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Ann Varley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/16/2007
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What's Your Favorite Walking-Around Lens?


I'm just curious about BetterPhoto members' favorite lens in their kit - you know, the all-around workhorse in your bag. Particularly as applies to outdoors and landscapes. I've been working with an image stabilized EFS 55-250 by Canon, but I'm falling out of love with it ... considering a new purchase. I wish I could afford something sexy like a 70-200 f2.8, but sadly, that's not going to happen any time soon. So? What's YOUR favorite? And why?


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8/12/2011 10:59:18 AM

 
Randy A. Myers
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/20/2002
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  Nikon user here. The 18-200VR lens stays on my camera. I only take it off for the 105VR for macro or the 80-400VR for birds and sports.


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8/12/2011 2:30:40 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  I like the Canon F4 24-105mm lens (L series).


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8/12/2011 5:20:44 PM

 
doug Nelson   Is your EOS an APS-C sensor, or full frame? For my 5DII, I keep a 35mm Leica R on it that fits my slow, deliberate shooting style. For me (maybe not you), that 35 or equivalent fits most of what I do. If I had an APS-C DSLR, I'd use an EF 24 that crops to about a 38. I prefer prime lenses, but that's what I learned on. Typically, I go out with a 35 and an 85. I see nothing sexy about a drain-pipe-size zoom. My 70-200 f4 L is my special-purpose lens - too big and heavy to carry on the camera for long, but perfect for when I need the reach.


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8/15/2011 10:11:29 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Whitehorse Mountain
Whitehorse Mountain
Summer Meltdown - f/13 @ 143mm taken w/Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens
© Carlton Ward
carltonwardphoto.com
Canon EOS 5D Mark ...
 
 
Hi Ann,
The 24-70mm & the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS are my main lenses. I am editing 900 images from a Festival I just shot for and almost all of them were taken with the 70-200.
Canon makes 5 versions of the 70-200mm and they have an f/4L (non-IS) version that sells for about $600. Its lighter than the 2.8 and is 67mm instead of 77 but it is a great lens and about the best lens you can get at that price range. I had one and I still love the images it produced but I sold it to get the 2.8 IS because I do a lot of low-light concert photography.
BTW, I shoot FF :)
This photo was taken from behind the stage (with the 70-200) as the clouds opened a hole to allow a peak of Whitehorse Mountain..
Love in Light,
Carlton


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8/15/2011 11:32:00 AM

 
Lynn R. Powers   In another week I will be the proud new owner (66%-33% in my favor, with the credit card company) of a Canon EOS 5D MarkII. The 24-105 f4L IS that comes with it will be my walk-around lens.
On my 40D it is the 17-85 f3,5-4.5L IS.
However when I am traveling out of town the camera is sitting in the seat next to me with the 70-200 f4L IS. If I am taking both cameras in the future it will be on the 5D MarkII. I find these two shorter lenses great for cities because I am able to take a fairly wide angle shot as well as impromptu portraits.

Carlton- That is another superb photo that you are sharing with us. Thanx

Ann- Carlton is a tall husky guy and is able to carry the heavy f2.8 lenses around all day. I am a weak old man. I did have the non-IS 2.8 version of the 70-200. The front element is large and heavy and does not balance well on a cropped camera. It is easier to use with the FF cameras or the 1D series, but it is still heavy. The f4L IS version is considerably lighter and I use it with the 40D often and am not tired at the end of the day. Another thing about the lens is that aside from the $2500 version it is the sharpest of the lot. KEH has one on sale in EX condition for $1079. That is around $300+ less than a new one. My 40D and the 17-85mm lens were purchased from them as well as other used cameras and lenses. I have never had a problem with any of them. Since I live in WA and KEH is in Atlanta area my only affiliation with them is as a customer.


Lynn


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8/15/2011 6:01:08 PM

 
Kathryn Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
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  Ann, I'm poor and will never see a piece of L-glass on my Canon 50D (at least, not in the real world - dreams are something else!) My favorite lens is Canon's 18-200 mm. The only time it comes off is to use a 50 mm 1.8 or also rarely, a 70-300.


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8/16/2011 4:24:51 AM

 
Bob Friedman   My personal favorite for a full sensoris the 28mm-135mm IS USM. More afordable than the 24m-105mm F/4 L lens (a much better lens) but did nice and sharp. It will give you more wide angle but not as much telephoto. It is head over heals better than the 55-250 AFS lens and with the sensor crop you only will be using the sharper center of the lens so it will look more like an L lens.

