is for your exact reason. I will be spending a lot of time in the Namib Desert and I don't fancy getting sand into a new lens.

I think i would rather use the telephoto i have now: cheap, effective, been with me on many trips, dont care if it gets destroyed vs buying a pretty and expensive new telephoto which ill be afraid to even take outside.

I should mention we are not going on a guided tour, we are literally just taking a camper van across the country of Namibia and South Africa so there is a big chance for these lenses to get battered and dirty.

So what I'm thinking is getting an affordable, upgraded quality lens to my current 18-55, as the picture quality isn't great (compared to my 50mm prime), its old, has some small dings and small lens scratches from camping/mountaineering trips.

I'm thinking of finding something that will give me the equivalent of a 24-70 on a crop sensor with a nice open aperture for some good depth of field and lower light situations.

That way id have a 24-70 for walk around lens (people, scenery, landscapes)
a 80mm prime (50mm) for some nice portraits, DOF, creative shots
and a 110-480 (70-300mm) for wildlife


so my thoughts are looking at the newer 18-55 Canon STM (28-88mm focal range)




  
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chrobak
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Post edited over 2 years ago by chrobak.
     
Jan 24, 2017 13:41 as a reply to  @ kf095's post |  #9

Thanks kf095 for the advice. I worried about the same issue as you described. I do a lot of camping and backpacking and usually keep my pack weight to about 15-20lbs for a 5 day trip. I have found I dont bring my 70-300 much anymore unless i know there will be wildlife as its a bit bulky and takes up room in my pack.




  
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dino211
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Jan 24, 2017 14:01 |  #10

For a trip like this, I definitely recommend a second camera to avoid lens swapping. A 70 -200 with a 1.4X is a good light weight combo. Is your buddy packing gear as well? You certainly don't want to come home with a gear failure. Don't forget about the small stuff.....multiple cards, batteries, chargers.


Dean
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Canon 7Dii, 5Dii, 100-400L, 70-200L f4is, 100 macro, 300L f4is, 24-105L f4i

  
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ksbal
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Jan 24, 2017 15:10 as a reply to  @ chrobak's post |  #11

I agree with Dino then... get a second body, even if it is a t3i, although you can get a 50D for $250 used, among others, and then the less lens swapping, the better. May want to look into ways to keep the body/lens as sand/dirt free as you can. (plastic cover? creative DIY solutions with saran wrap?)


Godox/Flashpoint r2 system, plus some canon stuff.

  
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dasmith232
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Jan 24, 2017 15:26 as a reply to  @ ksbal's post |  #12

First, it really looks like you've done quite a bit of homework already. Nice!

I echo the sentiment around the T3i. There are definitely differences between different bodies, but a T3i handled well takes excellent pictures. (And most of "handling well" comes down to don't underexpose.) Some of the other differences are faster frame rates (fps) and faster AF performance. But you'd be dropping a lot of cash to get those features that you'd probably be better putting to a lens (or two) first.

Whether you should go wide or long with your next lens often depends on your personal style and what you like to capture. Africa often means wildlife, and wildlife means going with a longer lens. However, I'd still want to put a wide angle lens into the mix.

I have the 10-22 and from personal experience I really like that lens (on a crop-sized sensor). I recognize and agree with Bassat that it has more focal length range than the newer and cheaper 10-18. The newer lens is a tad slower, but is actually coming up with better optical performance ratings. Newer, cheaper and sharper: a pretty good deal. You could probably go with either one (10-22 or 10-18) and have a good choice. Plus this wide angle lens adds to what you have without a lot of overlap.

Other wide angles (like either of the Rokinons) would be redundant with the 10-whatever. Plus you'd stay away from the manual focus that you mentioned above. (Although, MF really is that bad with wide angle lenses.)

For a longer lens, I'd probably look for a replacement for the 75-300. There aren't many "bad" lenses out there, but the 75-300 starts to push into that territory. It's a bit weak on both contrast and resolution (which are important). To be ready for a wide variety of wildlife situations, I'd lean in the direction of the 100-400. Of course there are a couple versions out there with a range of prices to match. I'd want to get whatever I could afford with that lens. You'd have a lens that was definitely better than the 75-300, and has more range (at the long end).

Also, I (again) agree with Bassat and echo the recommendation to get and use lens hoods. Keeping stray light off the front element goes a long way towards keeping higher contrast and more vivid pictures.

One other thought... Sometimes "zooming with your feet" might not be an option. I'm picturing the classic tour vehicle traveling through the wild in the mix of lions, tigers and bears (oh my). Getting out to "zoom with your feet" could be a "one time only" option...!


Dave
Mostly using 5D3 with lots of different lenses and flash, but also still using a large format 4x5 film camera.

  
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chrobak
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Jan 24, 2017 15:55 as a reply to  @ dasmith232's post |  #13

thanks for the awesome advice dasmith232. As you suggested I was leaning towards the 10-18mm vs the 10-22 mainly because of price. I found a few reviews noting it was performing almost on par with the optical performance as well.

Lets say I have about 800-100$ to spend. Would you recommend buying a wide angle 10-18 (300$) and upgrading my 18-55 to say a Canon EF 17-40 f/4 (28-64mm on crop) OR getting the 10-18 and buying a telephoto in the 400-600$ range.

Im debating after this trip if I will use the telephoto on a constant basis to get my money out of it or if I would more likely use a high quality walk around lens. I made a list to map out what im debating in my over thinking head

DO I NEED?
replace existing kit lens 18-55 with upgrade
wide angle for landscapes
upgrade existing telephoto

PRIORITIES
1. Landscapes
2. People, villages, objects, cars, old buildings, shipwrecks, huts etc...
3. Wildlife
4. Astrophotography

The reason i put wildlife as number 3 is because it may be not a present in many parts of the Namib desert. We Will be going through Etosha national park, skeleton coast so there will be animals, but just for shorter parts of the trip im thinking




  
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Bassat
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Jan 24, 2017 15:59 |  #14

Just a comment on your 'upgrade 18-55 to 17-40' plan. I have the 18-55 STM and the 17-40. The 18-55 STM is better optically (especially at the wide end), has IS, and has more range. It is also 20% of the price of the 17-40. If you are using a crop camera, the 18-55 STM is a better choice.




  
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DaviSto
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Jan 24, 2017 16:07 as a reply to  @ chrobak's post |  #15

Most of the time there won't be much wildlife around (although pretty much always birds). But for just a little of the time there is likely to be stuff that you would hate yourself for missing. In Namibia ... elephants in large numbers perhaps. You need to be ready for that.


David.
Comment and (constructive) criticism always welcome.

  
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