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Thread: Travel telephoto lens

  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    Im new to the forum, interested to buy a telephoto lens. Was adviced against getting the 18-200mm when i was at John3:16 because they says image quality is bad. But after looking at CS Brother Anson photos shot with 18-200mm i regreted not buying the 18-200mm initially. Too late now. The Canon 18-200mm seems to be pretty steep in the B&S section and they are used items, which are kit lens so not sure if its wise to buy one...

    Anyhow Im thinking of buying the sigma 28-300 or tamron 28-300mm. I have also short listed the Tamron 18-270mm pzd... I search the forum but unable to find much information. Have anyone used any of these lenses before? Will appreciate your kind help and feedback. or will you recommend any other telephoto lenses..

    Just alittle background, hope this info helps:

    Im currently using a Canon 1100D cos im trying out photography and see if i really like it as much as i do now in the future, and if I don't at least my loss are lesser, and yeah though the 1100D its a basic camera and it produces very decent images which is quite good enough for me. I buy this camera is mainly to take better pictures. I do like the pictures that are taken using the 18-55mm kit lens that came with the 1100D but its too short and I can't zoom in. I went to see dolphins in Australia last year together with my friend and we were using her 1000D and the 18-55mm can't capture those lovely dolphins nicely enough we were on a ferry and can't go to close... *sob sob* thats why I am thinking of buying a telephoto lens that is decent so that when I travel i can just take that one lens... also when i bought the 1100D i had budget constraints so thats why i took the advice of shooting with the 18-55mm and see what it lacks because actually i did wanted to wait for a few more weeks to save up for the Canon EFS18-200mm lens and buy together with the camera but since the salesman who is a "professional photographer" as he claims and he asked me to trust him by not buying the lens so I decided to really try out the kit lens... But i dont blame him because at least shooting with the 18-55mm lens helps me identify what I lack. I traveled with my camera to the rainforest and was on a boat and was unable to zoom in for some occassions to take a shot of people in other boats... its with this and the dolphin incident so i feel that i might want to get a travel telephoto lens

    About me, Im using 50mm f1.8 for protraits and food that i eat at the foodcourt etc and i use the 18-55mm for landscapes and general photos... I am more of a casual photographer, a regular boring plain jane that take photos for the purpose of documenting and recording for my own collection.. Im contented with my setup but i feel i need more reach which my 18-55 cant give me and watching dolphins my legs cant be the autozoom. I will want to go back again...

    so I just need a decent lens that can zoom far and give me decent pictures so now im looking for a telephoto lens with decent image quality to take for travel so that i need not change lens especially I will be going Vietnam and Cambodia again, this time with my camera so I feel that it might not be wise to change lenses in the dusty streets...


    I cant find much info on the sigma 28-300 and Tamron 28-300 as well as Tamron 18-270 in this forum and even on google the results isn't what Im looking for. The Tamron 18-270 is slightly more expensive so not sure if its worth the money. I hope to get some knowledge and advise to those who have used or have knowledge about any of these 3 lenses and if you could share which is a more decent lens from those who used or know about them, do you like it or would you rather i buy something else?

    My budget is $750 max thats why I only can choose 3rd party lenses and my lenses knowledge isnt that good, so hope to learn from
    one and all... if you have any other suggestion for lenses in this price range that can give me more reach when i travel with one lens do let me know.

    Thanks so much everyone for your kind time and advice. i appreciate and value every feedback which you take time to write.

    Thank you so much.
    Last edited by aleow; 3rd May 2012 at 05:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travel telephoto lens

    Tamron 18-270mm PZD is an excellent lens,

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/sigma...-vc-pzd-2.html

    However it don't come very cheap. The last I ask, it is in the region of around S$9xx.

    I would definely recommend a 55-250mm, which is small, light and function really well + it had a very good IS system... since you already had the 18-55mm, a 55-250mm makes lots of sense.