Since you mentioned outdoors and landscapes. I would probably try the 17-85mm. I had one and it was great (Lynn P. it is NOT an L lens) but the new 15-85mm is even better. If I am shooting outside with an APS camera and not my Full Frame 5D,I bring 10-20mm and the 28-135mm. Fills the void, gives great shots, spectacular wide angle scenics, and the works for just about everything but wildlife. I also have a high grade close up filter for the 28-135mm.


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8/16/2011 6:19:15 AM

 
Rita Hill
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/24/2005
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  For a walking around lens I am so comfortable with my 24-120mm on my Nikon D700. I would have to say most of my travel images indoor and outdoor use comes in real handy. For low light or indoor available light situations I like to use my 50mm 1.4 lens. Also a must is a handy tripod on any travel or walk around photo day.


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8/16/2011 7:13:31 AM

 
Allen M. Aisenstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/3/2005
  Amen to Randy's answer which is exactly what I do. I only wish that 18-200mm were an 18-270mm such as those available from generic lens manufacturers.


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8/16/2011 8:28:43 AM

 
Lynn R. Powers   Bob F - You are so,so, so correct. I didn't notice the error until I posted the message and unfortunately we are unable to edit our messages. The 17-85 is most definitely NOT an "L" lens. You and I use the same terms when recommending a standard zoom for a cropped camera; ie "...but the new 15-85 is even better."

Kathy- I am a long way from being rich or quite comfortable even but am able to save. I have wanted the new camera since it came out about three years ago. The even newer 5D MarkIII will probably be out in the Spring if not sooner There have been set-backs like paying $3600 for new hearing aids. Then I had to sell everything except the 70-200mm lens and still use a credit card. This time I had to sell my complete 5D a lens and accessories, use what I had managed to save, and take advantage of a 0% credit card offer for a year in order to make this huge purchase. Without that offer I wouldn't have been able to make the purchase. And I am not happy to have to sell the 5D body. The photos have a unique wonderful look to them when they are printed out. Of course I only have to feed myself, so that helps.

Ann - KEH does have the basic 70-200f4L within the $600 range. When used at f8 or perhaps f5.6 the image in that lens and mine the will be exactly the same. No one would know which of the two lenses was used without looking at the exif data. I am old and shake a lot so I need the IS.


Lynn


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8/16/2011 8:59:42 AM

 
Kathryn Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
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  Good luck with your lens choices, Lynn (don't you just hate it when your own body needs more money than your camera body! Cripes.)

Allen, I'm with you on an 18-270! My 70-300 sits in my bag almost always, but I'm afraid to sell it because of that "just in case it's needed" moment that may never come.


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8/16/2011 5:58:16 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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Yes, I am a tall 5' 7" and a little thick in the chest area but I have to tell you that after 3 festivals in 4 weeks of carrying the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens, my right arm feels about a foot longer than my left :)
I know Jim Z's wife uses the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens as her walk around lens. She is petite and has an amazing eye for unique perspectives & angles when shooting. She prefers the lighter weight and the quality it produces.
I dont think I pulled out my 24-70 all weekend but I did use the 100-400mm lens for a few shots. On my long hikes to waterfalls and landscape views, I carry the 24-70 and the 100-400 (in case I stumble on a critter in the distance) but I rarely pull out the 100-400 and curse myself for the added weight when my legs are wobbly from a strenuous hike. I also carry a carbon fiber tripod which gets lots of use on all my hikes and would never go on a hike without it. Its worth every penny to me for the stronger & lighter weight.
Cheers,
Carlton


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8/16/2011 7:56:18 PM

 
Mark R. Glick   Tamaron 18-270 mm


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8/21/2011 10:03:22 AM

 
Kevin Atwell   Another Nikon user- Now D7000 with a 85mm 1.4, but I also like my 14-24mm 2.8.. I have a 50mm 1.4 but use that for certain occasions. I also have a 70-300mm 4.5 5.6 .....
Kevin


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9/9/2011 11:43:42 AM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  You need to know where you are walking to decide what lens works best. You need to know what your preference of what you prefer to shoot, and go from there.


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9/13/2011 9:18:31 PM

 
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