Best "Walk Around" DSLR Lens for my 60D

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by AdventurePoser, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Hi guys,

    Once again, mining the vast trove of information here at ADVrider....

    After much thinking, am planning on bringing my Canon EOS 60D to South America. Yes, bulky, heavy, and expensive, but I'll do it for the versatility a more sophisticated camera brings to photography. But, I want to carry only one lens, so this means my Canon 10-22 mm stays home...

    My question....Tamron 18-270 PZD or the Canon 18-200? Or do I need to look at another lens?

    Both are excellent lens, but what do you carry, and why?

    Cheers,
    Steve
    #1
  2. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

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    I wouldn't call any big superzoom a walk around lens, being very large and heavy, but that's just me. You'll either have to carry it with you always or be concerned about leaving it on the bike and there's no hiding it. There's no blending in with a big Canon hanging around your neck

    If you're determined to bring a DSLR how about a couple of small primes? Since yours is crop camera, maybe a 24 or 28mm and a 85 or 105? At least bring a small, cheap, fast prime to have a true walk around lens, but I prefer primes on DSLR's.

    My experience with a Canon 18-200 was OK, I found the distortion at the wide end too much for my tastes, like DS bikes there's always some compromise to be made. Though the ability to isolate subjects at longer focal lengths with the shallow DOF was nice on occasion. I just rarely found myself using the longer end of the zoom and sold it, not wanting to carry such a big lens around on a bike. Never owned a Tamron lens so can't comment.


    With that said, if it were me going on such a great trip I wouldn't be taking any big camera for many reasons, BTDT, packing size/weight on the bike gets old, never liked drawing too much attention to myself since there's no hiding a DSLR when trying to take candid shots of the locals. But I understand we all have different needs.

    Even though you didn't ask I'll share it anyways, you could get a Sony RX100. Mine has replaced all my other cameras for MC travels and I love it. You can get photos just as good as your 60D, it fits in your pocket and doesn't draw any attention when shooting. Granted you wont have the long zoom range, but that can be worked around. Mine is road tested and holds up fine in MC travels.

    Taken from a review, says it all basically:

    http://www.gizmag.com/review-sony-cyber-shot-rx100/25266/



    The RX100 is quite possibly the best pocketable compact digital camera ever made. Time Magazine recently named it as one of its 50 best inventions of 2012, stating that it: "bridges the gap between point-and-shoots and pro-quality," and they weren't lying.

    The quality of images produced can be outstanding for its size – many look like they could have come from a mid-range DSLR – however as with any camera you will only get out of it what you are willing to put in. Even that large sensor and impressive lens mean nothing if you don't take the time to compose images properly and think about what you are doing.

    This compact powerhouse would make a great carry-everywhere camera for a professional or experienced photographer who wants to shed the weight and bulk of their DSLR camera and lenses for everyday use, they get the creative freedom and an image quality which will more often than not be more than they need.

    However, I'm not sure it's the ideal upgrade for a point-and-shoot user who wants to get seriously into photography. While all the manual options are there, it's very tempting to leave the RX100 in Auto, and though the lens is great for a compact camera, there's obviously no way of upgrading it, and the speed at the long end could leave you wishing that you'd opted for a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. There's also the little fact that the RX100 doesn't come cheap, at US$650 it costs the same as many entry-level DSLRs.

    That said, the RX100 is a great camera – probably the best that you can fit in a jacket pocket–- and that's really why you should be buying one. If you want the best possible image quality in a pocketable camera, there's nothing that presently comes close to the Sony RX100.





    RX100 compared to Canon 5D markII



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    A few favorite RX-100 photos, full res ones are on my smugmug, linked through my site:


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    #2
  3. Osmin C

    Osmin C Been here awhile

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    What are the apetures for each lens? Are they constant apetures or do they change with zoom? Do you notice a difference in sharpness?
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  4. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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  5. That'sLife

    That'sLife Adventurer

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    I also have a 60D and usually there is prime stuck to it. However, I do have the Canon 15-85mm and I like it really well. It is not a super zoom like you are thinking about but I find it to be sufficient on the long end for my needs. The super zooms seem great on paper but in reality sacrifice some image quality for that broad focal range. A compromise like Lost Rider put it.

    There is a good forum site, if you don't already know, that has a great "lens sample photo archive" with pictures taken by members using the lenses that you are looking at. It might help to make your mind up seeing pictures taken with the Tamron and Canon lenses. http://photography-on-the.net/forum/

    FWIW, I have a Canon S95 that goes with me on the bike mostly. I love that camera. Small, light and takes great pics. Much more convenient when out on the bike.