    For night and lowlight photography, I would recommend you getting an external flash (the YN565EX is only around S$2xx) and if you have spare cash, get the nifty fifty (50mm f1.8 II - which is only around S$1xx)

    So for the money you would spend on a tamron 18-270mm, you can get the 55-250mm + external flash + 50mm f1.8 II. These equipment should last you quite some time before you decide whether u really like photography or not and whether u wanted to upgrade or not.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  3. #3

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    wow thank you so much brother rhino123

    I sincerely appreciate your reply.

    I did consider the 55-250mm lens but im not sure if its suitable for a walkabout lens, but indeed its a very good option for the price. Will bear that in mind

    Thanks bro

  4. #4

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    It seems to me that you prefer an all-in-one zoom more than a more dedicated telephoto zoom lens.

    I won't pick up the 18-200mm, as I am not impressed with the image quality, but I think you would be won over by the versatility it provides.

    As such, you may consider the various options - Canon has the 18-200mm that you are familiar with. Sigma has the 18-200mm OS and Tamron's star is the 18-270mm VC. Tamron also has a range of other all in one zooms that you can consider - 18-250mm, 18-200mm.

    As mentioned earlier, none of the lenses have exceptional image quality. Online reviews will confirm this fact. But their key advantage is the large range, and I imagine it to be most useful to you.

    As for the various 28-300mm lenses that you are considering, you are essentially giving up some of the wide end for a longer reach. Nothing good or bad. Just personal preference. Your choice.

    Review sites like dpreview.com, photozone.de etc has plenty of information on the lenses. Go read them to find out more.
    KF Photography
    Thanks for viewing!

  5. #5

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    Thanks brother Blur Shadow for the insight.

    Will a "more delicated" zoom lens like the 55-250 have a slightly better image quality?

    im thinking more of a convenience of not changing lens in dusty roads conditions. hmmm but if the 28-300 going to give me unusable images then that will be a problem...

    Ok will read more on those web. Cos im quite confuse by some of the terms vc, os, pzd etc. Will slowly find out what they means..

    Thanks for your input
    Last edited by aleow; 3rd May 2012 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by aleow
    Thanks brother Blur Shadow for the insight.

    Will a "more delicated" zoom lens like the 55-250 have a slightly better image quality?

    im thinking more of a convenience of not changing lens in dusty roads conditions. hmmm but if the 28-300 going to give me unusable images then that will be a problem...

    Ok will read more on those web. Cos im quite confuse by some of the terms vc, os, pzd etc. Will slowly find out what they means..

    Thanks for your input
    Slightly, maybe a little more than slightly. If your purpose is just going the distance, it should work out fine for you. Especially it's much cheaper than those super zoom lens.

    For ur info: VR, VC, OS, IS essentially means the same thing, they are all image stabilization technology terms coined by different brand.

    PZD and USD (not money), refers to the motor drive from tamron lenses, read up a bit more from their website.
    Equipment: D800|D700|11-16|28-75|105 Micro VR|50 F1.4G|85 F1.8G
    Through the Lens of Cowseye

  7. #7
    Member JohnJon82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travel telephoto lens

    Don't belief 100% what salesman tell you, don't belief 100% what we tell you too, because different people different opinions and needs. I think the 18-200 is good for travelling, especially overseas with your family and friends. Oversea trip for photography purposes with other photographers, no problem you can bring your whole cabinet, slow slow change lens. With family and friends, no time to change lens. That's when the 18-200 all-in-one-zoom-although-IQ-not-good lens is very good. Small and light, save the luggage weight for your souvenirs and stuff. The value in BNS for 18-200 is around 500-600 the last time I see.
    Canon EOS 600D | 17-40 L | 24-105 L | 100 L | 50mm 1.8II | BG-E8

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye

    Slightly, maybe a little more than slightly. If your purpose is just going the distance, it should work out fine for you. Especially it's much cheaper than those super zoom lens.

    For ur info: VR, VC, OS, IS essentially means the same thing, they are all image stabilization technology terms coined by different brand.

    PZD and USD (not money), refers to the motor drive from tamron lenses, read up a bit more from their website.

    Hahaha.. okay.. Thanks brother Cowseye. I really appreciate it.. I will read up more... at least with some reference from you guys its easier to start. I did some read up but some of the things they write sounds alittle foreign to me so i need more time than others in digesting...

