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10-18-2012, 05:48 AM - 1 Like   #16
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i'm joining the thread, maybe i can give you some advice ... as i live in the closest suburbs of Paris

i've check your profile and i saw you've got the 18-55 / 55-300 / and Tak 50. To be honest, unless you visit Paris during the night, all those would be good enought.

Most of the Parisian building are made of limestone, which is white /cream colored, and buildings are not so tall. Paris is full of daylight during summer, and thus, fast lens are not absolutely necessary.

i understand you want top notch glass for this trip, but "speedy" lens are not so necessary.

and for dim place like the "Notre Dame" cathedral, the Tak 50 will be perfect to get all the stained glass.
If you are really anxious about indoors, get a 28mm f2.8 on the second hand market. it's cheap, easy to find, and wide enought for most of the time.

The k-r can go up to 1600 iso with very clean result (if you expose the picture right ), and that will reduce the need for fast glass.

that said, i would advice you to find a wide angle, like a 10-20 or a Samyang 14mm because "Tourist place" are huge.

Ex : this is the Louvre area. i took this with a SLR and a 18mm (i would require a 12mm on DSLR !)


there is a huge amount of building like this in Paris, hence the advice for a 10-20 or a cheap Samyang 14mm.


When it comes to safety / insurrance / pickpocket / thieves / unpleasant things :

- make sure you have an insurrance for all your gear. people won't try to destroy it, France is not a rought jungle at all. But we never know.

- make sure you have the bill or the customs card for your gear. Since the 9/11 and the 2008 crisi, Customes are a bit more strict when it come to "where did you buy it ? did you / should you pay the Tax ?".

- Don't worry to much about healt care : Hospital and doctors are very cheap compared to the US If you're sick for whatever reason, a generalist doctor cost 23€ (30$) for a meeting, and the medication it would give you would cost less than 20€ (if you have to pay the full price of medication).
If you have any kind of trouble (again, we never know) Just keep on you (in your wallet) a card with :
- do you wear "eye lens" (i don't know the word for the small lens you put on your eyes instead of wearing glasses), if yes write it on it.
- Are you under any medical treatment ?
- Do you have allergy to anythings ?
- Any surgical operation in the past ?
- people to contact in case of emergency (if it's not in france think to put the international dials number before the phone number.)
- The blood type (if you know it).

- Keep your wallet, passeport on you. In shirt pocket, or zip pocket. try to not put it in back pocket of jeans. Backpack can be easily forget.
And the police can ask you your ID anytime they want.

- try to avoid cargo pockets : it's like having a signboard with "i'm US tourist" on the face.
In fact, try to avoid clothes that show to much your american. We are not anti-US at all. It's just you won't be targeted as tourist too easily and beggars won't comes to you first.

- globaly travel light when it comes to valuables (whatch, neckless, brasselets, etc ...), the less you have to care about, the better !

- about the money : all the restaurant / shop / bar in Paris and most of them in Angers takes credit card (not by the magnetic band but by the chip. Usually it mean you have to dial a code to allow the payment). usually the minimum price is around 12€.
In supermarket of "mini" supermarket the credit card is allowed for a minimum of 1€
You can find ATM everywhere so no need to travel with a lot of cash. don't take more than 100€ at the time.

Newmikey gave you good advice : take your time, try to learn few words like the basic polite word (french version of hello, goodbye, thank you sir, i would like a coffe please, and so on). French people will be much nicer with tourist that tries a bit to speak french than with tourist who speaks only english.
Avoid fast food, and tries french food. Ask the waiters / waitress / barmaids / concierges some advice, and so on.




Last edited by aurele; 10-18-2012 at 05:53 AM.
10-18-2012, 06:27 AM   #17
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Thanks for the great posts everyone!

Frank: I didn't even think of actually buying a similarly priced lens for the trip! I'll take a look at the DA 40 and see what I think.

Aurele: Thanks! I didn't realize I needed the receipts for my camera equipment. I'll make sure to pack those. Having lived in Paris, what would you say is the #1 thing to see and/or do when visiting? The first part of my trip will be in Paris for 3 days.
10-18-2012, 07:18 AM   #18
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hard to tell for the #1, but i would say the Eiffel Tower.

The view is astonishing, and with a little map you will be able to have a "preview" to many things to see, like the "Sacre Coeur" or the Louvre, and so on. it will make it easy to know where you are going on the map too.

bring the 55-300 for this one, and the widest lens you have.

