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11-16-2010, 01:36 PM   #16
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Yeah I am really not happy with my current Tamron, and their options seem pretty limited. Therefore I am leaning away from this brand until I see some better reviews coming from them.

Ideally a 17-70 would be perfect for what I want, but nobody makes that with constant 1:2.8 which is something I really need, especially considering how overcast London can be as well as the number of museums I am hoping to go to. Is the Pentax 17-70 1:4 any good? I just wish it had a bigger aperture...

As for the dual body thing, that makes a ton of sense, but I also feel like it would make me that much more of a target for thieves to be carrying around a second body (then again I could leave it in the pack...). More likely, I would be concerned with classmates wanting to use my second body since I have an "extra" and then risk them dropping it, etc. I don't mind if friends borrow my stuff usually, but I am also usually watching them when they do and I would rather be taking photos than watching someone borrow my gear lol (Hope that doesn't come off as too selfish).

11-16-2010, 01:57 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
Yeah I am really not happy with my current Tamron, and their options seem pretty limited. Therefore I am leaning away from this brand until I see some better reviews coming from them.
You should not make a mistake of basing a judgment regarding how great all the Tamron f/2.8 zooms may be based on how 'eh' you may find the 75-300mm F/4-5.6 to be.

I know 1st had how absolutely exceptional the 28-75/2.8 is; it is one of the most loved lenses on this board, and I've heard similar accolades in other mounts. I would go so far as saying it is by far the best value in the normal zoom range [definitely before the weak dollar and substantial price inflation, but even now after] and I'm surprised you would say 'I am leaning away from this brand until I see some better reviews coming from them' as I've read statements far and wide about how much it is loved. Regarding the newer releases, I've come to understand not only the shorter zoom [17-50/2.8] sibling but also the longer [70-200/2.8] zoom sibling are cut from the same cloth.

(I only got the Sigma 70-200/2.8 HSM because a) the color rendition seemed to have some special pixie dust to me, b) the silent HSM, and c) the immediate MF override adjustment. The Tamron equiv is [perhaps arguably] sharper and is said to have better OOF rendering / bokeh)

Last edited by m8o; 11-16-2010 at 02:10 PM.
11-16-2010, 02:12 PM   #18
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Anti-theft travel tips

QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
I also feel like it would make me that much more of a target for thieves to be carrying around a second body (then again I could leave it in the pack...). More likely, I would be concerned with classmates wanting to use my second body since I have an "extra" and then risk them dropping it, etc. I don't mind if friends borrow my stuff usually, but I am also usually watching them when they do and I would rather be taking photos than watching someone borrow my gear lol (Hope that doesn't come off as too selfish).
I travelled for two years straight all-over the world, mostly developing world. some safety tips, imho thieves generally come in two forms on the road:

1. some will try to pickpocket you, unlikely to grab a camera that is around your neck or body, but do not leave an slr just hanging on your shoulder that can be snatched. never let your camera bag out of your sight or just leave it on a seat, especially on open sided rickshaws, taxis (i dont put anything in a taxi trunk, ever, why? then they have control over opening it, if there is a fare argument, watch out!), take extra care on trains and buses, especially while sleeping. also carry money and passport in a moneybelt around your waist, with some small money in your pocket/wallet for daily use and in case of robbery hand over the wallet not the money belt

2. some will steal from your room/dorm or whatnot, this is often employees or other travellers, trust nonone. best solution to keep your gear safe is this:
Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags & Travel Security Products

I used that travelsafe for two years, someone would need heavy wire cutters and a serious blade to get through it. It locks securely using a tamper proof locking system. Fantastic for peace of mind when you have expensive gear and money belts etc to store. I used it in beach shacks and hotels, trains all over...

For the record: In 3 years of travel in 30 countries, I had 1 compact camera pickpocketed, and 1 wallet pickpocketed, those were the only instances. Both would have been avoided by using zippered pockets and some common sense...No other real issues whatsoever

Last edited by Deimos; 11-16-2010 at 02:19 PM.
11-16-2010, 02:19 PM   #19
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If I had to pick one from that list it would be the Sigma 10-20, but I wouldn't get the f3.5 constant, I'd get the older variable aperture one as it's cheaper and no less IQ.

I agree that a 18-135 and a Sigma 10-20 would be a great travel kit.

11-16-2010, 04:34 PM   #20
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if only what matters is photography, wait for the 18-135, and also get the 10-20..
if not, get the 18-135 and spend the rest of the money in "a couple of beers"

cheers, literally :P
11-16-2010, 04:37 PM   #21
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I'll only concur that there's no way you have to go anywhere near as long as 200. 135 TOPS, and you won't even use THAT much for travel photography.

If you were going to photograph the monkeys around Mumbai, that's one thing. But for people photography--even to discretely shoot the "natives" from a comfortable distance--you'll get much better results from the shorter lengths.
11-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I'll only concur that there's no way you have to go anywhere near as long as 200. 135 TOPS, and you won't even use THAT much for travel photography.

If you were going to photograph the monkeys around Mumbai, that's one thing. But for people photography--even to discretely shoot the "natives" from a comfortable distance--you'll get much better results from the shorter lengths.
I agree. When I traveled I had nothing but the kit lens, sure I could have done with some faster glass and occasionally a longer lens, but by and large the wide end of the kit was sufficient 90% of the time (for me). There were some times when I wanted to snap a bird or a local from far away, but often in those situations you dont have time or dont want to change a lens anyways

You are often trying to capture street scenes or monuments and such, for that wide is best, sometimes you cant backup, but you can usually walk forwards

Last edited by Deimos; 11-16-2010 at 05:16 PM.
11-16-2010, 05:12 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
If you were going to photograph the monkeys around Mumbai, that's one thing. But for people photography--even to discretely shoot the "natives" from a comfortable distance--you'll get much better results from the shorter lengths.

