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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 10 May 2018 (Thursday) 23:40
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Please help me choose a lens

Mostly Lurking
10 posts
Joined May 2018
May 10, 2018 23:40 |  #1

I plan on doing a trip to Ireland and Sicily this summer for a month. I own a Canon Eos 70D and I love it. Last year my girlfriend and I backpacked Europe for 6 weeks and I brought my 18-135mm STM lens that comes in the EOS 70d bundle. It was a pretty versatile lens and I was able to get some really incredible pictures with it, but I want something more. I have the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom lens and its unreal, but it's far too clunky to carry around in my backpack for a month. I need something a little more compact. It doesn't need to be tiny, just smaller than the telephoto.

I love doing all sorts of photography from portraits to landscapes to little street shots, so I need something that's going to be very versatile. I want it to be my new go-to travel lens that can handle anything from wide shots to portraits, to vast landscapes to street alleyways.

I want it to be a Canon. Price limit shouldn't exceed $1,600. I've narrowed it down to three lenses with the links below, but if you know of any others that are better please lmk because i'm totally open to suggestions. …le-Cleaning/dp/B072JNNPJJ (external link) …fRID=6V1KDCEPTF​CVH13FG0XY (external link) …BCNWMT64QHE&pd_​rd_w=G0nxi (external link)

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a mere speck
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May 11, 2018 01:02 |  #2

You might want to consider a 70-300L since their price has fallen because of the 100-400Lii. I have both lenses but got the 70-300L first. I can't quite force myself to sell mine because it was so great for so many years. It closes up quite well so fits easily into a camera bag or backpack.

You can usually find one here for $700 in great shape. I paid $1499 for mine... on sale.. back in 2011. That would give you some longer length abilities without a lot of fuss.

Back then, I had a 60D along with a 15-85 and the 70-300L. At the moment, people are raving about the new 70-300: this one: …6-USM-Lens/dp/B01LXTX4WY/ (external link)

It's only $500. Maybe pick up a 10-22 EF-S lens for your landscape shots also.

the problem with the lenses you mentioned are they are only 24mm at the wide end. Your 70D is a crop camera so 24mm isn't all that wide on it. The 15-85 I mentioned would look the same at 15mm as one of the 24mm would look like through the viewfinder on a full frame camera.

Your 18-135 STM is still a great lens and 18mm might be as wide as you would want. It's subjective. This is the newest model of that lens, I believe: …bilization/dp/B​01BUYJYOW/ (external link)

Just some thoughts.

Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
RRS tripod and monopod | 580EXII | Cinch 1 & Loop 3 Special Edition | Editing Encouraged

Mostly Lurking
10 posts
Joined May 2018
May 11, 2018 10:26 as a reply to  @ Phoenixkh's post |  #3

I like the 70-300L you sent me but I am looking for something a little smaller. I also am interested in the newer model of the 18-135 but i'm not sure yet.
Preferably want something with wide angle capabilities that can capture landscapes and also portraits and close up stuff. Maybe that STM is my best bet..

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May 11, 2018 10:40 as a reply to  @ Yamsy's post |  #4

Canon makes a 18-200 mm lens which I purchased for my wife to use on her T4i. Great lens, and covers all the bases from wide to portrait. I think I paid around $450 for it, if memory serves. BH has it for 699 now (I think mine was used from KEH) and the tamron version is 199. No ideas on Tamron or sig for that matter, but I am a believer in the "dance with the one that brung ya" mantra. hope this helps.

1DMK3, 1DMK4, 1NRS, 5DMK4, 16-35 4.0, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 II, 70-300 4-5.6L, , 17-85, 50 1.8, 18-200, 135L, Mamyia 645AF, Metz 60-Ct-1, Metz 58

Cream of the Crop
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Post edited 3 months ago by msowsun. (2 edits in all)
May 12, 2018 07:20 |  #5

The 18-135 STM is a very good general purpose lens that can do it all.

The only real other contenders would be the 15-85 USM or the 18-135 Nano USM. The 18-200 is also not too bad. All the other suggestions would not work because they don’t go wide enough, and they are too clunky and heavy.

If you don’t mind changing lenses, the 10-18 STM, and 55-250 STM would be great additions to a travel kit as they are both small and light.

Mike Sowsun / S110 / SL1 / 80D / EF-S 24mm STM / EF-S 10-18mm STM / EF-S 18-55mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm STM / EF-S 18-135mm USM / EF-S 55-250mm STM / 5D3 / Samyang 14mm 2.8 / EF 40mm 2.8 STM / EF 50mm 1.8 STM / EF 100mm 2.0 USM / EF 100mm 2.8 USM Macro / EF 24-105mm IS / EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS Mk II / EF 1.4x II
Full Current and Previously Owned Gear List over 40 years Flickr Photostream (external link)

Cream of the Crop
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May 12, 2018 09:19 |  #6

msowsun wrote in post #18624343 (external link)
.. The 18-200 is also not too bad. All the other suggestions would not work because they don’t go wide enough, and they are too clunky and heavy.

If you don’t mind changing lenses, the 10-18 STM, and 55-250 STM would be great additions to a travel kit as they are both small and light.


Μy travel kit is the 18-200 & Sigma 8-16 on the 60D. Personally, I would buy the 10-18 (it came after I bought the Sigma 8-16) and disregard the long end deficit. The 18-135 is better optically than the 18-200. The 55-250 was always a great little lens, but together with the 10-18 they add up in weight.

Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
OS: Linux Ubuntu/PostProcessing: Darktable/Image Processing: GIMP

...never exercised in my life
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Location: Boston, MA
May 13, 2018 11:23 |  #7

After many camera/lens combinations that I tried on my multiple trips to Europe I decided on only two, most universal and convenient. A crop camera with 18-135 (except that I do not have a crop camera anymore) or a full frame with a 24-105. Sometimes, when I know that I will be taking shots of architecture, I would add an ultra wide, such as 10-22 for crop, or the 17-40 for full frame.

At some point the wife used her 70D with the 18-200 and would swear by that lens, but somehow I did not like it much. Now that we both shoot with full frame cameras, for European travels she also got the 24-105 and takes only that one with her.

A long telephoto turned out to be just mostly a dead weight in the bag, used very seldom, so over the last few years I leave mine at home (70-200, 100-400).

Disclosure: I have been many many times in Ireland, but never in Sicily, it is somewhere at the top of my list of places to visit.

5D Mark IV | 6D | S110
EF 17-40L | EF 24-105L (two) | EF 70-200L F4 IS | EF 100-400L II | EF 85 1.8 | EF 50 1.8 STM | Canon 1.4x III | Canon 1.4x II
Yongnuo 685 | Nissin Di622 M2 | Nissin Di422

I'm having size issues, does this get worse with age?
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May 13, 2018 12:19 |  #8

Best travel camera I owned was the G35. I think they're now the G7s. Good control. Good enough technical results (given I know CS very well).

Did well enough in all but the dark. Short videos are a can-do. Easy to carry/conceal/pack.

But today, I shoot with an iPhone on touring trips now to avoid having to simply handle/protect the gear, having learned over the years how to get a capture has nothing to do with the gear. Results won't get printed like a poster, so that works.

That said, if I did take my SLR, I'd pull out the 50mm L. Why?
- Very rarely do I need 20-24 much less 16
- The prime I've got amazing DOF options, and that's invaluable
- If I want it sharp or need DOF front-to-back, stop it down, done
- Night shots, no problem at f/1.2
- Portraits, street photography, even monuments, they'll turn out extremely good
- AF, center point only, nailed every time

The only thing I couldn't get at 50 would be a sunset/sunrise, but, then again, I'd prefer at least 200 if not 300 for that.

So, it is up to you and your preference, but having been down the road you're on, my vote is none of the above, unless you need RAW for an assignment or specific goal to go to fine art level prints.

Sam - TF Says Ishmael​ (external link) 
Want your title changed?Dream On! (external link)


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May 13, 2018 20:13 |  #9

One thing that ive come to realize for travelling is that you cant expect spectacular images. You probably dony want to carrying around flashes,softboxes , several lenses, reflectors etc.
So get the lens thats easy to carry, enjoy your trip and take pics to remember the occasion

6D; canon 85mm 1.8, Tamron 24-70mm VC, Canon 135L Canon 70-200L is ii

Cream of the Crop
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Location: Repps cum Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
May 14, 2018 04:08 |  #10

Some general comments from me regarding the lens choices you made, and the links you shared.

Firstly they are all lenses that have focal length ranges optimised for"full frame" 35mm sensors. So on an APSC body like yours they are not by any means wide angle. Mostly they are normal to short telephoto in nature. I would certainly consider one of the 24-105"s for travel, but I would have to combine it with a lens like the 10-22 for the wide angle shots.

Secondly the kits you linked I would avoid like the plauge. All the stuff that is included is invariably cheap tat. This especially applies to any filters that are included.. Just buy the lens on its own, and save the money for decent quality kit.


My Flickr (external link)
My new Aviation images blog site (external link)

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Location: Madison, Ga
May 14, 2018 07:27 |  #11

With a budget of $1500 I would look for a used 16-35/4IS and 85/1.8. I bet that you could do so for under $1K. (external link) (external link)

Admin (type T-2000)
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Location: Rhode Island USA
May 14, 2018 11:09 |  #12

On a 70D, I would take the 18-135mm over either of the two zooms you link to in a heart beat. Why increase weight and reduce (dramatically) your focal length options?

Add the 55-250 EFs, and maybe a 50mm STM for low light work.

Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

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May 14, 2018 15:46 |  #13

I have both versions of the 18-135, the STM and the USM and I like them very much. Use them on either a Rebel T3i or 7D

Senior Member
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May 15, 2018 12:43 |  #14

I’m a crop shooter myself (and a former 70D user), but if your main interest is really landscapes and portraits and street scenes, a full frame body might be a better tool. You can find used 6D and 5Dii bodies for around $900 or less. Couple that with a 24-105 zoom and you’re ready for a lot.

For your 70D, a 15-85 gives you the equivalent of 24mm at the wide end. Alternatively, both the STM and USM versions of Canon’s 18-135 are fine lenses with a great range for travel. To get wider, the 10-18 STM is a great performer, and it’s very small and light.


Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 7D, and 100 (film SLR)
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM, EF-S 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM
Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C, 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM (non-C)
A backpack, a bicycle, and a pair of hiking boots

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May 15, 2018 14:35 |  #15

Of the two 18-135, the USM version is faster to focus but if it is not sports/action that you are shooting, it probably doesn't matter.

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Please help me choose a lens
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
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