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Author Topic: Travel Lens  (Read 2782 times)

Tony Reynes

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« on: January 17, 2009, 07:27:11 am »

I use a Canon 40D as my back-up body to my 5D when I am traveling on a photography-only trip (all landscape). A light went on in my head: why not use it since you are carrying it! My lens kit is in my backpack , along with the 5D, I am thinking of having the 40 out all the time. What moderately-priced, relatively fast and light lens should I consider and what should I cover them with?

Thanks
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Hank

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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2009, 09:15:14 am »

We're shooting Nikon rather than Canon, but both my wife and I carry two cameras with lenses mounted on most shoots.  Yeah, one is technically a "backup," but along the lines of your thinking we might as well use it since it's there.  We keep our most-used lens on our prime body, with the next most useful on the backup.  That saves lens changes when speed is needed, as reflected in a decision about which lens we are most likely to change to when we need a change.  

That all requires a survey of your images to determine which lens you use most, and which is next in line.  It turns out that we use a medium zoom about 75% of the time, followed by a wide zoom at 20% and a long zoom at 5%.  Yours selection might well be different based on localle and subject matter.

On the practical side, carrying two bodies simultaneously with lenses mounted can be problematic.  We have found it best to use camera straps that are longer than fashionable today, so that the cameras hang down near waist level with our head and one arm through the strap. That lets us sling one over each shoulder so they are well clear of each other.  We're using long straps from Tamrac, but I'm betting other companies have them too if you have a brand you're loyal to.

The long straps also make it easy to sling the extra around behind your back when a little extra elbow room is needed.  We're often shooting with strobes mounted on each camera, so the elbow room issue is more than theoretical.  Another consideration is the size of your camera bag.  A big bag causes jockeying, and frankly neither of us like most of what's available on the market today.  

For years we have used belt pouches rather than camera bags in our work, and in leisure times when wearing a daypack while hiking or shooting landscape.   One of my consuming hobbies is leatherwork, and last summer I made us each a soft leather shoulder bag just large enough for one lens and a strobe, plus spare batteries and cards.  They conform well to our bodies and because they also hang to waist level with head and arm through the straps, it's easy sling them around behind our backs and out of the way.  Since we're both carrying those bags more and the waist pouches less, it's promising for the concept.

More than you asked for, but hey.  It's early and I get chatty with my first cup of coffee.
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2009, 07:40:41 pm »

I carry one camera with a wide or normal zoom, and one with a tele zoom. If I were in your position, I would carry the 5D with a 24-105, and the 40D with the 70-200/4 IS lens. That combo plays to the strengths of each camera, and you'll get very comparable files.

If all you want is a general-purpose lens for carry-around use on the 40D, then I can say that I really like the 17-55/2.8 IS. It's smaller and lighter than the comparable full-frame lenses, quite sharp, and the IS is very useful. But then you can't switch it to the 5D if you need it.
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fike

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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2009, 08:57:06 pm »

I have been considering the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for APS-C sensors as a good backup camera lens. Although it doesn't boast IS, it is pretty fast, and lighter and much cheaper than the canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS.  I think the tamron runs around $400 and the canon runs around $1,000.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 08:57:49 pm by fike »
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stever

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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 11:50:42 am »

i agree with the recommendation of 24-105 and 70-200 f4 -- if the 70-200 is long enough (i've tried one on the 40D with a 1.4x and it doesn't seem too happy) and you're in a situation that you feel comfortable with a big white lens (i'd just as soon carry the 100-400 is these situations).  i've used the 70-300DO, but mine gets pretty disappointing beyond 150mm - which is where i want to use it.  so i'm going to try a the 200 f2.8 as backup on my next trip with a 1.4x in the bag - this lens is sharp corner to corner wide open and gives much better results with the 1.4x than the 70-200 (it's at least as good as my old 300 f4 IS)

i also carry the 11-16 f2.8 Tokina (replaces the lighter and generally acceptable Canon 10-22) which is a nice compact lens for interiors with better corner sharpness than the 10-22 -- but not something i'd recommend for serious landscapes

i haven't tried the Canon 17-55 f2.8, but my experience with a variety of other lenses on the 40D is that the 5D with 24 to 105 is a better choice (the lower high ISO noise of the 5D pretty much makes up for 1 stop difference anyhow)

the choice really comes down to what and how you're shooting and what IQ you're looking for
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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2009, 01:06:18 pm »

Quote from: fike
I have been considering the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for APS-C sensors as a good backup camera lens. Although it doesn't boast IS, it is pretty fast, and lighter and much cheaper than the canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS.  I think the tamron runs around $400 and the canon runs around $1,000.

Two things.

I really like my Tamron 17-50 f2.8.  Very light.  Very nice.  Focus is loud and not up to USM speed.  The build matches its weight.  (Light.)

I was shocked to see the canon pricing you mentioned but you're right about it.  A couple of days ago it was under $900.  Wow, even the 50D is back up to $1300.  Looks like canon's sale prices are gone.  Just spiffy.  Should have bought the EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro last week.

"There go my young girl dreams of Vassar." - Lisa Simpson
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2009, 05:24:09 pm »

Yeah, the Canon instant rebates expired in the last couple of days. I got the 17-55/2.8 for $850 at Adorama. It's a very nice lens, BTW, quite comparable to other lenses I own, and seems to be well worth the price.

My feeling is that the 70-200 on a 40D body is a good range (roughly equivalent to a 100-300/4.) If you need more than that, IMO, then you really need prime lenses. The 300/4 is great on a 40D.
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Tony Reynes

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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 07:30:46 am »

First off,

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. You have really got my mind spinning with new possibilities. I think I am down to two:
- leave the 24-70 on the 5D and the 100-400 on the 40. That way I really take advantage of the APS format.
- same as above for the 5D and put my 50 1.2 on the 40. That way I have a super quick lens for grab shots and hand held panos.

If I go with either option, I will keep on on the backpack and one slung. Any suggestions on a soft, fast-opening cover for the exposed camera?

Tony
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reburns

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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 10:31:16 am »

Tony,

I nominate your last idea:  24-70 on the 5D and 50/1.2 on the 40D.

I just returned from an India trip with a 5DII.  I had primarily used the 24-70, and the 70-200f4, but then pulled the 85 f/1.2 out of the bag and soon began to forget the rest.  I ended up thinking I would take only one lens, I'd be happy with the 85.  So on your crop body, the 50/1.2.   When traveling, I find most exciting people life occurs before sunrise or after sunset.  Therefore I scorn slow lenses.  Your interests are landscape.... so maybe even wider unless you are stitching.

I enjoyed using a Gitzo GT01541 & BH-20.  I found it sufficently sturdy for something I would carry all day, and could pan by allowing the column to spin.
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stever

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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 11:27:17 am »

i like the Thinktank digital holster 20.  with the bottom popped down, a 5D or 40D will fit with a mounted 100-400 and hood in place - if 2 inches is cut off the hood - this allows the lens cap to be left off.  i've very rarely encountered flare problems with the shortened hood.

i also like the Thinktank speed freak which will hold a body with decent size lens mounted and two additional good sized lenses.  it's a convenient sholder carry (although i replaced the strap with an upstrap) and the built-in waist belt doesn't add much bulk when stored and is quite comfortable in use

i frequently carry the 50 1.4 as well as its flat field and good edge sharpness make it a good pano lens on either the 5D or 40D (so long as it's stopped down to f2.8 or more) - it's also light, compact, reasonably priced and can be opened up if necessary
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