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  #1  
Old 12 Feb 2008
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Which Lense

I love motorcycle touring and photography and think they are perfectly complementary hobbies... except when you have limited space and don't want to damage your gear.

Of course, I'm looking for a do-it-all lense for my Nikon D70. I take your typical moto tourist photos -- landscapse, people outdoors, and friends on bikes doing stupid things. On my last trip through West Texas, I took my kit lense which is a 18-70mm or so. It did great for about 1/2 my photos but was really missing my long lense. I have a 70-300 VR at home but was worried that I'd break the VR bits as I'm guessing they are fragile.

Anyone have any ideas how fragile VR lenses versus non-VR?

I'm thinking of buying an 18-200mm. Those of you who travel w/ em, what do you think? How about a 18-200mm and a teleconverter? I've never used either.

Thanks!
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Old 12 Feb 2008
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Have not used them but read reviews of the 18-200 Tamron and Sigma. Very positive feedback, and good value at about £250 lastime I looked. Taht and a teleconverter would be more than enough, but note that you might loose AF with the teleconverter. Something to do with the f stop of the lense, IIRR.
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  #3  
Old 12 Feb 2008
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Age old dilema. Space, weight, fragility, convenience. And how that affects the ultimate result.

I've used the D70, but have no idea how tough they are. Packing it in a smart place is the key. Quality foam is what I use. Yes, takes up valuable space, but what can you do? A little pocket cam with a plastic lens? In fact, that is what most riders use.

I have a Canon 20D but rarely use it because I'm afraid to ruin it and its big.
But next trip I'm biting the bullet, buying another lens for it and taking it.

If the specs on the 18-200mm are good enough, I'd go with that. The kit lens on the canon is not great. I'm thinking of a Sigma 17-200mm myself for the 20D. I'd love to take a super wide angle too but good ones cost an arm and leg. But they are small and easy to pack.

I've owned and traveled with many cameras, lately all small digital ones.
For years I traveled with a Nikon F2 (then F3) film camera. Big, heavy but
bulletproof.

Then I got a Canon G3, then A520, (broke both of them riding dirt). My latest small digital is a Panasonic Lumix DMC FX-8. I got it for around $250
and the quality is good. The bonus with this type of camera is the Super Zoom. The lens zooms to 432mm !!!
The new version of this camera goes a bit wider...28mm instead of the current 35mm I believe. That is the one drawback....35mm is really about
50mm....so I need a wider lens.

On my last trip the Lumix did well. I am not yet fast with it yet....just takes time and practise, but its OK for the price....really expendable in a way. It is small but not small enough. Its like a miniature 35mm Digi SLR. The lens sticks out the front. Still, not bad.

I did a two week Baja ride, mostly all rough dirt and the camera did just fine.

I would buy the best lens you can afford, and don't forget some filters....ND,
polarizer ect.

Packing it all is the tough part. Good luck.

Patrick






Last edited by mollydog; 13 Feb 2008 at 20:00. Reason: pics
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  #4  
Old 12 Feb 2008
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lense

I use a 18-200 from nikon on my trip, it work pretty well on D200/D2X, the lense is VR but not more fragile than any other.I also use to travel with a 18 -70 but the long focal are a must.I will appreciate a brighter lense but so far nothing came to me .I have been using my lense and Bodies for year and ride often off road, Molly is right you can buy some some foam and cut it to fit your tank bag , that should take of the vibration , not the dust or water.

Good luck
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  #5  
Old 13 Feb 2008
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I have used a sigma 28-200 (older version) on a backpacking trip around the world (n90s) and then on my D70s, it is a good piece of kit and going down to 18 would be great too. Just remember then a digital lens means a 1.4X magnification already.. so the 18 is already a 25.2 mm lens.
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  #6  
Old 13 Feb 2008
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I want to get my hands on a teleconverter. The more I read (thanks for your opinions!), the more I think an 18-200 will work. I'm curious if the teleconverter is half as great as I think it is.

dave
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Old 13 Feb 2008
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The Pro's that I've met generally Poo Poo extenders. But most are old school film guys. The best thing you can do is do a series of comparison shots using
the extender against a high quality lens. Get in close and take a look at the pixels and see what is going on. Try different focal lengths and exposures to see where its strong and were its weak.

The little Lumix zoomed out to 400 mm does remarkably well. But its damed hard to steady that little camera. But if you can hold it still its not bad. A cheap way to get in close.

Look at the other so called "Super Zoom" small cameras out there. Not bad, and the Panasonic is using the Leica lens tech....whatever thats worth.

Patrick
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  #8  
Old 13 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
........
Look at the other so called "Super Zoom" small cameras out there. Not bad, and the Panasonic is using the Leica lens tech....whatever thats worth.

Patrick
I've been using a Canon S3 that works well, even wearing it around my neck while riding.

The new super zooms are now up to 18x with image stablization and 8-10mp - really unreal to me - and some will even capture in RAW.
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Old 14 Feb 2008
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Teleconverters...

