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  #1  
Old 4 Aug 2009
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Good all round travel lens: Canon 400D

I've splashed out(!) on a Canon 400D - a few models old, but for less than 200 quid it does everything I want.

I now need to buy a decent but not hugely expensive lense, but there are loads of options and I barely understand the terminology after a while.

So with the following in mind, can anybody recommend a solution?

- Spending no more than 500 GBP
- Can take ND/UV filters etc
- For vehicle based travel so weight/size are no problem
- Good all round travel lens - willing to consider two separate lense if it means good close ups and landscape/distant shots etc.

I'm told a 18-75mm would be pretty good?
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Old 4 Aug 2009
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Hi,

This might be of use....................

Any lens will take filters etc BUT what you need to know if the thread size (which is the daimeter of the business end of the lens. Sometimes you'll get a rear drop in filter for very big lenses but that won't affect you as they're usually the high end pro lenses. If you get into the habit of keeping a UV filter on the lens, it will protect it from scratches. Hoya is a good make and affordable. Look on EBAY. Likewise with ND filters. These come in grades, so depending where yo're going, something like an 0.6nd would be a good all round job.

The lens you mention is a good lens but it won't give you much in the way of distance shots. It will be OK for everyday stuff in crowds or on the street etc. If you're after a bit of reach, something like a 100mm .f2.8 macro, or if you only want one lens that does it all, go for something like a a 28-200 which you could get for about £350.00p But remember that as lenses get longer you gain in zoomability, but you loose in speed (meaning that as the lens barrel extends (not with the pro lenses tho) , the camera will operate more slowly but on the 400D you'll be able to compensate for that by dialling up the ISO - which is the film speed (albeit there's no film now, only sensors) Have a look at ABC Digital Cameras, go to SLR lenses, Canon and flick through the list. You could also try Sigma lenses as an independent option.

Pm me if you need any more info or need anything explained.

Regards

Belle
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  #3  
Old 4 Aug 2009
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Why not consider the likes of these:

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
There are also Canon equivalents and Tamron, too. Canon will be by far the most expensive whilst the optics in the Sigmas and Tamrons should be perfectly good for an amateur enthusiastic, particularly if on a budget.

Look for the yellow links in the article text for the other lenses in the same category.
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Old 4 Aug 2009
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Thanks Belle, I really appreciate the time taken to write that

I was kind of hoping that other 400D owners could point me to exact lens they would recommend as I'm getting bogged down reading about what I could buy and was hoping 5 people all rocked up and recommended the same lens (as I don't have much time to do too much research as most of that time is being spent on video research ;-) to make the choice easy
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Old 4 Aug 2009
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I have been a pro photographer for 15 years and have had many many lenses and combination and have recommended more lenses to more people than I care to remember.

The first and most important thing to remember is that "cheap" and "quality" will not ever work in the same sentence in photogrpahy. You can have either one, but not both. The second is that buying anything other than canon is like buying margarine when you need butter, but not having sugar in your turkish tea... It will simply not work as well, regardless of what the salesman may tell you.

For your applications, which incidentally is similar to my mother's, I would recommend two lenses: 28 - 135mm IS Canon and a 70- 300 Canon IS (NOT 75 - 300) The 28 - 135 has macro capabilities. Your only other possible requirement will be for a wider angle lens. Canon 10 -22 is brilliant but expensive. You can get the 18 - 55mm canon kit lens which should have shipped with the 400D for just about nothing.

Do not fall for the 28 - 300mm lenses. The only one worth wile is the Canon one and that is about $3 000. The others simply do not work properly.

If budget is no concern, I would recommend the Canon 24 -105 IS L and the Canon 100 - 400 IS L. But that'll cost you more than GBP2k

Oh yeh... Well done on getting a Canon!
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Old 4 Aug 2009
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Thanks. I have just spent loads on video gear, so trying to limit my camera spending to match my needs ( a few pictures for the website/films and the enjoyment of walking for an afternoon taking pictures). Also as you can buy a high quality HD video camera that records video and audio for 2500GBP, paying thousands just for a lens in my situation seems crazy ;-)

There is usually a happy medium between price and quality - as 'quality' is largely in the eye of the owner and his needs.

My trusty Canon Powershot G5 took some good snaps previously (my secret for taking good photographs is to go somewhere stunning with good light and use 'auto' ;-) but I'd like to play around more....
roamingyak.org : overland travels in a landy

The two lens that came with the camera are horrible to my untrained eye and this seems a common complaint....

As I want to limit myself to two lense at most, a wide angle would take precedence over a macro lens (which would mostly be for fun shooting). But the Canon 10 -22 seems to be too expensive for my budget ;-)
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Old 4 Aug 2009
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If you're expecting a sudden concensus from a group of photographers, don't hold your breath.

Photography is as individual as biking, in many ways. If you want to just go for a safe bet that won't break the bank, but will give you loads of options, the likes of the sigma I posted above will be more than enough.

