Monday, January 28, 2008

Here where the Lens is Wide

I need some advice from my photographer friends.

The question: What should my next lens purchase be?

The background: The TravelingRoths are going to France and North Africa this summer, and I want to make sure I'm as prepared as I can be for the trip, lens-wise.

Currently, I have two lenses for my Canon 40D:
  • 50mm f/1.8
  • 28 - 135mm IS
Here's what I'm thinking right now: the next lens should either be the 28mm f/1.8 or a 70 - 300 mm zoom. I love my current 50mm prime because it's wicked fast, and I can get by without a flash nearly all the time. I'm thinking of the 28mm prime because sometimes my 50mm is too tight (my camera has an APS-C sensor with a crop factor of 1.6, making the 5omm on my camera behave more like an 80mm in traditional 35mm terms.), plus it's also a wicked fast lens. I'm thinking of the 70 - 300 mm zoom mainly so I'll have a decent long zoom in my bag. In addition to this summer's trip, I think it'll be handy for the kids' soccer games.

So if you have an opinion about either of these lenses, or any other lens you think would be good for this summer's trip and beyond, please leave some feedback in the comments. Thanks in advance.


Kreg said...

You mentioned Africa, and first thought would be some sort of wide angle. I have an 18-70 that came with my camera. I was thinking that would come in handy when you visit the Eiffel Tower, or some places in Africa. Since you have a 50mm already, and are covered up to 70mm on the other lens..

Celine said...

Something to keep in mind about the zoom lens is camera shake. Would you be able to support the camera while taking zoomed photos, or is it an IS lens?

As Kreg suggested, it might be a good idea to go wide if you can. I would guess there would be a lot of opportunities for such a lens.

It sounds like an awesome trip. Have fun, and stay safe.

Tom said...

I went through the same issues. I have the Nikon D50 with the APS-C sensor also. Ended up getting 55-200 VR and the 28mm. Seriously debated the 18-55 VR to replace my kit lens, but bought the 28mm for the strengths of the prime lens and speed. No regrets on the 28mm.

If it is an either/or choice, get the longer zoom with IS and take both zooms with you. You'll have everything covered in two lenses and less hardware to carry.

BG said...

Saw your comment on the zipline and i'm curious about what you end up doing. I've got the same 50mm 1.8 and also the 100mm 2.8 Macro. I was contemplating either doing the 28mm 1.8 to complete the set of primes or possibly the 28-135mm IS for a general shoot around lens...

If you're going for one of the nicer versions of the 70-300 (USM or IS) i'd say go that way, but if you're going to get the base version of the 70-300 i'd get the 28mm instead. Wide and fast is much cooler than mediocre long.

There's nothing really special about the 70-300, but then maybe my opinion is biased because we gave it away with a body so often during christmas at wolf camera.

Cheers - BG

Gary said...

I have the 70-300 IS and really like it. I used it throughout my daughter's soccer season and got some great shots from a distance. It's pretty fast for a long lens and the IS is very useful in lower light situations. But Like BG said, don't get mediocre long lens. IS is essential IMO. I have the 30D body.

Jeremy Brooks said...

Personally, I would go with the 28mm (or even wider). My longest lens currently is 100, and I have been quite happy with that. I tend to shoot macro and wide more than long. Fast lenses are much more fun, too!

The Roth Family said...

I should have mentioned in the original post that the 70 - 300mm lens I'm looking at is the Image Stabilized (IS) version. I have IS on my 28-135, and it really does make a difference.

I'm also giving thought to tripod options. . . but that's a question for another day.

Thanks to everyone who replied.

Trevor Carpenter said...

I'd suggest the 70-300 w/ IS. Many of the beautiful things to shoot have been shot from 20-80mm by every tourist that's walked by. However, you may find that at 300mm you can compose some gorgeous, different images.

Just my $0.05.

Richard said...

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6. I know, it's not as fast as your 50mm, but you really NEED a wide angle in your bag. Your 28-135mm is really a 45-216mm on the 40D, so you have some reach already. Get the super-wide, you won't be sorry.

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