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Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 01:53AM
I'm heading to Chicago this week and want to take some photos while there. As I am not a pro photographer, I like the convenience of an iPhone for taking photos. Decent enough photos and fits in your shirt pocket. However, if I wanted to use my old Canon EOS Rebel T3i camera (a lot more to lug around) and could only take one lens with me, which should it be to give me the widest options without needing a bag to carry around ALL of the different lenses? My lens choices are as follows:

Canon EF 28mm 1:1.8 (Ultrasonic AF & MF)
Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 (0.45m/1.5ft)
Canon EFS 18-55mm (AF & MF Image Stabilizer Macro 0.25m/0.8ft) - Feels very lightweight
Canon EFS 55-250mm (AF & MF Image Stabilizer Macro 1.1m/3.6ft)
Canon Zoom Lens EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 (AF & MF Macro 1.5m/4.9ft) - Feels somewhat heavy

I'll be doing typical touristy things. Heading to Millennium Park, Navy Pier, John Hancock Building, Willis Tower (former Sears Tower), Lake Michigan, boat cruise to see the lakefront and all the high-rises off in the distance. Indoor photos at the Adler Planterium and She'd Aquarium, strolling along the Magnificent or Miracle Mile, photos at O'Hare Airport, etc. etc. Basically people, museum exhibits, and buildings.

I'm a point and shoot guy that can occasionally get lucky and take a really good auto-everything photo with the T3i camera.

Another option is to just use my Canon Vixia HF G20 camcorder and use it to take video AND still photos, but I would rather use it just for HD videos and the T3i for still photos. Again, the iPhone 6 can do both, but there is the storage issue with that as well.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: June 22, 2015 02:33AM
If you have time, buy a sigma 18-200 or 18-250 and sell your 18-55 and 55-200. Otherwise, the 18-55 and 55-200 would be your touristy kind of lenses.



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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: DP
Date: June 22, 2015 06:06AM
What pRICE says...
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: DRR
Date: June 22, 2015 06:23AM
If you don't know, take the 18-55 for your one lens. (Or do what pRICE says.) 18-55 on a crop camera will cover your entire "standard" range.

I always bring a wide when I travel. 18 is the widest you got; I'd definitely have that in the bag.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 22, 2015 07:43AM
given the choices - 18-55, but Price is right, the 18-200 is the lens you want, Sigma or Tamron - both are good.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2015 07:44AM by Ombligo.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 08:38AM
pRICE cUBE and everyone else

Thank you for the quick replies. I leave on Thursday morning. I picked up a Sigma 18-250mm from Amazon.com with free same day delivery. Should be here in the next 3 hours.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: June 22, 2015 10:54AM
I use the same lens and body as my walkaround and they work well together. My copy gets rather soft past about 180mm or so but the pictures still look pretty good.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: June 22, 2015 11:19AM
Quote
rapayn1
pRICE cUBE and everyone else

Thank you for the quick replies. I leave on Thursday morning. I picked up a Sigma 18-250mm from Amazon.com with free same day delivery. Should be here in the next 3 hours.


Hope you have many enjoyable pics from the trip. I recommend the sigma since the zoom rotation is clockwise like Canon, tamron is counter-clockwise. One brand isn't superior over the other. Both brands have gotten as good or exceed OEM standards.



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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: Billybob
Date: June 22, 2015 12:28PM
If you have space for a second lens, do consider the 10-18 stm. When in the city among the skyscrapers and historic buildings, 18mm is just not wide enough. The 10-18 stm is very lightweight, an excellent lens, and can be had for under $300.

Enjoy your trip: Chicago is one of my favorite cities for photography. The following were taken with a lens that is wider than your Rebel/18-XXX combo.










Okay, this last one was taken with a smart phone.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: DRR
Date: June 22, 2015 01:31PM
Yes I agree on the 10-18 also. I love a good wide.

When I travel my kit is usually my 16-35 plus a prime.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: AllGold
Date: June 22, 2015 01:37PM
I agree with all the above advice but I wanted to add something. Don't overlook your iPhone for panoramas. As a regular camera the iPhone is severely lacking compared to your DSLR but it does panoramas better than just about anything else.



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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: 3d
Date: June 22, 2015 02:06PM
Quote
rapayn1
Basically people, museum exhibits, and buildings.

I would go with your widest fastest prime lens on-hand. That 28mm fits the bill. For buildings, you want wide. For museum exhibits, you'll be cramped, possibly no flash, you can't physically step back to compose or else someone will step in the shot. And for people shots (i'm guessing you're not talking about portrraits) A wide is great to get crowds and capture the busy busy nature of street scenes.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 22, 2015 03:05PM
From that list I'd pack the iPhone for outdoor panorama shots (hint: you don't always need to pan a "full sweep" to make a great shot) and the EF28.

