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Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Destination and Travel Photography Tutorial

Photography Question 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
 

Best Zoom Lens for Travel Holiday?


I'm going to Rome in November and just want to take one lens. Iam thinking of buying the Canon 28-300 3.5-5.6L (for full-frame camera). I would appreciate any advice!


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10/7/2005 3:44:13 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  If you can afford that then go for it. You can't beat the focal length range and its L designation. But don't forget ... it's a push/pull zoom, not your usual twist type zoom. Some people don't like this. I've never tried it, but I'm not sure if I would like it. I would recommend renting it for a day from somewhere and seeing if you really like it. I was going to recommend the 28-135 for a lot less price. But if you have $2100, by all means try it if you won't mind the push/pull factor.


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10/7/2005 4:53:21 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Justin,
Thanks for your advice! I have never used a push/pull zoom, so it may not be the ideal lens. I will now definitely "try before I buy"! The 28-135 sounds good, will definitely look at it. Thanks again.


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10/7/2005 5:28:50 AM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  The biggest problem with using the EF 28-300L as a travel lens is its size. It is very heavy to carry as a tourist (over 3.5 pounds), and its long length (7.2" at its shortest zoom) and white paint mean it's not a very discrete lens. It's intended more for professional photojournalists. If that doesn't put you off, then go for it.
Alternatively, you can cover the same range with as good or better optics and less total weight and cost with a 2-lens set - such as Justin's suggestion of the EF 28-135 IS, and either the EF 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM or the newly released EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM.


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10/7/2005 5:50:36 AM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  Since you are touring in a city, I think you need the wide angle end more often. The EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is my first choice. The IS feature is extremely useful in low-light situations. My other choices are the EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (less expensive, lighter but no IS) or the Tamron 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 Asph. XR IF Macro (very light weight, less expensive and cover more).


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10/7/2005 6:46:49 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Jon& Andy,

Thank you both for you replies!
The 28-135f/3.5-5.6USM(IS)is looking like the best for city photography.
Must have a look at the Tamron 28-200,
light weight & more cover sounds good!


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10/7/2005 7:10:46 AM

 
Steve Parrott
LightAnon.com
  I own the 28 - 300 L Canon zoom. You do NOT want it for a "vacation" lens. Much too heavy and big. I also HIGHLY DISLIKE the push pull operation. To be honest, my lens has been sitting in it's bag, unused for over a year. I also dislike the slow 5.6 apature at max zoom. The 70-200 2.8 IS L zoom is a MUCH better lens. It's speed plus image stabilization make available light photos much easier. It is also a "normal" ring type zoom. The 28-300 is not very highly regarded amoung Canon lenses... that should tell you something.


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10/11/2005 12:38:53 PM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Steve,
Thank you so much for you reply! I think you have saved me from making a very expensive mistake!The 28-300 L seemed like the ideal(good quality) "Cover all" lens!I will definitely try the 70-200
2.8 IS L Zoom. will post my final choice & hopefully up load some photos of Rome sometime in November!

Thanks so much!

Helen


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10/11/2005 1:27:10 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  The last time I was in Rome I only had two lenses. The EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM and the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. The lens I used most often was the 28-135mm and had great results. There were plenty of dimly lit areas that the IS came in handy, and the wide angle aspect is useful for capturing all those really BIG ruins.

The 70-200mm 2.8 IS L is a good lens, but if you only want one lens I'd suggest going wider for this beautiful city. Enjoy Rome!


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10/11/2005 10:10:06 PM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Lewis,

I really appreciate your reply! The EF
28-135mm f/3.5 with IS, looks very promising! Must get to the dealer soon and have a play!

Thank you for your good wishes!


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10/12/2005 2:07:25 AM

 
anonymous A.    I took my EOS 5 and Sigma 28-300mm to Rome last year. It's a great combination for this work; I'm 60, walked everywhere and didn't notice the weight. Oh, and the Sigma is a twist-to-zoom lens.


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10/12/2005 4:39:44 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  David,

Thanks for your reply!I really like the idea of the wider range! 28-300mm!
Also the reasonable weight is very important when sightseeing!
I will definitely have a look at this lens when I visit the retailer!

Many thanks!


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10/12/2005 5:04:51 AM

 
Bob Mepham   Well Helen, you certainly are getting a lot of great feedback. My insights are from the perspective of someone who uses a 35 mm film camera, but some of my experience may be helpful.

As an avid vacation photographer (Europe, Asia, Africa), I am wed to the 28-200 zoom as my primary lens for travel. I happened to buy the ProMaster but the Tamron would also have done the job nicely. Price was the determining factor, but I am hugely satisfied with the picture quality.

If I can add one aspect to the discussion, the dilemma with these zoom lenses is their need for reasonable light levels. While flash is an option most of the time (don't forget to remove the lens hood when using the flash or else you will have a lens hood shadow in your pictures when they are taken at 28 mm ), there are occasions where flash is inappropriate or nor permitted. I have tried to solve this challenge by packing in my bag a fast 28 mm (f1.8) and 50 mm (f1.7) lens for low light situations. They are inexpensive, compact and do not add much weight.

I have also found that the slowness of the zoom lenses can be compensated for in part by using faster film. My primary film is Fuji 400, but then I rarely enlarge a picture beyond an 8x12.

Hope my personal experiences help you with your trip. Rome is a fantastic city, though in November, the likelihood of poorer weather increases and low light photography becomes more of an issue. Have a wonderful time.


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10/12/2005 7:51:37 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Bob,
You are right,the feedback has been amazing!I just would not get this wonderful advice at the camera shop!
You are right about the poorer weather in November, so I guess the fast primes would be a good idea! But I do like the idea of the 28-200 or 300!
I am leaning so much, thanks to you all!