It's not the fastest lense at 3.5-5.6, but any faster and you'll be paying beaucoup £££. Sigma and Tamron have been making quality aftermarket lenses for the big body manufacturers for donkeys' years.

Some die-hards and enthusiasts will perhaps tell you that a higher spec model is better, but with that lense and that body, you will have more creative control and higher quality images than your G% could produce, IMHO...

My 2p....
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Old 4 Aug 2009
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I'm not - I'd prefer people to just post what lens they have used with this camera, their thoughts and recommendations so I can wade through them to see if there is any kind of consensus, or conclusions I can draw. I've read 100 photo blogs and reviews and not come to any conclusions, so thought asking fellow travelers for their practical experience would be a good idea ;-)

Anyway, back to talking about specific lens....
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  #9  
Old 5 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingyak.org View Post
I'm not - I'd prefer people to just post what lens they have used with this camera, their thoughts and recommendations so I can wade through them to see if there is any kind of consensus, or conclusions I can draw. I've read 100 photo blogs and reviews and not come to any conclusions, so thought asking fellow travelers for their practical experience would be a good idea ;-)

Anyway, back to talking about specific lens....
Fair enough: I hope you get useful info.

I hope my penultimate post did not seem brusque, only I have seen many posts on photographic equipment and the dozens of posts yield dozens of differing opinions, which can be overwhelming for the initial poster... 'tis all...

When you find a lense that suits, post to tell how you get on...
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Old 5 Aug 2009
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I have the Tokina 12 - 24 and the Tamron 28 - 75 on my EOS 450D. So far I'm very happy with the results.

The Tamron is my everyday lens, that I use when entering a new city, walking around and stuff. The Tokina gets put on for the scenic drives, photos of marketplaces and so on.

Sure the mentioned Canon Lenses might be of a higher quality, but they are also much more expensive and don't have that much more to offer (imho).

On the other hand don't fall for the all around do it all lenses, like the 18 - 250. You just throw away the biggest advantage of a DSLR, which is the ability to use specialized lenses for every oportunity. If you do really want to go down that road it's a better option to get a so called superzoom camera.
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Old 5 Aug 2009
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"I hope my penultimate post did not seem brusque"

Not at all! Thanks for the efforts.

And thanks to buebo also...
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  #12  
Old 5 Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflyd View Post
For your applications, which incidentally is similar to my mother's, I would recommend two lenses: 28 - 135mm IS Canon and a 70- 300 Canon IS (NOT 75 - 300) The 28 - 135 has macro capabilities...
Perhaps I cluttered my post with too much jargon...
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Old 5 Aug 2009
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Not at all - all good ;-) Thought I'd thanked you above ;-p
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Old 6 Aug 2009
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If you really like wide angle then maybe you should go for the 10-20mm with your £500, or a really good secondhand one. They'll keep their price (not that you'll ever want to sell it) and you'll have a lot of fun! But what are the two 'horrible' lenses you have already? Maybe one could take the place at the long end? Just curious.

I would have suggested the 28-135 myself, but 28 is pretty tame and may be a compromise going by what you've said, though the range is pretty good towards the long end and would cover most stuff.

Just my thoughts. Good luck whatever you do.
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  #15  
Old 8 Aug 2009
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my 400D lenses

I took my 400D to South America and took these lenses:

Canon 10-22 mm
Canon 50 mm 1.4
Canon 28-135 mm

I absolutely love my 10-22 mm and the 50 mm, the 28-135 mm I bought mainly for the trip.

The 50 mm is great for portraits and for shots without much light (if you don't need the wide angle), but I might leave it at home next time. The pictures I took with it were great but I didn't use it very often, it's just not versatile enough.

I used the 10-22 mm for probably more than 90 % of my shots, it can't be beaten for landscapes or buildings (inside and outside). The pictures people were most impressed with were taken with this lens (and a few with the 50 mm). I bought a new one 2 years ago for around 400 pounds on Ebay, and I reckon it was money well spent.

The 28-135 mm doesn't impress me quality wise in comparison to my other lenses, although it is not bad (not very light though). It nicely supplements the range of the 10-22 mm and it is not too expensive. I got a used one with broken IS (didn't miss that feature much, but then I have never really used it before) for 100 pounds from Ebay.

If you like wide angle photography, I'd recommend the 10-22, 28-135 mm combo. The only problem was that I often couldn't be bothered to change lenses and since none of these lenses is a good do-it-all lens (22 isn't long and 28 isn't wide enough), I missed a few good photo opportunities.

If you like telephoto photography (for animals and celebrities), you should consider the 18-55 and the 55-250 mm lenses from Canon. They are cheap (it won't be a disaster if they get stolen!) and light, plus you have a very good range. If you also like taking pictures of people, you could get the 50mm 1.8 Canon lens, it is considered to be the best value Canon lens there is.

I hope I could help a little.
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