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05-23-2011, 05:44 AM   #16
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Note that almost all buildings prohibit not only tripod but flash also.

05-23-2011, 07:28 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I think you may be missing the wide end. My kit for cities is Sigma 10-20 and tamron 28-75/2.8. If I need to fil the gap I take my old FA-J 18-35

If I want a little length I add in either my K135/2.5 or vivitar 85/1.4 and 1.7 x AFTC

That's it. I find no need for length but lots for ultra wide because you can always get closer but not always move back
I see your point, but I don't have the budget for a Sigma 10-20 at the moment, so I will have to make do with DA 15 & stitching. Besides, I might have to get a Class 6 16GB cards, I shoot RAW and the 8GB card I currently own only give me like 250 shots
05-23-2011, 07:28 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Note that almost all buildings prohibit not only tripod but flash also.
Hmm one more reason not to bring the tripod I think...
05-23-2011, 07:29 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Note that almost all buildings prohibit not only tripod but flash also.
Flash is almost always prohibited--tripods not as often. It depends upon how badly they want to sell their own photos at the gift shop in my cynical opinion.

05-23-2011, 07:37 AM   #20
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The idea of a 15+43+77 kit is intriguing because I am travelling alone and will spend around 5 days in each city, all prime kit could be a different experience if I can do it in a more relax pace. Although I think I might still stick with zoom for the convinience, that gave me something to think about. The weight and bulk of the kit will be reduced indeed for this option.
05-23-2011, 07:52 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
Alright, I will provide some more detail of the trip

1. I will be travelling alone,
2. I might not be going with tour groups, just plan my own stay.
3. First time ever to Europe, no idea what to expect.
4. No idea the restriction on tripod in historical buildings...
If you were travelling with a partner, you should think zooms. Lens changing is the quickest possible route to divorce, or at least a very tense dinner at the end of the day.
As you are travelling alone, I think bulk and weight should be the key criteria. In which case a little batch of primes is the way I would go. Most quality zoom lenses are fine round your neck as you leave the hotel after breakfast, but will have crippled you by late afternoon. I even shy away from my Sigma 17-70 for this reason. I still use my FA 24-90 for travel because it is the ideal range, because it gives good results, and because it is relatively light. But the next trip will be DA15, DA21, DA35, DA70, with maybe a 50 1.7 thrown in (but probably not used much). I find weight on the camera strap much more tiring than weight in the bag, although of course there too the less the better.

Forget anything longer than 100mm - unless you anticipate a specific need, like wildlife, its just a waste of weight and energy.

Historic buildings may or may not (probably not) permit a tripod, but after the first day you will leave it in your hotel room anyway so what's the point?
05-23-2011, 08:58 AM   #22
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really only 2 lenses

You need:
one fast prime (something around 35mm, f2 or faster)
one zoom (something around 50-150mm)
05-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #23
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I'm going to echo causey's thoughts. Never needed extended telephotos in Europe.

This isn't one of your two options, but I would take the 15mm and 43 or 77 depending on your style. Anything in between those two (15 & 43 or 15 & 77) can be covered by feet. Packing light will help you enjoy the experience more.

05-23-2011, 10:25 AM   #24
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The first time I went to europe, I had a 10x zoom P&S, which went from 35mm to 350mm equivalent. I was always backing myself into corners of piazzas and cursing my inability to get anything good on the wide end.

Also, looking back at my exif, of the 1100+ photos I took, only ~15 were at any length longer than 200mm equivalent, and of those, only 2-3 were of anything compelling. For the most part, you want wide.

This summer, I'm going back to Italy and France - I'm bringing my 16-45 f4, and my exceptionally sharp copy of the 50-200mm. I imagine I'm going to use the 16-45 more than half the time, only swapping onto the 50-200 a few times.

If I had more money, I'd undoubtedly have bought a better zoom and probably some kind of AF prime, but I'm poor, so . . . all that to say, favor the wide end if you can.

I'm also going with a small tripod and I'm thinking about a monopod. The one thing I'm missing from my honeymoon is anything from nighttime because it was all handheld.

Oh and make sure you have a wireless trigger remote, so you can trigger self portraits and night shots without the self-timer.
05-23-2011, 10:59 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by pilgrimingvine Quote
Never needed extended telephotos in Europe.
Sorry, I'm going to strongly disagree. And judging by the interest in long teles shown by European members over at the ManualFocusLenses forum, I'd say that many others will disagree also.

It could be argued that nothing but a single 'normal' lens is needed anywhere. Indeed, nothing but a simple fixed-lens P&S is needed anywhere; I have gotten by with such. I had only a fixed-lens 1.1mpx P&S for my first 6-week trip across Guatemala. But such rather limits one's shooting opportunities.

So, without a long lens: That castle across the river? Forget it. The birds in that tall steeple? Sorry, too far. Hot action down the street? By the time you can run up to it, it's over. Full moon rising over a Medieval cityscape? Nope, too small. This large procession? Can't pick out the details, sigh. Et cetera.

I've learned over the decades that a wide range of focal lengths are damn useful. Back in the day, I bounced across Germany with an Olympus Pen-FT (about the same frame size as APS-C) with a 400mm lens, as well as other cams with shorter glass, shooting in cities and villages and countrysides. More recently, I've bounced across Mexico with the DA10-17, DA18-250 and not much else on my K20D, likewise shooting in big cities and tiny hamlets and landscapes large and small. Not to mention shooting with long and wide glass in tiny places elsewhere.