My first advice, from a "pro" point of view, would be to put the Nikon in the bin, and buy a Canon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
The Pro's that I've met generally Poo Poo extenders. But most are old school film guys.

We're a team of "pro" photographers, (all Canon) and ALL of us use extenders on a regular basis (daily if we're travelling) with flawless results.


In fact - Canon manufactures extenders exclusively for their pro lenses...

So, from pro's who actually use them - I would say don't be scared, they're a valuable tool.

And EVEN if you're having to settle for the non-pro versions --- unless you're actually shooting for National Geographic... you have to ask yourself HOW MUCH the hardly noticable deviance (if any) would ACTUALLY matter...
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Old 14 Feb 2008
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Filters...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
.

I would buy the best lens you can afford, and don't forget some filters....ND,
polarizer ect.
Mollydog - I've NEVER disagreed with anything you say (rare for me, honestly) - except now!

Leave the filters at home! Apart from a UV filter, which should stay on your lense permanently, as a protector, more than anything - LEAVE THE FILTERS AT HOME.

Some reasons:

1. Don't need them (ok - maybe polarizing - but how many times do you need that?). Use photoshop.

2. Each time, you remove a filter, and screw on another one - you're giving dust and crap a chance to get onto the lense. You ARE going to be changing filters in the field... so you're exposed to the elements.

3. More things to pack = more things to break, etc, etc, etc.


I challenge any photographer (I knoooow this is revolutionary talk for the purist among you), to bring a filtered photograph, that I can not reproduce EXACTLY in Photoshop.
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Old 14 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impasto View Post
My first advice, from a "pro" point of view, would be to put the Nikon in the bin, and buy a Canon.
One thing i have learned in my life is never insult a mans: bike, wife, or Camera... cus no matter what you say you are wrong....

The camera does not take the photo the photographer does..

DaveG: also check out Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ

for user based reviews on lenses ...
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Old 14 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post

The camera does not take the photo the photographer does..
Heh. THAT is the thing that needs the biggest upgrade for most of us =]. You can have an f1.0 lense with the most interesting subject and still take a terrible pic =].

photosig is my friend
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  #13  
Old 14 Feb 2008
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Nikon D70 with Tamron 18-200

I use a Nikon D70 with a Tamrom 18-200 lens. For me it is perfect. I have a good camerabag that will protect my camera when it's in the topcase of my bikes (GoldWing GL1200 and BMW R650GS) and I had no problem with it. The 18-200 is usable for almost all situations.
I also have my SB-600 AF Speedlight flash with me in my camerabag all of the time and some filters, spare battey's etc.

I do have a Nikor 70-300 lens but because of space limitations on a bike, I don't take it with me on trips.

My son has a Nikon D50 that he transported in the topcase of his moped for the last two years and it still working so I'm sure the Nikon's are strong camera's.

Next to the Nikon, I always carry a small Kodak compact camera with me, for snapshots and situations where I don't want to show an expensive camera.

It may be obvious but I always have an UV filter on my lenses to protect it from dust/damage and I always keep my camera and other equipment in my camerabag when I don't use it.

(Some pictures I made with not only the Nikon but also with other camera's are on: Jan Krijtenburg homepage (Photo page))
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  #14  
Old 14 Feb 2008
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Thumpers & VR lens

This is a constant dilemma for me too. I don't know if it's related, but I took a trip to Yosemite last spring for some photography. All went well, but when I got back all I saw was double vision through my 70-200 VR Nikkor lens. I've always wondered if the 5 hour ride on the KLR is what did it. It was still under warranty and Nikon fixed it no questions asked.

Does anyone else have experience with the VR lens and the constant vibration of a KLR?
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  #15  
Old 14 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by impasto View Post
Mollydog - I've NEVER disagreed with anything you say (rare for me, honestly) - except now!

Leave the filters at home! Apart from a UV filter, which should stay on your lense permanently, as a protector, more than anything - LEAVE THE FILTERS AT HOME.

Some reasons:

1. Don't need them (ok - maybe polarizing - but how many times do you need that?). Use photoshop.

2. Each time, you remove a filter, and screw on another one - you're giving dust and crap a chance to get onto the lense. You ARE going to be changing filters in the field... so you're exposed to the elements.

3. More things to pack = more things to break, etc, etc, etc.


I challenge any photographer (I knoooow this is revolutionary talk for the purist among you), to bring a filtered photograph, that I can not reproduce EXACTLY in Photoshop.
I'm sure your right. Coming out of a film background I'm old school and suck at Photo shop. I'm a movie sound guy and learned alot from the DP's I worked with over the years, but now its all photo Shop. I really should spend more time learning it. I took a four day seminar a year ago .... I still never use it. Every month they want you to buy an updated version. I actually spend more time shooting than on the computer.

I'd prefer to learn how to shoot and how to see light and shadow than learning tricks on the computer...even though I should.

I've spent 30 years learning about light, focal lengths, angles and what lenses do.
On a set, sound is always right next to camera. Some of those broken down camera guys were pretty smart. Not much rubbed off but I can dream....

Patrick

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