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Old Jan 25, 2012, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default Best walk around lens for NYC?

Sorry about starting another one these threads, 20+ past pages didn't narrow it down too well.

My wife and I have been invited to spend Easter weekend with my in-laws in New York City. Having never been there, I'm extremely excited and can't wait to take in the usual tourist sites. Our hotel is right in Times Square too - awesome! My only dilemma is I don't plan to carry the camera backpack stuffed with my growing variety of equipment. Instead, I plan to carry my camera with just one lens on a long strap so I can comfortably keep my hand on it while we walk the city for most of the three days. I will have my backpack along for the weekend but will toss the lenses in the hotel safe...just to be safe. That way I can at least swap to a new lens if I absolutely had too.

So which would be the best comprise or all around lens? I know that I'll be taking very few fast-paced photos and will take my time composing the shots. Most of the time we'll be outside, although we are planning on visiting St. Patrick's cathedral at some point. We also argued the merits of either seeing the Empire State building afar from a fairly high vantage point or just viewing the rest of the city from within; looks like we're going for inside of it. We have reservations to the 9/11 Memorial for Friday afternoon as well...so no low light there.

I own these lenses that I can bring and choose from:
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM


A friend has also graciously offered up these three:
EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM

Which would you carry and why? They will be on my T3i and I plan to toss two spare batteries and another 8gb card in the wife's purse.

Last edited by Quadna71; Feb 4, 2012 at 3:26 PM. Reason: Changed lens options
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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the 18-200 seem to be your best choice here
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 6:47 AM   #3
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if you are like me then i wouldnt like to borrow just in case something happened to the kit. I would go for the 18-200 from your kit. but for me i have a 17-70 sigma and i would use that.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 6:55 AM   #4
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I'd say that the 18-55 kit lens is your best bet. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to use the wide end, and the 18-55 is better than the 18-200 there, and you won't have much chance to use the long end on the 18-200, unless you want to take a photo of the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park, in which case the 18-200 won't be long enough.

Watch how women in the City carry their purses, and carry your camera the same way.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 7:37 AM   #5
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Whichever one has the optional tazer mount. Your plan to avoid changing lenses is a good one - taking your focus off your surroundings is an invitiation to getting attacked. Can you tell I fondly remember my Chicago days?

I'd recommend wide to normal focal lengths. Longer glass might be handy on a few occassions, but if you are touristing you'll probably be getting close the want you want to see.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the input everyone. I initially was thinking of just the 18-55 lens, but then started wondering if the extra reach of the 18-200 was worth it. The 18-55, while sharing similar numbers as the 18-200, seems to repeatedly take clearer pictures while being lighter to walk around with. I won't have a tripod either, but both have IS which is a plus.

Then as I was narrowing it down a little to the 18-55 in my head, my friend's 17-55 started to seem more and more enticing. A hair wider for open street/building shots and the f/2.8 is nice in case we get something interesting to take a picture of after dinner. But it is a little heavier as well as pricier - and I'd hate to either bump it while walking or have someone snatch off of me. Also, both the 18-200 and the 17-55 lenses don't rotate with the focus while my 18-55 does. Not a huge deal breaker, but I figured that if it was a sunny weekend then I may be well served having the CPL mounted up with all the glass/chrome in the city.

Well, I'll keep playing around with the lenses and think it over more. Besides, I have almost a month and a half to pick one and can always change my mind at the last minute.

iowa jim - thanks for the taser advice! I am already rigging up an adjustable sling/strap to help keep the camera a little more secure. It uses a kevlar-woven 3/4" strap with a slider threaded into the tripod mount, and a hook to snap to my belt loop to keep the whole thing from swinging around too much. Similar in execution as one of those Black Rapid setups but much cheaper as I have a whole roll of the strap here at the house. A perk from my military days
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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just another bit of advice i saw a video on the fact that thieves are more interested in the lenses.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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Understandably. The camera body is pretty cheap compared to most lenses out there. It's cheaper than any L lens and even 2 or 3 EF-S lenses are well over the cost of my T3i.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 11:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wave01 View Post
just another bit of advice i saw a video on the fact that thieves are more interested in the lenses.
I inderstand that. So am I.
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Old Jan 26, 2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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For outdoor shooting, the 18-55 kit lens will be fine, and for indoor, you'll probably use flash anyway. I don't think your friend's 17-55 buys you much. And then there's the fuss if it gets damaged or stolen.
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