Agreed, however, would you not think that the 55-85 range of the 18-135 would be handy for candids or architectural details?

If I could only bring one lens, I would want something that could comfortably hit 20mm and 70mm. That said, I only think the 18-135 is worth it if it is an optical upgrade from the kit, which is something that remains to be seen.

11-16-2010, 05:17 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by soppy Quote
I am looking to buy a new lens before a trip in about a year or so. I am a college student, so money is tight and thats why I need to save for that long lol.

I will likely be getting a K-5 with the 18-55mm WR lens soon. I would like to buy one more lens between now and the trip.
Wow! I would have loved to be a college student for whom money was tight but could get the top-of-the-line newest camera...

Sorry! Does not answer your question but could not resist...
11-16-2010, 05:42 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Agreed, however, would you not think that the 55-85 range of the 18-135 would be handy for candids or architectural details?

If I could only bring one lens, I would want something that could comfortably hit 20mm and 70mm. That said, I only think the 18-135 is worth it if it is an optical upgrade from the kit, which is something that remains to be seen.
The 18-135 is the most talked about range in a long time, so yes, I agree with you. This is all you need if you're looking for an all-in-one lens, depending on what the final judgment is.

My main point was that you're simply not going to need anything longer. Maybe one shot out of a hundred if you're shooting those monkeys, but that's irrelevant.

For general travel photography and a one-size/one-lens-fits-all at high IQ, I don't see how you can beat an 18-135 if it's manufactured up to snuff.

It's simply a perfect focal range.

Last edited by Ira; 11-16-2010 at 05:49 PM.
11-16-2010, 06:22 PM   #26
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I'm not sure I understand your situation--you're considering the 24-70 plus the kit lens, but somehow the 24-70 is too expensive with the body only--but I do have a few thoughts.

The 24-70 will not be wide enough if you like wide shots; it would pair wonderfully with a 10-20, but that's not in your budget. Some people might do well with only a 10-20, but you have to get very close to the subjects and in a tourist group that seems less possible.

The DA*16-50 costs about as much as the 24-70 + 18-55WR, even if the WR lens is in a kit. 16 is pretty wide, and the weather sealing is excellent on that lens. The only drawback with the 16-50 is that corners are fairly soft wide-open at tele--where the corners usually aren't in focus anyhow. Later, add the 50-135, 10-20, and 200, and you've got your full set.

Also, the K-5 will be considerably cheaper a month or two before your trip than now. Probably by enough to effectively give you a free good tripod. If you're going to buy one item now and one later, buy the lens first.
11-16-2010, 06:25 PM   #27
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Depends on what you plan to take pictures of, even while on trips I tend to shoot people, so for me, at least, not having anything longer than 20mm would be a nightmare. That being said, I own the Sigma 24-70, and the image quality is great, but . . . it's HUGE. Not an ideal travel lens, very bulky, and screams "Pro."

Everything is a compromise, what's most important? Flexiblity, image quality, portablity? Other lenses I've tried/owned I'd personally like to take on a trip (all can be found under $300 used): Sigma 17-70 2.8-4- good step up from a kit lens, but not quite a "Pro" lens in terms of DOF, bokeh. Sigma 24-60 2.8 - good compromise in terms of size, but still good image quality. Pentax 16-45 f4, good image quality, not quite as fast. Of these, I'd probably give the nod to the 17-70 based on size/price/range.

Always enjoyed the images I took with my pentax 18-250, here you're talking about $400 used. Not great bokeh, but small (especially at the short end) and image quality a touch better than your kit lens. Paired with a that 50mm, not a bad combo.
11-16-2010, 06:25 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
Wow! I would have loved to be a college student for whom money was tight but could get the top-of-the-line newest camera...

Sorry! Does not answer your question but could not resist...
Well, the explanation for that is my expecting it to come out since before summer. Saved almost all of my money from my summer job this year which is enough to buy the K5 and the 10-20, then saving all this summer as well to give me some spending money for either lenses or travel cash. College expenses come from my 4 years of high school working at a grocery store and last year for my college. Plus financial aid and scholarships. I have barely spend a percentage of what I have earned through working since I was 14, so thats how this works, though even then it will be a stretch. Money wouldn't be tight if it wasn't for this hobby lol. It's all about priorities.

QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
You should not make a mistake of basing a judgment regarding how great all the Tamron f/2.8 zooms may be based on how 'eh' you may find the 75-300mm F/4-5.6 to be.
This is true. I guess I was kinda talking from no experience. I haven't been looking at Tamron and have pretty much ignored them, so my facts are based solely on my one experience and I realize that is their bottom of the line. I shouldn't have made that assumption and will give them fair consideration if anyone suggests a lens in the range I am looking for.

Alright well if the 18-135 is good I'll get that. What if it is not so great (build quality, IQ, etc.)? Then what what would you suggest?
11-16-2010, 07:37 PM   #29
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Tamron 17-50 2.8 ~$400
11-16-2010, 08:16 PM   #30
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I'd give serious consideration to the lenses in each segment which are best bang-for-the-buck, you might be able to get two great lenses instead of one that is overpriced. IE tamron 17-50 / 2.8 is very highly rated but a good price - $400 or less new. Has a mm on the sigma and it's a few hundred bucks cheaper than the da*16-50. It looks like sigma may have pulled the previous 18-50 f2.8 macro and replaced it with the HSM lens, which is also over $600.
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