Looking to backpack abroad with the 30D, which lens to buy?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cgennoe, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. cgennoe

    cgennoe TPF Noob!

    Oct 29, 2007
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    Hi, thanks for viewing my post!

    I recently purchased the Canon EOS 30D with the 17-85 IS Kit.

    In the near future I plan to teach English in Asia and backback through some of the many beautiful counties nearby. Something that I am very excited about! The prospect of merging photography with this endeavour is something I am carefully planning as having the right equipment will be critical to making the most of this epic journey.

    My question is, drum roll please...which lens to purchase to supplement the 17-85 IS?

    The prospective exposures/compositions that I will be charmed with will, no doubt, vary widely and will require a versatile lens fully capable of accomodating such diverse beauty. I am interested at two lenses primarily at this point:
    -EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
    -EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

    My concern with the 28-300 is the quality of photographs, especially near the min and max focal lengths. What do you think? I have read everything I can get my hands on to this point in entering the world of Digital SLR, but would certainly appreciate your more experienced perspective. If you were in my shoes, and ready to shoot landscape, people, wildlife, etc on such a journey, and were able to purchase just 1 lens before leaving, which would it be. Feel free to suggest a lens that I have not considered as well!

    Appreciated beyond words,


  2. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

    Feb 27, 2007
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    Miami, FL
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    They are L's so there is really no major shortcomings as far as Image Quality is concerned. I have not personally used the 28-300 myself, but it better be damn good for $2K! The 70-200 is as good a zoom as you are going to find, only concern is the weight. Large aperature = more glass, means a hefty brick. Tack on a 1.4X TC to save space if you want and add another 80mm in reach. Also look at the 100-400 f/4-5.6 L IS. Really good lens if you want the reach and do not need the larger aperature of a f/2.8. That's if you just want one lens to augment the 17-85. I am just thinking of all of those landscapes, monuments, shrines you can get with say a EF-S 10-22 also. Something to also consider, a nice macro and fast prime. Say a 50 f/1.8 or f/1.4 and a 100 f/2.8 macro. Yeah, break out the bank.
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Nov 15, 2003
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    North New Jersey, United States of America
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    For backpacking and outdoor, I found the focal range versus weight to be more important. I would pack your kit 17-85, 100-400L, and a 50 f1.8. If you were shooting full frame, I'd bring just the 28-300mm + 50 f1.8.

    - 70-200 f2.8 and the 28-300mm are both similar in weight... heavy
    - 70-200 f2.8 is short in my opinion even if it does have the fast aperture. The short focal length and fast aperture won't be as useful during backpacking.
    - 28-300mm. To tell you the truth.. I never could see the point of this lens. Its not the longest, it is not the fastest, its not the widest, its not the lightest, its not the cheapest. Probably the least interesting lens in the whole Canon L lineup. About the only reason for this lens is if you had to have something versatile and could only pack ONE lens.
    - Another option is your kit lens + 70-300mm DO. Pretty darn compact and light for what it can do... BUT.. it is not the sharpest of the bunch. Check out the examples from this lens from thedigitalpicture and pbase. It just might be good enough for you.
  4. The 70-200 2.8 L is a BEAST... I would NOT want to hike with it for long.
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Aug 29, 2006
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    Pittsburgh PA

    I guess it depends on what is important to you, image quality or compactness. I think you told that when you said 30D so personally I would stay away from any lens with a 28-200 range. If it were me I would take a good 2.8 wide to some zoom lens I don't know Canon but in Nikon I would take the 17-55 2.8 and personally and this is just a statement of my personal style if I was shaving pounds I would leave the long zoom home. If I had room for it I would take my 70-200VR 2.8.

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