10-500mm just barely provides enough range. Looking down into a jam-packed town from a hilltop, even 500mm is hardly long enough. Sitting inside a glowing crypt, even 10mm is hardly wide enough. What, just take an 18-135? Not a chance!

Last edited by RioRico; 05-23-2011 at 11:18 AM.
05-23-2011, 11:22 AM   #26
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One more vote for the 15, 43, 77 setup. This is my travel kit also, but I pack those three into the little black DA Limited three-lens case, which means I can put one more on the body. That is usually going to be either the 31 or, when I re-buy it, the DFA100WR, depending on the situation.

If you are not as attached to the FA Ltds as I am, (and you probably aren't), then I think a good, simple setup is the 15 plus the Tamron 28-75. That Tamron has quite a bit better IQ than any of the superzooms. Only downside to this is that you don't have anything faster than f/2.8. It is tempting to just add one fast prime, but if you do that, then I'm back to my original recommendation of the 15,43,77.

As far as the tripod goes, I am someone who uses a tripod more than most, but even I would not drag one all over Europe. I would suggest alternatives such as the string/screw/washer method or the new stretchy cord-things that attach to your belt or waist-line of your pants. These are also much faster than setting up a tripod and thus you may get more of the now-or-never type shots.

Finally, the bag. I personally try to stay away from any obvious camera bags or packs. The cities you are going to are not notorious for their crime (though certain public transportation in Rome can be dicey), but there are pick-pockets and "opportunity" thieves everywhere. I would look for something that is not black, is as small as possible, and as comfortable as possible to carry, though room for a few personal items is a good idea.

Don't forget that photos are secondary to making sure that you enjoy what should be a fantastic trip. Have fun!
05-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Sorry, I'm going to strongly disagree. And judging by the interest in long teles shown by European members over at the ManualFocusLenses forum, I'd say that many others will disagree also.

It could be argued that nothing but a single 'normal' lens is needed anywhere. Indeed, nothing but a simple fixed-lens P&S is needed anywhere; I have gotten by with such. I had only a fixed-lens 1.1mpx P&S for my first 6-week trip across Guatemala. But such rather limits one's shooting opportunities.

So, without a long lens: That castle across the river? Forget it. The birds in that tall steeple? Sorry, too far. Hot action down the street? By the time you can run up to it, it's over. Full moon rising over a Medieval cityscape? Nope, too small. This large procession? Can't pick out the details, sigh. Et cetera.

I've learned over the decades that a wide range of focal lengths are damn useful. Back in the day, I bounced across Germany with an Olympus Pen-FT (about the same frame size as APS-C) with a 400mm lens, as well as other cams with shorter glass, shooting in cities and villages and countrysides. More recently, I've bounced across Mexico with the DA10-17, DA18-250 and not much else on my K20D, likewise shooting in big cities and tiny hamlets and landscapes large and small. Not to mention shooting with long and wide glass in tiny places elsewhere.

10-500mm just barely provides enough range. Looking down into a jam-packed town from a hilltop, even 500mm is hardly long enough. Sitting inside a glowing crypt, even 10mm is hardly wide enough. What, just take an 18-135? Not a chance!

Anything that would do an acceptable job and be worth the effort at 150mm or longer would be too big and heavy for most people to consider it for travel, with one exception: the DA 55-300. Travel choices generally entail some compromises. I personally am fine with giving up the really long stuff to have top-notch choices in the other ranges and not need a wheeled bag to tote it around.
05-23-2011, 11:41 AM   #28
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I'll be in Paris in a couple of weeks, and that's the debate I'm having right now; bring the 55-300mm or not? I'll have two bodies, the 10-17 FE, 18-135mm and three primes (15, 35, 100mm) but I'm stuck on the tele. That extra pound in the kit seems to be just over the line for me. I suppose I could leave out the 100mm macro and bring the telezoom, but that would mean nothing long & fast. I don't think I'll need macro in Paris.
05-23-2011, 12:07 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I'll be in Paris in a couple of weeks, and that's the debate I'm having right now; bring the 55-300mm or not? I'll have two bodies, the 10-17 FE, 18-135mm and three primes (15, 35, 100mm) but I'm stuck on the tele. That extra pound in the kit seems to be just over the line for me. I suppose I could leave out the 100mm macro and bring the telezoom, but that would mean nothing long & fast. I don't think I'll need macro in Paris.
I think you would be fine with just the 15, 35, and 100. I personally would leave the 10-17 and 18-135 at home, and maybe bring the 55-300 if you really think you'd use it.
05-23-2011, 12:35 PM   #30
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[shrug] I can but cite my own experiences whilst traveling, afoot and in public and private transports, including places large and small in Europe and the Americas, over many decades. I choose my carry-kit based on those experiences, on what works for me. Limited focal range does not work for me. The gear I toss into my anonymous brown teardrop Ameribag do not weigh me down: selected zooms and a little mirror and some small character-laden primes. Without a set of tools for making the pictures I want, why bother with a SLR? Take a sketch-pad and some pencils and be done with it.
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