The T3i has enough pixels to crop-zoom later for most any urban travel shot. Yeah I realize the perspective isn't the same, but whatever.

If bringing the Canon I'd also try to maximize what it can do that the smartphone can't (without a "workaround" such an app or image editor ...) : reduced depth of field with aperture priority. Won't be as easy with a 28mm as it would with a longer lens, but still more effective than the iPhone there. Aperture priority is a great way to free yourself from auto-everything by thinking about what's going to happen, and about what you WANT to happen.

Keep the 6's lens free of shmutz. More than once I've had a few shots ruined by a dirty fingerprint, but then again, using my finger to wipe it clean works well enough, too!
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 03:12PM
All,

Such great advice. I'm suddenly overwhelmed. I truly appreciate the helpful comments vice ones I got on another forum where all of the replies were along the lines of if you have to ask then you don't need to be buying a lens and just stick with your iPhone. :-)
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 03:30PM
pRICE cUBE,

Thanks for the well wishes. I am such a novice, that I would never have even thought about does the zoom rotate clockwise or counterclockwise. :-) Since I wasn't even thinking about that, I'm not even sure if it would have mattered, but this is why I come to you all to ask these questions. There are a lot of real photographers here. I am NOT one of them. LOL!! I just like a nice photo.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 03:34PM
Billybob,

WOW!!! Great photos. Space is not a problem. I have a camera bag that can hold 8 lenses, but I want to travel light. Walking around the city all day (probably from 8 a.m. until close to 10 or 11 p.m.), I'd prefer to not be lugging around a T3i, 8 lenses, batteries, external flash, chargers, extra SDXC cards, etc, etc. I'm still torn between do I want video or just still photos? So, I will probably end up still carrying around my Canon Vixia HF G20. I was thinking just one lens, but can carry two (especially if the second is light and small). I know that the T3i can also take video, but I'm not really happy with how the video on that looks compared to that of the HF G20. The HF G20 can also take still photos, but I feel the T3i does a better hob of that. So, hence I have to debate carrying both.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2015 03:45PM by rapayn1.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 03:42PM
AllGold,

Don't I need to use a tripod or a monopod to take good panoramic photos with the iPhone? What type of mount do you use to attach an iPhone to either the monopod or a tripod? When I have attempted to take them with just my hands, I end up looking like a 2-year old child struggling to stay inside the lines of a coloring book picture, as I slowly rotate myself around. :-) My finished panoramas never stitch back together nicely in post-processing. The need for a monopod or tripod is just adding even more stuff for me to have to carry around.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: Billybob
Date: June 22, 2015 03:59PM
I can't give you advice about video. I'm a photos guy, so any video I do will be with my smart phone.

Since you're getting the 18-250mm, I suspect that you could get away with a 3-lens kit for your trip: the 10-18mm, which is light and compact, the 28mm (I'm not sure if you have the IS or older version; either way, they're both small), and the 18-250mm.

When I travel, my daily kit depends on what I plan to do that day. I concur with the recommendation for 28mm for indoor museum and exhibit shots (I used 35mm when I took these shots Art Institute). So indoors I'm taking the 28mm. Walking around, it's the 10-18 and 18-250mm. Top of Willis (ne Sears) Tower I'd recommend the 18-250mm and maybe your video camera. Thus, with a little bit of planning, your walkaround kit needn't be large.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 04:07PM
Billybob & DRR,

I'm intrigued by this Canon 10-18mm STM lens. Those pictures you posted are the kind I would love to be able to take in Chicago. Sigh ... At this point, money is probably more of a limiter than anything else. This Canon 10-18mm STM is $249. I just dropped $369.94 on the Sigma 18-250mm which just arrived earlier this afternoon (gotta love Amazon's same day delivery for free). :-) So, if I already plopped down $369.94, and then another $264 ($249 plus our state sales tax) on the 10-18mm lens, I'd be in on $633.94 on two lenses for a 5-day trip to Chicago, and I'm just a point and shoot kind of guy that only thinks about his camera when attending someone's wedding, or going to a baseball game, school plays, children's team or individual sports, reunions, graduation, or when on vacation. Which now that I just wrote all of that out, I guess is what pretty much everyone does. LOL!!

What I am trying to say is that I'm not that hobbyist that goes out every weekend taking nature photos or portraits for people on the side to turn a little profit. I see value in paying somewhat of a premium for a product even if I am not making a living with said product, because it will help my limited skills better than a bottom of the barrel item that requires more skill. A good analogy is why I have been buying and using Apples since 1991/1992, when I could have bought much cheaper Windows computers instead. I see the value in the MUCH more expensive Macintosh computer even though I don't use my computer to make myself money and don't even know how to write code and program.

