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08-13-2012, 03:23 AM   #1
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Lens choices for Japan

So I have the lenses in my sig. Travelling to Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto with an evening off to see Fuji-san.
I've recently acquired an excellent Tamron 28-75/2.8, and will be travelling with 2, max 3 lenses. Which ones should I take?

Was thinking DA16-45 (for landscapes), 28-75 and the 55-300.. are there a lot of opportunities for tele shots there?
Looking forward to your opinions! Thanks.

08-13-2012, 03:41 AM   #2
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I would say the wide angles are most useful. The 16-45 will take 95% of your shots.
You always find you want to take another step backwards even with your wider lenses in Japan. Streets are very narrow and even in the country, the landscape is somehow more 'densely packed' than elsewhere.
I used my 10-20 a lot last time and Sigma 17-70 at the 17 end mostly. Next time, will take DA15, assuming I get one before then. I did use sigma 70-300 but mostly for flowers, so I reckon a 100 macro would be more useful than a telephoto as such.
08-13-2012, 04:28 AM   #3
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Take only one lens, some spending money, an a large camera bag...
08-13-2012, 05:02 AM   #4
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I have done a pretty decent amount of travelling (20 nations and counting) and I have lugged my camera gear on every trip. Take the wide angle and take the 55-300. I got very nerdy one day and did a review of what lenses I used the most on my trips and they stood out by a huge margin. I also took with me my DA*40mm because it is super small and not too heavy, but honestly I had to make a concerted effort to use it so I probably could have left it at home. My other tips:
1. Think LONG and HARD about taking a tripod. I did one trip with it and one without and sure there were some shots that I just could not take without it, but I managed to walk further in a day and see more and not have an aching shoulder all the time. It also forces you to be a little more creative when trying to find places you can balance your camera to take a shot. On another note there were a few places in Tokyo that did not allow them...
2. Get a camera bag that will work for you while you travel. I have a largish bag that is waterproof; the bonus is that I can fit my water bottle, rain coat/jumper and camera gear all in the one bag. If you go for something that is just a dedicated camera bag you often end up carrying two bags or having to leave stuff behind.

Hope this helps.

08-13-2012, 06:59 AM   #5
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I'd take the 3 lenses you mentioned with no hesitation, However, like calsan stated, the 16-45 will probably stay on the camera most of the time.
I also use a Sigma 17-70 in Tokyo's narrow, built-up streets.
Something wide is absolutely essential, especially for places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, and the like.

I don't often use anything longer than 70 in the streets, but there are some good parks with ponds where teles come in handy, and some birds like herons and egrets, if that's your thing.

There's not much colour in the parks right now, but if you get chance, I recommend Shinjuku Gyoen and Koishikawa Korakuen.
08-13-2012, 08:29 AM   #6

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I also think the lenses you suggested would be ideal for a trip to Japan. You'll probably use the 16-45 most, but I also think you should bring the tele zoom. Here are two examples.

It's not always easy to get a good view of Mt. Fuji. This was taken at 300mm and I was able to frame it to avoid all the unsightly electricity cables in the foreground.

If you go to an event like a summer festival (matsuri), the 28-75 and the 55-300 would be very useful.

Hope you have a great trip.

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