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Which lens/lenses should I get for my holiday ?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by SAW, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. SAW

    SAW Active Member


    I use a Canon 600D for astrophotography, never really used it for general photos but have got the opportunity to go to the Gold Coast for 3 weeks and a few days in Sydney. We are going the end of April so I would really like to take my camera and get some once in a lifetime photos. I currently only have a 300mm f4 and the 50mm f1.8 (nifty fifty).

    What other lens should I be really looking to take ?

    Should I stick with some more prime lenses or get a zoom ?

    I may get a new camera body to take, if I do it will still be a Canon with a APS-C sensor, maybe a 7d mark ii.

    Thank you.
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    15-85. Very useful range,and pretty decent quality.
  3. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Sorry but we have to ask about your budget.
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I'd say the same as Nick.

    My APS-C camera is Fuji, used with an 18-55 which is neither wide enough or long enough to be a happy one-lens solution. I tend to carry a 10-24 and a 55-200 mm as well but lens swapping is a pain as most of the time it is just to extend the focal range a little bit. I use the Fuji when space/weight is a consideration.

    So, a 15-85 would be a much better option than an 18-55 which is a common lens on APS-C. Sadly for me Fuji don't make one.

    I use a 24-105 on Canon full-frame which nearly covers the effective range of the 15-85 on APS-C (it's a bit shorter at the long end). I used this as my only lens for quite a while. I did buy a wider lens for architecture and landscape/cityscape as I found 24 mm (15 on APS-C) limiting in that it was difficult to avoid keystoning (tilting the camera) when photographing buildings from close-up. An ultra-wide used in portrait orientation is useful in that respect though it is necessary to crop out the vast amount of pavement the technique gives.

    For Sydney you might consider then taking a 10-22 mm with you as well, though doubtless you can get one out there if needs be.
  5. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I have one APS camera and one lens for it: Tamron 16-300mm. If I can only take one camera that's the one I take (although I always carry a pocket superzoom travel camera because anything can fail and probably will at the worst moment).
  6. SAW

    SAW Active Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    The other option I was thinking of doing was to buy a mirrorless camera and a single lens maybe a used combo this would be lighter and easier to carry.

    But no idea what to look for ?
  7. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    It’s fairly easy to correct keystoning in a photo editor rather than cropping off almost half the image, but remember to zoom wider than the subject, in case the correction cuts off the corners! I bought the Sigma 8-16mm as the widest possible zoom for my then APS-C Nikon, and still use it on full frame (together with a FF 24-70mm and a featherweight APS-C 50-200mm). But I’ve heard good things about the Canon 15-85mm, and as a sole lens, I’d prefer that to a poorer optical quality 18-very long mm zoom.

  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You can indeed correct mild keystoning in post, but it is better to avoid/minimise it if you can. With an ultra-wide keeping the camera level in portrait orientation does carry the penalty of including lots of unwanted foreground, and even feet. I eventually bought a 24 mm TSE.
  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I had one of those for a couple of years. My final conclusion was I'd wasted my money. Nothing technically wrong with it - just too bulky and heavy for my needs.
  10. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I agree a TS-E would be the best way to avoid keystoning, for anyone willing to buy such a lens and carry it. But you can correct severe, not just mild, keystoning in post. And the widest TS-E I’m aware of, Canon’s 17mm, wouldn’t match the width of Sigma’s 8-16mm on a Nikon, Sony or Pentax APS-C body.

  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Sorry, SAW, going right of topic so ignore this!

    I'm not sure of the image circle of the TSE-17, it might not be so far off that of an 8mm on APS-C. The TSE-24 has the image circle of a 16 mm. I wasn't advocating that anyone buy a TSE off the cuff, they are specialist lenses. I was doing lots of churches so for me it was a good buy and a big improvement on the 17-40 that I was using. I enjoy using it and it isn't that heavy really, especially as using a tripod helps. The new Canon mirrorless bodies should make using one a doddle if they correctly show the plane of focus with tilt. The lcd overlay on the new Canon bodies doesn't light up the focus points attaining focus like the original 5D did, which is really annoying.
  12. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    The TSE-24 would need a large image circle to give good coverage when shifted off-axis. But I assume the image captured by the camera when the lens was positioned centrally would be the same as any other 24mm, and likewise for the TSE-17. Allowing my D800 to switch to APS-C format when an APS-C lens is mounted gives a crop factor of 1.53, making 8mm equivalent to 12¼mm FF, although titling the lens up will reduce the width covered at pavement level compared to a shift lens with the same focal length.
    I’ve no wish to disparage tilt-shift lenses; I’d rather like to have all of Nikon’s; the 45mm for general architectural use, the 24mm and 19mm for when I couldn’t get far enough back to frame the building with the 45mm, and the PC-E Micro 85mm for adjusting the plane of focus for close-ups of fungi, etc. But I couldn’t justify the cost, and I know I would rarely have the right lens to hand when I wanted it. I’m sure yours gives you great results, and I’m glad you enjoy it.