Thank you for your good wishes! Just can't wait for to see this wondeful city!


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10/12/2005 11:25:05 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Well Helen if you're leaning then put your other shoe on!!!!!! just playin with ya. I hope you have a ball in rome. my wife and I are going to try and visit her brother in england sometime soon. lemme know how europe is!


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10/12/2005 2:01:35 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Well Helen if you're leaning then put your other shoe on!!!!!! just playin with ya. I hope you have a ball in rome. my wife and I are going to try and visit her brother in england sometime soon. lemme know how europe is!


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10/12/2005 2:01:36 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Well Helen if you're leaning then put your other shoe on!!!!!! just playin with ya. I hope you have a ball in rome. my wife and I are going to try and visit her brother in england sometime soon. lemme know how europe is!


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10/12/2005 2:01:36 PM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  I see no problem getting advice from a source like betterphoto.com as there is a lot of good advise to be found.

On the other hand, if you do not get this type of advice from your camera shop, you are shopping at the wrong place. Our local camera super store has people that know their stuff with high prices to boot. I tend to shop B & H photo on the web. They have a number where you can call and speak with knowledgeable sales staff for recommendations. I've been pleased by their suggestions.

As for low light situations, there are plenty of those in Rome without worrying about the weather. A fast lens or IS will come in real handy.


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10/13/2005 5:51:13 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Justin,
Thanks for your good wishes!Hope to post some photos on return so you can see how Europe is looking!


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10/13/2005 9:09:58 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Justin,
Thanks for your good wishes!Hope to post some photos on return so you can see how Europe is looking!


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10/13/2005 9:11:29 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  aww thanks so much helen!


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10/13/2005 9:46:26 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Lewis,
Thanks for getting back again!
The staff at the local photographic store are very helpful, but I think one gets a more unbiased opinion from forums like Better Photo.Com!??
Shopping on the web is definitely cheaper!
Having looked at your website I think I will settle for the 28-125mm IS + a
fast prime! Your view of Rome is stunning! I will do my best to get some good shots!


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10/13/2005 10:45:33 AM

 
Lewis T. Beasimer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/30/2003
  Thanks for your words of encouragement.

I've been reading articles on the just released EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. There are some differences between this one and the 28-135 IS but I think it may be an L option worth looking at. I have no personal experience with the new lens, but I've yet to be disappointed by any of my L lenses.

I look forward to enjoying your view of Rome.


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10/14/2005 5:59:21 AM

 
Norbert Maile   Keep in mind that "L" glass is the best you can get. The old saying is, " The shot is omly as good as your glass". Not completely true but not far off either. If you can find something in "L" glass, get it! It will last you a lifetime.


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10/18/2005 9:37:26 PM

 
Lynn P. Foerster
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2005
Contact Lynn
Lynn's Gallery
  Hi Helen
I was wondering what lens you decided to go with. I am going to Rome in May and am looking at the 28-135 USM IS lens (right now I just have the kit Digital Rebel lens 18-55). Also, how was your trip?!
Lynn


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2/12/2006 2:46:53 PM

 
anonymous A.    Well, Helen, November is long gone...what did you settle on, and how was the trip? Do you have any Roman photos to share with us? Love to see them... by the way, there are photos from Rome in my gallery if they would help Lynn decide: sunsets on Page 6, a couple of interiors of the Vatican on Page 6. Also, any pictures taken with the Canon EOS A2E would have been made with a 28-300mm and the same lens is now fitted to my 20D, so any pictures taken with the Canon digital were shot with this, except the macros. A similar lens was used for nearly all the Pentax shots. Hope they give you some idea of whether or not a similar lens would work for you.
David


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2/12/2006 5:45:49 PM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Hello Lynn!
Sorry that it has taken so long to respond,but our first grandson was born on the 6th February 2006 & we have
just about got back to "normal" life now !! We had a wondeful trip to Rome in November - Just one rainy day ! I settled for the 28-135 USM IS in the end . That was the only lens I used! The IS is a real bonus for shots inside the Vatican & the Sistine Chapel!Flash is not allowed inside these historic buildings & I was amazed
at how clear the photos looked! This lens would be a good compliment to your 18-55 lens on your digital Rebel.Just a note , I was lucky enough to receive the Canon EOS 5D as a Christmas/birthday gift so I am thinking of investing in some "L" lenses as the full frame sensor is unforgiving with some of the "consumer " lenses! I will post some of the photo shortly! Have a wonderful trip & let us know what lens you decide on! Helen.


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4/6/2006 6:39:21 AM

 
Helen N. McHugh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  David, as you can see from my response to Lynn , my life has changed somewhat since the arrival of my first grandson in February!, hence the delay in responding to you! Accompanied by my husband,we had a wonderful holiday in Rome, last November. What an amazing city - so much to see! Having settled for the 28-135 IS Canon lens ,I was very happy with the resulting photographs, especially those taken without flash! The IS is a godsend! Just been looking through your gallery- some amazing shots there!You are a well travelled man! Your 28-300mm lens is excellent! Is it the Canon lens? I have thought about buying this lens but the size & weight put me off! Do you find it heavy? I will post some photos of the trip soon! Helen


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4/6/2006 7:09:34 AM

 
anonymous A.    Hello Helen. Congratulations, Grandma! My 28-300 is isn't a Canon (couldn't afford one)~ it's a Tamron. I'm in my 60s, so if weight were an issue I guess I'd know by now, but I don't find it a problem. I think balance is more important than weight. Can't wait to see your photos.


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4/6/2006 2:24:42 PM

 
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