The last time I knew anything about programing, it was BASIC and it was on my old Commodore 64 and 5/14" floppies. I graduated from the Commodore 64 to the Amiga 2000HD and then it has been all Apple ever since. A PowerBook 100, a Performa 550, a Newton Messagepad 2000, a Performa 6400HD, a a 333MHz Lombard Bronze keyboard PowerBook, couple of indigo blue G3 iMac DVs with slot loading disc capabilities, some Mac Minis, and some 24" and 27" iMacs. I may have forgotten some others, but I already digressed enough. :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2015 04:08PM by rapayn1.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 22, 2015 04:35PM
All,

So, based on what I have read above, it looks like I really can take just one lens, but should reconsider and take two (maybe take three) and they should be used as follows:

Canon EF 28mm 1:1.8 (Ultrasonic AutoFocus & Manual Focus - no image stabilization) - when visiting the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium

Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM - when visiting the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), John Hancock Center, Navy Pier and anything on the lakefront (like a boat cruise showing off the great Chicago Architecture

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens - when visiting Grant Park, Millennium Park, Riding the CTA train (e.g. Blue Line or the EL), a tour of the United Center, Soldier or Wrigley Field and maybe while watching the fireworks.

Is that about right? Opinions are welcome. :-)
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: AllGold
Date: June 22, 2015 06:37PM
Quote
rapayn1
AllGold,

Don't I need to use a tripod or a monopod to take good panoramic photos with the iPhone? What type of mount do you use to attach an iPhone to either the monopod or a tripod? When I have attempted to take them with just my hands, I end up looking like a 2-year old child struggling to stay inside the lines of a coloring book picture, as I slowly rotate myself around. :-) My finished panoramas never stitch back together nicely in post-processing. The need for a monopod or tripod is just adding even more stuff for me to have to carry around.

Are you using the iPhone's Pano setting/function? You don't need a tripod and you don't need post-processing. I think that's the beauty of the iPhone panos--that it's all done in-camera for you. Like deckeda said, you don't have to go 180 degrees. For example, if you just sweep 90 degrees then you have a nice wide angle shot.

If you're having trouble keeping the phone level as you sweep, just try it several times and maybe one of them will work. And as I said, just going two or three "segments" wide should make it easier.



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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: rapayn1
Date: June 23, 2015 12:19AM
AllGold,

Yes, I am using the iPhone 6 Pano setting under Camera. Tried it again tonight and it still looks like crap. I have seen others have fantastic iPhone panoramic photos. So, I do know that it is possible.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: vision63
Date: June 23, 2015 09:20AM
It's a very photogenic city. Those are outstanding photos Billybob!
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: DRR
Date: June 23, 2015 09:49AM
Quote
rapayn1
All,

So, based on what I have read above, it looks like I really can take just one lens, but should reconsider and take two (maybe take three) and they should be used as follows:

Canon EF 28mm 1:1.8 (Ultrasonic AutoFocus & Manual Focus - no image stabilization) - when visiting the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium

Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM - when visiting the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), John Hancock Center, Navy Pier and anything on the lakefront (like a boat cruise showing off the great Chicago Architecture

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens - when visiting Grant Park, Millennium Park, Riding the CTA train (e.g. Blue Line or the EL), a tour of the United Center, Soldier or Wrigley Field and maybe while watching the fireworks.

Is that about right? Opinions are welcome. :-)

At this point, if you can take the 18-250 and the 10-18, I find the 28mm focal length won't be necessary, unless, you're shooting in very dim environments or you are trying to get very shallow depth of field. Aquariums are often very dim, that's where you may benefit from the f/1.8, but I personally do not think it would be worth it to take this lens just for that one occasion. The 10-18 and 18-250 should be plenty to accomplish all the tourist/travel photos you are looking to get.

That is just my opinion of course, but I prefer traveling lighter, and finding creative solutions to the constraints, rather than lugging around a full kit for a day and having 3 or 4 lenses at my disposal. It does more to detract from my travel experience, than it does to enhance my photo taking experience.

Have fun!
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: billb
Date: June 23, 2015 10:28AM
Quote
rapayn1
All,

So, based on what I have read above, it looks like I really can take just one lens, but should reconsider and take two (maybe take three) and they should be used as follows:

Canon EF 28mm 1:1.8 (Ultrasonic AutoFocus & Manual Focus - no image stabilization) - when visiting the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium

Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM - when visiting the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), John Hancock Center, Navy Pier and anything on the lakefront (like a boat cruise showing off the great Chicago Architecture

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens - when visiting Grant Park, Millennium Park, Riding the CTA train (e.g. Blue Line or the EL), a tour of the United Center, Soldier or Wrigley Field and maybe while watching the fireworks.