  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Indeed, that's the point. Otherwise you need an ultrawide to capture the subject, together with a lot of space, either to keep it upright or to allow cropping if fixing in post.
  14. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    You are going on holiday to Australia, I assume you haven't been before?
    The last thing I would do is buy a new camera before going on holiday somewhere like that, you want to enjoy the sights and get some pictures so you are better off with a camera you know well, you won't mess up that way.
    I assume that you are flying so you will, probably, have a limited cabin baggage allowance so you will want to keep the weight/bulk down. Get your reading material on a Kindle and carry a power bank (store it properly and safely). Your Canon isn't very big or heavy so buying a suitable lens or two shouldn't give you any major problems.
    I haven't been to Australia with any form of digital camera but I managed quite well with a 24 as my widest lens and 180 as my longest when I was on the East coast so the suggestion of 15-85 sounds entirely reasonable. Whilst a wider lens might be desirable I don't think it is essential even for Sydney, get out on the harbour ferrys and 15 will be plenty wide enough.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  15. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    The EF-S 15-85 on a APS-C eos is just perfect. I got one on my 600D for travel and all around use. If you are serious about mirrorless then you could look at the Olympus Pen range, I got one for light travel and I must say that with a VF viewfinder they are very good.
  16. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    It doesn’t need much extra coverage to correct keystoning in post. I shot a very striking-looking synagogue in Prague at 9 mm (APS-C). That photo was my first attempt at straightening verticals, which made me regret that I hadn’t opened right out to 8 mm, which I think would have been about ideal. I think I’d have needed an appreciably wider lens to keep the lens axis vertical; I’m not sure whether Canon’s 11-24mm would have covered it. I’m pretty sure the TSE-17 wouldn’t have been wide enough.

  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    If an 8mm covered it, obviously the 11-24 would - it's 1mm wider than the 12mm equivalent of 8mm. 11, you see, that might well be one more than 10, but it's equally one less than 12. ;)

    The 8-16 is the APS-C equivalent of Sigma's own 12-24.
  18. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I’m well aware of the relationship between APS-C and full frame that you describe, but the discussion with PeteRob was a comparison between keeping the lens axis horizontal to avoid keystoning (for which I think the 11-24mm might just have been adequate for the shot I described) or tilting the camera upwards to frame the subject, which often doesn’t require such a wide angle to frame the subject, as I did with my 8-16mm, and then “correcting” the converging verticals in software.

  19. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Kevin MacDonnel recommended looking for a distant spot and using a long lens. Alternatively he suggested a pot full of bright flowers and an ultra wide could work. :D
  20. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    As a Nikon owner I cannot comment on the esoteric qualities of Canon lenses. However I can comment on suitable focal lengths. In the Nikon range for an APS camera I have used and found very useful the 16-80 and 16-85 mm zooms.
    Given Benchista's experience and knowledge of Cannon equipment, plus my own somewhat lesser experience of the Nikon equivalents, I would think that the 15-85 to be a good travel zoom assuming no special requirements. If you want decent quality then certainly avoid super zooms. If you are not travelling specifically for photography then I would avoid a set of primes.
    For backup, and something that can be carried about on your body without any impact on your baggage allowance, don't forget an up market compact. A Sony RX100 preferably mark 3 or above would be up to the job.
    If you are travelling with children capable of not losing stuff, then make sure that they also carry camera equipment that complements your own. A Olympus 'tough' of best model affordable is wearable and will not impact their luggage allowance. They also work when scuba diving. Prepare for the bribes needed to get hold of said Olywhen you want to use it.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019

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