    I really appreciate that the people here are so helpful... even a simple reply like yours saves so much time for a non techy like me, because of your reply i straight away know that VR, VC etc is basically IS...

    Thank you thank you

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJon82
    Don't belief 100% what salesman tell you, don't belief 100% what we tell you too, because different people different opinions and needs. I think the 18-200 is good for travelling, especially overseas with your family and friends. Oversea trip for photography purposes with other photographers, no problem you can bring your whole cabinet, slow slow change lens. With family and friends, no time to change lens. That's when the 18-200 all-in-one-zoom-although-IQ-not-good lens is very good. Small and light, save the luggage weight for your souvenirs and stuff. The value in BNS for 18-200 is around 500-600 the last time I see.
    Hahahaha thanks brother Johnjon82.... what you say also make sense... maybe can get a 18-200mm for a start and save up for a 55-250mm or even 70-200mm later to get better IQ... this is indeed something to think about

  10. #10

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    Hi i am also a newbie iusng dslr and also using canon 1100d. I was in your situation last few weeks as i feel the kit lens is not sufficient. Was considering 55-200mm and 18-200mm. In the end, i bought the tamron 18-200mm as i prefer the wide range in one lens. Image quality is good for me. So it depends on what you prefer.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Travel telephoto lens

    I previously owned the Tammy 18-270mm VC and has since upgraded to the newer Tammy 18-270mm PZD. Like you, I was looking at a AIO lens that allow me to leave all other lenses at home during travels as I do not like to be weighed down by the heavy bag full of interchangeable lenses. I also owned the Canon 18-135 KIT lens. As such, maybe I should be able to give you a few pointers on these lenses that you are looking for.

    First, the Canon 18-135 Kit Lens. This came with my 600D camera and I only shot with it a couple of times before it ended up in my dry cabinet. It's a fairly decent lens, covering from 18mm wide to the telezoom range of 135mm. But somehow or rather, I still felt the zoom wasn't sufficient for my liking. As such, I went ahead to buy a second-hand Tammy 18-270mm VC from the BnS section. Don't get me wrong. The 18-135 Canon lens is light and pretty sharp. With IS, you are assured of image stabilisation, even at the long end. The Ring-motor AF is acceptable but not as fast as those Canon USM lenses. Price: New=$699, 2nd-hand=$350-$400. Weight=455g, Diameter=67mm

    Second, the Tamron 18-270mm VC. This model is the predecessor to the current PZD model. Slightly heavier and having a bigger diameter, it is still a wonderful AIO lens for travel. Weighing in at 560g, it is not exactly light, but balanced nicely with the 600D body. It employs the micro-motor AF, which is equivalent to the Canon's ring motor. Slightly noisy, but focusing speed is acceptable. The lens was able to deliver sharp pictures from 50-110mm range. At the lower end, you may experience slight barrel distortion. At the long end, it is not that sharp. To me, it is the compromise you have to pay for such a versatile lens. Unless you really crop your pictures and pixel-peep, the quality is still within acceptable limits. The only problem is that this lens tends to hunt more and have problem focusing in low light situations as it is not a fast lens. In these situations, you may have to resort to switching to MF. This lens is also capable of taking macro shots, although not 1:1. In summary, you can't go wrong with this lens for a versatile AIO. Price: New=$750, 2nd-hand=$500, Weight=560g, Diameter=72mm

    Thirdly, the Tamron 18-270mm PZD. In terms of comparision with its predecessor, the new PZD is a lighter and smaller diameter AIO lens. Functionality wise, it does what the older model was able to do and more. The PZD is Tamron's answer to Canon's Ultra-Sonic-Motor (USM). Using the principle of piezo-electric-drive, the lens is able to focus faster and quieter than the older model. AF is extremely accurate and fast. It is smaller and lighter than the VC version. Image stabilisation is as good as, if not better, than Canon's renowned IS. The VC is able to give you 1-2 stops better in performance compared to one without VC. I still own this lens and during my recent holiday, I ended up ditching my camera bag in the hotel and basically move around with only this lens on my 600D. It covers every single shot that I wanted from wide to telezoom without the need to fumble thru my bag to change lenses. Price: New=$950, 2nd-hand=$750-850, Weight=450g, Diameter=62mm

