Best Canon Rebel Vacation Lens for Canon EOS Rebel T3i

What Is A Vacation Lens?

The easy definition for a Canon Rebel vacation lens is that it is a lens that you attach to your Canon Digital Rebel when you go on vacation. Many photographers interchange the term “walk around” lens with vacation lens. Simple, huh?

Some of the qualities you want in your Rebel vacation lens are:

  • Takes great photos.
  • Takes a wide range of photos, from close-ups to wide angle landscapes, and everything in between.
  • Good portrait lens.
  • Not too heavy so that it is easy to tote around for most of the day.
  • Compatible with your Canon Rebel’s image sensor.
  • Will not break the bank so you have to cancel your vacation.

Truth is that you will get an argument when you bring up this subject in photography circles, and especially on photography forums. The argument will be about which lens is bested suited for a vacation lens. And, quite honestly, it is a good subject to discuss as to the virtues of different lenses. However, when considering a Canon Rebel, we must narrow the playing field a bit, because we are probably not in the $1000 price range. If we were, we would be talking about a different (higher level) DSLR.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a couple of options.

Sigma 18-250mm – A Super Canon Rebel Vacation Lens

Roll over to see price ==>Sigma 18-250mm Lens for Canon Rebel

Sigma has been producing quality add-ons for Canon, Nikon, and other digital cameras. The 18-250mm is one of Sigma’s newest “all around” lenses. It is a true “all around” or vacation lens in terms of attaching it to your Canon Rebel and not having to change lenses for certain shots. The Sigma has the wide angle needed for landscapes or cityscapes, as well as the telephoto zoom of 250mm, enough to get those great nature photos. Sigma has a great reputation for giving the buyer great quality at great prices. This lens seems to be no exception.

Here is a short description from the folks at Sigma:

The SIGMA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM incorporates Sigma’s original anti-shake compensation function, with a 13.8 times zoom ratio. As opposed to having an anti-shake function in the camera body, this lens’s Hybrid Optical Stabilizer provides not only an anti-shake function for the camera body, but also compensates for image shaking in the view finder as the Optical Stabilizer is built in to the lens. Incorporating four Special Low Dispersion glass elements and three aspherical lens elements provides excellent image quality throughout the entire zoom range. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm (17.7 inches) at all focal lengths and a maximum magnification of 1: 3.4 reproduction ratio, making it ideal for close-up photography. An inner focusing system eliminates front lens rotation, making it suitable for use with circular polarizing filters and the supplied petal-type hood. Incorporating super multi-layer coating reduce the ghost in the backlight photography.

I personally own this lens, so I am partial to it. I purchased the Sigma 18-250 just to try it out. I bought it from Amazon, knowing that if I did not want to keep it, returning it would be very simple. And I truly expected to return it after trying it out.

However, my little Sigma 18-250mm lens is still with me, and I use it more than any other lens I own, simply because it is a great “walk around” or vacation lens. I keep trying to find something wrong with it. I have found that it takes really good pictures, some of which I am displaying below. If I could name one thing I wish were different about it, I would say that the largest aperture could be f/2.8, and I would be happy. That being said, though, if the aperture was f/2.8, it would have cost way more than I could have afforded. So, bottom line – you get what you can pay for. In this case I got a very nice lens that I can keep on my camera when traveling about and not have to worry if I have “the right” lens attached.

Example Photos from Sigma 18-250mm

Sigma 18-250mm Vacation Lens

Church Door With Sigma 18-250 Vacation Lens

Wroght Iron Gate Taken With Sigma 18-250 Vacation Lens

Asheville, NC parking lot - taken with Sigma 18-250mm Vacation Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS

Roll over to see price ==>Tamron AF 28-75mm for Canon Rebel

Tamron is another manufacturer that makes some quality lenses for the Canon Rebel. Again, you will save a little money buying an off brand rather than a Canon lens.

The Tamron 28-75mm lens was my very first “walk around” lens. I spent many hours agonizing over the purchase of this little beauty. I can tell you I was not disappointed in the least. Image quality is superb. In addition, it has the coveted f/2.8 wide open aperture, which is constant throughout the zoom range. All in all, it is an excellent choice as a walk around lens.

With regard to telephoto range, you can tell from the numbers that it does not have as wide or as long a range as the Sigma lens mentioned above. However, it is much better in low light because of the f/2.8, and it costs a bit less.

You can take very nice portraits. You can capture pretty good close-ups, but they will not be as close up as with a dedicated macro lens. You get pretty good landscapes. It is a bit short on range at only 75mm. But all that being said, this is a lens worthy of consideration as you weigh your needs against your budget.

Rebel Vacation Lens - Tamron 28-75

Rebel Vacation Lens - Tamron 28-75

Taken at night without a flash

Young photographer with a Canon Rebel Vacation Lens

Young photograher practicing with her Rebel Vacation Lens, a Tamron 28-75mm

Tamron 28-75mm Lens Review

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Image Stabilizer USM AF Lens

Roll over to see price ==>Canon EF 28-135mm Lens for Canon Rebel Cameras

The Canon 28-135mm is Canon’s second “kit” lens. It is sold with some of the DSLR’s instead of the 18-55mm lens. It is a solid performer, and it will give you much more longer focal range thatn the 18-55 lens, although is comes up a bit shy of the 18mm wide focal length of the 18-55mm kit lens. Image Stabilization is also a plus. And, of course, the Canon name lends itself to confidence that you are getting quality. (although not every Canon lens is created the same, some are not highly rated). This is a nice all around lens at an affordable price for your Canon Rebel DSLR. It sells for about $400.

One thing to consider when buying a Canon Rebel is to get an upgraded lens rather than the kit lens that is sold with most Rebels. You are not obligated to purchase the kit lens.

I do not own this one :-). But according to the ratings, it is an excellent performer for the price. It has decent speed at f/3.5, but it does not hold that aperture throughout the zoom range. That means that you will need more natural light when you zoom to 135mm. Of course, it does have image stabilization which is a plus for taking sharp photos.