Good Travel Lens?


TPF Noob!
Feb 27, 2012
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I am going to be going on two separate trips to Alaska and Kenya, Africa later this summer. I would like to buy a new lens that would suit my needs for these two trips, but I need help choosing. I am currently flirting with the idea of getting either the Canon 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 or the Canon 28-135 f/3.5-5.6, but I'm not sure which one of these is better, or if I should get another lens altogether. My current setup is a Canon T1i With a kit 18-55 f/3.5-5.6, a 55-250 f/4-5.6, and a 50 f/1.8. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
You currently have 18 to 255 covered. The two lenses you listed are only marginally better. Are you only trying to bring one lens? What about the great wilderness that both of those locations offer? Maybe a 100-400!
Agreed, those lenses are not really much of an upgrade from what you have...

What's your budget? And do you mind carrying several lenses?

My first instinct says a Tokina 11-16 or Sigma 10-20, your 50, and then something like a 100-400...
If at all possible, I would prefer to carry just 1 or 2 lenses. Another option I have considered is the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS from Canon.My budget is anywhere up to about $800, which I realize is not very much. Luckily, I don't believe I will be needing particularly fast glass for these trips, because I should be shooting during the day. Hopefully that will help to cut down the cost.
The 70-300 is a fine lens, but so is your 55-250. So your really just shifting a little of your short end to long. You can always crop, but you can't make the 70 side wider. The advantage to the 55-250 is size and weight (and you already own it). The advantage of the 70-300 is USM. IMO, not enough difference to warrant to the purchase. The weaker side of inventory is the 18-55 (which is not that bad).

If you could squeeze a few more dollars, the 70/200 F4 IS (around $1200 new, $900 used) would be a worthwhile upgrade since you seem to be focused on the longer end. You may also want to consider the 15-85 on the short end. A little wider than your 18. A little more range so you would not have to switch as much. Used is in your budget (around $600).
I recommend you Save your money. The only lens that is any better from list above is the 70-200 f/4. All others are just tweaked focal lengths of what you already have. If you must only carry one lens the 18-135 IS is better for a crop than the 28-135mm. I would just consider buying some kind of easy access carrying kit (bag or vest) that you can use and carry what you already have with ease
I can understand only wanting to carry 1 or 2 lens. When I was in Belize I decided to only carry my long lens in order to get photos of wild life which prevented me from getting some good shots of the ruins. Now I wish i had picked up an 18-135, or carried more with me.

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