02-26-2017 10:53 AM - edited 02-26-2017 10:56 AM
My 80D with 18-55 from Canon store will arrive tomorrow. I think I made a mistake by not getting the 28-135. Should I leave the 18-55 in the box and send it back? I'd like to start with an "all-round" lens and one long enough for back yard birds.
Do you mean 18-135, instead of 28-135? The 18-135 lenses are pretty good. BUT, they will likely cast a shadow when you try to use the flash. I know that older 18-135mm lenses cast a major shadow on a T5, so I would expect a shadow on an 80D. The 18-55mm lens has a 35mm equivalent of 29-88mm, which is pretty close to 24-70mm that is very popular for use with full frame camera bodies.
The STM version of the 18-55mm is a really good lens. I would hang on to it. I can guarantee you that whatever plans you have for using the camera, you will find new scenarios to use it. I would keep the 18-55mm, and pass on buying a 18-135, so that you can budget more money towards your birding lens. If you can afford to do all of the above, then by all means, buy all of the lenses you want.
02-26-2017 11:21 AM
Most any physically long lens will cast a shadow if you use the built-in (pop-up) flash. Also, the bult-in flash doesn't provide much light (subjects should generally be about 10' away... or closer. You can raise the ISO to increase the coverage distance).
If a flash is used, ideally you'd use an external flash (e.g. something like the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT) to provide better coverage power. You can improve that further by using a flash-extender (e.g. "Better Beamer") which uses a fresnel lens. A "fresnel" lens is designed like a series of prisms... the prisms farther away from the center axis have a steeper correction. The idea is that any light that would have been traveling "straight" along the center axis will not be corrected... it just keeps going straight. But any light that would have been traveling at a angle (say... 45º away from the center axis) will pass through a prism which will correct the light's path so that it also goes roughly straight forward. Essentially it tries to send all light directly forward and catch any light that would have scattered off at some angle that would have missed your subject. The end effect is that it massively improves the flash coverage distance.
You can do a Google search for "Better Beam" and you'll find numerous articles and with examples to show how this light modifier works.
02-26-2017 01:19 PM
"If you want all-around and bird then I say 18-135STM and 400 f/5.6L"
You can do as you see fit but this is the best answer for you. Plus it will be cheaper in the long run. Getting any lens shorter than 400mm, certainly 300mm, is not going to do well on birds.
02-27-2017 08:07 AM
02-27-2017 11:19 AM
I've gone through (and still own) a LOT of bags. I initially tried finding "a bag" that would hold my gear but the problem these days is it's been enough years that it's not possibly for any bag to hold all my gear.
I do not own (but am intrigued by) the "Everyday Backpack" (Trey Ratcliff promotes it).
I do have different bags depending on event/occasion/type of shooting. If I'm walking around all day, I use a Black Rapid sling strap and I have a ThinkTank belt that has individual lens bags on the belt -- adding only the bags for the lenses I think I'll actually use that day (and everything else stays home or in my main rolling cases.)
If I think the camera will need more protection (e.g. weather may become an issue, etc.) then I have a ThinkTank "holster" type bag which is designed with a telescoping bottom and extends down far enough (when the extension is unzipped) to hold my camera with the 70-200mm lens with the hood attached (they make a version of this for cameras with and without a battery grip.)
I'd probably check out the Think Tank "Restrospective" messenger bags.
It's usually not a good idea to advertise the value of your gear by using any bags that carry camera logos on them (theft magnet). So one of the 'features' I look for in a bag (besides holding my gear) is a bag that doesn't scream "expensive camera inside... steal me!". That means I prefer a bag with minimal or no visible branding (or at least no obvious branding).
03-02-2017 08:22 AM - edited 03-02-2017 08:27 AM
What about buying a used or refurbished lens from B&H?
I am not sure if I have seen any Canon refurbished gear at B&H, not in the last few years for sure. If you want to buy Canon refurbished gear, then I would only recommend the Canon refurbished store. They will give you a one year warranty, not just a "guarantee" of some kind.
I think B&H has a fairly good and objective rating system for their used gear. I think much of it is a bit pricey, though. Many times they will offer used gear that is rated "good" that has an asking price that is more than what is being offered in the Canon Refurbished Store.
Check what the B&H guarantee and return policy might be for used gear. I've bought a used tripod head and a "hi-hat" tripod from B&H, and I think I had a 15 day return window, and a 30 day guarantee.
Good judgement needs to exercised when buying used gear. You must consider the source. You must consider the return policy, for which B&H has a good reputation. You must consider the cost/benefit of expensive gear without a warranty. You must consider can the used gear be repaired, if needed in the near future.
With used camera gear, there is always a risk of mold and mildew contamination. Canon's refurbished gear has that new gear smell to it, so I think the contamination risk is small to non-existent with Canon.
[EDIT]. If what you want is out of stock at the Canon Refurbished Store, be patient. Most of the items will be back in stock in a month, or two, or three. The "L" series lenses can sell out very quickly.