    Good luck and safe travels!
    #5
  6. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

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    Right on Steve, I understand your predicament and am glad to help. Cameras, lenses, bikes, tires, riding gear, etc etc. Any decision is all a compromise no matter what. I too carried a few different Lumix LX series as a compliment to a big camera, great little cameras. Good luck in your choices and safe travels!




    Nice forum link for lenses That'sLife, thanks for posting! :clap


    Here's another independent site I've found useful when trying to compare lenses

    http://www.photozone.de
    #6
  7. BobPS

    BobPS Been here awhile

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    If you must carry your DSLR, I recommend an L lens, like EF 17-40 L. It's small, light, good IQ and it's weather proof so you don't have to worry about dust or a little rain.

    But I suggest a small pocket camera, like LostRider recommends. I had S90 which was a great nice pocket camera, but I lost then when RX100 came out I bought the Sony and it's now my travel camera. It's small, has Zeiss lens, gives high image quality. It's now my travel camera, it can do about 95% of a DSLR can do, in a much smaller form.
    #7
  8. MTNRiderAB

    MTNRiderAB Information Sponge

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    I personally find aperture to be more of the crucial factor in a lense than zoom. I try to have at least a f2.8 aperture where possible ( tough un longer zoom lenses, but still go for as much aperture as I can afford).

    I have a 7d and use a Tameron 17-50 f2.8 as my "walking around" lense. Very happy with the image quality. For Africa you might want something with a little more zoom though, probably in the 80 - 120 range, but still able to pull back for some landscape shots.

    Good luck!
    #8
  9. psychopompos

    psychopompos Been here awhile

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    I am of the mind that a fast normal prime is the definition of a walk-around lens. Unless you're printing pictures out, the resolution is plenty high to 'zoom-in' by cropping. No way to compensate for the wide-angle, but on the 60D 18 isn't all that wide either. If you are into vast landscapes you might still need to carry the 10-22.

    Funny I should run across this thread, right after coming home from buying my sister a 35/1.8 for her birthday. She wanted the 18-200... let's see how that goes.
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  10. MTNRiderAB

    MTNRiderAB Information Sponge

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    Along the same reasoning as my preference for aperture over zoom. As long as I can have a fast enough shutter speed and a reasonable ISO setting, these cameras have more than enough pixels that cropping for zoom is not an issue.
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  11. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    I took my Canon 7D beast on recent trip across Western and Eastern Europe, with only the kit 18-135 lens. Worked great, lots of flexibility in general walk around shots, and enough zoom for shy me to get some portraits or interest shots without getting overly close to the natives. I'd love to get a better quality lens, but frankly - no one who sees my pics would notice and the cost is a months travel in Europe for me, so priorities.

    That said, I was the center of attention walking around the town square in Trabzon, Turkey and most former Eastern Block nations. Whether this was because of long term paranoia of seeing some guy in darth vader clothes taking pics of everything, or the fact that the gear was worth a years wages for many, I felt a bit "on display"

    I will probably get a nice prime lens (50mm 1.4 or so?) for the next trip if I take the 7D, but I am trying to reduce weight so it may not go.

    The big rig fit nicely in my tankbag, easy on the draw when needed for a quick shot. I locked it in the rear top aluminum case when at lunch off the bike, and carried the whole tankbag with camera, lens and iPhone, iPad, etc with me when out of sight of the bike. The camera is pretty rugged and did not suffer any damage.

    My other camara choice is a tiny Canon Elph like thing. Works like a charm and fits in a shirt pocket, battery lasts forever too.
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  12. SnowMule

    SnowMule [angry moth noises]

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    Can't say on the Canon as I shoot Nikon, but my 18-200 isn't a bad lens. Like LostRider mentioned, it's a compromise... not the best glass, but not terrible either.

    It's nice because it's effectively an 11x zoom lens. Goes wider than my P&S, but still reaches out to pull in distant subjects.

    And I'll +1 for taking an ultrawide along too. It's rare I say "I wish I had a longer lens for ___ shot", but I regularly say "FUCK I want my ultrawide!!!"
    #12
  13. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I generally shoot in aperture priority or manual. I noticed the Sony doesn't have manual capability...everything is a trade off.

    I'm not very interested in the "super zoom" aspect of either of the lens I mentioned in my OP. More so the versatility of carrying only one lens on my camera... In fact, my favorite lens is my Canon 10-22 mm. Fast, sharp, and clear, I get amazing results, but I don't it's the only one I'd want to carry for a six month trip!

    I appreciate each and every suggestion made here.