The only drawback of this is its own succes Be sure to be there one hour before the opening or you will have to wait longer !

To go up either you take the stairs (300 stairs to handle to go to the 1 floor ), or the lift.


The view is astonishing, breath taking, and it's probably the most stimulating place for giving you the will to see everything.
10-18-2012, 07:24 AM   #19
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Thanks! My trip advisor said that we go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, we visit the Louvre and Notre Dame. Not sure what else we're doing in Paris though. If I get the DA 40 ltd, I'll be bringing my 18-55 to act as my wide angle for the trip.

10-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbuck92 Quote
I've never been out of the U.S. before and am really looking forward to the trip and visiting France. Any comments or things to look for when in the country?
Don't forget to bring 1 or 2 power adapters

About lenses, I often walk around in Paris with the DA 40 XS, and even if I like it for street photography and shooting people, I find it too long for buildings and monuments since you don't have much room to move back here, contrary to the US
So I think you'll end up switching lens all the time or keeping the 18-55 mounted.

The 18-55 is good for travel because it's light, but if you want to go prime I would rather recommend the DA 21 which is more versatile than the DA 40, or maybe the DA 35/2.4 because it's cheap and lightweight too.
10-18-2012, 09:15 AM   #21
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Good to know, Nick. Thanks! I think what I'll end up doing if I go for the DA 40 is keep that mounted for the majority of the time except when I need the wider angle for landscapes or buildings. If only I had found that blank check with my name on it...
10-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by NickLarsson Quote
Don't forget to bring 1 or 2 power adapters
And remember it's 220 volts in Europe!
10-18-2012, 10:11 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
And remember it's 220 volts in Europe!
so, it means in USA it's 110 ?

10-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
And remember it's 220 volts in Europe!
Most modern power adapters are smart enough to read the input voltage and adapt accordingly.
But you will need a physical adapter so a flat-pin plug will fit a round-pin socket.

You can conduct a 250 volt test in a North American household before you leave
by taking power from both sides of the supply.
Usual disclaimer: If you don't know how to do this, don't do it!
10-18-2012, 10:45 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Most modern power adapters are smart enough to read the input voltage and adapt accordingly.
But you will need a physical adapter so a flat-pin plug will fit a round-pin socket.

You can conduct a 250 volt test in a North American household before you leave
by taking power from both sides of the supply.
Usual disclaimer: If you don't know how to do this, don't do it!
Yes, and if the test is negative doesn't that fry whatever you were testing? Check the labels too - if they say 110V/60Mhz don't assume anything. Multi-region equipment wil state 110-230V/50-60Mhz and there you can safely connect to a European powergrid.

If you are looking for flat-to-round pin adapters, don't wait to get them at the airport - incredibly expensive. Pop in to your local Radio Shack, they should have them for a few bucks.
10-18-2012, 11:21 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
Yes, and if the test is negative doesn't that fry whatever you were testing?
Maybe, but in that (bad) case it's better to have it fry while you can get a replacement easily,
rather than when you need to rely on it out in the field.
10-18-2012, 12:50 PM   #27
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Auriel has a good point, your present lenses are going to cover a lot. if you want or feel that the DA 18-55 is not enough of a lens, then if you can afford to rent 2 go with the 12-24 and the 16-50, although i suspect that in the normal range between 24 and 55 the kit lens will be good,. it is weakest when ultra wide. your present long zoom is enough and I think, form experience of visiting france at least every 3-4 months and having vacationed in europe with the family 4 times in the last 5 years, to be honest. the 12-24 and 16-50 will get the bulk of the work.
10-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #28
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Oh ok so don't even bother with the 50-135? I'm going to see if I can squeeze out the 50-135 or 16-50 as a joint Christmas/birthday present. I'll see what I can do!
10-18-2012, 04:10 PM   #29
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When I am in France (Toulouse) I shoot the widest lens 90% of the time, with the longest being a normal to moderate telephoto. Streets are narrow, and interiors require wide angle. France is wonderful, take it in as much as you can. Aurele has given great advice. Enjoy!
10-18-2012, 05:04 PM   #30
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Great to know, thanks! Seeming more and more like renting the 50-135 is useless. I may try to squeeze the 16-50 as a bday present and rent the 12-24
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