    In Summary,
    You must understand that by going for such lenses, your are compromising Image Quality (IQ) for convenience. This is very important as the pictures that you get will not be as crisp as those taken with specialty lenses. Forget about low light without flash shots as the 3.5-6.3 variable aperture will not give you the brightness and speed of a dedicated F2/2.8 lens. Nonetheless, if it is convenience that you are looking for, look no further as this is one of the most versatile 3rd party lens available today.

    Recommendation:
    Go BnS section and look for a 2nd hand Tamron 18-270mm PZD for $750-850. Avoid those selling at $600+ as these are usually grey sets with 1 year shop warranty. The local sets come with 3 year JEL warranty.
    If your budget does not permit you to get this lens, the next best option is to go for the the PZD's older brother, the Tamron 18-270mm VC. 2nd hand sets in BnS should be going for around $500.

    Hope the lengthy description above helps.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Travel telephoto lens

    the Tamron PZD aka Piezo Drive, is not the equivalent of Canon's USM.

    the real equivalent is the USD(Ultrasonic Silent Drive) but i feel it is still slower than USM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travel telephoto lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Blur Shadow View Post
    I am not impressed with the image quality
    I guess I can live with the image quality of a superzoom. haha




  14. #14
    Member Kongfu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travel telephoto lens

    [QUOTE=Anson;7888808]I guess I can live with the image quality of a superzoom. haha

    Hi Anson,

    Nice work

    This clearly reflect what they says "It's the singer, not the composer". Just like giving Tiger Woods a cheapo club and I bet he still hits it as far.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Travel telephoto lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Kongfu View Post

    Hi Anson,

    Nice work

    This clearly reflect what they says "It's the singer, not the composer". Just like giving Tiger Woods a cheapo club and I bet he still hits it as far.

    wah, think the singer/composer analog is kinda off track.

    in music, composer is important too, if not the singer will be singing crappy lines.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaixinxuan
    Hi i am also a newbie iusng dslr and also using canon 1100d. I was in your situation last few weeks as i feel the kit lens is not sufficient. Was considering 55-200mm and 18-200mm. In the end, i bought the tamron 18-200mm as i prefer the wide range in one lens. Image quality is good for me. So it depends on what you prefer.
    Hi bro did you buy new or second hand... can pm me the shop name and the price? Does yours come with AF and IS?

    Thanks so much for your input

  17. #17

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    Thanks Gigarex...

    Very nice insight... Tamron PZD is definitely on my list....

    Not sure how will the sigma one perform... Guess Tamron will be a safer choice...

    Thanks so much for your effort in writing. It was very useful.. at least i now know the 18-270 VC and 18-270 pzd.. now i know which is newer, Thanks for the pricing information as well, it is indeed very helpful...

    I did see some photos shot on the 18-270 pzd and yes the image quality is usable and acceptable but not great, i felt the 18-200 canon slightly better in IQ.. But nonetheless its 270mm, cannot complain haha.. its worth a look...

    Thanks so much... im narrowing down my choice to Tamron 18-270mm and 18-200 as soon as i get some notes on Sigma 18-200 and 28-300 for now its this 4 lens

    Thank you soooo much brother Gigarex

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tecnica
    the Tamron PZD aka Piezo Drive, is not the equivalent of Canon's USM.

    the real equivalent is the USD(Ultrasonic Silent Drive) but i feel it is still slower than USM.
    USD is found on Tamron?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anson

    I guess I can live with the image quality of a superzoom. haha


    Thanks for the photos... yes im very inspired by your pics cos one of the CS member here told me about your pictures after viewing i am interested to get a super zoom for travelling convenience

    Thanks bro Anson

  20. #20

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    Thank you one and all for the input... keep it coming.. i really really appreciate it.. thank you so much

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