    Cheers,
    Steve
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  14. Lost Rider

    Lost Rider Roadie

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    Not sure where you got that impression, the little Sony has every manual control a DSLR does, even Bulb exposure, various bracketing, etc. More control/customization than my Lumix LX3 or 5 had, if it was just another P&S with a bigger sensor than the rest that wouldn't work for me. The only thing I wish it had was a time lapse function built in since it doesn't accept a intervalometer. Folk have used a rubber band to keep the shutter pressed and have it in continuous shooting with success, but it still would be nice to have more control.
    The control ring around the lens can be assigned on the fly to be your aperture, focus, shutter, etc. and most of the buttons on the back are totally assignable also, each assignment unique to the mode you are in. When I recommend this camera I'm speaking in IQ and overall shooting experience, at least for me.
    I generally shoot in aperture priority and have the aperture control on the front ring, and have ISO on the wheel in the back, without much thought, or digging through menus I can change the two things I modify the most.

    The RX isn't an expensive P&S camera, its a fine photography tool in a tiny package and I see it as a bargain for what you get and it's convenient size for MC travels. :wink:

    Obviously the shooting experience of using a screen to frame your shot is different, my favorite way to frame is through a Rangefinder camera since you can see outside your frame unlike a DSLR, but like you said there are trade offs with most things. :evil


    Good luck, while I like to help by sharing my experience I hope my comments aren't making things harder for you! :lol3
    Either way you're about to embark on a nice journey and that's what matters.
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  15. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I guess I'm losing it....yes, my error, the Sony does have manual capability. Too much reading and missing the fine points!

    Cheers,
    Steve
    #15
  16. nhbubba

    nhbubba Internet Tough Guy

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    I brought my 7D with me to New Zealand for our 3 week honeymoon last November. With it I brought my 24-105 f/4 L and my 10-22, a cheap tripod, and some filters. I was very happy with that kit.

    I think it all comes down to what kind of shooter are you?

    I am a wide angle addict. I love my 24-105, it's a fantastic chunk of glass. But I would have really hated life had I left the 10-22 at home. Meanwhile, I also have a 70-200 F/4 L. I left that at home and didn't miss it even once.
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  17. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Thanks for your response...for me the question is not what kind of shooter am I, but how much weight I want to carry....when I travel on four wheels to take photos I carry a much larger kit.

    In this case, it'll be me, the bike and the top case....

    Cheers,
    Steve
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  18. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    I too am in the DSLR camp, though I have been considering changes. Originally, I was planning on keeping my DSLR and a "walk-around" lens in my tankbag as well as my phone and a P&S. However, as I like to ride offroad a lot, I have found that even with a tankbag that barely fits the above, it gets in the way of me comfortably standing. I am thinking of going with a smaller tankbag and keeping only a small camera and phone upfront.

    I would then be storing the DSLR in my tail bag with the tripod and other lenses (if I carry any). The more I think about it, the more I see the DSLR as a specialty camera- the camera to break out in a beautiful area where you want to get creative and create stunning pictures or carefully create masterful landscapes you may never have a chance to create again. This is especially the case if you like taking bird in flight shots or the like..

    I guess what im trying to say is that your lens selection kind of depends on what the cameras purpose is. Im thinking that for documenting my trip, the P&S is a superior camera, and indeed it might be better for it to be waterproof despite the usual drop in image quality. However, for being creative where you go into photographer mode, you will typically be off the bike anyways, negating any advantage to a do-it-all lens. Does this make sense? Im not trying to tell anyone what their way should be- Im just seeing what others think.

    I am definitely in the camp that thinks the best camera is the one that takes the most pictures.

    Has anyone considered time-lapse photography with a waterproof camera for documenting and a DSLR for the creative bits?
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  19. nhbubba

    nhbubba Internet Tough Guy

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    I understand. We were traveling by planes, trains, and automobiles. So space and weight were less of an issue than for you, but still an issue.

    Still, I would have been mighty unhappy in those epic landscape locations without an ultra-wide handy. Honestly, if I had to knock it down to one lens for that trip, it would have been the 10-22. An 18-200 just doesn't cut it for me personally anymore.

    But really YMMV, that was my point. If you're into birds or wildlife or something 200mm may not cut it for you.
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  20. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    This is exactly what I'm worried about...I love my 10-22 lens. It's my "go to" lens, but occasionally I need something a bit longer. Then I'm up to two lenses...and in the interest of conspicuity, weight, and security, the DSLR with one lens is really the best alternative, at least on a motorcycle!

    Cheers,
    Steve
    #20