Is that about right? Opinions are welcome. :-)



For a vacation I take with me a
Tamron 18-270
Nikon 10-24
and an old
Nikon 50mm 1.4

I rarely actually carry the 10-24 unless I'm walking around in a city and I know I'll wish I had brought it.
Same with the 50mm - usually used indoors where no flash is allowed. I wish it were 35mm (or 28) but it's not.


I also bring a canon elph P&S ( mostly for video lately)
and my iPod touch for panoramas and last trip I didn't pack the canon cuz the iPod sufficed.

I could take just the 18-270 if I really wanted to pare down the camera bag.
and the iPod



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: Billybob
Date: June 23, 2015 12:39PM
Quote
vision63
It's a very photogenic city. Those are outstanding photos Billybob!

Thanks, I agree. One can spend weeks there and not run out of good photo opportunities.

Quote
DRR
Quote
rapayn1
All,

So, based on what I have read above, it looks like I really can take just one lens, but should reconsider and take two (maybe take three) and they should be used as follows:

Canon EF 28mm 1:1.8 (Ultrasonic AutoFocus & Manual Focus - no image stabilization) - when visiting the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium

Sigma 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM - when visiting the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), John Hancock Center, Navy Pier and anything on the lakefront (like a boat cruise showing off the great Chicago Architecture

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens - when visiting Grant Park, Millennium Park, Riding the CTA train (e.g. Blue Line or the EL), a tour of the United Center, Soldier or Wrigley Field and maybe while watching the fireworks.

Is that about right? Opinions are welcome. :-)

At this point, if you can take the 18-250 and the 10-18, I find the 28mm focal length won't be necessary, unless, you're shooting in very dim environments or you are trying to get very shallow depth of field. Aquariums are often very dim, that's where you may benefit from the f/1.8, but I personally do not think it would be worth it to take this lens just for that one occasion. The 10-18 and 18-250 should be plenty to accomplish all the tourist/travel photos you are looking to get.

That is just my opinion of course, but I prefer traveling lighter, and finding creative solutions to the constraints, rather than lugging around a full kit for a day and having 3 or 4 lenses at my disposal. It does more to detract from my travel experience, than it does to enhance my photo taking experience.

Have fun!

The OP mentioned that he also plans to go to the Art Institute (too bad he missed the hockey-helmeted lions during the Stanley Cup playoffs!), which doesn't allow flash (or tripods). In this location a fast, sharp prime is desirable. I usually use a 35mm 1.4 shot at at f1.6-2.0 when shooting artwork in the low light because I like to keep the shutter speed above 1/200 and ISO under 400 (I have a link to shots taken in the Art Institute in an earlier contribution to this thread). Of course, if weight is paramount, then doing away with the prime is an option. However, the 28mm is so small and lightweight, why not take it?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2015 12:43PM by Billybob.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: DRR
Date: June 23, 2015 01:27PM
Why not take it - because more is not better. I suppose if OP was planning on taking a lot of pictures of flat art, then yes the 28mm would be a good choice just because it lets so much light in.

Still, if it were me, I wouldn't bother, because at 24-28mm on the 18-250, you're looking at probably f/3.5 or f/4. You're shooting handheld, and at that focal length for a non-moving subject, you really don't need to be at 1/200, do you? Further, with improvements in ISO performance and noise reduction in software, you could easily go to ISO 800 with very little noise penalty.

I'm not recommending against the prime, in fact I shoot primes almost exclusively (35/85 is my standard kit) I'm recommending for a lighter, simpler experience. In my experience you can play the "it's small and light" game very easily until you have a backpack full of small, light lenses, ultrapods, flashes, flash holders, etc. That's my take on it, anyway.
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Re: Canon Camera Lens Question
Posted by: Billybob
Date: June 24, 2015 07:56AM
DRR Your point is well taken. If one just wants to capture a moment then probably a cellphone would work.

By the way, in looking at my shots of flat art in Chicago, most were at 1/80 or slower, aperture no larger than f2, and ISO no higher than 400. I think I have a tendency to pixel-peep, so I tend to avoid going slower than 1/60sec and above ISO 400 especially with a crop sensor body so I was at my acceptable limits. However, if the idea is to just get the shot with a priority on a minimal kit size then by all means leave the 28mm at home.

I just struggle to go anywhere without a fast prime. My most recent trip to Chicago was for my nephew's graduation during which photography was not a priority. I took my 5D, 70-300L, and 40mm STM (at f2.8, not that fast but significantly faster than the zoom). The purpose of the pancake was primarily that of a lens cap to keep the camera body size as small as possible when stored in my backpack while still being able to take a shot with minimum preparation. I actually ended up using the 40mm for about 20% of shots taken.
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