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  #1  
Old 03-05-2008, 06:41 AM
jtb jtb is offline
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Default wide angle or zoom for travel

I will be backpacking around western europe for 5 weeks in June and am need in some advice for the best phot equipment to bring.

I have a Canon 40D with the 17-85 IS and the 50 1.8. I am considering the purchase of a zoom lens (70-200 F4 L) but would like some feedback on whether or not a zoom of that range would be beneficial to bring travelling or is the 17-85 good enough?

Also if anyone has any insight on a good camera backpack/daypack to get for the trip that would help too.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:02 AM
mortijo mortijo is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

Personnally I prefer the 18-200mm that I bought recently. It covers almost all situations.
Regards,
John
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:07 AM
yanseiler yanseiler is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

the 17-85 is good enough I think, why would you use the 70-200 for ?
personally I've been traveling with a 24-105 (on a full frame, so 15-65 on your 40D) for 11 months in Asia, never missed a longer zoom...

Check the brand Crampler for good backpacks, or a simple shoulder bag...
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:56 PM
rushfan2112 rushfan2112 is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

My recommendation would be to travel as light as possible. Unless you're likely to need a long telephoto, the 17-85mm should be perfect.

How about adding a Canon 1.4 or 2x converter? The 2x would make the long end of the 17-85mm a 170mm lens (a bit 'slower' but a hell of a lot smaller / lighter to carry).

If you must have a longer zoom, how about a 70-300mm which is probably not much bigger than a 70-200mm.

Crumpler do some good bags, as do Kata, Lowepro and Tamrac. I've got a Lowepro Minitrekker AW (the AW stands for 'all weather' as it has a waterproof cover in a discrete pocket - very useful for wet days).
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:15 PM
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bibiweb bibiweb is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

This tele extender can be used with fixed focal length lenses 135mm and longer (except the 135mm f/2.8 Softfocus lens), and the EF 70-200 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS, 70-200 f/4.0L, and 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS zoom lenses. (Source: http://www.precision-camera.com/product/89598)

So the Canon extenders are NOT compatible with the 17-85mm!
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:31 PM
linask linask is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

I would add some ultra-wide angle lens - Canon EF-S 10-22 or Sigma 10-20.
EF-S 10-22 and EF-S 17-85 is my typical travel lens combination. It's relatively compact and light to take anywhere. I only take tele lens with me if I specifically plan to use it somewhere (for animals, birds or some really distant object).
EF 70-200 L is big and heavy lens. Not the best choice for travel.

Linas
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:31 PM
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bibiweb bibiweb is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

The 70-200mm L f/2.8 is big and heavy, but the 70-200mm L f/4.0 which Jon mentionned is only half the weight, much smaller and more adapted for traveling if you require a telephoto zoom lens.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:42 PM
ryo ryo is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

I'd strongly advise in favour of a stabilized 18-200 like the sigma 18-200 HSM OS. I have a Nikon 18-200VR, and I find it excellent if stopped down a bit.

It has distortion, but it can easily be fixed afterwards!

Cheers,
Olivier R.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:15 PM
jtb jtb is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

Thank you for all the suggestions.

I've looked at some of the 18-200 zooms by sigma or tamron but they are slow for that zoom length and don't have any image stabilization. Also, compared to the canon L lens the quality is no match from what I've read on forums.

How does image quality compare between an 18-200 (sigma or tamron that is canon compatible), and the canon 17-85 IS? Any personal experience or images taken with one of those lenses would be helpful.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:32 AM
ryo ryo is offline
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Default Re: wide angle or zoom for travel

Hi again!

To answer your question, your 17-85 should compare favourably to a Sigma or Tamron 18-200, because of its smaller zoom range.


And I insist on image stabilization. I went back to sigma's home page and they do have an OS lens in that range. It's not HSM (this version is for Nikon users, esp. for the consumer DSLR's like D40/D40x/D60 that don't have an AF "screw"), meaning it's not a USM lens in Canon terms, but OS stands for Optical Stabilization.

Here's the link to the page that describes it:

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_all_details.asp?id=3324&navigator=6

Now I do agree, it's not exactly a pro lens. But after using my 18-200 repeatedly on my D200, I find it to be an excellent travel kit. More so than the Nikon 18-70, which was (before their new 16-85VR) their closest equivalent to your 17-85. Add a flash and maybe a light tripod (this could be another subject by itself), and you're covered IMHO. Only nit, it opens only down to f/6.3 at the longer end...

Hope this helps.

For example (not test) shots, you can go to pbase.com and sort images by lens or body. Try it out, looking for samples with the ones you're after!

Cheers,
Olivier
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